With a hint of regret and a look of disappointment, a client recently revealed that she just doesn’t feel like doing much in the evenings after a day of work.
She was too tired to think, too overwhelmed to see clearly and “…just needed some ‘me’ time to unwind”.
Of course, she’s not alone.
It’s a common malaise of today’s “always on” way for many people – demands continue to rise yet our capacity to meet those demands doesn’t naturally rise along with them. This often leaves us in a deficit of time, energy and enthusiasm for what matters to us outside of work (and many important things in work too).
We would never say it’s what we think, but our behaviour often shows that part of us believes that because technology runs at high speeds, continuously, for long periods of time, then we should to.
Illogical, but the truth for many of us nonetheless.
Is there an alternative? Is it possible to break this cycle?
Of course there is.
Sometimes we just need to slow down long enough to notice, to think and to reset our perspective on where we want our energy to be directed.
The first thing to understand is that unlike machines and technology that run on one or two sources of energy (e.g. electricity, petrol), we humans run on – and need – four sources of energy.
Physical energy is the foundation. It’s the quantity of energy we have on a daily basis directly influenced by sleep, what we eat and drink, and how we exercise (or not). Without physical energy we are fairly useless to ourselves and others.
Emotional energy is the quality of our energy. We are fuelled by our emotions and how we feel profoundly influences how we perform. What’s more, we have much more control over our emotions than we give ourselves credit for.
Mental energy is where and how we direct our energy. Where does your focus tend to go? On big important things that matter most to you? Or on small, but voluminous details and minor things that keep you busy but don’t move you forward and accelerate your success. When it comes to trying to deal with all the things in our lives, it’s easy to fall into the trap of mistaking activity for productivity.
Spiritual energy is simply about having a sense of purpose and being in alignment to that purpose. That doesn’t just apply to the biggest question of all, “What is the purpose of your life?” but even on a daily basis where it’s easy to lose sight of the purpose of many of the things that requires your energy, attention and time. In the UK and other parts of Europe it’s a common expression that something, or an experience, can be “soul destroying” – a cancelled project, a task you’ve been assigned where you don’t see the point of it all, or being overloaded with demands from your boss who doesn’t see that you’re already struggling to keep your head above water.
Within these four dimensions of your energy lies every solution you need to lead a more rewarding, fulfilling, exciting, happier, healthier and purposeful life.
If you are like the thousands of smart, educated and committed people who tend to fall flat at the end of the day, or week, you need to do something differently.
It’s not the way it should be. You must stop tolerating that and seeing it as acceptable.
You should have enough energy at the end of your work day to fully engage in your personal life, friends, hobbies and activities that you enjoy.
It’s how we humans are designed and it’s what you deserve.
So as a starting point, at the end of your day, give yourself a score of 1-10. 1 is you are completely and utterly drained, 10 is you are fully energised. Score yourself on EACH of the four dimensions of energy.
The more accurately you can diagnose where your deficit currently is, the more precisely you can apply the right solution.
Having more energy isn’t just about getting more sleep or putting your feet up.
As my client began to realise, making small changes and creating new habits to expand her energy across the four dimensions creates an upward, positive and sustainable spiral of renewable energy.
Within a matter of days, she felt more energised, more focused, more engaged and more fulfilled.
And perhaps most importantly of all, she reconnected with her inner strength and capacity to take back control of her choices and her life.
Do you regularly find yourself being drained at the end of the day? What would you love to do that you don’t seem to have the energy to do? Leave a comment below and let us know and we will provide suggestions and strategies in upcoming podcasts and blog posts.