Intentness is one of the building blocks that John Wooden addresses in his Pyramid of Success. I believe all of the blocks to be worthy of our attention, but some of them go further in my opinion in importance and deserve a blog post. This is one of them.
When breaking down the block of intentness Wooden alludes to folks being impatient and wanting things before they are due. If he only knew that our current society would grow to be much more impatient than the one he coaches in! With the rise of technology we have lost the principle of waiting for something.
Putting in the time to have something come to fruition has lost its value. Many of us, myself certainly included, do not appreciate the process as much as we should. If we could skip the process to acquire something we would. The fallacy in this mindset is that the process is what gives the outcome its value.
Wooden calls intentness patience with action. In other words, we are in it for the long haul. The clock continues to tick and we respect that. Intentness does not happen devoid of action however. A person who is intent is not idle. They are in motion looking for things they can do to acquire what it is that they desire.
The action part of intentness allows us to focus on what we are aiming towards and not on how long the process is taking. When you put on a movie for kids on a long road trip them watching the movie allows the trip to seem like it takes less time. The same principle applies here.
There is a twist to the example above however when it comes to someone being intent on achieving something. There must be a specificity to the plan. The things that you are thinking, learning and working out must somehow contribute to forward progress. This is another area with many folks as our society is also littered with tons of rabbit trails that we can begin walking down.
Lastly, intentness requires that we can call an audible if need be. Having intentness is a process. The more lofty that which you want to achieve or acquire is, the longer your journey will likely be. This means that you will inevitably come across obstacles. Here is where those folks who cannot exercise the first part of Wooden's definition; patience, will find themselves unable to execute the second part of the definition; action.
Intentness is fool proof. If you exercise intentness you will be successful. All journeys come to an end. The question is whether you got off the train at the final stop you had envisoned for yourself or you choose to get off the train earlier because your patience ran out.