I was watching a football game recently on television and was struck by a statement made by one of the commentators after a defensive player made a particularly hard tackle on an opponent ball-carrier.

The observation was that that individual “play(s) with intentionality”.

Of course, in American football, bringing a ball-carrier to the ground with the maximum degree of violence permitted by the rules is a strategy designed to intimidate the opponent.  Players who play with “intentionality” in this sense are praised by coaches and preferentially sought as candidates for higher level teams. It is just part of the game of tackle football.

What about “intentionality” in the game of life?

I believe that it is extremely important. In order to achieve happiness in life we need to act with purpose. We need to maximize engagement in activities that carry meaning for us. In the case of the defensive player, the act of tackling is an element essential to a successful outcome for his team. Since the player wants to be on the winning side, successful tackling has meaning. So, acting with intention, that is, with focus on the fundamental elements of tackling becomes important because of effect of the execution of that act on the overall goal of the game. The better a tackler becomes, the more likely the team will win.

Life presents all of us with potential goals. If the goals are meaningful for us, then focus on the actions which lead to those goals becomes important.  And once we have that focus, we then are inevitably led to the realization that making improvements in those actions will increase the likelihood that we will achieve those goals.

And in my opinion that is where true, deep personal happiness comes from.

Attack when you play the games of your life!

Live with intentionality!

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