TOTAL LIFE ENERGY – THE ULTIMATE PRICE WE PAY
Turning the impossible into the possible will require an expenditure of energy. Each of us comes to this planet with a limited amount of total life energy. The allotment of time we will have on this earth is equal to our
total life energy. This is all we will have. Every moment we spend, whether having fun, working, worrying, arguing with our mate, complaining, commuting to and from work, or doing errands, is time we trade for our total life energy.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Census, if you are forty-five, you can expect to live thirty-three more years. This is the average total life energy remaining for someone in your age group.
APPROXIMATE TOTAL LIFE ENERGY REMAINING
If you are age forty-five and you spend half your life, or total life energy, on necessary functions such as eating, sleeping, commuting to and from work, and body maintenance, you have approximately 144,637 hours left to experience the things that really bring happiness and fulfillment to your life.
TRADING YOUR TOTAL LIFE ENERGY
Money is something for which you trade your life energy. Every possession has cost you a part of your total life energy. You have literally traded your total life energy for the dollars you earned to buy the things that you have. This is time that you will never be able to get back. That expensive car, house, those expensive clothes and gadgets, all have been traded for your total life energy. For example, if your car payment is $300 per month and you earn a net income of $10 per hour, this means that you must give thirty hours of your total life energy each month just to pay for the car.
WORKAHOLISM – OVER COMMITMENT TO A FALSE END
Working hard is one thing, but being a workaholic is carrying the concept of commitment to the work ethic too far. Workaholics are compelled by outside forces and motivated by fear and guilt. They are constantly anxious, aggressive, and stressed out, and underneath there is even deeper discord as they actually feel inadequate and suffer from poor self-esteem.
Work is their way to avoid the pressures from the outside with a false exhibition of competence. Often, this façade of competence is coupled with the handicap of being obsessed with perfectionism. Perfectionists are driven by their fear of mistakes. This fear of mistakes is intensified by the perfectionist’s fear that others will see their slip-ups, or flaws.
Deep inside, workaholics avoid knowing who they really are, and worse yet, they fear letting anyone else know who they are. They spend much of their time and energy battling against not only mistakes, but also against everything they don’t want, instead of focusing on what they do want. They spend much of their total life energy viewing others as
adversaries to combat or compete against. If they are not the types of workaholic that focuses on combating others, then they are people pleasers, struggling to satisfy everyone else but themselves.
Workaholics are typically not spontaneous, much less creative. Without creativity, they have no dynamics. They replace dynamics with the façade of a workaholic. Being a workaholic is another means by which we misdirect our total life energy.
DO YOU UNCONSCIOUSLY WASTE ENERGY?
We can use up our energy, or we can boost up our energy. It is our own decision to do things with effort or to do things with an attitude of pleasure. This attitude can be present in even the subtlest ways. For example, there is a lady who speed walks every day around my neighborhood, but I notice that she always pounds her feel against he pavement and thrusts her whole body with every step (not with any extra exercise movement, just a hard gait). Her face is always tight, with her eyebrows knitted, and she never smiles or says hello. It seems like she uses a large amount of energy just thinking that she is working so hard during her walking exercise.
After months of this, I saw her doing her walk with another lady companion, who was walking just as fast with an equal amount of physical movement, yet she glided along almost effortlessly by comparison. The second lady seemed to enjoy the exercise and the walk. The difference in attitudes about doing the same exercise was obvious.
Do you ever catch yourself spending more mental energy than you actually need to do certain tasks? Whenever I catch myself getting too intense or involved in something I’m doing, I remind myself to relax and
pace myself, because I’m just using up extra energy with no added benefit. Once I catch myself doing this, I notice how much better I feel and also that I am getting the same thing accomplished with less effort. As an added benefit, I will often find that when I slow down and pace myself, I am more receptive to my creative side, which always gives me ideas how to improve on what I am doing.
Certain emotions can give us energy, rather than sap energy from us. The energy booster emotions listed below are obviously positive emotions. We have been taught to believe that emotions are always interference, something to get rid of, but actually having some feeling give us our zest for life. Negative emotions are the kind that cloud our judgment and drain us of any sense of energy and personal power. The following energy boosters empower us to succeed.
Energy Boosters Energy Sappers
Energetic stamina Used
Creative spirit Fearful
Motivated by values Critical, criticized
Goal/priority oriented Fatigued
Focused intensity Angry, resentful
Hopeful Anxiety, hyperactive
Energy sappers can not only limit positive, creative actions; they can be so draining that they literally cause adverse physical and emotional symptoms to appear. Physically, we can have difficulty sleeping and digesting, have problems with our heart rate, and experience sweating or chronic fatigue. Emotionally, we can have crying episodes, be aggressive, or become emotionally numb. Even the trauma of positive changes can trigger your alarm system to go off.
