Few would regard Sachin Tendulkar or A R Rahman as being particularly intense people. They come across as mellow personalities, dedicated to their craft and staying clear of drama or controversy. Yet the truth is that it is their intense devotion to their art that has resulted in the colossal body of work each one has created over the past twenty odd years. We tend to look at intensity as a personality trait. Intense people are regarded as moody, passionate, dramatic, whatchamacallit. Intensity is a tangible quality or so most people believe. It's hard to believe that someone with a quiet demeanor and/or who speaks little can feel intensely about anything.
Such a misunderstood quality is intensity.
Intensity is a quiet fire that loses no energy in talk or drama. Intensity is a steady drive, focused and attentive. Intensity is a state of 100% devotion to one's art, craft, work. Truly intense people waste no time trying to convince others about their art and point of view. They just get on with their work. Intensity may lie hidden for years, never revealing itself to the regular observer.
Previously I would never have called myself an intense person. However, I cannot deny that all that I have in my life today owes itself in no small part to intensity. I studied civil engineering between the years 1996 and 2000. I worked in the field of software and information technology starting year 2000 until 2009. Yet what I have in my life today is neither an IT job nor an engineering one. What I do have is Sanskrit, a language I was introduced to in 1991. I learned it for three years and then stopped. But today Sanskrit is back in my life, and surprise of surprises, I remember almost all of what I learned 20 years ago. I may have forgotten the fundamentals of civil engineering and software development but I remember the basics of Sanskrit as if they are engraved in my mind. Intensity must have a part to play in this phenomenon.
Yoga and meditation have become the very basis of my existence. Today I view my life and the world through the lens of wisdom and knowledge. It is not even an active choice any more; it has become my way of life in the most natural way possible. This could have never happened without intensity.
So intense, so intense… but you would never guess it.