This is such a repeated and rather cliché phrase. We can all be happy if we just live our lives intentionally. The problem isn’t that this advice isn’t good. It is. The problem is that we are never really told HOW to live our lives intentionally.
We are also told that the unexamined life isn’t worth living. To me, this is the same advice as live your life intentionally. The key to both is to think. Specifically, you need to learn how to think well.
To live life intentionally requires you to have intention. To have intention you have to think. It’s as simple as that. You can’t run on instinct and achieve this. I’m not saying instinct doesn’t have a place, it most certainly
does. It’s more that wise people check their instincts with their critical thinking skills. This allows them to avoid doing stupid things that had they thought for just a moment before they acted they could have avoided entirely. It also helps them to fine tune their gut instincts that are good to help them figure out how to more effectively accomplish what their gut is telling them to do.
This is why people who think and think well, tend to be so successful. For a Humanist, critical thinking is a central part of our practice. This leads people to think we are emotionally dry, but nothing could be further than the truth. We view our emotions as informative tools. They tell us what we need to pay attention to and to work on. Our intellect tells us how best to accomplish that. To us, it’s the best of both worlds.
Here is a video that explores this concept further.
The Spiritual Naturalist Society works to spread awareness of spiritual naturalism as a way of life, develop its thought and practice, and help bring together like-minded practitioners in fellowship.