What Are Your “Must Haves”?

If we are passionate about owning a luxury car, we would put a lot of thought into buying one. We would contemplate what really matters to us. We would define what is worth holding out for as we shop around.

Is it style? Power? Interior? How about eco-friendliness? Perhaps a combination? If a luxury car is important to us, we probably already have a clear idea of what we want. We might even have a list of “must haves” written down. Something we refer to often while visiting dealership after dealership, to ensure we are considering all the critical factors for our best decision.


Because having a luxury car means so much to us, we are motivated to navigate the arduous process of car shopping. We don’t mind the effort. We will do whatever it takes to find the best car that matches what we envision. And wow, do we have a vision! We can see ourselves cruising down the street in this babe of a car. We can smell the new leather. We can feel how luxurious it feels to be in it.

We happily put a lot of attention into this decision. We could even say the whole process is very intentional. It’s purposeful, deliberate, conscious.

But what if we’re not interested in owning a luxury car? What if we’ve never even thought about having one because we’ve been too busy with other things that seem more important?

Then we probably wouldn’t put much attention into buying one. It’s not that we have anything against luxury cars. They’re just not on our radar. We don’t have an appreciation for how they can make us feel. We’re only interested in reliable transportation to get us from here to there. We’ll easily accept any color car on the lot. We’re willing to take the easiest, cheapest deal that meets our minimal threshold.

The luxury car lover might think this is nuts. After all, it’s a… car!

Which brings me to the point of this comparison.

How do you experience your life? Are you the luxury car buyer that puts a lot of thought into the decisions that concern the quality of your life? Are you as intentional? Are you clear on what is important and what’s not?

Or are you not curious about how you inhabit your life? Is life something that’s happening to you rather than something you’re engaging in? Are you coasting along for the minimal ride?

Intentional living is the attempt to live according to our values or beliefs. In order to do this, we need to define what our values and beliefs are. We have to have our list of “must haves” drawn up and refined, so that our time is well spent on what has importance to us, as individual as that may be. So that we may enjoy that powerful feeling of authenticity that comes with a life lived with clarity, purpose and meaning.

We must make clear choices on the color, style, functionality, eco-friendliness and engine power we want in our luxury car. And we must choose the hierarchy of importance.

Otherwise, we might end up driving the easiest, cheapest car on the lot.

When would be a good time to draw up that list of “must haves” for our lives? If it’s not right now…then when would be a better time?


More Mondays:  5 minute action item-What are your “must haves” to have a meaningful life? Don’t look to anyone else’s definition of what meaningful is. This is intensely personal. Be honest with yourself. Make a list. I call this a MORE list. Rewrite it every day. If you don’t get intentional about what you want in your life, others will do it for you.

2 responses to “What Are Your “Must Haves”?”

  1. Thanks Jo-Aynne for the post about intentional living! I liked your definition of that term a lot! I just have a couple of thoughts. While I certainly see the comparison regarding buying a new car and choosing how you want to live your life, I think it’s easy to overlook how much effort goes into buying the “cheap” car. What’s funny is that even a car that we’re only worried about getting us from here to there requires almost as much decision as that luxury car. We have to worry about price, durability, warranty. Just because a car is easy to buy doesn’t mean our decision wasn’t intentional.

    My family has never had brand new cars. I have a 1999 Honda Accord and my mom has a 2000s Toyota Corolla. They’re not new, but they were still intentional buys. They didn’t just hand the guy a check. Sure, a person that doesn’t care will just get whatever’s cheapest, but that’s actually quite hard when you think about it. Where would that person find the cheapest deal? Not at a dealership. Likely, online. And they probably won’t just click “Buy.” They’ll look into a little bit, find deals and good ratings.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is intentional living doesn’t have to just mean living only to have the absolute best thing in the market. It can also mean living within our means and appreciating what we have, when we can’t get that luxury car. If you can afford the luxury car, great, but sometimes, we need to get in the driver’s seat of something a little cheaper in order to reap its benefits. Because sometimes, cheaper is actually better. Luxury cars break down. Dreams don’t always come true. So, if you settle for the cheaper alternative sometimes, guess what? You’re still driving! You’re still moving forward! Otherwise, you just crash and burn.

    I’m not saying you should settle your whole life. All I mean to say is when you’re so focused on one thing, you don’t see the other options out there. Then, you give up when you don’t get exactly what you want.

    It’s like what you said about fixed mind-set and growth mind-set last Friday. It’s best not to get too fixed on that perfect car, because you likely won’t grow to see the other alternatives out there. In other words, best isn’t always better.

    Thanks again, Jo-Aynne! Have a Fab Friday!

    • Hi-thank you for commenting. I understand your point of view. The comparison was meant to show the difference between the amount of focus and awareness we put into some decisions that are meaningful to us (whether it be a luxury car or a cheap one) and how we may attentively live the rest of our lives. I believe it is important to take time to reflect on what is truly important to us (by our own standards, not someone else’s-and this is where we get lost sometimes) and commit to putting our focus and awareness there instead of being scattered. Jo-Aynne

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