How to be intentional in all that we do
While I was in Spain, I learned a very important lesson. I haven’t exactly lived by this lesson every day, but it has shaped my viewpoint towards many of my activities. In Spain, the people are practical. If they work, they focus all of their attention to their work. When they relax, they generally do not worry about other things. In other words, they focus on the task and the situation at hand, and do not worry too much about future or distant things. When applied to our daily lives, this lesson of intentionality can be very beneficial.
Once we become intentional about the things we do, we find clarity. In school, I used to go to class and take notes, but not try to memorize the lessons or themes. I would put that off until test preparation. But now, I have found that if I keep my brain very active in class by trying to memorize the lessons, thinking of questions to ask, and being much more involved with the class, studying for tests becomes less stressful. I comprehend the material much better and understand each small lesson in the bigger picture of the class. Thus, through understanding the role each lesson plays in the bigger concepts, I learn the material better.
To be intentional, we must keep the bigger end in mind. In class, sometimes it is hard to stay focused. But it is important to remind ourselves that we are here to learn. Doing homework, writing essays, and taking notes has been the way we have chosen to learn, but the end goal is to comprehend the material. Once we recognize that, it may be easier to understand the roles each activity plays in our steps of learning. We should try to be fully focused in the tasks at hand. When we are doing homework, we should only think about homework. When we are working out, we should focus on working out, and not with what we have to do afterwards. When we are socializing, we should focus on our relationships, and actually relax so that we are refreshed for the next thing which will come.
Being intentional in everything will not just help our strivings in academics, but it will help with everything we do. It will increase the amount of energy and focus we can place in each of our commitments because we won’t feel exhausted from thinking about each little thing so much. It will also give us a peace of mind in knowing that we did the best we could with what we had. And that is probably one of the most important benefits. Most people’s harshest critics are themselves. So, once they can overcome any negative mental battles and recognize that they did the best they could in their situations, then they will be able to be free from their harsh criticisms.
Jessica De Gree
Jessica teaches English as a second language in Spain and plays basketball professionally there. She recently received her Bachelor's degree from Hillsdale College, one of the nation's top Liberal Arts schools in MI. At Hillsdale, she played basketball and studied English and Spanish. Some of her hobbies include reading, writing, painting, surfing, and playing the piano.