Intensity – the amount and duration of committed physical, emotional, mental and spiritual energy you can bring to any specific activity…
… is one of the key dynamics that we use in creating a learning process for ourselves.
Skill in modifying and moderating our ability to intensify our focus, our rate of output, or anything else you’d care to name is a key tool for habit hacking, and also for building a better prosperity system for ourselves.
Think about it:
At the physical level, when exercising and developing greater fitness, the progressive acceptance of greater and greater levels of weight in weight lifting, in speed and distance in running, or repetitions with Kettle Bells depends on adopting a suitable challenge gradient that just exceeds our current level of capability (“One more… give me just one more lift.”).
Without that challenge to our system – no development of fitness occurs. It’s the same with every other activity, including this one.
The first challenge is to acquire proper form.
Most fitness related injuries come about because poor form is carried out over an inappropriate gradient.
Most mistakes in habit hacking come from refusing to slow down to adopt “good form” with new behaviors before intensifying the gradient of challenge with them.
If you are setting your goals appropriately (to changes or improvements in EXTERNAL results) and dealing appropriately with your previous system of habits (by not going into cover stories or narratives or feeling bad ABOUT…), and merely getting on with the enacting new behaviors; increasing the challenge gradient and intensity of your performance is straightforward.
Through practice adjusting intensity up or down as required; this skill helps all your endeavors – the acquisition of new skills speeds up naturally because you are not wasting energy or time on what didn’t work, never worked and is not going to work in the future.
You see, if you are free of the need to “judge” or “feel about” anything other than what works, what is moving you forward, and what is a clear “win” (even at the small levels – have you punched the air and said “YES!” today?).
With intensity control, you are moving into the realm of self-coaching and becoming more in control of your own outputs, and more in the driver’s seat, rather than a victim of habit and circumstance.
So… have a look at your plans for this week. Look at the different tasks and areas and choose one place where you need to “bring it on” a bit more.
Choose a specific task and time, do whatever you need to do to set things up (mini mise en place perhaps?) and increase the intensity in that piece of work, whatever intensity means in that circumstance.
Do this wisely and intelligently.
Make sure the gradient is appropriate to your skill level… plus a bit more.
Take your results and keep going…
Each day needs a bit of stretch in it. You’re in control. You set the time and the terms.
Do it “right”… and celebrate your wins.