I reflected on this short conversation later in the day. His words were a double-edged sword. On one hand, most people would agree that it is good to do new things, to challenge yourself, and to forge onwards. On the other, it is also the kind of thing you say about poorly behaved children, “Oh my, they have a lot of energy, don’t they?”
There is only a limited time in each day. I want to get the most out of it. Focusing my attention on what is truly important is hard. There is a constant barrage of interruptions: the phone keeps ringing, the emails keep coming, and the to-do screams my name. The interruptions can be managed but I also struggle because my energy fluctuates during the day. Sometimes I feel really energetic and maybe even able to leap tall buildings and other times I feel foggy and drained and not even able to remember something I just read. This is where energy journaling comes in.
There are times of the day that my energy is naturally higher. I am a morning person and I have all sorts of electric vibes from 6am-11am. At around 3pm I am not much good for anything but a quiet coffee. I pick up again around 7:30pm but it is short lived and at 8:30pm I might as well call it a day. But these are not the only energy fluctuations.
My energy can be affected by who I spend time with. Some people get me excited and help build my confidence and other people diminish my resources and leave me empty. Places can do that too. I love a warm coffee shop to boost my mood but stuffy office cubicles make it really hard for me to tap into my enthusiasm. And finally there are tasks or activities that can leave me bolstered or blue. Surfing Facebook is a sure trip to the doldrums but listening to my music or doing some yoga lifts me up and renews me.
I had to keep an energy journal for a while to get clear on all of this...activities, times of day, people and places. It is simple enough. Check out an Energy Journal template here.
If we can not only tap into our naturally energetic times of the day but also shift our energy through our activities, company, or location, we can make more of our moments. I want to make the most of mine and I want that for you too.
The “little engine that could” had to be fueled by something. Was it peanut butter and banana sandwiches, coffee, or chocolate? Maybe. Or was it friendships, personal certainty, or spiritual enlightenment? No matter what his fuel was, he managed to summon the courage and determination to do what seemed impossible.