Do You Know the Hidden Energy Killers in Your Life?By Homaira Kabir
“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug,” wrote Mark Twain in The Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain. So too with a life full of energy and a life where we simply go through the actions every day.
We've all experienced both—days when our energy knows no bounds and days where we would rather be left alone to do nothing. Although it's natural, even beneficial, to have moments where we take a break from life in order to make sense of it, it's often the failure to fuel ourselves with the right energy and manage it effectively throughout our day that leads to inertia and the wasting of moments.
Performance psychologist Jim Loehr differentiates energy by quality and quantity. Quantity does not always guarantee results. In fact it could even lead to burnout. Quality, on the other hand, is energy that draws from multiple sources and allows us to show up fully in life.
What are these sources of energy? How do we unknowingly drain them? And what can we do to keep them flowing steadily? Science has the answers.
If you consider energy as a pyramid, physical energy is the layer at the very bottom. It's what we have in common with all other living organisms. Without it, no other source of energy can keep us functioning optimally. Are we managing it right?
Up until a mere 100 years ago, humans slept an average of 10 hours every night. Today, most of us are not even getting the 7-9 hours that are recommended to keep our bodies functioning well. By setting a daily bedtime routine, creating a calming evening ritual and shutting off technology an hour before bed, we can allow our body and brain to stay alert and active.
Our lives today are marked by inactivity. The latest research shows that a daily half hour at the gym cannot offset the harm caused by a sedentary lifestyle. Instead, we need to distribute small amounts of activity throughout the day. Taking the stairs instead of the escalator, parking the car a couple of blocks away from our destination, and simply getting up to stretch and take a little walk every 90 minutes are some of the best ways to get our energies flowing.
Human beings are emotional creatures—our emotions direct our thoughts and actions. Hence emotional energy is essential to optimism, motivation and engagement with life. And yet, we're not always aware when we're wasting it needlessly!
In his acclaimed book,