Endurance or Intensity?

Think of a big challenge in your life where you succeeded. 

Did you endure a long-term challenge OR did you break through an intense challenge? 

A big challenge in my early adult life was graduating with my Chemical Engineering (ChemE) Bachelor's degree.  I loved Chemistry, but physics and calculus remained Greek to me. 

Five years. 

Yes, my bachelor's took five years.  I couldn't pay for college, so I entered a Co-op program, alternating between a junior ChemE job and school every other semester. 

Five years. 

For most of those five years, the 16-week semester included a physics or calculus class.  I hated those classes.  On Day 1, I would look up the mountain and a passing grade was somewhere way beyond the cloud cover.    

You know the feeling, right?

In the end, you endured and/or broke through the intensity …. and you won. 

You tapped into something deep within yourself.  You achieved success because you overcame the challenge beyond your endurance limits and beyond your intensity limits. 

You exhibited your Superpower! 

Lean into your strength when the going gets tough.  World class endurance runner usually are not world class high-speed hurdlers.

Endurance or Intensity?  Which are you better at?

I'm a better endurance runner.  10 years of college through 3 degrees.  I endured.  30-year consulting career -- on the road pretty much every week.  I endured. 

When it comes to the short-term challenge of a sprint, I'm not as good.  I like to lay it all out.  See the end.  Plot the course.  And begin.

On the other end of the continuum, the anticipation of a needle penetrating my arm for a flu shot makes me queasy.  I jumped out of a plane once and I felt I was jumping to my death.  Not fun until the chute opened.  No, I'm not an endorphin junkie!  I jumped out of the plane on a dare from a terrible boss.

Which side is your strength:  Are you good at enduring the long-haul challenge?  Or do you face an intense challenge with breakthrough confidence? 

Endurance or Intensity?

Here's the thing….Resilience requires both. 

Learn to make it through INTENSE challenges.  Learn to ENDURE challenges over the long-haul.     

I have a secret I use to boost my Resilience through both INTENSE and ENDURING challenges.


I'm not talking just about frivolous love or conceptual love.

Go deeper.  What do you REALLY care about?

If you go deep enough, you care about something outside of you. 

  • Creating breakthroughs for your clients 
  • Deeply motivated by love of your children, your spouse
  • Helping the homeless
  • Feeding the hungry
  • Leaving a healthy world for future generations

Take a moment right now and write down what you deeply care about.

In the last years of my Dad's life, he battled emphysema.  A long tube wound around the house fed him oxygen.  He struggled with every breath.  Going to bed, he stared up the stairs like staring up that mountain.  The top of the stairs was somewhere….up. 

In those years, I was doing a lot of sweatlodges.  A sweatlodge is like a spiritual sauna.  Every year, I went to Pine Ridge Reservation and participated in ancient Lakota ceremonies.  Some sweatlodges got hot.  Intensely hot.  As I said, I'm an Endurance guy.  Intensity is not my strength.  In those intensely hot lodges, I wanted OUT.  As the steamed heat grabbed my skin, I dug deeper in my soul and prayed. 

"May this one clear deep breath be added to my Dad's life." 

With the love of my Dad in my heart, I could face the challenge requiring both Endurance and Intensity.

What do you deeply care about that will give you the Resilience you need to face both the INTENSITY and DURATION of these turbulent times?

Things may get really hard.  Intensity.  Things may get hard for a long time.  Endurance.

Find your secret Resilient Code.  Your Love.

Then, put that love into an increment:

"I'll endure today's challenge for one challenge-free day for my granddaughter."

"I'll dig down deeper and face this intense moment for one less pain-free moment for my friend who's going through cancer treatment."

When I tap into my Resilience Code, a smile curls at the corners of my lips.  A warm sparkly feeling of gratitude tingles through my body. 

And when things get tough, people see that slight smile on my face and wonder,

What's going on with him?

Gratitude.  Love.  Healing.

Boost Your Resilience!


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