The Life You Want… In 2 Steps

Lakesha Mathis

Mathis,Lakesha. “Jamaican Waves.” 2015. 20150723_193242[1]_edited.jpg.

The two best ways to ensure you receive what you want in life are to 1.) Set your intentions and 2.) Be Clear!

Setting your intentions simply means to define what you want. Honestly decide by putting down the expectations of society. Even side stepping your own expectations if they are not in line with what you want. Setting expectations is not something you need to do outwardly; however, create accountability for yourself by writing down what you want or telling someone you trust. Doing so makes you feel more responsible for the work it requires to achieve the desired goal. Setting your intentions calls your behaviors and thoughts into action.

If you want to be happy you have to be happy. You have to think happy. You have to surround yourself with happiness. You need to do happy things. Happiness is available to everyone. Whatever you want is available to you. My personal story is a helpful illustration of setting your intents and being clear.


I recall wanting to be a writer all of my life. But I never shared those desires with anyone. I believed the expectations for my life were different. Now these weren’t clearly communicated expectations. They were projections of what I could become based on my ability to succeed academically as seen through someone else’s eyes. People always said, “As smart as you are you should be a doctor or a lawyer.” I internalized those expectations and behaved accordingly.

My college major was Political Science and everyone was certain law school would be my next stop. But since my heart was never in it, I didn’t go to law school. I boded my time by enrolling in a Political Science Masters program. While in my master’s program I realized the thing I liked most about graduate school was all the reading and writing.

Every paper I wrote was an opportunity for me to dance with my love. Everything I wrote was golden and I am not bragging. It really was, but, and this is a big but, I always got dinged on my writing style. One professor even wrote on a paper that I should not use such flowery language in my writings. Apparently, I was the only person to use the word vibrant to describe David Morone’s “Hellfire Nation.”

Set your intentions because even if you don’t, then your actions and behaviors could very well tell on you in the most inopportune ways. Imagine being successful but miserable. That was where I found myself. Earning the exact salary I planned for; however, I was incredibly miserable.


Being clear is not as easy as saying, “This is what I want.”  As you can see from my example I was clear that I wanted to be a lawyer outwardly. My work said I wanted to be a lawyer. My education said I wanted to be a lawyer. Heck, I even took the LSAT.  But my heart said I wanted to write.  My heart said I want to help people build better relationships. My heart said I want to encourage through my own experiences.

Being clear in your intentions may not increase your bank account as quickly as you would like, but it will increase your personal success in ways that do ultimately increase your professional success. Be clear about what you want. And focus on the actions and behaviors that take you to your goal. Walk the walk that speaks to your heart.

I never stopped writing even when my intentions were to do something else. My actions have been clear from the beginning. I wasn’t. Now that my intentions are clear they line up with my actions. The experience of clearly setting intentions is amazing. To get what we want we most set clear intentions in every area of your lives. While the pay off may be slow you will be happier than ever to be living as you intended. That happiness speaks volumes above any professional success.

 So set your intentions and be clear!


8 responses to “The Life You Want… In 2 Steps

  1. What you write here is so spot on: Set your intentions and be clear. Soooo true! I know someone who voluntarily left her highly-paid position to reset her work-life balance. Everyone thought she was crazy to walk away from so much money. She entered the world of Looking for Work and started to realize why her friends were so incredulous — it’s not easy to find new work. Rather than worry, she wrote down: I will find work by July 5. You can guess the rest. She had an interview on the morning of July 5 and got the job on the spot. Her new employer even said, “I never hire anyone like this on the same day as the interview.” Her intention was so strong and she never doubted. I love stories like this and they definitely reinforce what you have written here. Thanks for sharing! It inspires me to set those intentions exactly as my intuition guides me.


    • Thank you so much. Your friend’s story sounds like my own. I walked away from a great paying highly coveted job. It wasn’t fulfilling for me. I almost thought you were one of my personal friends when you started your story. I had to look twice at the name and email address. Lol! Please keep setting your intentions, being clear and sharing the success of doing so. Please visit my blog,,for more stories like this one. Love love love!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent and thought-provoking advice, thank you! I shall bookmark this to read again the next time I inevitably question my writerly aspirations.

    I do have to wonder what writing style they wanted, though, “vibrant” is hardly a flowery word…


  3. I loved and can relate to every word eloquently written by LaKesha Mathis. This article could’ve come at a better time, it was truly inspiring and motivating; such an excellent reminder to make it clear you want and live it accordingly. After reading this, I know I conquer the world, no doubt in my mind. I’m my intentions known, being clear about and absolutely no regrets nor apologies.


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