Episode 8 - “The Power of Intentionality.”
In this episode, I am discussing the power of intentionality with my good friend Steve Simpson. We both believe that living your life intentionally can help you figure out what you want to do and change the way you treat yourself as well as how you make connections with the world around you.
3:43 - Mariana's little quote about intentionality
5:39 - Do you need a 5-year plan?
9:01 - Looking at the big picture
11:57 - Listen effectively, respond appropriately
14:55 - Women: Be intentional with yourself
17:25 - How Covid-19 allowed us to refocus
22:16 - How being intentional can reap good benefits in your future
28:07 - Learnings from Andy Stanley
29:20 - A quote from my heart
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See you in Episode 9!
Mindfully Recharged Podcast by Mariana Thomas
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Episode 8 -
Welcome back, guys. Happy New Year. Happy 2021. This is our first episode in 2021. And today, I am back with my friend Steve Simpson. And this episode which we recorded last year is Steve and I are talking about the power of intentionality. I love this topic. It's really, really close to my heart. And I hope that this brings a lot of insights to you and that you enjoy this episode, share it with friends and families. Subscribe if you haven't. And without further ado, let's get to it.
Intro Speaker 1:00
Welcome to Mindfully recharged with Mariana Thomas, in this podcast, Mariana brings you mindful conversations with people that will develop and recharge you from the inside out so that you can increase productivity in your personal and professional life. This is Mindfully Recharged.
Okay, everyone, welcome back to Mindfully Recharged. And I am so excited today because if you remember, in the first three episodes, I had my very good friend, Steve interview me. Well, that went so well. And I felt so comfortable with him, that here we are again. We are back! The power couple is back on the road. So today, Steve and I are going to speak about the power of intentionality. Are you excited, Steve? Welcome.
I'm very excited to be back. Mariana. Thank you for having me. Looking forward to the conversation today.
Yes, I could not imagine doing this topic without you, and we actually may record another one. So, we're just going to be going, this energy between us is really flowing. So, I'm just super excited to have Steve back with us, you guys. So be ready. I hope that you are ready because this is a really beautiful topic. Intentionality is one of the topics that I take to heart. I don't know about you and Steve?
Definitely. Especially the older I get
Yes, especially the older we get, we got to be more intentional with everything that we do. So, let's get rolling, friend!
Let's do it.
Let's do it. So where do we start? Let's define what intentionality is ... you want to go ahead and say something about that?
No, I think for me intentionality is just, it's just figuring out what you want to do. And what you need to do to get there. And, you know, taking steps in your life to be intentional about not just your career or your personal life, but even in your interactions and your relationships with other people. I think it's important to be intentional in those areas as well.
Yeah, not only with yourself but with others, right? Because the way you treat yourself and the way you are with yourself is a reflection of what you do out there in the world. Right? So, so beautiful. I love that. So how I define intentionality is - the steps that you take in your life, and you know, like, what do you do today that is going to reflect tomorrow. I won't say the word "magical", because you actually cannot work for that. What are you doing today, right now, right in the present moment, that you're already manifesting in the future? Yeah, even though the future is not here yet, right?
No, but what you do today is going to get you to that future, whatever that future may be.
Exactly. So that's my little quote. "What you did today will reflect tomorrow." And that to me is intentionality. And I just came out with a quote today, Steve, so you know.
You just did that one on the fly right here on the podcast.
Right on the fly my friend. So, I actually wanted to tell you and to tell the audience - last night, I was so intentional before I went to bed. And I was talking to myself and I say, "What do I need to know for tomorrow?" As you know, so in my dreams, that came true. So that was very intentional. And it was about what we were doing today. You know. And here we are, here we are with this amazing topic about intentionality. So that's one of the things I did last night. It's a reflection of what's going to happen today.
That's great because so many people just kind of go through life, and just deal with things that get thrown at them instead of being intentional about, you know, not necessarily planning like, I don't, I never had a five-year plan, like some people have, a 25-year plan. But, you know, just taking steps to get where you want to be, I think is important, whether again, whether that be relationally, or with your career, or what have you. I just think it's, yeah, you have to, and sometimes, you know, being intentional isn't always having a plan. Sometimes it just involves looking for opportunities to be intentional.
Exactly. I love that I love the fact that you are like me. I don't make five-year plans. I just, you know, a lot of people are like, "So what is your goal in 10 years? Where will you see yourself?" I'm like, "I have no idea." You know, I'm living the here and the now. Because tomorrow is not there yet. I can be intentional right now and expect tomorrow for the future. But as I go every single day, I may have some other things in my heart, that will appear and that I want to be intentional with it. So why should I make a five-year plan?
Exactly? Because you don't know what opportunities you're going to have. And if you're just sticking to a plan, you may pass on some opportunities. Is that good for you? Because “Oh, those aren't part of my plan”.
