Friday Review: Energy

Friday Review: Energy

What energizes you? How energetic do you feel most days? Here are a few related posts you may have missed.

“Energy is contagious: either you affect people or you infect people.”

 

 

 

“A day of worry is more exhausting than a week of work.”

 

 

 

“The best cure for a sluggish mind is to disturb its routine.”

 

 

 

 

I think you should always bear in mind that entropy is not on your side

“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.

EXERCISE:

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

“What’s the best small thing I can do right now?”

—James Clear, Author of Atomic Habits

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.

EXERCISE:

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.”

“It is not the whistle that moves the train.”

D.V. Rangarajan

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.

EXERCISE:

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.”

“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.

EXERCISE:

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?”

“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.

EXERCISE:

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.”

“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?

EXERCISE:

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.”

“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.

EXERCISE:

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?

“Yesterday already had its turn. Give today a shot.”

“Yesterday already had its turn. Give today a shot.”

—Author Unknown

What was yesterday like for you?

Go back 24 hours to see where you were, who you were with, and what you were doing. How would you rate this day compared to most?

What criteria do you use for higher versus lower ratings?

Did you get off to a quick start, keep up your energy and momentum and finish strong, or something less remarkable?

The good news, if you rated yourself high, is that you get to do it again with a few bonus outside the box efforts. The other good news is that even if your yesterday(s) were not so hot, you get to give today another shot.

EXERCISE:

Please consider using one of my favorite quotes by Tuli Kupferberg to guide today and many more of your tomorrows – When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge.

“Electricity is really just organized lightning.”

“Electricity is really just organized lightning.”

—George Carlin, 20th Century American comedian

Image from Unsplash by Lucien Kolly

Imagine early man looking to the night sky during a storm, with all those thunderous bursts of lightning. What wondrous, frightening, and awesome source could generate such power?

As time progressed, great thinkers and scientists saw the potential to harness this power for the benefit of man.

Consider that you, too, are a source of lightning, given your numerous gifts, talents, ideas, and the contributions you’ve made at various points in your life.

How consistently or inconsistently do you experience the flow of energetic expressions of yourself?

EXERCISE:

In what ways can you more fully harness and express your energy and brilliance, to lead a more powerful and electrifying life?