in Achieving Goals

Intensity

Most of us are listless at times.  That is normal, and to be expected.  What’s not normal is the bastardization of our Protestant ethic that makes us seem to work, seem to think, and seem to try.  People brag about how much they work. As if somehow time spent equates to value added.  We mark our time at our desks writing blog posts, answering email, and just sort of float on the surface.

We’re in some sort of holding pattern waiting for something to happen.  We’re present physically.  We know the real magic happens not with “presence” but with intensity.  Focus.  White hot burn.  Go to the gym.  Spend an hour or more on some elliptical machine. Not hard, probably does a little good.  Perfectly safe.

What if you spent the same time pushing yourself to your absolute limits?  What if you reached your pain threshold, and were not sure if you could do it or not?  That every fiber in your body had to focus on this one goal…would you get more out of that? What if you spent less time with more heat?

What if you pushed to your limit in your work?  Those are the difference makers, people that are indifferent to what the crowd does or thinks, but people that create the world and mold it regardless of resistance.  People that ignore the persistent tether of the mediocre and don’t brag about 70 hour weeks, but brag about how much of their mind, soul and spirit they engaged to solve a problem.

We don’t ignite our souls because of ego.  If we try our best and fail, it hurts a lot worse than if we half-ass and fail.  So we don’t bleed for what we want.  If it’s not us, but just some work that we’re indifferent to, then we can accept failure and our ego is unscathed because we weren’t engaged.

It seems safe, but the risk is greater because we never reach our dreams and our life is a morass of “woulda, shoulda & coulda.”

We must embrace the intensity that’s available to us, because only through intensity do we achieve what we are after.  We must seek out intensity and find a way to find–and push  through–the pain and doubt threshold each day.

Occasionally, time is the only currency that solves a problem.  More often it’s thought, energy, determination and passion that solves problems.  Just doing it.

That brings a question: are you putting time in, or are you putting your soul in?

What are you risking by merely putting time into what you’re doing?  What will happen to your life?

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29 Comments

  1. Chris, your question on twitter came at a really timely moment (coincidence?) – you asked, “are you putting time in, or are you putting your soul in” – my answer was: “soul…..wish I didn’t at times …. I get emotionally vested”

    I’m an extremist, always have been – I either do things really well and put my heart and soul into it, or I don’t even attempt it. I love intensity, love people that are intense, and love the risk that comes with putting your soul in, because you don’t always succeed, but at least I know I gave it my all.

    Thanks for this – came at a time when I was doubting the reason for my intensity…as always, you rock!

  2. I read exactly what I needed to read.

    Thanks a lot, God blesses you!!!

    Fernando

  3. Chris,

    This post is excellent. So much truth here. You made me want to get up and get moving. I’m ready to push myself to the limits. I’m not waiting for things to happen anymore, I’m going to make them happen.

    Thanks for the swift kick in the pants!

    Jason

  4. The truth. We can’t hear it enough. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. The closer I get to focusing on my passion and shedding myself of that which I feel nothing but disdain for, the more intense I become. ;-) Great read, Chris.

  6. “We don’t ignite our souls because of ego.” – Wow, ain’t that the truth!

    Great post Chris, I needed a shot of adrenaline this AM. :)

    @dennysugar

  7. Great reminder. Anything done with intensity, passion, and presence of mind for a short time brings more success than doing something half-assed for a long time.

  8. :) Thank you. Thoreau said that you can’t kill time without injuring eternity, and I think that same saying can be expanded to “filling time”.
    It must be the season of introspection…

  9. Chris. Thanks for this!! I’ve been working with intensity all year, and am now starting to feel a lull and slowing down. Your message has PERKED me up!! Recharged my batteries. You’ve inspired me,

    Veronica

  10. To have the ability to put your soul into something, you have to love it. The problem I see is that many people do things they think they ought to do instead of what they’re truly passionate about.

    This post is some of your best work, my friend.

  11. Chris – I love the Time / Soul question, which to me brings up the issue of wattage. If I’m not into something, and I’m just doing time, I’m like a AA battery. But when I’m on, I can be like a Marshall Stack.

  12. Chris-

    Why do you always seem to time your posts to when I need to get hit on the side of the head with the motivational 2×4?

    This is one of the best posts I have read in recent memory. Thank you for taking the time and effort to write and publish it.

  13. Scott-

    I don’t know, but it’s generally when I myself need a kick in the pants etc.

  14. Was once told that most folks value the avoidance of failure and/or disappointment more than the attainment of success.

    Wish I’d written this.

  15. Inspiring message. Just what I needed to read as I reach the end of a difficult day. Thanks so much for sharing.

  16. Wow Chris! … just ‘wow’. You know I don’t comment much on your posts (you already know I love you) but this was just one heck of a motivator! Great job on it!

  17. I worked out w/ my trainer today and totally get that whole it only matters when you’re pushing yourself to the limit thing (when I collapsed today after doing that one last pushup with my legs on the exercise ball).

    Do I do that in my business? Do I push my soul to the limit? Yes, I work a lot of hours, yes I’m productive … but am I pushing it? Or coasting along without pushing those boundaries further than I thought was possible?

  18. Chris,
    You’re getting real deep these days! Working from the intensity of the soul also requires silence I think. That moment of pause where creativity bursts through. An evolutionary impulse demanding attention to be birthed.
    Just a stream of consciousness… great post

  19. Great post Chris. I’m guilty of looking busy, marking time and waiting for . . . . something. I’m better about it now that I’m out of the office job and working for myself. But I still fall into the busy but not really trap sometimes. Thanks for the kick in the ass. Much needed!

  20. Often feel guity about hiding behind the computer you think you are working but reality you’re wasting time. In my industry the old fashion door knocking out there in the market place walking the walk and talking the talk. Need to talk to at least 10 people before 10 each day. Real estate is a people industry http://coromandelpropertyinsider.com is only part of the formula.

    Blogging Facebook etc is very important for the long term appealling to generation Y or the me generation but this activity should be done at night rather than looking busy at work. TV is full of crap you may as well spend the time on the computer!