What is the difference between intention and intentional and why incrementalism?
- intention : planned or meant, a future event
- intentional : done on purpose; deliberate, a past event
In my experience, I became Grateful first and later realized how much impact that Gratitude had on my life.
I began to seek reasons to be grateful and to my surprise I began to find the seeds of gratitude were nearly everywhere. By being intentional, in the sense I am using it, I mean both the (intention) Plan and the (intentional) Action are simultaneous and ongoing.
This continual process is cumulative and over time, it changes a person. You can’t help it, it happens. It’s as if you took the same path through the woods all your life. Over the years, the path becomes well worn and smooth, comfortable like an old friend. But then you start to notice things you never saw before. As your focus moves off your path and your eyes and senses start to wander you follow along. The further you depart the path the more excitement and fulfillment you find. As your trips veer further and further of the path you discover off in the wilderness something that catches your eye, a glimmer! You continue to explore and find an oasis just yards away. You are overcome. How could you have been so close to this spectacular beauty all your life – yet never aware? You vow from that day forward not to move on without taking time each day to reflect, recharge and renew in this paradise.
What changed? Did paradise just appear from the chaos or had it been there all along? If it had been there all along why hadn’t I discovered it before?
I was too busy. Out of habit I took the same path. I quit looking for anything to be other than I had already determined it to be. The world became two dimensional. Black, white and shades of gray colored my awareness. Suddenly, I realized, they were pale imitations of color. I had been blinded by the zero-sum games I had learned over a lifetime, stuck in a competition in which I had become an unwitting participant.
As I continued to traverse the wilderness to the oasis slowly, incrementally a new path was formed. In time, it became an automatic part of my journey. It was never quite as worn as the original path but it too became a place and passage of endless, timeless and a comforting warmth.
It was pleasant and the only cost was taking the time and focusing my mind on what I felt and not what I wanted. Being grateful becomes a natural experience. It pervades the entirety of your being.
It changed my life.
I will remember and reflect on these experiences and the associated feelings all my life. As you approach your horizons you will likely take stock in what you did. Will your life experiences bring you warmth, joy, and delight? You may have fond memories of a car, boat, motorcycle but it will be the experiences you had with them, not the possession itself that makes you happy.
Gratitude is within your reach now. The path, though often obscured, is short if you’ll take that small step of faith. Don’t wait! It is truly never too late. Being intentionally grateful will change you incrementally in positive ways you will understand only when you experience it.
Someone else is happy with less than you have.