I believe one of my principle ‘reasons for being’ on the planet is to help others.
And the thing I think most helps others is them having more ENERGY.
If we have more energy, then we have more capacity to do awesome stuff.
And to create awesome stuff.
And to be awesome human beings.
So I am fascinated with, and seriously committed to figuring out: HOW CAN WE HAVE (EVEN) MORE ENERGY?
Plus how can we best use it once we have powered up.
Today I will focus on the generation of energy, and then in another article I will talk about the (best) utilization of our energy.
There are 2 principle ways to have the most energy, as I see it.
- Generate more.
- Waste less.
Let’s start with the first.
Way #1 – Generate More Energy
I have written about this a lot, and I think this is the part of the process which is easier to understand (as in most people generally know this), but maybe for some, it is the most challenging to bring into practice.
Unfortunately knowing is not doing.
And the gap between those two can sometimes feel like the Grand Canyon!
Here are some of the main energy generators:
- Putting the most healthy, natural and nutrient-rich fuel into your body. This includes the macro-nutrients (protein, fat, carbohydrates), plus the micro-nutrients (vitamins, minerals, and trace elements), for example.
- Getting plenty of sleep (about 7-9 hours).
- Moving your body (often and consistently).
- Having positive social engagements and personal connections.
- Doing work which is meaningful.
- Spending time in nature (tech free).
- Doing meditation and mindfulness practices.
- Doing specific movement practices which are specifically designed to generate energy like Yoga, Qigong, Tai Chi, and other mindful martial arts.
All of these help you generate power, and for me the TOP 3 are: 1) great nutrition, 2) plenty of sleep and rest, 3) mindful movement.
And now we head to where most people are often most oblivious…
Way #2 – Waste Less Energy
Obviously we waste energy if we eat poorly, sleep poorly, and don’t move our body. No surprises there.
I know you already know that.
The aim is to not to focus on NOT DOING those major 3 energy wasters, but to focus on CROWDING THEM OUT by great nutritional choices, consistent mindful movement and getting quality sleep.
The other energy wasters are a more subtle, and really are the focus of my latest book.
My aim with my book was to highlight areas – which might be in our blind-spot- that are costing us way too much energy, and therefore are robbing us of our productive and creative potential.
Here’s an example of an energy waster (WAY 11) – Going to the wrong person for advice.
We might think that we are making an energy SAVING (and financial saving) by asking a friend or family member for advice on a particular matter that is ailing us. Whether it is personal or professional.
But their advice – if they don’t have real-world experience in that particular topic – might be way off, completely wrong or totally useless and therefore COST you WAY MORE ENERGY than if you took the time to find the right person to help with your situation, and maybe even made a financial outlay up front.
Bad advice can be VERY costly.
As I am sure we all know, personally, or through one degree of separation.
Here is another example of an energy waster (WAY 2), which I have talked about before.
It is the idea of adding more complexity to your life, when there is a low ROI (return on investment) from the added piece.
Often when you are juggling too many things at once, you end of doing all of them poorly, or at best to a mediocre standard.
The shot-gun approach is definitely not the best strategy for the medium to long-term.
Over-complex lives are a huge energy drainer, plus they pull your focus in all directions.
One of the biggest downsides of having less energy is that when we have less energy we are MORE LIKELY to make poor choices, because we don’t have the mental capacity (influenced by the energy available) to see the big picture, to play out consequences in our mind, and to refrain from taking the path of least resistance (aka: the short-term fix).
The formula is simple
If we want to have more energy in life we need to:
- Do MORE of the things that add energy to our tank.
- Do LESS things that waste, leak or drain our energy reserves.
My latest book (which is specific and practical) – 18 Ways That We Make Life WAY Harder Than It Needs To Be – is packed with 18 ways, that we often don’t realize, lead to a significant loss or waste of energy. Check it out.
My Parting word
I think most people are pretty good with an understanding of what ADDS to their energy levels.
But may be a little remiss at what leaks, drains or wastes energy.
And not realizing just HOW MUCH energy they waste, on things that don’t seem like a ‘big deal’.
That is where I come in.
I am that (sometimes) annoying person who is trying to get your attention to make you see what the cost of an action or inaction is really worth.
My clients probably (actually they do), get the shits with me when I keep pointing this stuff out to them.
“Stop doing X, and instead give Y a try.”
Sort of like, IF you find yourself doing X, THEN change it and do Y.
Or what is called an IF-THEN strategy.
That’s all for today.
Apart from reminding you to check out my new book for ways to save energy, so you can be even more creatively awesome.
Have an energy-aware day and a ‘where might I be leaking energy’ kinda week.
See you next week.