Intentional: How to Live, Love, Work and Play Meaningfully
by David Amerland
Live your life the way you want to. Manage stress better. Be more resilient and enjoy meaningful relationships and better health. We all want that. Such life leads to better choices, better jobs, loving romantic partners, more rewarding careers and decisions that are fully aligned with our aims.
What stops us from getting all that is the complexity of our brain and the complicated way in which the external world comes together. The misalignment between the internal states we experience and the external circumstances we encounter often leads to confusion, a lack of clarity in our thinking and actions that are not consistent with our professed values.
Intentional is a gameplan. It helps us connect the pieces of our mind to the pieces of our life. It shows us how to map what we feel to what has caused those feelings, understand what affects us and what effects it has on us and determine what we want, why we want it and what we need to do to get it.
When we know what to do, we know how to behave. When we know how to behave we know how to act. When we know how to act, we know how to live. Our actions, each day, become our lives. Drawn from the latest research from the fields of neuroscience, behavioral and social psychology and evolutionary anthropology, Intentional shows you how to add meaning to your actions and lead a meaningful, happier, more fulfilling life on your terms.
Whether we realize it or not, we all feel the need for this kind of guidance that gives us a deep sense of purpose. Because we are born physically helpless we have evolved to latch onto and work hard to understand our immediate environment and the people around us. This makes us, as we grow older, intensely pro-social. At the same time it provides us with a ready-made set of expectations, rules and guidelines to guide our behavior that arise from the collective behavior of those around us.
That behavior is the culture we experience and the traditions we abide by. The problem with this is that rather than defining for ourselves what is important to us we accept that which is given to us. That which is given to us is rarely what we want, but it can very easily become what we settle for.
Settling is an evolutionary-programmed trait. Let me explain: Life is hard. It really is. Even if we happen to have the extraordinary luck to be born into a very rich family whose legacy gives us everything we need to live comfortably for the rest of our life, maintaining that fortune and navigating through life is going to be fraught with risks, traps and constant upheavals.
We need other people. Other people need us. That is a truth. But the reasons for this mutual need are usually contradictory or, at the very least, sufficiently at odds with each other to make trust an issue and turn cooperation into a risk-assessment exercise.
About the Author
David Amerland is a Chemical Engineer with an MSc. in quantum dynamics in laminar flow processes. He converted his knowledge of science and understanding of mathematics into a business writing career that's helped him demystify, for his readers, the complexity of subjects such as search engine optimization (SEO), search marketing, social media, decision-making, communication and personal development. The diversity of the subjects is held together by the underlying fundamental of human behavior and the way this is expressed online and offline. Intentional: How to Live, Love, Work and Play Meaningfully is the latest addition to a thread that explores what to do in order to thrive. A lifelong martial arts practitioner, David Amerland is found punching and kicking sparring dummies and punch bags when he's not behind his keyboard.
Q&A With the Author
When did you first consider yourself to be a writer?
I was fortunate enough to be an avid reader growing up. I grew up in an environment where I was surrounded by books. Books were read to me, before I could read and once I started reading I had access to books that, let’s say, where above my reading age. I read, for example, The Volga Boatman about the Russian revolution and Lady Chatterley’s Lover, about the divisions of class when I was about seven or eight. And yes, both books have a strong romantic component.
What I read fed into my brain’s internal modelling of the world and, as a result, I naturally wanted to express my own feelings and ideas through writing. So writing is something that came to me as a perceived need from a really young age. I must have been about ten when I started to think of myself as a writer and that is long before I put any words to page.
As an adult, however, I didn’t really think I was a writer in the fullest sense of the word until in my third non-fiction book I received a lengthy email from a reader from Germany thanking me for having helped her understand how to use social media better with my book, The Social Media Mind. That’s when it sunk in that my words are read by people I have never met who are deeply affected by them. I think, we only truly, transition to feeling like writers when we realize and accept the responsibility we have to readers we may never know.
What advice do you have for a new writer?
There is plenty of pithy, powerful advice that’s given time and again for writers starting out on their journey which I find to be true: “Write what you know”, “Write and write often”, “Read so you can write”, “Write what you want to read”, and the classic: “Write one true sentence”. Improving on this with my advice is difficult. What I will say however is be honest in your writing. Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, the writing reflects a piece of you. You have to be willing to be honest with yourself and accept that you will be vulnerable on the page, in order to write words that resonate and deliver truths that are intuitively accepted by your readers.
What is the easiest part of the writing process for you?
I studied Chemical Engineering and hold a Masters in Quantum Flow Dynamics so I am very research driven. I love going through new research, understanding what it says and connecting the dots between what it says and what we already know. It’s like coming across a map pointing the way to a brand new place. I find myself making lots of notes, putting together questions I will ask the researchers and also looking at the established literature to see what else is already there and what it says. This helps me plan my books better and it helps me create the kind of structure than enables the reader to understand how what they have read benefits them, directly. At some point I have to put all this together in plain English in a way that makes sense for the lay reader and that is when the true challenge for me, begins.
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Represented by The Knight Agency
David Amerland will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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