We all want more. More jobs, more lead roles, more awards, more followers on social media…
It’s human nature to keep wanting more.
There’s a difference between wanting more and actually achieving more, though. (Hint, it’s not about doing more.)
I was invited to chat with Melissa Bingham on her podcast, Today I Choose about this idea of abundance. Melissa is the author of two books, Today I Choose (Volumes 1 and 2) and the soulful guide of Everyday Living with Intention.
She believes, as I do, intentional living is what leads to abundance in your life.
“Life” means more than just your actual life. To me, being an artist and being a human are one in the same.
Your artistry affects your humanity, and humanity affects your artistry.
That means your overall health affects the way you run your business. Your talents affect how confident you feel. Your finances affect your ability to train and grow.
Everything works together to build a robust career and life. Intentional living provides you with the path.
Melissa shared how this idea of living with intention allows your mind to tell you more clearly the simple things you can do that will yield the most reward. She calls them “little whispers” and they can guide you like, “Oh, let’s go this way and open up whatever it may be.”
Before we dive into that, let’s first clarify intentional living in case you’re not familiar with that term.
What’s Intentional Living?
Right off the bat, intentional living can mean so many different things, so it’s ultimately for you to discover what it means for you.
It could be a daily intention setting like Melissa does, or it could be used as a replacement for goals like I do, or it could be something entirely else.
The common thread is that you are actively creating some sort of plan with a target to aim at.
This is completely different than just thinking abundantly. It’s not just putting it out into the universe.
You already know you can’t control the whole universe, but you CAN control what you do IN the universe. You control half of your reality, and the universe or God or however you choose to look at it controls the other half.
Decide what you can intentionally do to create abundance in your own life without the universe being involved.
How are you creating abundant money? How are you creating abundant health? How are you creating abundant artistry?
Avoid focusing on the roadblocks and instead focus on solutions.
Melissa likens it to meeting the universe halfway. The universe is always involved, but you have to physically take action. She illustrates this using one of my favorite metaphors when it comes to intentional living—the GPS.
Your intention is the end destination. You put that in your GPS, but you have to actually put the car into drive to get where you’re going.
Like a GPS, you just go one turn at a time. Likewise, with intentional living, you just need to focus on the very next step it. Melissa reminds us it doesn’t have to be a sprint to the finish.
When we get in a car, we don’t drive 90 miles the whole time. In fact, that would be very dangerous!
Same in life. We don’t get to our destinations by going 90 miles an hour, doing all of the things all of the time. We go step by step, turn by turn. Sometimes it’s appropriate to go 90 MPH and sometimes it’s much, much better to go 25 MPH.
You’ve heard how less is more, right? A brilliant 25 MPH can be way more effective than a haphazard 90 MPH.
Melissa and I had a great conversation about this on her podcast and different ways you can live intentionally, which you can listen to below.
When you set an intention as an artist, you are putting a stake in the ground to say this is what you want to focus on.
You get hyper clear on that. You’re able to then present yourself accordingly through your branding, marketing, and how you show up in person.
That makes everyone else clear on who you are, what you have to offer, why they should care, and how they can hire you.
The world opens up to you. Jobs start coming to you instead of you having to seek them. More specifically, the jobs you want to be doing become more and more easy to attain.
You become top of mind for your dream jobs. That’s what you put into your GPS, and all of your intentional actions have guided you there. Step by step. Turn by turn.
These aren’t just any steps, though. These are high quality, high value steps.
You can ask yourself with each action you’re about to take if it supports your intention.
This is why I like to use intentional living like how other people use goals, because intensions don’t have the repercussions goals do.
With a goal, you have to check a box to complete it. An intention is simply that—you intend to do it. The value is the intention itself, not hitting an actual goal.
When a goal doesn’t work out, there’s sadness, maybe depression, and even guilt or shame can creep in.
Intentions don’t have that baggage, but you get the same directional benefit of goals.
It’s much easier to stay motivated when you’re living by intention. You continue to take steps along your path. You don’t get derailed at roadblocks.
This intentional clarity mixed with continual high quality, high value action is what creates the abundance.
Even during a pandemic we can still be creating this abundance.
Yes, the pandemic has stopped the theater making inside a theater with a live audience. But there’s still art all over the place.
Your website is art, your reels are art, your social media content is art… I could go on and on, and that doesn’t even touch on the kind of art you actually do for a living that can be presented to a virtual audience.
How are you still moving yourself forward as an artist (and human)?
You could be laying the groundwork for a project after the pandemic. You could be consuming other forms of art that will broaden your horizons. You could be learning about the history of certain things that will give you more knowledge for the future.
It probably goes without saying, but if you haven’t already done so, now is definitely the time to get clear on what kind of artist you are and what kind of art you want to make. Get your branding and marketing aligned with your intention.
There’s so much that’s NOT shut down during this pandemic. You, for one, are not shut down.
All you’ve got to do is set that GPS, get in the car, and drive. For you to keep creating abundance, you have to keep driving towards your intention.