Continuing with George Leonard’s book Mastery, the fourth key is intentionality.  In the book, Mr. Leonard defines intentionality with words such as character, willpower, attitude, imaging, the mental game.  He goes on to describe the power of visualization in performance with many examples coming from the world of sports.

If you have ever practiced visualization you know the power and impact it can have.  Visualization is not simply mental rehearsal, it is feeling and experiencing the event just as it would occur when executed.  It is powerful stuff, resulting in the same physical effects, sweating, increased heart rate, muscle contraction, etc., as the actual performance.

Yet there is another side to intentionality and that is the focus it brings.  In the sports world we see examples of it every day, the athlete seemingly oblivious to the noise of the crowds, the distractions, so intent on the execution of the game that all else falls away.  Here is where intentionality can make the greatest difference in our game of business or personal success.  That single minded focus on realizing our dream, our vision.  The countless hours, efforts, energies that we apply have another magical quality to them so that once we set our intent, amazing things happen.

This is best described in the following quote by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.  You have likely heard portions of this, yet it is the full message that gets to the heart of intentionality.

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back– Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

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