2iB: What is Intensity?

Intensity follows Integrity. With Intensity, the popular American maxim of “go big or go home,” comes to mind. If something is worth doing, it is worth doing BIG. Warren Buffett, when prompted on the question of diversification in stock investing, said that for 98% of the people extreme diversification is the right way to invest. That means owning a mutual fund, or, even better the broadest possible global index of equities. Basically you want to own the world- if for example Venezuela turns out to be an investment dud, well, you got Ecuador. He went on to say that if you are ready to take ”an intensity” to it (stock investing), then one should take the opposite approach, i.e. only own a maximum of six or seven different shares, perhaps significantly fewer. In other words, do put all of your eggs in one basket- and guard that basket with your life. You are taking a stand on something, you are giving it your best effort, knowing full well that that you could suffer any number of setbacks or fail altogether. 

Intensity doesn’t mean you are physically intimidating, no. It doesn’t mean obnoxious. It presupposes that you are-clear-headed about what you what (that is partially the rationale behind meditative integrity first) and you simply go and get it. Intensity isn’t the sound or fury involved, no, not at all. It is the focus required to achieve what you want to achieve. Sure, if you have to twist a few arms, or break a few eggs, all of that can be noisy, but don’t miss the point. And that is laser focus, which, after all is deafeningly silent.

Give kudos to those who take on hard challenges. There are bonus points, for example, for the higher levels of Intensity. Just like the college admissions counselor who says: well, Johnny, you do have a 3.9 G.P.A. but then again you never took an AP, you never took a hard science or mathematics course, the colleges may hold that against what is a shining set of grades. In other words, the second “i” in 2iB involves a guardrail goading you to pursue harder challenges. These are challenges, to this point, which weight achievements, whether only attempted or fully accomplished, against the difficulty level. For fishing purists, there is nothing remarkable about landing a fish on line (test) that was designed for a fish ten times larger, no matter how large the fish. No fish were harmed in this example, but to illustrate: even if the fish is a gleaming two hundred pound Yellowfin, if you were never in any real danger of losing the fish to a snapped line, it couldn’t possibly have been much of a fight. Intensity is the kind of laser focus that flirts with isolation. It is commitment to see things through. By commitment I mean allergies to settling, fused-jaws for excuses, and always, always posturing to do better.