HERO TRAIT 6: INTENTIONALITY

One of the most remarkable, and underutilized, traits of a heromaker is the ability to know oneself and to intentionally live life using your gifts and passions for others.

Intentionality always best occurs when we understand who we are.

The more we know our strengths and weaknesses, passions and callings, the more impact we will have as a natural outflow of these things. When you know you love to run, running becomes the opportunity for you to develop relationships with others. When you know you love art, you can begin to find ways to integrate art into your relationships with family and friends in a way that opens up deeper conversations about life’s big questions.

Just one in a million stories...

Years ago, Lennie decided to start a support group for men whose spouses were alcohol-addicted.

At the time, he was in the throes of his own nightmare, juggling work and career and trying it keep his marriage together. I watched him seek to find comfort and meaning in his suffering. I was in awe of him.

One day, Lennie told me he decided to launch this support group. Dumbstruck, I asked him if he was emotionally ready for it. His only reply was that he had to do it. Within only a few months, the group was full and they were launching another.

That group changed the lives of nearly every person who attended, offering them hope even in present dark realities. What Lennie did was to intentionally push into what he knew and was experiencing in order to care for and support others in a similar circumstance.

Intentionality is so rare and so beautiful because it gives the world something no other person can. I can love my friend from Mexico, but when her Spanish-speaking friend calls her on the phone, her eyes light up. I can listen to and pray for my friend who was fired from her job. But when a former co-worker of hers visits her, a special bond allows them to talk more intimately.

Intentionality asks, “How can I more fully live into each day with my gifts, talents, passions, and skills, so that those around me are better off?”

Intentionality looks like:

A gardener helping his or her non-green-thumbed neighbor with his overgrown bushes. 

Someone who loves to read sitting with an immigrant family as they practice their literacy. 

A business owner offering services and goods to under-resourced schools.

CONSIDER INTENTIONALITY.

Where do you see intentionality in your own life? How do you see it in the lives of those around you?