One of my favorite things about living more intentionally is the ability to do so in a way that is unique to who I am.
I find this refreshing because this individual approach is counter to conventional wisdom, which seems to want people to be the same, no matter what.
However, finding that unique approach can be a bit of a challenge for people as they start living more intentionally. After years of being directed to a one-size-fits-all lifestyle, it can be difficult to break out and start being your own person.
Don’t give up hope, though. Creating a more intentional life tailor-fit to who you are is possible. And once it starts to happen, it moves from a slow-moving snowball to a full-on avalanche of change. All according to your unique bent, of course.
So how do you start breaking free from the tendency to fall into step with what everyone else is doing (no matter how intentional it is)?
Know your values.
Determining your values will help you no matter how long you’ve been living intentionally. When you know your top priorities, it’s much easier to create a life around them.
(This handy list of values can help you pinpoint your most important ones.)
I thought I’d share our top values with you so you can get an idea where we’re coming from:
By having less stuff, we can live in a smaller (and cheaper) home. Having fewer financial obligations requires less work, which gives us a lot more time for the people that we love. Since placing such a high importance on relationships, both the quantity and quality has grown, as has my enjoyment of life.
The more I create, the more alive I feel and the more possibilities I see for using my unique set of skills, passions and talents for making the world a better place. Our kids also spend more time drawing, coloring, painting or creating amazing lego structures. It’s not because we make them – they enjoy expressing their creativity and it comes naturally to them.
After reading books like Love Does and The Irresistible Revolution, Ian and I have noticed that service is less about volunteering at a soup kitchen once a month and more about loving on others as much as possible. As we become more open to alternative ways to serve, we find more opportunities presented to us. Is it comfortable? Not always. Does it impact us in a positive way? Absolutely.
One reason for educating our kids at home is so that we can take off for a few days (or weeks) without having to check with teachers first. We’re buying a bus so we can travel wherever we want. None of this would ever have been possible without identifying our desire for more freedom and becoming more intentional about how we live.
Every family has different values and the ability to live according to them in a way that is uniquely theirs. I invite you to take some time to determine your top values and examine whether or not your living in accordance with them. What do you say?
What are your top values?