Written by George Scott

In my last article, I wrote about an intentional rebirth, an earnest decision to reset, to refocus, and to live life with—and on—purpose. Intent is a powerful force, able to drive a person to accomplish goals. My use of intent over the years has allowed me to accomplish a great deal. It has allowed me to place eager attention on specific goals and resolutions. I find with sincere focus, I can do things at a level that even surprises me. Realizing the capacity intent holds, I have found that even with all I had been able to accomplish utilizing it, I had not truly harnessed its capability. It is far more potent than I had dreamed.

There’s an inspiring quote I often refer to, attributed to John Lennon: “When I was five years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy!’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

Too often, I have based my happiness on reaching the goals I set and/or the opinions of others. I have placed the power of my happiness outside of myself and relinquished the control and even responsibility. Recently, I have found I can take full ownership of my happiness and determine it based on internal satisfaction by simply looking at experiences for what they are, learning opportunities, and assimilating them into my life. I don’t have to rate myself as a success or failure. Instead, I can just be a human experiencing the different aspects and opportunities offered in life.

Too often, I have invited failure. Not because I desired it but because I expected it to some degree. Whether it’s just the challenges or the doubts that creep in, it seems I have allowed a comfortable seat for failure to reside. Sometimes, I have even been suspicious of blessings and wondered if I was missing something as I questioned motives for receiving them. Too often, I have expected things to be difficult and have accepted this with ease. When things go well and just are, I start looking for what I am not seeing. This is not the way it has to be. It is a choice. I am finding the more I am open to blessings, the more they come. The more grateful I am for them, the more often they show up. Happiness is finding comfort residing within me, just as despair is finding its seat has been taken.

With my intent to be happy, I am discovering that even the hardships have intrinsic value. They offer applicable lessons that can actually bring joy of the experience for what is being learned. I believe every strong person I have ever met has come from a past laden with struggles. My favorite people in the world all share the common attribute of emerging from a belabored journey. The flame of experience offers the opportunity to be a great shaper of persons in amazing ways. Sharing this life with beautiful and inspiring souls offers encouragement beyond simple expression. Being genuinely happy and excited for them allows me to apply the same level of enthusiasm and eagerness to my own living.

What if we could just be happy and accept that good things that happen to us because we deserve it? What if we could take all experiences and turn them into being used for good? I truly believe this is possible. Not only possible, I am doing it. With all that has been lost, I could (and have) spent time dwelling on the feelings of disheartenment, discouragement, and hopelessness. However, these are not the feelings and emotions our souls are meant to take residence in. I believe we are meant to experience happiness and joy. This is where our souls wish to lodge. Mandy Hale wisely said, “It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary.”

My understanding of the capacity and POWER of intent has grown significantly over the last several months. It does not have to be contained to singular goals and resolutions. Rather, the magnitude of intent is significantly larger than I have ever dreamed. I am learning it can be applied in greater proportions, without reservation, to the overall experience of life. Setting an intent to be happy allows for all things to be experienced with an optimistic perspective! All experiences serve the purpose of happiness. I know, it sounds kind of hippy-ish (I’m starting to believe I might have been born in the wrong era), but I testify to its reality.

With my decision to embrace an intention for happiness, I am finding more joy in everything. This doesn’t mean there are not still struggles and/or frustrations. It simply means I am able to quickly refocus and see them in a different light, seeking out how they serve my intent. As happiness becomes more and more comfortable, I am finding an overwhelming increase in blessings and experiences coming to me. I am finding I am seeking less in trying to control what is going on and just embracing WHAT IS.

“What seeks you when you are not seeking, is the universe’s way of speaking to you without speaking.” (Jennifer Sodini)

The universe is speaking to me, and I am truly in a place to listen. I am listening and loving what it is sharing with me.

I don’t know if it takes losing everything to get to this point. Even though that is what has brought me here, I don’t think it has to be the same path for everyone. I don’t spend as much time over thinking the details, but choose instead to spend my energy soaking up the lessons of the experience and how it applies to the greater purpose of happiness. I wouldn’t trade living a thousand yesterdays for living today and the chance to live tomorrow. The founders found it important enough to include “the pursuit of happiness” into our founding documents. I believe they were onto something of significant value. I believe we should pursue our happiness with the eagerness of any great love story. When we love ourselves, happiness will be there waiting for us.

Make it count!