Exactly. And when I think about the five-year plan, Steve, that's just seemed so far away for me.
You know, and I agree. I agree.
Why would I want to wait for that? You know, I guess let's do it right now. Right now, right? This moment is being intentional with what we have. Right now. Because yesterday is gone, you don't know about tomorrow. Right? So, reflecting on what's happening right now, you know, in the world? How are you being intentional with every decision that you're making in your life? And when every step that you are taking every single day? So how does that show up for you, Steve?
I think for me, you know, just especially looking at culture and things that we've tried to be intentional about the way we raise our son. And we actually, we're having this conversation with our small group couples the other night about, and it kind of goes back to what I just said, about looking for opportunities to be intentional. But we were talking about discipline in children, you know, when you know, different ages, and how at each stage of their growth, discipline is going to look a little different, you know, because, you don't discipline a 16-year-old the same way you do a three-year-old.
Probably want to go to school right now. Right?
That's right. That's right. So, one of the things that I mentioned in that conversation was, you know, I discipline my son. I don't try to react in the emotion of the moment, even if I'm angry. I try to think, intentionally, I think, "Okay, this may be a learning or teachable moment for him." So maybe in the course of disciplining him, I need to be intentional about that discipline and make sure it's a teachable moment as well. And then he learns from it. It's not just a discipline. And again, that's involved, you know, kind of, we talked before the podcast started a little bit. You know, sometimes being intentional means, you have to step back and kind of look at the big picture of things, instead of getting mired in all the details.
Absolutely, absolutely. You know, you just had a situation before we started recording, and you were telling me, you know, you have a big company that you run, and we will get into that when I formally interview you. But you have a situation there and also with a car that you don't even drive that much. Right, a car that you appreciate, because you know, guys like to drive convertibles and take the top down and you know, go into town.
Crank a little Van Halen on there. Yeah.
That's right. And the guy that is, you know, working in your car is like, "I had this issue. And this is going on"... And just looking at you - so calm, replying to it and, you know, it's okay. It's okay for you, and he can fix it. “Oh, I don't even drive that car that much.” Yeah, that was very striking to me. And very beautiful to watch how intentional you are. And how calm, you were replying to him about something that for some people can be a big deal.
Yes. You know, car repairs can be very stressful.
For many people, but...
Maybe you're not intentional with the way you listen to respond. Because one thing is to reply out of, you know stress, or you're listening to respond in a calm manner, is something that's not so big as it is, it's going to bring your stress to your life if you let it right? So that was beautiful to watch my friend that was really beautiful.
You know, one of the things in line with what you just said, you mentioned my company, one of the things that we do in our training is we always tell our staff that we hire: When you're brought with, whether it's a complaint or a compliment, we want to (this is the way we word it in our training thing), we want you to listen effectively, and then respond appropriately.
Exactly. Beautiful, beautiful.
So, I try to practice that as much as I can. I'm not always successful, but I try.
You got to be the example, right? You got to be the right example for your team. So beautiful. And so, when it comes to intentionality, you mentioned discipline with your son. If not discipline, but kind of like being the example or being the role model. Who teaches your son, especially during this time? They have gone through so much. What is the role that your wife plays during this time, and when it comes to being intentional at home?
She pretty much you know, back during the spring, because of the COVID lockdowns, she pretty much did all the school. He was doing virtual school, back then. And she handles most of his schooling. And she's very intentional about - I commend sometimes because she gets frustrated every now and then because she deals with it so much. And there are certain subjects I'm better at that I'll help him with like History is one of them. I love History. Yeah. But her roles, you know, she's very intentional about making sure that he's got his homework done, although he's now getting to the age because he's in the fifth grade, halfway through the fifth grade, where you know what you're supposed to do, and you need to do it. We're not going to stand over you make you do it. And we just hold him accountable and say, you know, and if you don't do your homework tonight, then you're just going to have to deal with the consequences tomorrow when you go to school, whatever those are.
And the reason why I asked that question, Steve because I believe that during this time, especially women, are either stay home moms or those that are working part-time or full time. And we are staying at home, right doing those activities. We are on the computer working with clients, online events. And not only that, we have to take care of, you know, the kids in the house, and the husband, and the dog and all those things that you know, and the society eyes women are responsible for.
And my wife has done all of those things during this time. Yes,
Yeah. Right. And yeah. So, this is the moment that I want to remind women, that it is very important that they are also intentional within themselves. You know?
Yes. They should be.
Yeah, it's because we tend to take care of everyone else. And we forget about ourselves.
My wife does that to a fault sometimes. And I'll tell her, you know, she did take some time.
Exactly. So, I need the ladies out there listening to this. Do not forget that women are working really hard up there.
