This is a guest post by Robert D. Smith.
Even if you rarely watch sports (like me), you know how important intensity is to athletes, regardless of the type of competition. It allows them to thrive. It gives them that extra push to overcome adversity. It sharpens their mind and instincts.
And it works exactly the same way for how you live and plan your life.
But what is intensity really, and how do you activate it?
The Truth About Intensity
- Living with an extreme sense and awareness of your purpose – that thing that drives you and keeps you up at night.
- Living with an awareness that your days are numbered and you may not be here tomorrow (intense, right?).
- Living with a laser-focus on two things: what’s important now and what’s next.
Most of all (and this is what a lot of people miss)…intensity is not a state of mind. It is a state of emotion, a state in which the heart is connected directly to the head.
In order to pursue anything with intensity, you must be emotionally connected to it. You must possess a fanatical commitment to follow through and a desire to persist without exception.
How to Activate Intensity to Excel at Anything
How do you connect yourself to that emotion and level of commitment? You create it by reminding yourself of what’s at stake.
For example, if you’re playing a game of golf and you don’t really care about the outcome, your intensity will be low. You will not be at peak performance. On the other hand, if something is on the line (money, pride, the desire to improve, etc.), things change. You activate the emotion and the intensity kicks in. Suddenly, you are focused and motivated. You’re in the zone.
If intensity in your life is missing, simply remind yourself of what’s at stake.
It could be the life you want for your family, the mission you know you were put here to accomplish, or any number of things. Remind yourself of the stakes, and then remind yourself of this little fact—you only have a certain amount of time left, and there is no way of knowing how much it is. To be blunt, you have to consider your own death on a regular basis.
As morbid as that may sound, it doesn’t have to be a scary or negative thing. In fact, thinking of the reality of your death will only enrich the remaining days you have.
Tips for Sustaining a High Level of Intensity
Now, it may be easy to think about these things and get fired up over the next 24 hours, but how do you keep it going? Here are a few things I do:
- I count my days. This is something I started doing a few years ago. As I sit here writing this post, I have been on this planet for 21,047 days. I remind myself of this daily, and I can’t recommend it enough. You will gain a new appreciation of what can be accomplished in a single 24-hour period.
- Whenever you don’t know what to do, ask yourself these two questions: What’s important now? What’s next? These questions will unfailingly point you back to that emotional connection that activates the intensity.
- Call a family member or close friend and simply talk to them. Remind yourself of those in your life who matter most. Invest yourself in them. Honor them. They will keep you focused on what truly matters.
If you can keep the intensity level in your life consistently high, amazing things will happen. So, I’m asking you—what’s important now? What’s next?
Free Book Giveaway to Jump-Start Your Intensity
Robert D. Smith is the author of 20,000 Days and Counting which just launched on January 1, 2013. In his book, Robert expands on the whole life-changing idea of measuring your life in days instead of years.
He’s generously offered to give away copies of his new book to two of you!
All you need to do is leave a comment below letting Robert and I know what you think of this article and you’ll be entered to win.
You need to leave your comment by noon Central next Wednesday, January 9th to be eligible to win. I’ll randomly select two winners and Robert will mail you a book.
Pretty cool, huh?
About the Author
Robert D. Smith is not only an author, he is also a consultant to numerous best-selling authors, speakers, and entertainers. You can find out more about him at TheRobertD.com.