2 Ways of Living

Sand FootprintsHow to live seems to be a huge thing now, like “living intentionally” and “living your best life.” I first heard of the former sometime last year, and I just don’t understand what it means. My therapist explained it to me, but I still don’t get the concept.

People say things like, “set an intention (for the day/week/month/year).” What does that mean? According to Wikipedia, it’s living a life “based on an individual or group’s conscious attempts to live according to their values and beliefs.” Does that mean intending to do something specific that day, that aligns with your beliefs? How do you choose what the intention will be? Do you have to be accountable to somebody, or just yourself? Do you need a bullet journal? I don’t know. (By the way, that is not a dig on bullet journals.)

Then there’s “living your best life.” The first time I heard this was during my first hospitalization last year. There was a goals group in the morning, and one patient set a goal every day to “live his best life.” Basically, I think it means to live up to your potential. Personally, I thought he said this every day to make sure he had a goal to share during group. After all, the more you participate willingly, the sooner you’ll be discharged.

I guess I learned how to live my best life while writing this post by reading up on it a bit, but that doesn’t mean I’m doing it. As for my intentional life? That still needs work.


Do you live intentionally and/or your best life?

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I hold an MFA in poetry from The Ohio State University. I'm a fiction writer, blogger, wife, pet mom, and Ohio State Buckeye!

14 thoughts on “2 Ways of Living

  1. I have mixed feelings about the concept of best life. Living up to your potential is great, but when, where, and how is that potential measured? By the standards of my potential 10 years ago I’m a million miles away from living my best life.

  2. I know I’m not living my best life. I think to me, that’s behind me. I feel as if I had had the best, and it slipped away from me many moons ago.
    I think now, it’s more of living an intentional life. For all that I have learned since my diagnosis back in 2015, I practice daily to live my life in a way that is acceptable to me. I meditate daily (2’x), I purposely live a quiet life, heck… can’t get quieter when you rarely come outside of your room. LOL!
    My intentional life is more of simply functioning these recent months. I try to stay in the present moment and get through that one step at a time.

    1. Good for you, Beckie! I can get down with living “my life in a way that is acceptable to me.” I understand that. And I think I do that, but I’ll have to pay more attention.

  3. What a fascinating post Barb, and a real thought provoker indeed,

    However, in answer to the questions posed … mm, that’s quite a reflective response requirement.

    Intentional living – do l live my life like this? I don’t know, like you l struggle slightly with the concept, it almost has a trend setting basis to it, as in eggs are popular this year, and so too is intentional living. But is this not everyone’s life anyway? That we all make choices, we have to live with them – l am currently reading something similiar about the power of positivity and nurturing our life around our thinking, that we do not have to live in the past but very much in the present, that just because X happened yesterday doesn’t necessarily mean that Y is now, nor does it mean that just because X happened today that X has to be the destiny for our future and potentially we could could opt for Z, or even N.

    Living my best life?

    I think this is a bit more of a realistic credo, but most assuredly not new – living life for you, not living your life for others. making the most of your life and acknoweldging your life, recognising that you do have a life and that you are abble to live it ‘with intention’ and as such improve upon it – is that your best life? Are you therefore living your best life? In trusim we would therefore make it our sole purpose to ensure we believe in ourself and love ourself in such a way that we can accept – self acceptance and promote internally self confidence.

    Interesting theories indeed.

    1. Your comments are very enlightening, Rory. I agree that living intentionally sounds like the trend of the moment. And I see what you mean about how “living intentionally” can be living for yourself instead of for others. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  4. It all seems a little complicated to me. I don’t want to THINK about how I’m living my life, I want to LIVE my life. Self reflection is a part of living my life, so is kindness and humor.
    I don’t know… I guess if it works for people, more power to them.
    Great post!

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