Live With Intention

Taking the time and energy to engage in life is a far better way of living than to drift through life with no sense of intention.

BY CHARLOTTE LANKARD For The Oklahoman • Modified: July 22, 2013 at 4:30 pm •  Published: July 23, 2013

“Engage in life as much as you can. It takes energy. But if you don't find your center point, you end up sorta drifting through life sideways.”

— Actor Tim Allen

Drifting through life sideways has never been an option for my friend Tisha Tate, who loves adventure and being on the road. After college, she traveled worldwide as an international marketing manager for a large corporation.

Eventually she settled in Oklahoma City with her husband, John Needham, and son, Ian, but that didn't mean giving up adventure and travel.

She can remember an Elk City middle school geography class when she first saw a photograph of Peru's Machu Picchu, often referred to as the “Lost City of the Incas,” built around 1450.

At 43, she made that trip to Machu Picchu. Most people ride the train, but Tate and 13 men and women from other countries hiked over rough terrain for four days. She was the only American in the group. Physically challenged beyond her expectations and at times questioning her decision, she says she never considered quitting. When the group arrived at the Sun Gate on the fourth day, she had her first view of Machu Picchu – the phenomenal beauty of one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

This year she also participated in a 10-day silent meditation retreat with people ages 20 to 80 from different ethnicities. Being a talker, she knew it would be a challenge. “Turns out the silence was the easy part,” she told me. “The meditation (slowing the stream of thoughts) was the challenge. After nine days, I finally got to a place that is beyond anxiety and worry — the peace that passes all understanding.”

Her husband and son joined her again this year at the World Domination Summit in Portland, Ore. They not only heard a variety of inspiring speakers but joined arms with 618 other folks to set the world record for the longest human floating chain. They are now listed in the Guinness World Records. At the end of July, she will travel deep into the jungles of Costa Rica to spend four weeks in training to be a yoga teacher.

Tisha Tate is one of the best examples I know of living life with intention. No drifting through life sideways for her. Not all of us can do what she is doing, but we can learn from her.

She says, “I am a work in progress, living the questions but believing when nothing is certain, all is possible. The moment I complete something monumental and challenging in my life, the next project suddenly becomes more accessible.”

If you need a speaker for a group of adults or a classroom of kids, her email is

Charlotte Lankard is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice. Contact her at