I’ve done a lot of talking about the act of doing in the last few weeks… setting Goals, making them S.M.A.R.T., stretching beyond your normal limits, designing accountability, etc… As important as those elements are toward becoming the best version of yourself the state which you are living is just as important. I like to think of this as your energy. Similar to the energy that it takes for electricity to power things up, cars to run, we as people carry around and are fueled by our own energy that is unique to each of us.
Most commonly defined, energy is the strength and vitality required for sustained physical or mental activity. The gusto that gets you out of the bed in the morning on that damp dreary morning. The excitement that pushes you to take that meeting with your boss or a new investor. The strength to pitch your idea time and time again when it only seemingly only falls on deaf ears. The courage to take risks and try something new.
Physics, however, teaches us that there are many forms of energy. So while we might most commonly correlate chemical or kinetic energy with the act of fueling or moving us to do something, I have come to believe we also possess an internal energy that is a direct reflection who we are and how we show up.
I recently came across a quote that read “your energy introduces you before you speak”. I couldn’t help but think how powerful this “truth” is. I know we are taught as children not to judge a book by its cover but our energy is ubiquitous making it hard to deny. So when someone shows up warm, open and full or life or conversely drained, negative, and down we pick up on it instantly. It’s what powers that instantaneous feeling you have that your work mates are having a good or bad day as soon as you walk thru your office doors in the morning or, the vibe that the person on the other end of your phone call is not feeling well, sad, scared, annoyed, happy, hopeful, etc… even though you aren’t in the same physical space and therefore sets the tone for how you engage with them and show up.
For me this is proof that our internal energy is alive and transparent.
We are all connected in this way so creating awareness around the energy we carry and bring to the world is almost more important than anything else we do. It drives how we see the world and how others see us.
We have all had our experiences with positive and negative energy. You know, that person who seemingly can walk into any space and light up the room simply by being there. You instantly think I need to meet this person and get in on the good mojo they possess. Or on the flip side, that person who sucks the life out of everything they come into contact with. There is no interest in getting to know them or learn more about who they are or what they have going on.
What’s interesting is, that whether we realize it or not, both properties have a powerful effect on those who come into contact with them.
So how do we ensure we don’t become the latter of the two? I’m not sure I have the answer to that question but what I can suggest is getting honest with yourself by asking, how do you show up to life physically and mentally? Are you warm, open, and inviting regardless of circumstance? Or are you more neutral, coasting and reactionary to things on a case by case basis.
Next, where do you derive your energy from? Do you frequently find yourself picking up other people’s baggage? Or carrying around baggage from experiences that no longer serve you? What motivates and inspires you?
Lastly, of the two types of people described above, who do you feel others most associate you with?
Once you start getting clear on these questions you begin to create awareness around the energy you give off and subsequently the energy you let in.
I’d like to think there is a certain amount of energy each of us naturally possess and then there’s the energy we receive from the world around us. Perhaps it’s derived from the company you keep, the environments you find yourself within, the conversations you engage in, etc….
I challenge you to take this week and evaluate what value these experiences bring to your life and what value you bring to them. Do you see room for improvement?
If our energy is as ubiquitous as I mentioned earlier let’s make sure we’re consistently putting our best foot forward.
Remember, if you are not putting the right type and amount of energy into your work and life it’s nearly impossible to accomplish anything you set out to do.