The key to not sucking

February 16, 2011 · 14 comments

Over the next three minutes I plan to show you, yes YOU, how to suck a little bit less. Are you ready for this life changing piece of advice. Is the anticipation building? If you want to be less sucky, you have to BE INTENTIONAL.

Pretty straightforward huh? It’s currently my favorite life lesson. Probably because I’m really intentional in some aspects of my life, and totally not intentional in others. If my New Years resolution wasn’t already “Eat as many California Burritos as possible” it would definitely be “Work on being intentional.” Here’s where I am (or would like to be) intentional.

Personal Finance:

If you are reading this, I’m going to assume you are at least attempting to be intentional when it comes to managing your money (that is unless you found my website by typing in “worst websites that have ever existed” in Google). Being intentional with respect to your finances means you A) know how much money you bring home each month, B) know roughly how much you are spending each month, C) have some type of plan to make A greater than B, and D) donate $5 to me (how’s that for a not-so-subliminal message?).

Food:

I’m 50% awesome and 50% horrible when it comes to being intentional with the types of food I put in my body. Last night was a good night, I had a pesto and turkey panini on wheat bread. The night before I was naughty and had Carne Asada Fries and Arnold Palmer. I’m not saying we can’t enjoy some guilty pleasures every now and again, but we should definitely be aware how much of what we are putting down our throat. Moral of the story kids, eat more broccoli and hit the treadmill every now and again. Your future self will thank you for it.

Work:

I started my first day of work, an arrogant college graduate. Long story short, my boss kinda hated me for the first twelve months I worked for him. I knew I had some major work ahead of me (both figuratively and literally) if I wanted to get on my bosses good side. I spent the next two years volunteering for less than ideal assignments, I helped train new staff, I traveled to places people didn’t want to go, I said “Yes” every time he asked me to do something, no matter how much I didn’t want to do it. I wanted my boss to know, that although I might be a little arrogant, I’m an asset to his team and the agency. Fortunately, he doesn’t hate me anymore, and dare I say, he actually kinda likes me. A little hard work, doesn’t pay off. A lot of hard work, though, is a different story.

Relationships:

Ah relationships. This was actually the motivating topic for this blog post. I really want to need to be intentional with those that I’m close to, whether it be professional contacts, friends, or family. Think about the people you are closest to. When’s the last time you askedĀ  them how they were doing? I’m not talking like “Hey Bob, how’s it going”, but saying “Hey Bob, how’s it going, like really, how’s it going?” You’ll be amazed at the response. This is especially true for us guys, contrary to popular belief there are more important things in life than football, beer, and gasp….hot chicks. Next time you are in the car with a buddy, I dare you to turn the radio off. You’ll feel pretty awkward for the first five minutes, but after that you might be surprised by the meaningful conversation that can occur. I’m a firm believer relationships have the best return on investment.

How ’bout it readers? Why is being intentional so hard? Why is being lazy or passive so easy? Where are you strengths and weaknesses in regards to being intentional?

1 Kevin @ Thousandaire.com

I try to be intentional all the time. For example, I fully intend to ignore my girlfriend anytime there is football on TV.

2 Ashley @ One in the SAHM

This just made me laugh out loud. Humor factor though is not guaranteed to earn you many points with your gf.

3 Austin

I love your blog, Ninja. I catch up on my “PF Blogs” in Google Reader, and I see such titles as: “An 11 Yr Old’s First Budget,” “Your Personal Economy,” and there’s “The Key to Not Sucking.” Great post. Here’s a thought or two I had. I think being intentional, especially with other men, is difficult because there is that ingrained “dudes-don’t-share-feelings” mantra that is still prevalent. Also being intentional in general is tough because you have to be vulnerable and accountable, two things that aren’t lauded much by our society. But if you really want to have deep relationships with people, it’s gonna take those two things, and personally I think it is very worth it. After all, it is sanctifying if anything.

AT

4 Will @ HackingTheBank.com

Being intentional is something I absolutely need to work on. Being intentional with my time is a big one for me. It’s easy to come home and want to veg out after work. And it’s easy to do. The harder thing is, being intentional with that time and using it to do something meaningful.

5 Mo D.

I’m with ya, Will!! I go gang-buster all day at work, but as soon as I walk through my front door, I just want to get into my jammies, and veg in front of the TV while eating junk food. I really need to intentionally use my evenings to hit the gym, catch up on chores/errands, etc.

6 This Guy

I preach this like crazy. I’m always telling people and kids how the motivations and intentions of what we do matters most. Sometimes we might suck, but if we’re intentional about what we did when we sucked, its worse. Being intentional holds us to a higher conviction for what we do and why we do it. Intentions are key. If you give your wife a message with the intent of getting one back, you suck. But if you give one with the intentions of serving, you rock (unless you did it to rock).

Another example, I’m intentionally going to go yet a frosty right now, which makes me suck.

Good post.

7 Ana

Love your blog Ninja !!!
Last year was a very difficult one for me and my family, we had one of the worst experiences of our lives.
So now I value and appreciate every moment of my life like never before. I’m intentional all the time !! (exept of course when i’m at the gym >.< jaja)

Kinda amaze me how we need something bad to happen to change our perspectives, but I'm greatful that life give me this lesson now than I'm in my twenties.

See ya :)

P.S. Arriba los Burritos !!

8 Jenna

I try (and fail 50%) to write notes, hand written, texts or Facebook messages of encouragement to friends. I think it’s something that is becoming a lost cause as you enter the post college / first five years of a career (at least for me). Just being insanely busy and forgetting to check in with friends. Crisis come, personally and professionally, but that random friend you haven’t talked to in a month still needs to feel like a friend, even if you don’t have time for coffee anytime in the next week.

9 Crystal @ BFS

I try to be intentional with every aspect of my life…I think food was the hardest but it is amazing how much I can change with money on the line (I’m in a biggest loser contest at work) – I budget my Weight Watchers Online points just as intentionally as I budget our money now, lol. Down 15 pounds in 6 weeks!

With relationships, I go out of my way daily to make sure everyone I speak to or email knows I’m fully vested in whatever we are discussing and I appreciate them being there. It’s not hard unless the other person isn’t reciprocating, then I sort of tune out…

10 krantcents

I am intentionally saying you should be more positive! As a recovering negative person, I clearly see where this is going. I use humor to deal with human issues, but take everything else very seriously. You are right, we all should think about our intentions and I would add take them seriously.

11 TTGOOD

I have been reading for along time. I always find your posts very interesting. This one particularly hit home for me because it has been something I have been thinking about for awhile. Thank you for keeping it interesting!

12 Mauricio

I completely agree, if we want something we have to say exactly what we want and in the process you start seeing what you need to do to get there. Often when we get discouraged from doing something, we fall back on being passive because for one, there isn’t much of an effort on our part or any energy exerted to just get the bare minimum. If we are willing to say what we want and have the focus and tenacity to actually do the work…we can achieve a lot. We shouldn’t be passive with our goals and dreams because at the end of the day, if we are passive with our dreams and intentions, who else is going to care enough to help you along the way. Quiet frankly, no one is. It’s time for everyone to be proactive with their life and really be intentional.

13 Daisy

Being intentional is much easier when you have a goal.
If you have a goal to pay off debt, you are usually more intentional with your money. You know how much is coming in, going out, and trying to make a budget work.
If you have a goal to, say, find out three new things about your best friend next time you go out with them, then it’s in the back of your head – it’s not so easy to slip into the normalcy of it all.
Honestly, I’m intentional with money, and my future. but not really much else. I need to work on that.

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