Intensity Is Not a State of Mind

PinExt Intensity Is Not a State of Mind

intensity Intensity Is Not a State of MindThis 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

Intensity is:

  • 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

PinExt Intensity Is Not a State of Mind

6 thoughts on “Intensity Is Not a State of Mind

  1. Your progress depends upon your degree of sustained intensity in a given direction.

    ~ Roger McDonald

  2. I was unaware about this reality of intensity…..
    Just read the article few moments ago and now my head is like spinning around the things as if I am searching for the answers of what now? and what’s next?
    Feeling like its time to take some action and stop living the usual routine life as I have come to realize that this is where I am not actually concerned about the outcomes, my fighting spirit is lowered and it the thing pulling me backwards. ANd now all this have to stop, have to focus on things, have to get intensely attached with my aims…….
    Thanks for making me realize that what I was missing……

  3. At age 54, I have already done 19,710 days on this earth. That sounds scary because it is alot of days. But being scared is part of what you call intensity. The realization that you could have done more with all those days. It creates urgency and an urge to try to make up for the loss. Your book promises to be a good read. I would appreciate a free copy to see what you are saying about counting the number of days.
    Albert Kenyani Inima´s last [type] ..[Raila Odinga]: In 2013, We Must Get it Right

  4. Well, this is something new to me, but wasn’t surprising. In my opinion,it is just unconsicious. For someone this is at high levels, for someone lower. Like anything else, right? But it is good to understand the principle. I am always aware of what’s important now and what’s next.
    But at the moment I doubt this day count idea. It’s sounds just too many as you count these days and seems like you have so many days to come to spend so I would say that it just makes better conditions for procrastination. But you could probably change my way of thinking!

  5. Never thought about it before , this is new to me , but i have realised that whats at stake and this makes me come closer to my goals , thanks for the article , i read this today morning. And thinking whats important now and whats next is a good idea to keep on track , thanks for this wonderful short article

  6. Hello Robert,

    I think your article ties very well with what Steve Jobs once said when he was addressing Stanford University graduates: “for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” Great article Robert.
    Matthew Denos´s last [type] ..Rodney Yee’s Yoga for Beginners DVD Review

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