I have a confession to make. I am pretty ashamed of it, but I have to admit…I am a reality TV show junkie. I love Amazing Race, Biggest Loser, Cops, Dancing with the Stars, etc. These programs show human interaction and makes a good study of how people react under different circumstances. Probably my favorite is Survivor. Survivor combines beautiful scenery, harsh conditions and I believe the biggest prize available in reality TV, $1,000,000.
Last night was the final show of this season’s Survivor. Boston Rob Mariano won the $1,000,000. This was Rob’s third time on Survivor. If you haven’t seen it before contestants are dropped in a secluded spot somewhere usually in the tropics. They are divided into teams (tribes). The tribes compete against each for food, other rewards and the opportunity not to have to pick one of their numbers to leave. This attrition happens throughout the game until there is only one left who gets the title of sole survivor and wins the money.
Rob got to go through three times because he had played the game very well before, but never achieved the sole survivor status. Now this season probably will go down in series history because Boston Rob, completely mastered his fellow contestants. He had complete control of his tribe from the beginning and led them to victory after victory. He then played the rules of the game until he was there at the very end.
Rob is a polarizing figure. Many criticized his playing style by not being nice enough or his use of other players to further himself.
I am not gong to get into what ethics or integrity are. The point to take away from Boston Rob’s victory is intent. From the very beginning Rob stated his intent was to win the game in order to provide for his wife and children. He didn’t talk about being a role model, playing by a higher set of rules, finding himself or proving anything to anyone. His intent was to win.
What is Your Intent?
Intent is important to have in your mind. With single minded focus on your intent, a mechanism will become clear. Rob talked about a the beginning of the game he was worried because he knew that the other contestants would be afraid of him due to his prior experience. He focused on his intent and it became clear to him that he could show usefulness to the other tribe mates through his experiences of living in primitive conditions. A liability became an asset through intent.
Rob did not have competing commitments to other reasons for coming on the show. His intent was to win to provide for his wife and children. He knew exactly what he had signed up for with the Survivor rules. The idea was to move ahead in the game and eventually win it. All moves within the game led to this.
Other contestants wrestled with concepts of duty, friendship, desire for comfort and desire for self image. All of these led to a mistake where they were voted out of the game. I am not making a valuee judgment on Rob’s play but it was according to the rules that they all signed up to before they started.
Boston Rob did not just play a superb mind game. He won several challenges and put on a strong fight for others. In one challenge, despite severe leg cramps and heat exhaustion Rob won the challenge. I have had leg cramps from heat exhaustion myself and they are almost crippling. Rob’s ability to drive through them came from the strong focus on his intent.
Intent is the Key
What I take out of Rob’s victory:
Know the rules before you start to play. If you don’t like the rules, don’t play the game.
Know the reason why you want something. This is what makes your intent your overriding focus.
Finally focus everything on achieving your intent. Mechanisms will become available if the intent is strong enough.
Don’t allow competing commitments to intrude and make you vulnerable.
Leave a comment about how you are going to focus your intent.