“I’m walking through life with purpose and living with intention,” Amanda Fagan, owner of Saba Salon in Novi, Michigan and one of our 2018 Faces of Sola shared during a one on one interview. If someone were to ask if you were living your life with intention, would you be able to answer honestly? Would you even know what it means to live your life with intention? We sat down with Amanda to find out just exactly what it means for her and how you can find intention in your everyday life.
Amanda said she learned a lot about herself during the process of grieving her father who sadly lost his battle to cancer.
“I view trauma like a puzzle that just kind of falls all over the floor. I’m going through life right now with intention and putting together this 1000 piece puzzle, piece by piece, trying to figure out what that picture is going to look like.”
But what does living with intention look like as a whole?
First and foremost, what is intention?
“Intention is described by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as a determination to act in a certain way; purpose or attitude towards the effect of one’s actions,” shared Amanda. “Living with intention is not an ‘end goal,’ but rather it is the process itself that brings about positive change that moves us forward from where we previously stood and towards where we want to go and what we want to accomplish.”
To get a better understanding of living and working with intention, we asked Amanda to discuss this practice and way of living more in-depth.
“As opposed to a ‘goal,’ with intention,” she added, “we turn our attention away from the future and refocus on what is in front of us and how we are feeling about it, looking back at what has worked and what hasn’t, and determine what needs to change. Once we determine what it is that we want to obtain or accomplish, our intentions measure the actions that are required in order to be successful in our pursuit. Intentions are not a change in who we are—they are separate from our being and simply a lens for us to define our actions.
“Intentions can be described as ‘good’ or ‘bad which describes whether our actions will be the most successful and if our attitudes are fixed in the right place. The beautiful and terrifying reality is that we choose our thoughts and actions that determine whether our intentions are good or bad. If we have bad intentions, chances are it will lead us further away from accomplishing what we have set out to do, and likely result in confusion and dissatisfaction.
“On the contrary, good intentions act as a toolbox that equips us to attain what we desire, and when paired with a genuine, positive attitude we are committed to doing what it takes to obtain the result of our goals. We have the power and freedom to change our actions for the better, reflect on the positive results or consequences if our actions are not bringing towards our goals and take responsibility so we can reroute and move on.
“The opposite of living with intention is living an aimless, reactive life—to act in response to what life throws at us and respond to situations on impulse rather than with self-reflection. With an aimless approach to life, we leave ourselves as victims to our circumstances. Decisions are made in reaction to stress and anxiety without fully thinking them through and we may find ourselves pushing through life one day at a time.
“Intentional living puts us in the driver’s seat rather than being an aimless victim or an innocent bystander which places ourselves under the bus, or if things are really out of control it may feel like being hit by the bus, where we will find ourselves getting injured by stress and burnout.
“Living and working with intention is taking a step back to really take the time to see where we are at and where we want to be. Once we have our vision focused on what we want to achieve, from this stance we can determine how we will get there and then the hard part is to fully commit to doing what it takes and creating good intentions.
“With this perspective, we remove ourselves momentarily from the pressure of goals and take an inward glance to evaluate our actions and motives. Intentional living requires us to be fully aware of our limits; our ‘too much’ that causes us stress, and our ‘not enough’ that feeds dissatisfaction.
“Once we establish our limits, and determine our priorities, living with intention means we protect what is important with healthy boundaries and then we can move towards where we want to be. In life, this can be seen as a reach towards more peace, love, and joy and the intentions that follow typically involve good habits, balance, boundaries, and a positive attitude.
“In business, this is likely seen as a desire for growth, prosperity, and security and the actions that follow are remaining aware of the happenings in our business. From our numbers and inventory, and the start to finish of each service, and being aware of harmful actions and areas of neglect that are leading us towards destruction so we can change course and move towards success.
In order to measure our intentions and determine whether they are good or bad, we are required to ask ourselves difficult and uncomfortable questions like the following:
What are my top priorities?
What is currently taking my attention away from them?
Are my actions honoring my priorities or is it adding additional stress and chaos in my life?”
We invite you to contemplate these questions over the next month and would like for you to start thinking about what areas in your life need more intention. We will be back next month with Amanda’s Part 2 where she will share some tips on how to live and work with intention on a daily basis.
Originally posted on the Sola Salon Studios Blog.