Recently I added some insulation to the crawlspace of our house. The leaking of heat in winter and conditioned air in summer are examples of lost energy.
There are plenty of areas in life where we lose energy. We can insulate these areas and save valuable energy instead. It starts with mindfulness as it’s easy to miss an insulation gap between the floor joists of life.
Here are a few common instances:
- Situations over which you have little/no control – don’t give your energy to these. ie. memed political post tempts you to share? Think about how many others’ energy will be wasted as they analyze the same. This doesn’t solve anything. A letter or phone call to your representative would be much more beneficial.
- Toxic relationships – these can come back over and over if you don’t make peace with them. Write the forgiving letter, make the phone call or break up with someone from your past who continually tries to pull you down.
- Excessive TV and social media – massive mental processing energy spent surfing channels or scrolling endlessly through social media. Limit your consumption and be purposeful. Setting calendar times for social media or DVR-ing a show can save tons of mental energy!
- Procrastination – can drain you so fast. Not only do you end up thinking about the task over and over; but, by not taking a small action step and getting started, delay forms a pattern of delay and makes starting even harder. Every time you get an assignment or take on a task, complete a small action item immediately. Then spell out the next small step so you can plug right back in.
- Bad habits – we all have our nemesis. This is the habit will-power has proven time and time again to be insufficient against. Get vulnerable. Ask someone for help. Be accountable and take steps to overcome hand in hand with a coach or accountabuddy.
Your energy and vibrance in life can be spent doing so much good. Save it from leaking out and being wasted in meaningless energy drains. Insulate today!
Do you remember Y2K? The predictions? The run on the stores and shortage of milk, bread and other necessities?
I remember my brothers building an entire room of train batteries, backup generators, power inverters and solar panels.
Like many, we considered our energy sources should a large-scale power outage happen.
Power outages happen in life, too. We wake up sick or just feel off kilter some days. Perhaps a super-busy, stressful stage of life pulls more energy than we’re used to expending.
Considering your sources of energy is critical because there are healthy and unhealthy sources.
5-Hour Energy shots are not a great choice, unfortunately. Not knocking them, Monster or Red Bull per se. Grandma always said, “If it comes easy it’s probably not worth it.”
Quick fixes aren’t going to give lasting energy. When the power outage strikes, we could light the house by setting it aflame. Light and warmth would result – for a short time.
Lasting energy starts with the right sources:
- Proper amount of rest (different for everyone. Saying no to TV and not staying up too late pay huge dividends).
- Picking some positive, motivational reading, listening and viewing sources (still should be limited as information overload can actually hamper application to our lives).
- Exercise (increases blood flow to the brain, strengthens your lungs and heart and releases natural feel- good chemicals in your body.
- Proper nutrition (so much to say here. Visit Dr. Josh Axe for so much more. Eating less and better is an over simplification but the evidence is overwhelming this would benefit our fast-paced, fast-food society in amazing ways.
- Taking time to help others (even a simple smile, calling a waitress by name, paying it forward or giving a hug will crank up the generator inside of you).
- Taking time to plan and write down goals and to-do lists (allows you to focus on the present and actions important to moving you forward).
- Reflecting (whether you journal, pray or just sit quietly before bed, reflecting on the day allows your brain to defrag and also cognitively think through how you did).
Grab one thing that stood out to you above and slowly, gradually and consistently work on getting some quality energy sources hooked up to your “house.”
If we’re not careful, we can catch ourselves thinking outside-in instead of inside-out. That’s right. We want to change the world so we get right to work…
We quickly share the negative political post because, yes, a lot of politics are messed up; and through frustration, our emotions are triggered, and we respond.
We talk about the downfalls or negatives of others instead of looking inside at what we should change. It’s so much easier to “point out” than to “work on.”
Stephen Covey wisely differentiated two catagories of people.
Proactive people focus on their Circle of Influence (things they can change and influence like themselves, their children, their environment, their responses, etc).
Reactive people focus on their Circle of Concern (things they have little-to-no control over like politics, others, the weather, etc).
So, when the next politically-biased post pops up or the gossip-filled text buzzes in, I’m committing to use the emotional trigger to take an inward look and spend my response to text encouragement, or share a positive thought.
Remember the advice to draw a circle around yourself and change everyone in that circle! World changers do this and all the circles their circle touches are better for it!
Simply reacting to life and living in the Circle of Concern drains so much time and energy – sucks it right out of you! Run to the Circle of Influence! Start with you. Change the world from the inside- out!
Be kind! I vividly remember Mom’s frequent reminder – commandment is more like it! With five brothers, things could get ugly quickly.
My idea of “kind” was to be kind of kind. As long as they showed kindness, I would reciprocate.
However, the urban dictionary hits the definition spot on: “Kindness is doing something and not expecting anything in return…it implies kindness no matter what.”
Kindness stems from a belief in others. A deep love for our fellow man. It’s no surprise the apostle Paul says, “Love is kind.”
Kindness is an act that’s so freeing! Unlike my childhood understanding of the term, true kindness eliminates expectations!
Like rays of sunshine energize the universe, unfettered kindness energizes the giver and receiver! Not kind of kind but whole-hearted kindness!
How different would our marriages be if we’d truly be kind? What would they say about us at our places of employment if we’d work with kindness in our hearts? Think of the difference and impact we’d make!
Reach out a hand of true kindness this Valentine’s week. Be intentional with acts of kindness not expecting anything in return. Watch what happens…
Has this argument ever occurred between your kids? Two of them want the one red bowl for breakfast. You step in and resolve the issue with an awesome orange bowl.
They didn’t think it was that awesome. The result was tears or a grumpy attitude. Maybe this same scenario has happened between adults over choice of restaurant or between students over a parking spot.
Life is full of changing expectations. Our minds tend to react with negative thoughts when these changes aren’t in our favor. These thoughts trigger reactions which affect our mood. Our mood sets the tone of our life.
Some negative thoughts are healthy like standing back from the clift’s edge, slowing down in the rain, etc.
However, shift quickly to the positive outcome. I’m slowing down and going to be safe. I’m staying a healthy distance from the edge so I can enjoy the gorgeous waterfall!
With my kids, I make sure to acknowledge their pain but quickly point out the happiness they’re creating in their sibling and that “give and it shall be given” is an irrefutable, divine law. They’ll get a turn to use the red bowl. We then turn to discover the beauty of orange and talk about how all colors make life beautiful.
Coffee too sweet? It’s ok. Laugh! Someone cut you off in traffic? It’s ok. Smile. Someone yells at you? Bite your tongue. Smile. Let them know you hear them and appreciate their feedback.
It takes concentration and practice, but the great news is, YOU can choose positive thoughts when expectations change!
Positivity doesn’t start externally, it starts inside of you. Our brains are phenomenal! Billions of neurons are triggered simply evaluating a complex situation.
We can intentionally stimulate these neurons with positive signals! Use your greatest asset – the brain – to work for you to look for the positives in everything!
Create positive signals no matter the situation! Watch your mindset change and become the generator of positive energy in your life!