If our alarm systems are telling us something, then we can turn them around by resolving what set the alarm off, thus switching an energy sapper into an energy booster. For example, anger is a signal that tells us our needs or wants are not being met or that someone or something has violated us (or is not right with us), or that our values and beliefs are being threatened. By resolving the issue, we can eliminate the energy sapper, putting ourselves back to where we want to remain, which is that of the energy booster.
ENVIRONMENT ENERGY SAPPERS
Everything we do involves the management of our energy, how we talk, walk, work, play and relate with others. Relationships are a constant dance of energy. If in a dating scenario someone comes on too strong, the other party automatically pulls back. This even applies to the energy that surrounds us as we stand physically before another. Surely, you have noticed how uncomfortable it feels to have someone get in your face. Perhaps you are aware when you stand too close to someone as you face him or her in a conversation. Everyone has a different comfort zone regarding how close they will let another person stand in his or her space. If someone stands too close, the other will step back a bit
We are an energy field, and being conscious of our energy during our conversations makes us more sensitive to how we come across to others and vice versa. If we would remain in this aware and conscious state, we would probably make fewer errors in our interpersonal relationships. As soon as we allow some kind of energy sapper to throw us off balance, we lose sensitivity and insight. Further, we cut off our ability to make use of our best talents and skills.
Scientists have studied these psychological patterns of our energy ups and downs, calling them ultradian rhythms. It is important to normalize these ultradian rhythms. Of course, you also want to do what ever you can to eliminate the cause of the stress, but our bodies have a bit of a time delay in responding to our state of mind.
If we have been upset, even though later on we resolve the problem, our bodies take a while to catch on to our repaired state of mind. Therefore, the best way to prevent undue physical signs of stress is to quickly get on with shifting our thinking the moment our attitude or feelings go awry.
Other environment energy sappers can be found in the office, at home, or wherever we go. There can be all sorts of noises that disturb the ultradian rhythms more than we may realize. Even if you think you are good at tuning out noises, your body is still being affected.
When I am visiting with someone, whether socially or for business, if the person is allowing a lot of loud noises around us, I will find a polite way to ask them to turn off the radio, TV, or whatever noisy device is going on. I know that even if they think they have turned out he noise, their body, and mine, is being subtly thrown off balance while we are together. Sometimes I realize that the person I am visiting may have been distracted by my arrival and does not realize how disturbing the
noise is. This is why I mention it to them. I believe both of us would feel much better and we would relate more directly and clearly without noise in the background.
The bottom line is that everything we do involves the management of our energy
VALUE YOUR LIFE ENERGY – GET RID OF THE FAT
Scientist say our fat holds toxins in our bodies. This is why we have so much more energy when we lose weight. It is not just because we’re free of the weight of the fat, it is because we are cleansed of toxins. A low-fat diet is now being touted as a way to live a healthy life. It is important to cut the fat not only from our diet, but also from our lives.
In your life, fat represents all of those things you think you need in order to be happy. You will find them everywhere. Most of the fat is the result of the “more is better syndrome.” Thus is based on the belief that inner fulfillment comes from possessions, that emotional discomfort can be alleviated by something external. As a child, satisfaction came from a baby bottle, bicycle, or blue blanket. As an adult, we are often convinced it comes from a bottle of Scotch, a BMW, or a financial security blanket.
Since we will consume a portion of our total life energy for money, we must decide on how that money will be used. There is nothing wrong with having money. The manner in which you earn and spend the money is what really matters here. If you acquired your money doing something you love to do while helping others in the process, the expenditure of your total life energy is in balance. If you spend more than you earned on things you don’t need, or try to buy happiness or impress other people; you are out of balance.
Most of us equate work with earning an income. We assume that if we are not getting paid, we must be playing instead of working. Sometimes play can look like work, and work can look like play. Have you ever heard someone say, “This job is so much fun I don’t feel like I am working?” Can you say this about your job? Of so, you are on purpose.
We usually view any unpaid activity as worth less than a paid activity. There is an almost universal belief that if we are not working for money, building a career, trying to get ahead, we are not fundamentally worthy as people.
To me, money means freedom. Instead of buying things, I use it to buy time. Many years ago I had a wise and wealthy teacher who opened my eyes to the real value of money. He said, “You may have an unlimited amount of money someday, but you will not have an unlimited amount of time. The only way to buy time is to do what you love to do. If you earn money doing what you love to do, you will never work another day in your life and you will have enough money to pay others to do what they excel at.”
He said that instead of painting your own house, fixing your own car, and typing your own letters, find people who have achieved excellence in these areas and pay them to do it, and do it well. By achieving excellence in your chosen field or occupation, you will have more than enough money to pay others to do the things you are not good at. This is buying time. You can either use the time to earn more than you would save by not paying them, or you can use the time you would spend on tasks that you were not good at and did not enjoy to do something you are good at and do enjoy.
