Replace Intention with Intensity
Welcome back to part 2 of our 6 part series, Reset and Replace.
A reminder of our premise: Most people don’t accomplish the goals they have in life because of their own self imposed limitations. Mostly likely, YOU are the one thing holding you back from all the success you want in life.
Last week, we talked about replacing Excuses with the Extra Mile. Today, let’s talk a bit more about where the rubber meets the road.
See, everyone wants to grow, but they're usually missing something. There’s a powerful replacement that can make a huge difference as you go after your goals. I think you need to:
Replace Intention with Intensity
There’s something called the fundamental attribution error: it’s when we judge others by their actions, but we judge ourselves by our intentions. Here’s the problem with judging yourself by your intentions: intentions don’t pay the bills. They don’t solve your problems. They don’t create anything but frustration.
A lot of you are intending to move on, and you need to stop.
Look at me. Right through the screen. I’m looking you dead in the eye.
Stop. Wasting. Your life.
You INTENDED to move on last year. And the year before that. And the year before that. But you’re no closer to your goals. WHY DOESN’T THAT MAKE YOU WANT TO THROW THINGS? Why doesn’t it make you want to flip tables?? Why are you ok with not moving on??? THAT’S NOT OK. That’s your LIFE.
At some point, most people get stagnant. That happens to the best of us. You know, when you get to the end of the week and you wonder to yourself, “wow...where’d that one go?” Sometimes, you get to the end of the MONTH, and you think, “wow...that month went really fast.” But then, you get to the end of the year...and you don’t know where it went.
Let me tell you something: you only get so many of those. You get a lot of days, but you only get so many years. Everyone has bad days, even some bad weeks. But you only. Have. So. Many. Years. So why are you wasting a YEAR where you don’t move forward the way you want? Let me say it again: STOP IT.
When I agree to mentor someone, daily communication is a big part of that relationship. Occasionally, I’ll get a message from someone basically saying something along the lines of this: “I meant to do this towards my goal, it didn’t quite happen, I’ll get back on it tomorrow.” Now, I have no problem with a message like that - again, bad days happen to the best of us. But then I get the same message again the next day. And the day after that. And the day after that. So now what? Now we’ve got a pattern, and we’ve got a problem.
I’ll usually text them back and ask them, how many times are you going to send that message? How many days? How long are you going to be ok with this?
Stop sending this message. Stop letting the SAME STUFF stop you. STOP IT. FIX IT.
News flash: You’re ALLOWED to fix it!
And you fix it by raising your level of intensity.
Have you ever seen someone move with full intensity? Think back to Michael Jordan and the Bulls, now that was intensity. Even if you weren’t around to see it live, you can see it by watching The Last Dance. There was fire in their eyes. They were focused. They took action. They had a vision of winning a championship, and nothing could stop them.
And that intensity didn’t just magically show up during the playoffs. It was in every game of the season. It was in practice. It was in the locker room. If they ever had drama with one of the players, it was usually due to a lack of intensity.
I’m sure every team that decade went into the season with the INTENTION of winning a championship. They intended to overthrow the greatest basketball dynasty of all time. But none of those teams had the same intensity as the Bulls.
Intensity beats intention. Every. Single. Time.
Getting things done and being a finisher separates you out more than you can understand. Completed projects are like currency for your future. That’s how you buy yourself into bigger doors and more promotion in life - when you can point to TANGIBLE things that you’ve completed. Not intentions, completions. But completion takes some intensity.
So how do you create intensity? Well, we’ve talked about something similar in the past. It boils down to how you view whatever you’re trying to accomplish: is it “I’d like to”, or is it “I MUST”?
“I MUST” has a sense of urgency attached. It has intensity. But you HAVE to find a way to create that within yourself. Otherwise you’ll continue letting yourself off the hook, because you technically have your whole life to succeed.
You can create that intensity in 1 of 2 ways. First, you can put a timeline on it: I MUST create X amount of income before our kid comes, otherwise we’re going to struggle financially. We MUST have certain numbers this year, otherwise they’ll shut our department down. I MUST lose X amount of weight before I’m 40, otherwise I’ll be a ticking time bomb for a heart attack. There's a sense of timeline and end date there - that increases your level of urgency, which automatically increases your level of intensity.
The other way to create intensity is through limits. What if you could only create new customers for a year - after that, you had to just keep calling the ones you already had. How many more people would you call in that year? How intense would you get?
You can even think about it from the standpoint of a mentoring relationship: if you only had 5 sessions with your mentor, how much more would you prepare? How much more would you do before those sessions so you had something to talk about? How intense would you get?
When things get limited, you treat them with more intensity. There is more of an “I MUST” factor. And really all that changed was the mental parameters that you put on it. When people act with that kind of intensity, you know they’re about to move on. I’ve seen it countless times before.
Intensity doesn’t waste days. If you have true intensity, you go after your goal, with EVERYTHING you’ve got. EVERY single day. You leave everything on the field, you give every opportunity for the chips to fall in your favor. And if they don’t, you go after it again tomorrow, because there’s no time to waste.
STOP being ok with wasting days. You’re wasting weeks, you’re wasting months, and you’re wasting years. Remember, you only get so many years. You’re better than that. Stop it. Fix it. And go after it with intensity.
See you next week!