Go hang out with your friends to go shopping.
That's right. Shopping online these days, right?
Yeah, well, be a shopper and not one of those that go to the big mall and spend hours. So the online thing is actually amazing for me, because I'm like, oh, I’m not going to hang out with a bunch of crowds and all that. So, this is actually beautiful for me because that's the way I function.
Well as funny because we actually had her do that a few weeks ago. She said, "Do you mind if I go, you know, to the outlet mall?" And I said no. So you go. And so, she went with her mom, and they spent the whole day up there. And I had my son and we just hung out down here and had a good time together down here.
Beautiful. That was very intentional, right? Got a plan and you do it and you sacrifice so well; she can go and have some time by herself and her mom.
Yeah, another way we've been intentional this fall again. And you know this a little bit, but I'll say it so the audience knows. We've because of the COVID it's been difficult to travel, obviously. And so, we've just taken an RV and we've gone around and as a family to different places and just, you know, been self-contained in our RV. And it's been a lot of fun. They go to the lake go to the beach, into the mountains.
And so, what made you start doing that? What made you start being intentional with that? Because I know you for a few years now. And I have not seen you doing this type of thing up until I would say a few months ago?
Yeah, I think a lot of it is just COVID-related, you know, we've been locked up in the house all together for months. And I mean, we get out obviously a little bit, but I think COVID allowed us to refocus our priorities in life a little bit. And for me, I felt like, we needed to do some things together like that. And you know, ironically, as a result of all this, we've made plans now. Next summer, we're going to take a month off of work, and we're going to do the National Park tour around the US. So that's our plan for next summer.
So that brings me to the reflection of what we did today will reflect that tomorrow, right? Remember how you started out? So, you started to travel with your family a little bit here and there, you know, close to home, maybe a few hours away in a motorhome and all that. And now you guys are planning something bigger for you to go away for the whole entire month? That's amazing. So that is the power, the intentionality.
That's it. And sitting next to me on my desk is my calendar for next July. And I've been going through, you know, planning our route and where we're going to. And I think, you know, that's kind of what I've been doing and it has, I have thought about the intentionality of that because there are some things you can do spontaneously in life. There are others you have to plan for.
Exactly. So you went without planning for it. But that starting with the intention of getting together with the family, connecting more based on what the world is going through right now. You know, we are all going through this together. But that was intentional when you started doing and it took you to something bigger. You know your family connection is even stronger now.
Yeah, I think so. Although we were happy when my son went back to school in August.
I think every family is like, you know, crossing their fingers that kids can go to school so they can have private time. Yeah, it's pretty easy to see moms or dads online, you know, taking video calls to kids. "Mom, mom, dad, dad." So, it's kind of normal now.
It is. Yeah, definitely.
Yeah. Just beautiful. So, the power intentionality is so, so deep into my heart because, for me, my story is really everything in the first three episodes, it took a lot of intentionalities to see the fruit now. Everything there are the steps that I took, the things that I did, you know, who did I needed to be, and become, in order for whatever will happen in the future, will be something different to where I was. And I didn't create a five-year plan or a 10-year plan. We're just being at the moment, and being intentional with everything in every step. You know, on the way, everything that was in front of me, every opportunity that I took, I knew that it will take me somewhere.
You know, I knew that will take me somewhere. Where? I did not know, I didn't know where, and I wasn't worried about the when and the where. Not even the how. I was just doing and being, you know what I mean? And that was really intentional Steve, for me to go through that. And now looking back, I'm like, Oh, my God, I will not change anything. Anything, because it has brought me to where I am. And I think that this has happened to many people in many situations in life.
Yeah, I think it happens to a lot of people that way.
Yeah, exactly. So, from that now I see intentionality everywhere. Everywhere, like you just demonstrated with your family, the things that you're starting to do, the things that you do at work and your company, you know, everything is intentional. So, you can have the fruit later on, without worrying how is going to look like.
That's what I was just thinking - it's intentional. But the way you get there is not necessarily as intentional as the outcome if that makes sense.
That makes sense. Totally made sense. Absolutely. So, what else friend? What else do we want to say about being?
You know, one of the things I was going to say, just kind of going back a little bit to the trip. I'm planning next summer for the National Parks. You got to figure out where it is you want to go. And you got to figure out, you know, what are you doing right now so that you can get there.
So, you know, for instance, again, just going back to this trip, I'm figuring out, okay, which national parks we want to go to, and then how you have to route that, you know, driving, you know, from Atlanta, you know, because we live in Atlanta, but you know, so I have to take time and be intentional and sit down and figure out, “okay, we're going to drive this many hours the first day, we're going to stop spend the night here, we're going to go to this part, we're going to do that”, you know? And you got to figure out, how many hours do you want to drive a day? And where can you get, because you don't necessarily want to be driving 10-12 hours a day, you want a little more leisurely than that? You know, so I feel like, you have to ask yourself those questions and then figure out what am I doing to get there.