This concept has always served me well and has become my philosophy when it comes to money. In business, it is important to figure
out exactly what you can do that no one else can do. Then hire people to do everything else. Your goal in business should be to do only the things you can’t pay others to do.
We are all good at something or can be good at something if we focus our energy on excellence. If we love what we do, we can achieve excellence. Achieving excellence is the key to lifelong prosperity. If you are good at what you do, no matter what the economy, people will always beat a path to your door to hire you or engage your business or services because there are very few people on the planet that are willing to achieve excellence. Truthfully, I can’t even program a VCR. I am not good at a lot of things. I have friends who can do many things, including fix their car, paint their house, and repair their TV. The difference is that, in most cases, it’s a necessity because they have no money.
I love what I do, and by investing my time and energy, I have been able to achieve a level of excellence that provides me with an income to pay others to do what I can’t and don’t want to do. The nice part is that when I hire someone who is good at what they do, they also prosper because, not only are they getting paid and earning a living, but they love what they are doing.
MAKING A LIVING WITHOUT WORKING
Someone once told me that their definition of work is anytime you are do one thing, but would rather be doing something else. For most people work is just that: doing something we don’t want to do to earn money to compensate us for the time spent so that we can do or buy things that will make us happy. To me, happiness is loving what you do and getting someone else to pay you to do it.
When you were a child, you were probably asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” What was your answer? Was it something that came from inside of you that you really wanted, or was it something that you felt the adults wanted you to say? Did you select your college or career path because that’s what you really wanted to do, or did others choose for you?
An important clue to whether you are happy or unhappy lies in the question, “What do you want to be?” More than likely, your answer was not what you wanted to be, but what you wanted to do. This is the reason so many people are unhappy in their jobs and careers. They have confused doing with being. Our identification is tied into what we do rather than who we are. This is why we introduce ourselves as secretaries, doctors, and computer programmers.
If you are working a job, or you are in a relationship with someone, or if you are expending any effort in your life and you are not sure of the benefits you will obtain, you will have great difficulty maintaining the necessary enthusiasm, persistence, and dedication. Freud said, “goals cause frustration and anxiety.” He was against the establishment of specific goals. On the other hand, Viktor Frankl said, “We cannot live without goals, because man’s basic nature is to be goal-oriented.” They were both right. The biggest mistake that people make is aiming too high or expecting too much too soon. Sure, you can have it all, but first you’ve go to reach some initial goals along the way. You can’t be an Olympic ski champion unless you’ve at least learned the basic principles of how to ski.
YOUR PASSION – WHY YOU DO WHAT YOU DO
What motivates you to go to work every day? Is it survival, security, tradition, prestige, power, or success? Is it creativity and fulfillment? The
real problem we face is that we are trading our total life energy every single day. There is nothing in your life more valuable than the time you have left. You cannot put too much attention and importance on the way you invest those moments. Start tracking your life energy. How much are you trading it for right now? Write down the actual cost in time and money to maintain your lifestyle.
Two factors occur when you are doing what you love. One, you are motivated because you are fulfilling your passion, and two, because your work is a pleasure, it seems like you are making a living without working. Your passion for your work inspires your motivation, making the term’s task or work seemingly disappear from your vocabulary.
Rather than allowing ourselves to be motivated by fear, deficiency, and other exterior influences, we can automatically be motivated by the inner drive of our passion, which makes everything we do seem effortless. When our passion is being fulfilled, we put our heart into our work. When we’ve got our heart into it, we are not driven by exterior commitments; we are driven by our own dedication to what we love.
The goal of every individual should be excellence, not perfection. Dean Simonton, the Author of Genius, Creativity and Leadership, indicates that mistakes are a normal part of the process of the geniuses that create excellence: “Great geniuses make tons of mistakes. They generate lots of ideas and they accept being wrong. They have a kind of internal fortress that allows them to fail and just keep going.
Notice the following winning formula:
Ability x Effort = Results
Further note that it does not say
Ability x Perfection = Results
It says effort. Also note that ability is having the wisdom not to waste effort.
Trying out new methods and stretching us beyond whatever our previous limits were opens the door for the dynamics of innovative genius. Little failures, like little deaths, tell us when to change direction. What doesn’t work leads us to new ideas and gives us the opportunity to try them. In the end, we’ll find the better way. Thus, we will be more effective in the long run, and we’ll be even more effective every time we use our new discovery over and over again.
SEVEN WAYS TO BOOST YOUR ENERGY AND MAKE YOUR LIFE WORK FOR YOU
- Focus on your purpose and goals.
- Know that you deserve what you want.
- Be true to yourself.
- See the possibilities.
- Continuously build your support base of people and resources.
- Believe that you are the creative director of your life.
- Just do it. Stop procrastinating.