Over the past month we have explored success via legs of the table of TIME (Tenacity, Intentionality, Message, and Energy) and the change in mindset required to move from “I need more time” to “TIME is on my side.” Energy is the catalyst that builds and the glue that holds the table together.
Be sure to read TIME (Part 4): Your Message.
What kind of energy do you bring to your life, to the things that are important to you, and to those around you? Your answer to this question, and the enthusiasm and passion with which you express it, is the energy that forms the final leg of the table of TIME. You need to bring energy, and the right kind of energy, to your desired goals, priorities and relationships to make them a reality. Merely showing up, going through the motions, or working more is never the answer. In fact, this method often saps the very energy one needs to achieve success. Let’s look at Energy in more depth.
In their book, The Power of Full Engagement, Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz proclaim that most of us are chasing the wrong resource: hours in the day. Instead, we should focus on something entirely different: our energy.
According to Loehr and Schwartz, our energy can be broken down into 4 different elements:
• Your physical energy – how healthy are you?
• Your emotional energy – how happy are you?
• Your mental energy – how well can you focus on something?
• Your spiritual energy – why are you doing all of this? What is your purpose?
The order in which these four energy types appear is not random. Loehr and Schwartz give them this specific order to guide us through developing our energies in the right way.
Your physical energy – how healthy are you?
Your physical energy naturally serves as the base. It is going to be very tough to build out your other energies without taking care of your body first. Generally, however, physical energy is the most discounted element in our day-to-day lives. What are you doing to build and sustain your physical energy?
Your emotional energy- how happy are you?
Emotional energy is an aliveness of the mind, a happiness of the heart, and a spirit filled with hope. Emotional energy has a specific feel. It’s a sense of being up, happy, forward-looking, resilient, optimistic, and in touch with the creative, generous, hopeful self. Emotional energy means you can ride out any storm. Emotional energy is what we need to keep going happily and hopefully through all the difficulties and opportunities life has to offer. Is this a description you would want for yourself? What would it take to make this a reality?
Your mental energy- how well can you focus on something?
Mental energy is our ability to focus. Sir Julian Huxley defines mental energy as “the driving force of psyche, emotional as well as intellectual.” In fact, numerous studies over the past 25 years have found mental effort/energy can be measured in terms of increased metabolism. The issue today with mental energy is that everyone views multitasking as a necessity in light of all the demands they face, but multitasking actually undermines productivity. Uninterrupted focus for 60-90 minutes, taking a break, then starting the next task is shown to be far more productive. Creating rituals or processes to reduce interruptions and enable concentration is the key to focus and mental energy. Are you creating rituals or processes that focus your mental energy?
Your spiritual energy- Why are you doing all of this? What is your purpose?
Spiritual energy is the clear, clean, loving, energy that allows things to exist and thrive. Loehr and Schwartz say “it is the most powerful source of our motivation, perseverance and direction – the connection to a deeply held set of values and a purpose beyond our self-interest.” Spiritual energy is sustained by balancing a commitment to others with commitment to self.
We now know the elements of energy and the role they play in our lives. It’s having fuel in your tank for doing what you have to do and what you want to do. It’s being able to go the extra mile. It’s having a lot to give. It’s not feeling like you have to push yourself.
Success is about TIME (Tenacity, Intentionality, Message, and Energy)! It is about defining a compelling vision, understanding how each piece can act as a catalyst or derailer in a successful career, and implementing a plan of action. Each leg of the table of TIME contributes to the foundation that allows you to move you or your organization to “TIME is on my side.” Yes, it is!
What will you do today to make this happen?
For more inspirational articles from Dan Sheedy, check out Performance Thinking with Dan Sheedy here.