Estimated Reading Time: 8 MinutesHow To Lead A Free And Happy Life By Living Intentionally

“We all have two choices: we can make a living or we can design a life.”

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Do you ever stop to ask yourself if you’re living intentionally, or are you just coasting on autopilot?


Living intentionally means laser-focusing on what truly matters to you. It’s about crafting your existence with mindfulness, aligning every step with your core values.


Living your life with intention is about embracing a life that resonates with your deepest desires, painting the canvas of your existence with purpose.


But here’s the twist: Life always has two sides, like a coin that can flip at any moment. If you’re not living intentionally, then you’re living by default.


It means that you’re simply coasting on autopilot, letting the winds of fate dictate your course.

Now, let’s take a closer look at this fascinating dichotomy between living intentionally and living on autopilot. Let’s embark on a journey to discover where you stand in the grand scheme of life.


This Poll Reveals A Shocking Truth

Ever find yourself tangled in the chaotic web of daily life, uncertain about your true desires? If that sounds familiar, chances are you’re just cruising through life by default.


In a recent survey encompassing 3,000 individuals, the results were nothing short of astonishing. An overwhelming 96% of respondents confessed to living on autopilot. That’s right – the vast majority of us are simply coasting through existence.


Digging deeper, it was revealed that the average person makes a staggering 15 autopilot decisions each day. Do the math, and that’s a mind-boggling 250,000 autopilot choices throughout a lifetime!


These autopilot choices run the gamut from mundane morning wardrobe selections to the daily lunch menu and even how weekends unfold.


When you’re ensnared in the autopilot trap, you’re essentially allowing life to dictate your course without conscious direction.


5 Telltale Signs You’re Drifting Through Life Unconsciously

Ever wake up and wonder how you stumbled into your current reality? If most days feel like you’re just going through the motions, you might be sleepwalking through life, devoid of intention.


To find out if your life is on autopilot, look out for these 5 signs:


1. You’re An Absentee In Your Own Life

Your days blur together as you drift through them, barely registering your own existence. Actions occur without rhyme or reason, leaving you detached from what, why, and how you’re living.


2. Your Mind’s On A Permanent Wanderlust

Imagine life as a journey, but instead of enjoying the scenery, you’re “mind wandering.” You often think about events from the past and present and also wander into the future. 


This mental escapism often breeds discontent, leaving you yearning for something more.


Living intentionally wandering mind


3. You’re Caught In A Tailspin

You feel that you are not in control of your life. Things are always happening to you and you have no control over them.


You’re fine one minute and then you’re not the next. And you have no idea why. At times, you may even feel that your life is spiraling out of control.


4. You’re Stuck In The Quicksand Of Stagnation

You’re bursting with aspirations, yet the wheels of progress seem perpetually stuck in the mud. Even though you’re overflowing with ideas, but they remain unfulfilled dreams, leaving you stagnant.


5. You’re Trapped In The Void of Unfulfilled Desires

You are living a life designed by others’ expectations, leaving your own aspirations on the back burner. It’s as if you’re merely “fitting in,” and something crucial is conspicuously absent.


If you’ve been coasting on autopilot and can’t stand the gnawing feeling of discontent, it’s time to seize the reins. Choose to infuse your existence with mindfulness, purpose, and intention. Your life is yours to shape.


Unlocking the Essence of Living Intentionally

Living intentionally isn’t just a catchphrase; it’s a profound way to infuse your life with purpose and meaning. A person who lives a purposeful life decides what they want their life to look like.


A purposeful life isn’t a passive endeavor. It’s about making a conscious choice, crafting the very vision of your life you want to see. (Like the inspiring words on this Holstee Manifesto Poster)


Living intentionally making decisions


Instead of merely drifting with the current of life, you take the helm and chart your own course. So, how do you know that you are living intentionally?


Here are 6 indicators that you’re on the right track:


1. You Have Assumed Command of Your Life

You know that you have complete control over all aspects of your life. And you accept full responsibility for it. The most important aspect of living intentionally is to be responsible for every area of your life.


You’re aware that you are the only one who has the power to make changes in your life. Regardless of who or what influences you.


Napoleon Hill, author of the popular classic Think and Grow Rich, once said:

“You are the master of your destiny. You can influence, direct and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be.”


2. You Know What Your Core Values Are

We each have a unique set of core values. My core values are embracing life with optimism, a dedication to lifelong learning and living life on my own terms.


To live intentionally, you would have already figured out what your core values are. And you’re living your life in a way that reflects those values.


Living intentionally think core values


When your core values are in sync with your actions, you’re moving in the direction of your dreams and desires. Your core values dictate who you are and how you make decisions in life.


If you are unsure of what your core values are, try Atomic Habits‘ author James Clear’s list


3. You Do Only What Matters Most To You

Living intentionally means being discerning about the choices you make. Time, that precious resource, is invested exclusively in what truly matters to you.


You confidently utter the word “no” to activities that fail to enrich your life. Living intentionally means you focus on what and who you’re willing to devote your time to.


You use productivity tools and apps (like RescueTime) to cut down on distractions that limit your work. Moving in the direction of what you want and away from what you don’t suggests that you’re living intentionally.


4. You Know What Your True Purpose Is

One of the prerequisites for living intentionally is establishing a purpose. With a purpose, you will build your life’s objectives around it.


It is what motivates you and gives you a reason to get up every day and do what you do. Even when life seems to get tough, you are driven to do the things that are aligned with your purpose.


Purpose provides you with a sense of direction in life and helps you become aware of your choices. It is certain that it will guide you in the right direction.


