When we feel burned out and depleted sometimes we need to plug into a new source of energy that renews and restores. Resting is only one available option.
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Clint Patterson
When was the last time you experienced burnout or a significant state of energy depletion?
To what degree was this experience physical, mental, emotional, or even spiritual?
Beyond our frequent default of resting, what other ways have you discovered to plug in to a different energy source when your get up and go is gone?
Imagine you were a vehicle with four separate fuel tanks labeled physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
How might tapping into another tank when your current tank points to “E” be a hidden source of renewal you’ve never considered?
Consider checking out the book The Power of Full Engagement for other ways to manage similar situations when you are out of gas.
“Compassion compounds, giving grows, when you put positive energy into the world, you inspire others to pay it forward.”
—Jay Shetty, Purpose Coach, Former Monk, NYT Bestselling Author
Image from Amazon
During my pharmaceutical career with The Upjohn Company between 1981 and 1992, we went through a TQM (Total Quality Management) initiative. As part of our efforts, we were requested/required to read the book Zapp — The lightning of Empowerment by William C Byham PhD and Jeff Cox. The intent was to inspire and create a culture of quality, productivity, and exceptional employee engagement.
The fictitious company in the book produced a product called a normalator, with which we are amusingly introduced to all sorts of Zapping (positive) and Sapping (negative) behaviors that uplift or squash people’s spirits.
Notice the zapping and sapping energies and behaviors that occur throughout your day in your personal and professional efforts.
Where and how can you pay forward the positive qualities that energize and inspire others to do the same?
“I think you should always bear in mind that entropy is not on your side.”
—Elon Musk, entrepreneur, investor, and business magnate
Image from Unsplash by Ravi Patel
I’ve recently noticed more and more people in my communities simplifying their lives as they age. Entropy causes both people and things to fall apart, and it takes considerable energy and effort to keep things in working order. With this in mind and with the hands of time always turning, we get to choose where to focus our energies to keep our most essential life elements going and slow entropy’s inevitable victory.
What essential infrastructure projects in your life are getting the most attention and energy? Where do the issues of health and quality relationship stand on your list of priorities? What other areas are most important to maintain in good working order for as long as possible?
“What’s the best small thing I can do right now?”
Image from Unsplash by Photos by Lanty
How energetic do you feel? What levels of energy and vitality do you experience throughout your typical day? What do you notice about your general energy during each season of the year?
What are your levels of productivity and overall life satisfaction as you ponder these questions?
Generally, winter is a time of lower energy for many of us. Darker days and colder temperatures have us seek comfort and much of our get up and go wants to go back to bed.
What do you notice about the relationship between activity and productivity now that winter has passed? Most of us feel greater satisfaction and a sense of overall well-being when we are getting things done.
Free yourself today from any grand plans and monumental tasks.
Simply look at the best small thing you can do right now and repeat as often as you wish.
“It is not the whistle that moves the train.”
Image from Unsplash by Balazs Busznyak
When was the last time you heard the whistle of a train? What thoughts, emotions, and memories do you have from the past about trains?
A few that come to mind for me are:
- Watching movies about the wild west as a kid
- Taking the elevated train into the city
- Playing with toy trains with my friends
- Taking the Cog Railroad up Mount Washington
- Riding Thunder Mountain countless times at Disney World
- Waiting at railroad crossings and counting the cars as they passed, wondering when the train would end
For many of us, trains represent a special form of transportation that take considerable energy and work to move people and things from one place to another. Trains don’t just whistle and stand still. The sound of the whistle lets you know something hopefully good is coming or going your way.
In what ways do or can you offer a whistle or other signal to let others know that you back up your words with significant levels of locomotion?
“Energy creates energy. It is by spending myself that I become rich.”
—Sarah Bernhardt, 20th Century French stage actress
Image from Unsplash by Sharon McCutcheon
How do you plan to spend your day? How did you spend yesterday? How energetic have you been feeling lately?
I like the idea that through the act of spending we can actually become rich. If the adage “It takes money to make money” has truth behind it, perhaps to spend our energies wisely and actively we can create a life of greater abundance and good fortune as well.
A good place to begin may be with our awareness of our level of vitality and to augment our strategies to both store and release our energies with greater intention and generosity.
Take some time today to examine your current approaches to nutrition, exercise, and rest as three places to look to augment and maximize your energy levels. A resource I recommend often is Chris Johnson’s book On Target Living. Please reply to this post on how you plan to pursue a richer more energetic life.
“Is this necessary?”
—Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor from 161 to 180
How often do you feel or hear yourself telling others that you are busy, slammed, and overwhelmed with all the demands of life? How often do you ever get to the bottom of your to-do list with energy left over to spend as you wish?
We all crave some wiggle room and respite in our days to recharge, renew, and even play. Many don’t let themselves play until all the work is done — and it rarely is.
Write the question, “Is this necessary?” on a few post-it notes places in strategic spots at home and at work. Now capture all those past to-do items that end up your ‘to-don’t-do” list. Share this list with others to support your new intentions and accountability.
“Find the Energizers.”
—Erika James, Dean at the Wharton School
Image from Unsplash by Federico Beccari
What comes to mind when you think about energy?
Where do you look when it comes to outside sources?
The source at the top of my list is our sun, which makes life possible for many reasons. Beyond its miraculous properties which include supporting photosynthesis, powering our weather, and helping us produce vitamin D, its mere presence each morning is often the starter gun that kicks off our days.
As we head into winter in the northern hemisphere, the levels and duration of sunshine decrease, which can frequently reduce our own levels of energy and vitality. What do you do to remain fully charged and energized?
Make a list of all the energizing strategies you can think of. Talk with friends, family members, and others in your personal and professional communities about their best ideas.
Take particular note of which of these special people energize your world the most with their sunny personalities.
“Lovely days don’t come to you. You should walk to them.”
—Jalāl ad-Dīn Rūmī, 13th-century Persian poet
Image from Unsplash by Bob Canning
The term snowbird was first applied to humans in the early 1900s, to describe northern laborers who flocked down south to work as the cold, harsh winter set in up north.
Today, northerners of all kinds – including vacationers and retirees – are migrating south as the first frost arrives, to experience more lovely warm days.
Rumi surely wasn’t referring only to the weather. Perhaps he wanted all of us to look around – and deeper within – to determine exactly what a lovely day means, and just how much influence we have to create our own weather, wherever we happen to be.
What are some additional ways you can use your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual energies to walk or even run toward far more lovely days in the future?