The Law of Diminishing Intent: Destroying Businesses and Personal Inspiration Everywhere
Some call it procrastination. Others call it hesitation or fear. But the great Jim Rohn described it better than any man I’ve ever heard. He called it ‘The Law of Diminishing Intent’, and it is something that literally affects every business owner and entrepreneur throughout the world every day.
But before we discuss this topic in a little more detail, take 90 seconds out of your life and watch this video. It’s Rohn discussing this powerful law and his eloquence deserves a listen….plus the guy is much smarter than me. Here ya go: Video Has Been Removed From YouTube.
It happens to all of us. We get an idea. It makes us smile. It makes us feel invigorated. We feel inspired and we know there is no way it won’t work…………
That is, until, DOUBT sets in. Yep, that dirty word destroys inspiration quicker than you can blink an eye. One second you feel an idea is meant to be and just a few moments later your telling yourself every reason why it WON’T work. Ever happened to you?
Our Greatness Within
I personally believe in the power of inspiration. I believe that each and every one of us has greatness within, just waiting to come out and benefit the world. In this, we are all equals.
Where we are not all equals is in our ability to listen to and have faith in our promptings. In fact, I’d say that one’s ability to listen to and follow the inspiration they receive on a daily basis is the most important factor in attaining true happiness in this life. Allow me to share an example.
A Choice Experience
I had quite a bit going on in my life in the year 2000. I’d been home from serving as a missionary in Chile for 2 years and had just married my wonderful wife, Nikki. During this time, I had reconvened my studies at West Virginia University and was busy with a full-time class schedule as well as working 20-30 hours a week as a waiter to support our little family while my wife worked as well. And to top it all off, months into our marriage, Nikki and I found out we were expecting our first child. Yep, a lot was going on.
But it was also during this time that I felt a strong prompting. You see, my time as a missionary in Chile was laced with unique and life-changing experiences. And as I looked back on these incredible events, I more and more felt inspired to write about them. My thought was that if they changed my life, maybe they’d change the life of others.
But like any inspired thought, doubt accompanied my excitement. How could I pull it off? How could I find the time to write while balancing marriage, college, work, and the rigors of adding a new member to the family? Needless to say, there were plenty of reasons to ‘put off’ my prompting and save the book until after college.
Ideas Are Like the Seasons
But that’s now how inspiration works. Just like the seasons, ideas and inspiration come and go freely, waiting to be taken by anyone who will give them heed. So despite all the reasons I had not to write a book (along with the fact that writing was something I’d never been good at), I decided such a project couldn’t wait. I’d simply have to make it work.
To make a long story short, over the next 12 months I worked almost daily on my manuscript. After much sacrifice, late nights, and dedication, the manuscript was complete. It was ready to be sent out to publishers. There was light at the end of the tunnel.
But as I soon found out, just writing a manuscript in some ways is the easy part to having a book published. Having a publisher actual agree to its printing—well that’s a whole new ball game.
The Roller-Coaster Ride Begins
I sent the manual out to various publishers over a few month period. Finally, after checking the mail every day for weeks upon weeks, I got my first answer back from a publisher. Eagerly and with hands shaking, my wife and I opened the letter together.
It was at this moment I found out that just because an idea feels inspired, doesn’t mean that everyone else will share in your enthusiasm. In other words, the publisher thanked me for my submission but said they were 'not interested in the work at this time'.
This feeling of disappointment would be felt at least a half a dozen more times over the following weeks, each time bringing with it more frustration and a feeling of failure. Despite these ‘failures’ though, I kept trying, kept believing in the inspiration I had received over a year beforehand.
But then one day everything changed. Upon opening another letter from a publisher and expecting another kind rejection, I was thrilled to read they had accepted the manual and were willing to publish it.
Needless to say, my joy was full.
Today, I look back on this experience with fondness. It taught me countless lessons but none more important than the need we have as human beings to trust in and follow the inspiration we all at times receive.
The Power of NOW
So like Jim Rohn admonishes, don’t let your ideas fall by the wayside. Don’t wait to buy that book. Don’t put off calling that person any longer. Start writing that article you know is just waiting to leave your finger tips.
Strike while the iron is hot. Now, now, now is the time to change your future. Now is the moment to listen to your that wonderful gift of inspiration we’ve all been given.
As always, your comments and questions are very much invited and appreciated.
About Marcus Sheridan
In late 2009, Sheridan started his sales, Marketing, and personal development blog—The Sales Lion. He has since grown its brand to be synonymous with Inbound and Content Marketing excellence while being featured in multiple industry publications, including the New York Times where he was referred to as a “web Marketing guru.” Today, when Sheridan isn’t giving riveting and passion-filled keynotes around the globe or consulting with businesses and brands, he generally finds himself on an adventure with his wife and 4 children.