This political season has brought the topic of energy to the forefront and this is not about oil, gas or coal. The Donald has accused Jeb Bush of having “low energy” and Dr. Carson of having “super low energy”. The Donald is trying to draw a correlation between personal energy and strong leadership. Many would agree with candidate Trump (independent of his politics) that leaders are expected to bring energy to those around them. But what is personal energy?
We think of personal energy as a combination of mental, emotional, and physical energy. Conventional wisdom tells us to eat healthy, get enough sleep, and exercise. Those actions will increase our energy. But is that enough? Daily life can tap our energy reservoir dry. Some have a hard time mustering the energy to get out of bed and face their daily challenges. Others start the day energized but feel drained by the end of the day. A few are a bundle of energy throughout the day. What is going on here?
First, it is important to recognize that there is a constant energy flow when dealing with our circumstances and interacting with others. Are you giving energy to or taking it from others? Second, we actually have choices on how we spend our energy based on what we do, who we interact with and how we think. You can live in a way that either adds to your energy or depletes it. Many times we expend energy unnecessarily by worrying about things outside of our sphere of influence or beyond what is expected of us. On occasion we interact with “energy vampires” who suck away good vibes by living with a constrained view of what’s possible. You won’t be able to rid your life of all “energy vampires”. You don’t, however, have to make it easy on them. Finally, you can “plug” your personal energy leaks. Learn to be your own best advocate and surround yourself with people who make you feel better about yourself instead of worse. Remember, what you value guides your focus and what you focus on directs your energy.
Your happiness is more important than righting all the injustices of your past and preventing the harms that might never occur in the future. Be energized and be happy.
Pushing the Edge of your Thinking
• What is your energy level first thing each day?
• What or who gives or depletes your energy during the course of the day?
• What can you start or stop doing that will alter your daily energy flow?