Embracing an intentional life
To be intentional is to be deliberate about every thought, word and action. Our thoughts translate to our words and our words to our actions. Anyone who has ever achieved anything in life was intentional. Each of us should desire to leave our mark on this earth in some way.
Many times people see age, gender, race and/or financial status as barriers in making a real difference. Although these factors may bring limitations they do not mean one can’t have an impact. It’s always better to do something than nothing. Aesop once said, “No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.”
There are countless individuals who have, and are still, embracing an intentional life. They embody three key characteristics, which include focus, drive and consistency.
To focus is to see what needs to be accomplished and do whatever it takes to achieve it. Many things in our lives legitimately require our attention whether it’s our family, friends, work, church and/or clubs and organizations. Without a doubt, focusing can be a challenge both personally and professionally. To focus, one must take a proactive approach by determining what’s important, prioritizing those things, and dedicating time to accomplishing these.
A clear example of focus was the late Dr. Myles Munroe. Munroe was focused on embracing a life that matters through helping millions of individuals across the world find their Kingdom assignment as a pastor, best-selling author and motivational speaker. He believed the greatest tragedy in life is not death, but a life without a purpose.
He founded Bahamas Faith Ministries International in the early 80s before he was 30 and pastored the ministry for more than 30 years until death. He authored several books on life issues, including sex, family relationships, finance and spiritual growth. In addition, his meaningful contributions to the United Kingdom led to him being awarded the honor of the Order of the British Empire in 1998 at age 34, all while being committed to his wife and two children.
Munroe may have had multiple things of value on his plate, but he remained focused nonetheless, and that takes a conscious effort. Planning and prioritizing is key when pursuing our goals and dreams.
Drive is what activates one to move. Israelmore Aylvor once said, “If you have no good drive in you, your life will not be steered through a good direction. It will miss its destined station. Passion or drive is what moves the vehicle of a fulfilled life.”
Sir Lynden Pindling is a great example of this. When he began his political career he led various causes for black Bahamians and routinely offered his legal services to poor blacks who could not afford a lawyer. During that era, there was racial tension to the point where blacks weren’t allowed in places like major hotels and theaters.
One of the most notable days in Bahamian history is Black Tuesday. In 1965, Pindling threw the parliamentary mace out of the window of the House of Assembly. He was expelled for filibustering. His reasoning is that since the assembly had become lawless, the symbol of authority should go to the people. Storming out of the chamber he joined a huge crowd singing, “We Shall Overcome”.
His drive for change led to him becoming premier in 1967 and the first prime minister of an independent Bahamas in 1973. He is often referred to as “the father of the nation”, a title well deserved as his life was dedicated to fighting on behalf of the Bahamian people.
We all have low moments, but we must choose if we will let circumstances define us or if we will define the circumstances. Sir Lynden and the other strong Bahamian men who made up our first Bahamian Parliament took a major step that is a pinnacle moment in our history. Imagine our country today, if they weren’t driven to change. Imagine our country tomorrow, if we aren’t driven to change.
To be consistent is to remain steadfast and committed to your goals and dreams. A lot of times we expect instant results, but whatever we do it takes time to grow. Take a minute to think about one of your goals. Doesn’t it require consistent effort to push toward that goal? If you are not consistently dedicated to achieving it, you will likely fall back into old habits or lose interest.
In the business world, research proves that most businesses take at least three to five years before they can see returns on their investment. It takes consistency and commitment to reap results.
Elaine Pinder stands out as a progressive and innovative female in business in The Bahamas. In a speech at the Business and Marketing Community Institute (Jan. 2018) she spoke about launching Bamboo Shack in 1991 with only two employees in a 20×20 space on Nassau Street. She said she was never afraid of hard work. As the business grew, there were issues with quality control, occasional customer complaints, consistency of the product and customer demands, but she persisted and used trials as opportunities for growth. Bamboo Shack now has six locations with over 400 employees in The Bahamas, and recently expanded to Miami, Florida.
Pinder has also diversified her business and is the CEO and president of the GILGAN Group of Companies, which includes Bamboo Shack, Frankie Gone Bananas (casual dining) and Sapodilla Restaurant (fine dining). She has credited her success to her commitment to God, hard work and passion for excellence.
Dr. Myles Munroe, Sir Lynden Pindling and Elaine Pinder have embodied the focus, drive and consistency needed in embracing an intentional life. All of them started their journeys with humble beginnings but more importantly they all were deliberate about their thoughts and actions, which manifested into lives of great purpose and success. This is the true reward of intentional living.
- Find out more about QC Centre for Further Education on Facebook or at www.qchenceforth.com. Katherine Beneby II is the coordinator at the Queen’s College Centre for Further Education, as well as a certified John C. Maxwell speaker, trainer and coach. She can be reached at [email protected]