5. You Adopt A Positive Mindset

The vital components to living intentionally are your core values, priorities, and purpose. And the one thing that ties all these things together is your mindset.


Your mindset is your mental compass, guiding your ship through the tempest. With the right mindset, you can chart any course you desire.


You can create any change you want in your life.


Living intentionally adopt positive mindset


A right mindset is essential, for it guides and controls the direction of your life. It also allows you to focus on what needs your attention right now.


Your positive mindset will allow you to view failures as feedback.  It is also an opportunity to learn and grow. And you know that you have complete control over your life, thoughts, and feelings.


6. You Embrace The Present Moment

In the world of intentional living, the present moment takes center stage. It’s where the magic happens, the only thing that truly counts.


Being present is an effective way to remain focused on the task at hand. Embracing the present means that you are neither distracted by future events nor burdened by the weight of the past.


Being in the “now” helps you maintain mental stability and enhances your physical health. It is also a huge contributor to your psychological well-being.


The constant barrage of interruptions and distractions you face daily can stimulate your body’s natural stress response. This will result in elevated levels of adrenaline and cortisol in your system.


Many studies have proven that mindfulness helps cope with stress, anxiety, and depression. When you remain present, it cultivates your mindfulness.


This is where you become grounded, self-aware, calm and at peace.


Now, as you’ve explored the duality of intentional living versus autopilot existence, there’s a pivotal truth to grasp:

In the grand narrative of life, you’re either shaping your destiny with intention or coasting through on autopilot. If you’re not living by design, you’re unquestionably living by default.


But take heart, because…


Life Is Made Up Of Choices

In life’s grand theater, you stand at a crucial crossroads with two choices before you. One path beckons you to live intentionally, carving your own destiny with purpose and conviction.


The other, the seductive allure of autopilot, entraps you in the whims of circumstance and the decisions of others.


Living intentionally making choices


There will come a time in your life when…


You’ll need to pause and think about what you want to achieve and why it means so much to you. Start living intentionally by looking at the choices you make every day.


You must be certain that your decisions are leading you in the right direction. Begin by taking a step back and assessing the decisions you make on a daily basis.


One effective tactic is to cultivate the habit of questioning yourself, delving deep into the “whys” that underpin your actions:

“Why do I hang out at this place with my friends every Friday?”

“Is it okay for me to snack in between meals?”

“Why am I getting all worked up over this?”


A lot of the things you do might have become habits over time. Finding the underlying reasons behind a habit can help you figure out if it’s in line with your core values.


If they don’t align with your blueprint for intentional living, you might consider relinquishing them. The autopilot trap looms ever closer, especially in the hustle and bustle of daily life.


Amidst work and its demands, it’s all too easy to lose sight of your authentic aspirations.




Furthermore, there are countless distractions that prevent you from attaining your goals. To break free from that takes a concerted effort.


Here’s where intentional living asserts its influence, reminding you that even in the face of uncontrollable circumstances, your reactions remain within your sphere of influence.


Living Intentionally By Aligning Core Values

Living intentionally isn’t a lofty aspiration; it’s the daily harmony between your core values and your actions. It’s the art of synchronizing your behavior with your deepest convictions.


To embrace your core values, you must become a master of “no.” Saying “yes” carries a hidden cost—an unspoken commitment. Every “yes” binds you to something, creating obligations that may not align with your values.


Yet, within the art of intentional living lies the wisdom to discern when to say “no” so you can wholeheartedly say “yes” to something more aligned with your purpose.


In the grand scheme of life, we all possess the same currency: time. What separates the winners from the runners-up is how they choose to invest those precious hours.


Anything that deviates from your core values becomes a distraction—a siren call luring you away from your intentional path. The key, then, is to declutter your life, shedding these distractions like unnecessary baggage.


In the modern age, electronic gadgets and their incessant notifications stand as formidable foes against intentional living. They hijack your focus, fragmenting your attention span.


Living intentionally phone notifications


You possess the power to reclaim control by setting limits on these digital distractions. Check notifications at scheduled intervals, liberating yourself from the tyranny of constant pings and beeps.


Fear not the notion of missing out, for within your core values, you already possess everything essential.


Core values aren’t just principles; they are the sturdy pillars upon which you construct a life worthy of your pride and purpose. They are your North Star, guiding you toward a life that resonates with authenticity and intention.


Choosing the Path of Intentional Living

Making meaningful choices every day to meet your life’s goals is what intentional living entails. When you live intentionally, you are making a conscious effort to lead a good and decent life.


Focus on the things that are most important to you. Be aware of your priorities and put yourself first.


Living intentionally, you will be able to strike a balance between what you can control and what you can’t.


Your money, time, and attention are your resources. If you do not have a plan for how you will spend your days, you are living a default existence.


Begin living with intention today by putting your plans into action. One good way to get started is to create a plan based on your core values.


It will be something that helps direct your activities now and in the future. Hence, you must generate this plan according to what matters most to you.


Here are two tried-and-true methods for getting started on your path to living a life of purpose.


Have it written down, together with a description of the future you want. This will be a blueprint of what is most important to you.

DISCLOSURE: In my article, I’ve mentioned a few products and services, all in a valiant attempt to turbocharge your life. Some of them are affiliate links. This is basically my not-so-secret way of saying, “Hey, be a superhero and click on these links.” When you joyfully tap and spend, I’ll be showered with some shiny coins, and the best part? It won’t cost you an extra dime, not even a single chocolate chip. Your kind support through these affiliate escapades ensures I can keep publishing these useful (and did I mention free?) articles for you in the future.

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