Intentionality: the Secret Ingredient of ProgressJune 15, 2020 · Aaron Burr
Many movements exist to bring about better changes in the world. Whether those changes be for the environment, the ethical treatment of animals, social justice, etc.
And while many movements require the learning, and unlearning, of certain information and ways of life, they all share a similarity. That similarity is required to make the movement whole, to keep us on track, and to ensure its continued progress. What is that similarity?
This can be applied to the several facets of environmentalism including plant based eating, zero waste, minimalism, and so forth.
Intentionality isn’t limited to the things which we can be a part of, but simply how we live our lives. Because after all, it is lifestyle that’s essential to any movement or purpose.
Where intentionality is useful
Zero waste, while it requires us to acquire certain knowledge in order to make better decisions, at the end of the day all it demands is intentionality. It demands for us to simply think about what resources we are using up, and to act on what we have recently recognized.
Most of the change found in these areas of our lives comes from taking the first step of setting our intention and being more deliberate with our actions. And being more mindful about our impact.
How intentionality can help the world
It starts with questioning our actions and deciding if they align with our values. This, is being more intentional. And intentionality, or the lack thereof, is a core ingredient to many of the world's problems and solutions.
How much pain, how much environmental degradation, and how much suffering has been caused from us not being intentional about our actions? So often do we bring more and more unnecessary things into our lives. So often do we eat in a way that doesn’t nourish us or the planet.
What would our lives look like if we were more deliberate about the physical goods we purchase? What would the world look like with more companies being more deliberate about the products they make or create?
Not even being perfect about these things. But maybe even say….20% better. 10%? Even 5%.
A world with 20% less non-essential goods being produced or 20% healthier food would (probably) look quite different from the world we live in today.
How an intentional life can mean a fulfilled one
What if life isn’t so much about finding a specific purpose as opposed to simply being purposeful? Meaning, whatever we do in our lives, whether that be our “purpose” or our day to day things, we do them with purpose, with intention, with mindfulness.
Not only does this way of life lead to a more fulfilling one by aligning with our values, it will probably lead to a healthier one as well. Both for us, for our fellow (hu)man, and for the rest of the natural world that we are so intertwined with.
In this “great pause” that we are going through, it has allowed us to really be in our heads and think about the direction we are going. What do we want to give to this world? What do we want to take? What do we want to contribute? What do we want to help solve, or simply not make worse?
There is no better time than now to shift our lives to be more in line with our values. To act in a way that is purposeful and intentional.
Because if not now, then when?