For instance, if you wanted to, like, I used to want to go into radio when I was a kid growing up, now I was not being intentional. About I didn't realize I was being intentional at the time. But I used to carry around a cassette recorder with the microphone. And I recorded a newscast. I did the sports and then I would play music and put the microphone up to the speaker on my parents' stereo and, you know, play a song and then I would come back and talk about the song and what didn't you know. 15 years later, I wind up working in radio and being on the radio in Alabama. Sometimes you don't realize you're being intentional when you're trying to fulfill your dreams but, but you are because as a child, you don't think that way. And that's what I was doing as a child. Now, as an adult, I did some things to intentionally get there. Once I get into college, you know.
Beautiful, beautiful. I love that. I love that. That reminds me of when I was a little girl, I wanted to be a flight attendant. I used to think it was so glamorous in the way they dress and all that I was like, I just want to be one of them. And then, you know, I started practicing at home with my toys and talking to my dolls. You know, I was a flight attendant. And then I changed my mind, and I wanted to be in the Marine. So, my mom bought me, like the hat and the uniform and all that. And so, I played that. Yeah. But obviously, none of that came true because I wasn't intentional with it. We’re just playing, right?
I was just playing, it was just a game. But when you truly make a decision, aim for the steps, right? Like, you said you wanted to be on the radio, you did it because you took the steps. Right? You took the steps, but I was playing a game. So when you made the decision, it cannot be a game. It has to be a true thing and take the steps, go through it, whatever that is. And don't worry about the outcome, because we don't know. But it will get there. And maybe those things that you dream, like last night when I was intentional. Before I went to bed, they will come true. Just exactly like you said it will be. Yeah, without being attached to it, if that makes sense.
Yeah, definitely. And I think you have to understand there, there's some risk, and you got to be willing to take the risk involved with those things. And know, because there's a lot of unknown when you step out and do something you've never done before. And you know, as a leader, that's kind of challenging, too, because you have to take people somewhere you've never been before.
I know. I know. Exactly. And that's the hard part. You know, because yeah, not a leader is supposed to, you know, bring people with you take this somewhere, but what happened was that person has not, you know, hasn't been there. That's a huge deal. And that's probably another topic when we get leadership and that. But yeah, that's intentionality too so you got to be before you get there. Or before you take anyone with you.
Yeah. And I guess I would just, you know, sum up kind of what I picture about intentionality most of the time. That is a quote, from one of my favorite people to listen to is Andy Stanley. And he said that “your direction, not your intention is what determines your destination”. And I try to remember that when I'm doing things, even when I have idle time, just like because it's easy to waste a lot of the time, you know, on the computer get lost on the internet on Amazon or whatever, you know, clicking and clicking, then you're down the rabbit hole and you're like, what am I doing an hour later? It's like I should have been doing...
Intentionality is so important there. And I was going to say Andy is one of my favorites too. And of course, we had done so much more than intentionality with a mentor, John Maxwell.
Definitely. He wrote a book about it actually.
Exactly. Exactly. So we know a lot about that. When it comes to leaders being intentional.
John has been very intentional over his life.
Yes, but I wanted to make him rawer and just really talk to, you know, regular people in what it means. So, I will finalize with the quote that I wrote from my heart. So, this is the quote by Mariana. Sorry guys, disappointing. I don't have any big names. But I'll just say:
"Intentionality is what you do right now that will show up or that was will be the reflection of tomorrow."
You know, there will be the reflection of tomorrow. The show, for me, is literally my journey. That's why I came out with that, with that quote is like, what you do today will be the reflection of tomorrow, you know, it will reflect in your life in a good way or a bad way. It's up to you.
That is correct. Yeah. So that's important to remember too.
Exactly. Exactly. So, I think that's the end. That's the end. We covered this topic; you guys we are done with it. I am super grateful, my friend, to have you here again. And guys don't be surprised if we will see you in the next episode.
Thank you for having me. Mariana.
Absolutely. And eventually, we're going to do a formal interview. So, you guys get to know more about Steve and who he is, and all the awesome things that he does in the world. So once again, thank you so much for listening for being here with us today. Don't forget to grab your Mindful and Energetic Living guide up in the show notes. Just click in there and grab your mindful guide. See you guys on the next episode. Have a fantastic day.
Hey, guys, thank you for listening, and I hope that you enjoyed this episode. And before you go, I want to remind you about the free Mindful and Energetic Living Guide. I want to give this to you. So, all you have to do is go to the show notes and find the link right there. And it will be right in your inbox. Okay, so make sure you do that. And I will see you next week. Have a fantastic rest of the day. Bye!