There is one thing that I have found that contributes to the success of my initiatives more than any other. It is the intensity in which I commit myself to the endeavor. People often speak of focus, but this seriously underestimates what is necessary. Focus is about clarity and it is true that you have to be clear about what you want. However, it takes white-hot, glowing intensity to make things happen. When you start something new, it is like trying to push a locomotive uphill by yourself . Things start very slowly. If you do not have intensity, it will never happen.
Entrepreneurs know what I’m talking about here. Up until a couple of years ago, I was a partner in a small business. Have you ever tried marketing a small business? It wasn’t easy. It takes intensity. You have to be so committed and intense that it almost becomes an obsession. It has to be what you think about every waking moment. This level of intensity is what it takes to get people to notice you and your business. Why do you think that car dealers bombard us constantly with television commercials? It is difficult to get noticed and even more difficult to motivate people to take the action we want them to take to buy our product or engage our services. Of course, most small business owners do not have the marketing budget to run non-stop commercials, so they need intensity to do guerilla marketing.
The attitude has to be one of “Do or die!” or “California or bust!” Settlers that left good homes in the East and traveled to California back in the 1800s had intensity. They faced unimaginable obstacles that threatened their lives everyday. It wasn’t just their financial livelihood at stake, if they went bust, then it probably meant the death for them and their families. That is pressure that will motivate you to do whatever it takes and to never stop. This is the same level of intensity we must bring to our endeavors if we want to see them succeed in a big way.
White-hot intensity pushes fear aside for me. When I’m intensely committed to something, I won’t let anything get in my way. When obstacles arise and they almost always do, I improvise. I workaround them. I find someone that can help. I try and try again until I find the perfect combination of things to do to overcome the issue. I have a whole different level of confidence and determination when intensity is working for me. There is no room in my mind for self-doubt. I am completely consumed with doing everything I can to make my endeavor a success.
We typically say that athletes are “in the zone” when they are playing with this level of intensity. You can see it in their eyes. I have seen it in Tiger Woods eyes on numerous occasions. His level of concentration toward the game of golf is what makes him a champion. He doesn’t let anything distract him from the shot he needs to make. He isn’t thinking “What if I hit into that bunker?” or “Wow, I bet there is going to be a great celebration when I win.” He is just concentrating on doing exactly what he needs to do to get the ball from where it is to where he wants it to be. Thinking about the bad things that might happen or how much I am going to party when I succeed are just distractions that take my mind off what I need to do to succeed.
Another thing about intensity is that it seems to have a positive physiological effect on me. I have more energy and stamina. I get up earlier to get more done toward my project. When the alarm goes off, I get right up rather than laying there wondering how morning arrived so quickly. I work at a pace that would normally wear me out, but I find that when I’m doing what I love, I am able to keep going. This effect often amazes me, but I thoroughly enjoy it. I suppose this is another aspect of intensity that benefits athletes as well.
There is a potential pitfall to this level of intensity. The single-mindedness that I need to succeed is sometimes detrimental to the balance in my life. I get so intense that I devote all my time and energy to my endeavor and neglect other areas. I get agitated and frustrated when other important people and things in my life “distract” me from my present initiative. Fortunately, by attacking things with such intensity, I am usually able to succeed with them in a fairly short period of time. This allows me to regain the balance in my life quickly. However, I still have to guard against this because relationships are easily damaged.
My present project is this blog. I have been going after it with passion and intensity. I hope you find it beneficial. Please leave a comment and let me know how intensity works for you. Also, if you enjoyed this please Digg or Stumble It so others will know.