Live With Intentions, But No Expectations

Daniel Hannah
3 min readNov 21, 2023

Along the spiritual journey, there’s a fine balance you need to strike. You want to achieve as much as you can, but avoid creating a forcing current in your life.

I’ve found that living with intentions but realizing that my life will probably turn out much different to what I once thought has given me peace of mind.

I’m not stressed when things don’t go to plan, but I’m always nudging towards an overarching mission in life.

That overarching mission may or may not fruit. It already has to some degree, but I don’t know when life is going to jerk me in a different direction, and how sudden it’s going to be.

And when it does, I let it.

I trust the universe. I believe that everything happens for a reason. So I certainly put in the work (and enjoy it!) to go in the direction of my heart, but I also allow life to bring me into new territory.

The thing about intentions

Your intentions act as your propeller. They illuminate the direction you want to move in, and also fuel your engine.

But there is a point when people go overboard.

Strong intentions with no counterbalance can actually be destructive. Imagine driving a car without having breaks.

You’re bound to crash and cause a lot of harm rather than if you just slowed down a little and navigated yourself more carefully.

All gas and no break leads to stress, burnout, and most importantly, resistance.

Once you start forcing your life to go in a certain direction without paying attention to the signs you’re getting, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.

Even if you do finally get to your goals, can you say you’ve enjoyed the process, and that you’re happy to keep being in the process?

What happens when you trade the joy of your life to achieve something that never fruits?

You might feel like you’ve wasted your opportunity here.

So it is important to have intentions, after all you do need gas in your vehicle. But don’t be so attached to the result that you end up trading your life for it.

Are expectations helpful?

Expectations are not helpful. Sometimes they might drive people to achieve more, by believing that they will get what they want. But for the most part, having expectations doesn’t serve you.

That’s not to say that you can’t work hard towards the things you want. Letting go of the result means to have some flexibility, and to allow your life to bring you in unexpected directions.

Flexibility is really the keyword here. Life will do its thing and bring you all over the place. Life is not a predictable journey.

If you’re too stubborn with your intentions you’re going to miss out on new opportunities, new possibilities.

If you reject change, you’re also rejecting the evolution of your life journey.

Just think about it. Is your life right now what you expected five years ago? Ten years ago?

If you’re like most people, probably not. But it’s okay as long as you allow the shifts to happen and work with what you’ve got.

Who know, maybe life will bring you in a direction that is actually much more aligned with your true path than what you originally thought.

So keep an open mind.

To wrap up

Life is a journey that should be fun. If you have expectations, you’re being too rigid. If you have no intentions, you’re just floating.

Strike the best balance by holding your intentions close, but doing it with grace, and letting go of the result.