#ManlyMonday | Intensity

Intensity has a lot of different meanings in our culture today. Some meanings have a negative connotation such as being overly or hyper strong or extreme. Other meanings are more favorable such as having “great energy, strength, concentration, vehemence, etc., as of activity, thought, or feeling” as dictionary.com defines it. Today, I want to talk about intensity as a virtue of masculinity. Young men have an aptitude for intensity that is often times killed by “growing up.” Work, bills and other responsibilities start to weigh on men as they step from schooling into adulthood. Men get so caught in the day to day routine that they lose their intensity for life. Men are meant to be intense. I don’t mean this in the Full Metal Jacket drill-sergeant-who-sucks-life-out-of-people-to-get-what-he-wants kind of intense. I mean men are meant to be intense about the things in life that matter. They are meant to have “great energy” towards their relationships, careers and hobbies. Great intensity fosters a life that leaves people changed for the better. How are you becoming a man of intensity? Who do you see around you that is changing the lives of others for the better because of their intensity? Share your thoughts and experiences with us. Let us know where you see the value of intensity in life.


7 thoughts on “#ManlyMonday | Intensity

  1. Personally, I feel like I’m terrible a rationing my intensity. I want to do so much, but only have enough physical and emotional energy for a handful of things when it comes down to it.
    This possibly goes back to your point of “growing up” and losing (cluttering?) the intensity. With so many demands (relationships, jobs, CrossFit, more jobs, unpaid internships, recreation, eating, etc.), it gets more and more difficult to act with the kind of energy needed in each situation. This sends me deeper into minimalist dreaming in which I long for a decluttered lifestyle, owning only the possessions needed to create a space for my energy and creativity to thrive (e.g. I see living small potentially in a tiny house as a tool for not only understanding what one truly needs, but also flourishing relationships and dreams while living intentionally).

    How do you guys “ration” (there’s probably a better way to say that) your energy/intensity?

    How do you strengthen/train that intensity? (besides CrossFit, of course..)

    What is a healthy opposite you use to restore your intensity? (Ying Yang, son)


    • I am right there with you. I often feel like I want to be intense (passionate) with so many different things in my life. Like you, I often find myself disappointed and exhausted when I can invest 100% of my “intensity” in everything because my emotional and physical energy is limited. I’ve been chewing on your comment since yesterday (metaphorically of course) and it makes me wonder where I have been letting things steal my passion and intensity. I tend to let other things steal my time, energy, and passion rather than being intentional about how I give it away.
      To answer your questions (which are great follow up questions):
      1) I think I am good at committing to things and being passionate about them (horn toot!) BUT, it can be to a fault for sure. Ex, When I overcommit it steals from my relationships and other things I am passionate about. (community, reading, family, YoungLife)
      2) I think intensity can be strengthened my committing, choosing to persevere and see it through no matter how tough things get, and surrounding yourself with the problem or cause.
      3) I surround myself with other passionate people. This keeps me on track and helps me focus on what is important. I tend to be scattered and all over the place, wanting to solve all the world’s problems before night fall.

      Any additional thoughts anyone?

  2. It sounds like you have a similar experience to a lot of people. How do we begin to ration (maybe focus?) our intensity? I would start by prioritizing. You need to start with the things that are most important. Unfortunately we don’t always get to dictate priorities as work and other necessities (aka sleep, eating, etc.) can take up our precious time but how we spend our free time can help decide how we focus our intensity. If you’re passionate about keeping yourself physically and mentally fit then you should make working out and reading/learning high priorities. I think another part of our problem focusing our intensity is what I like to call the “grass-is-greener” syndrome. We’re always scared that if we focus too much on one thing we’ll miss out on another. I’m not saying there is an easy way to set priorities but if you take to the time to figure out what’s important to you and where your spending your time things usually start to become clear as to where your energy should be focused. As a side note, you will miss out on good things in life. Learning to say no to good things to get to great things is a hard but necessary piece to a well lived life.

    To answer your question about strengthening/training intensity: invest time in getting better at what you do. Accept challenges and don’t shy away from potential failure. The only way we get better is by figuring out where we did well and where we can improve then taking that information and letting it alter how we do things.

    What is the healthy opposite? Learning to rest well and, as I mentioned earlier, saying no to good things. Sometimes we need to step away from things we love in order to do them better in the long run. Just like you take time off from working out to let muscles recover and rebuild, your mind and heart need time away from the things you are passionate about to recover and grow.

    Thanks for your thoughts! As always, I would love to talk more about this with you.

  3. I love all your guys thoughts…I can definitely echo the feeling of exhaustion due to so much crap going on in my life. I find myself spending a bunch of time frustrated at things (specifically school) which seem so mundane and meaningless to my future dreams. Something else I have definitely noticed about myself is I love committing to things, but then I get way too much on my plate, and I believe this is what sucks my intensity right out of me. I really love the idea of having to say no to good things, and letting your heart and mind recover from the things you love.

    For the 3rd follow up question from Chris, I personally like to not only surround myself w other passionate/intense people, but also people that view the world a little different from me. I am a big picture type of guy. I hate details. They are boring and annoy me. But when I am around others who thrive on details and planning, I have found this gives me a fresh perspective, and actually rejuvenates me. It also gives me almost a feeling of comraderie with people different from me. Sort of like we are on a team together. I can dream big picture, while my friend is lining up details. I tend to try and be superman wayyyyy too much and do it all. When I realize that I don’t have to do it all by surrounding myself with different thinkers, this gives me energy as well.

    Good Talk, Brahs!


  4. I find that I have trouble spreading out my intensity, I feel much diifferent then any of you guys in this because my issue has never really been over extending my intensity into numerous projects or issues, my issues stems from a habit or tendency I suppose of focusing 100% percent of my intensity on one specific project. If you are wondering what that looks like, go watch the seen from Star Wars when the Death Star blows up Alderon….it’s pretty much like that. If you focus all of your intensity into one thing, it is going to explode.
    Focusing all of your energy on one thing tends to leave all other issues by the wayside, it may make you succeed quickly at whatever that thing isyou are focusing on but it can make you miss other opportunites and chances to grow left and right. I honestly never really realized this about my self until right now…… I’m lost at this moment in thought. Thank you, this was a great conversation

    Also, Conrad, you and I need to get together or something, because I am nothing if not a Detail guy…

    • Well, here I am replying 137 days later. But Markus I would love to get together and not talk about details with you sometime..

  5. Pingback: As We Go’s Top 10 | As We Go

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