The other day, someone described me as the "Energizer Bunny". They meant it as a compliment. :)I like the word energy. It defines something I value and depend upon everyday. Like all of nature, without it, nothing is possible. I don't think of energy as just "the strength and vitality required for sustained physical or mental activity." I like the physical science definitions, such as "the ability to exert pulls or pushes against the basic forces of nature."
As we all know, energy exists in everything and everywhere, but it needs to be focused and contained to be useful. Energy is like intention. We always have it, but do we fully engage it to make a difference?
"No steam or gas drives anything until it is confined. No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated and disciplined." Harry Fosdick
It may be the number one question I get asked. "Where does YOUR energy come from?" I think they ask this because they see my energy as a positive or my energy bugs them. Never sure when I get the question which it is. :) The short answer that I give yields a wry smile, "I get it from my mom and dad!" While true, not a satisfying answer. But I know that the DNA plays a role.
My energy is within me and it drives what I do and who I am. I don't think of energy as a feeling. Do I feel energetic? No, I consider energy a deeper force that defines me, but more importantly, what I do. Never used "5 hour energy", Red Bull, or taken recreational drugs to increase my energy. I do have couple cups o java every morning though. I think energy is all natural.
While we are each unique, each of us has the same potential energy within us.
Renewing, preserving, caring for and investing in your energy sources is as important as it is for our planet's natural energy. It can not be taken for granted. It is so precious.
Energy has to be renewed everyday. Energy does not last. Like eating and exercise, you need to make re-energizing a daily routine.
There are a couple of pre-reqs
- Physical and Fiscal Fitness: Yes, you need to be managing your physical and fiscal fitness and your level of stress. All are factors in your body and mind's ability to do things and to "show up" completely in your life of work and play. So you have to tend to these vital matters because they drain and undermine your energy. They keep you from your focus on what makes you unique and your overall ability to engage and deliver your talents.
- Passion Alignment: Your work and your life have to have good doses of the things you care about. At work, as a volunteer, at church, in your spare time–you have to be engaging your passions.
5 Daily Steps to More Energy:
- Get Inspired: Seek out ideas and stories that give you a reality check on what's important to you. The needs of others is always a good place to start. No shortage of those stories today. Needs remind us of what we have and we have to help others get.
"Any time a thought, sentence, or a paragraph inspires you or opens up your thinking, you need to capture it, like a butterfly in a net, and later release it into your own field of consciousness." Steve Chandler
2. Get Connected: Engage people who can shift your perspective, push you out of your comfy box, and who help you think differently. Look for every opportunity to meet new and reconnect with existing network members. Other people's energy is highly contagious!
"Isolation is our problem, not our lousy attitudes." Barbara Sher
3. Get Others What They Need: The satisfaction of helping others around you is so energizing. It gives you fulfillment, meaning, and energy! Do more than you do now. Volunteer! Go out of your way to assist and you will get a power surge!
4. Get Fun: Life is too short not to enjoy what we do. Get out of the toxic relationships and worlds around you. Get off the negative bandwagon and reinforce the positive.
"Laughter is an instant vacation." Milton Berle
5. Get Going!: Stop procrastinating. Start pursuing what you really want. Talk to your network about how to start or advance what you should be doing.
"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass…it's learning how to dance in the rain." unknown
When you are just going through life without connecting with who you are, what you want to be, and where you want to go, then your energy can be easily sapped. Energy comes from your engagement with your life. The more engaged, enthused, and enriched by your work and your experiences, the less you think about time and regrets. You psych up for things you care about and it energizes you.
If you believe in energy as I have defined it, then the "pushes" and "pulls" of engaging your passions with others is a powerful source of energy. You get bits and bytes of energy by connecting with what's important, with the new, by rediscovering the "old" and by helping others.
Thanks for reading. John