During our last team meeting, Shauna and I decided that we spend a little time and spread some love to our clients, past and present. If they were so moved, they could give us a testimonial. Good business practice, right? And, it’s so lovely to reconnect with people we haven’t talked to in a while.
I called five of my clients and told them how much I loved them. Then, I asked, “What is it that you like about working with me?”
Five out of five answered the same way, “It’s your energy. I like being around you. Your energy is contagious.”
My energy seems to be enough. It seems to be…extraordinary. I’ve built a career on being a person that brings energy, instead of sucking the life out of everyone around me. I hope that I also bring some sound business counsel to the relationship, and subsequent questions assured that I have been helpful, thank you very much. However, this energy thing got me thinking.
1. The strength and vitality required for sustained physical or mental activity. "Changes in the levels of vitamins can affect energy and well-being."
Synonyms: vitality, vigor, life, liveliness, animation, vivacity, spirit, spiritedness, verve, enthusiasm, zest, vibrancy, spark, sparkle, effervescence, exuberance, buoyancy, sprightliness.
2. Power derived from the utilization of physical or chemical resources, especially to provide light and heat or to work machines.
In the trades, we often focus on the second definition. For now, let’s dig into the first. Some people seem to have more vitality and life force than others. I have a lot.
I don’t always wake up sunshiny and enthusiastic, however I usually do. I am naturally optimistic. And, I discipline myself to be happy, and to do things that make me feel good. The best way I can describe “being energetic” is having the mental, physical and spiritual fuel to do what I want to do.
Energy is not the same as personality. I’m a big fan of Flag Page Personality Mapping (www.FlagPages.com). This program helps you create a “flag” that lets you see how you succeed in life, what motivates you and how you’re different from others around you. You can use DiSC tests (www.DiscTests.com) in a similar way. Your personality is the sum total of your characteristics, the qualities that make you…you. Everyone has aspects of dominance, influence, steadiness and conscientiousness. That mixture is your personality.
Start noticing the energy of people you see on TV and meet in person. Some give off a powerful quiet energy. Gandhi emanated force, with the stillness of a mountain. The Dahlia Lama’s joyful, childlike energy fills the space wherever he is. Jim Carrey explodes into a room with wild abandon. How we radiate energy comes from our unique personalities.
There is an art and practice to managing and maintaining energy. It takes a while, but I will run out of energy. I got sick a few weeks ago. It was the first time I was prescribed antibiotics in 15 years. I had traveled a ton, was training for a marathon, and I wore myself out. Exhaustion and illness can be lovely reminders that you need to take care of yourself. We all know folks – maybe you – who are sacrificing their health for their business. Let’s not do that.
Better to refill the tank before it gets to empty. The very good news is that we are energy generators. The first law of thermodynamics says that energy cannot be created or destroyed. However, we can collect energy from the unlimited source of all there is. Neat, right? It takes a little discipline to stop when we are running low on fuel. Following are my favorite ways to magnetize energy.
Think about, talk about, and take action on things that make you feel good. Don’t ignore your intuition. If it feels bad, don’t do it.
Breathe. In and out. Ahhhh. When I am stressed, I hold my breath. A few deep breaths relieve stress and increase oxygen. Focusing on your breath puts you in the here and now, and allows you to reboot.
Meditate. I took an online class, twice, to help me learn to meditate and quiet my noisy mind. There are techniques that you can learn and use to calm down and recharge. For most of us, this does not come naturally.
Consider the present moment. Do what’s in front of you. Pay attention to the people you are with. So much stress is created by fussing over the past or worrying about the future.
Stretch. Stand up and reach for the sky. Bend over and touch your toes. Your spine moves in six directions. Explore the full range of motion. It feels great and gets the blood flowing.
If you are hungry, eat something real and wholesome. It just takes a little awareness to skip the candy bar and reach for an apple.
Use a wireless headset. It has a 50 meter range from the base, which is on my desk. That means I can sit or stand at my desk, get a drink in the break area, walk around the building, water plants, and pluck a weed from the garden and still answer the phone. Liberating and energizing.
Walk the dog or pet the cat. Animals are master energy teachers. Notice how your dog can go from sound asleep to a flat out run when you say, “Let’s go for a walk!” Dogs recharge and spend energy perfectly. And cats, wow, watch them move and inspire your yoga practice.
Limit the news. How about a once a day – mid day – check two or three news websites. Get informed, and move on. Obsessing over bad news sucks energy. Don’t watch news first thing in the morning or last thing at night. Use those times to fill your mind with positive thoughts, read inspiring books, or empty your mind with meditation. I have a friend who, first thing, finds funny videos so that he can start every day laughing.
Volunteer to help someone else. Nothing magnifies gratitude and energy like helping someone out. Selflessness is the most selfish thing you can do. Get involved in a cause you believe in.
Turn your phone off. Put it in a drawer. Give it to someone else. Just for an hour. It wasn’t that long ago that we didn’t have mobile phones. Sometimes people just couldn’t get in touch with us. It was pretty great sometimes, wasn’t it. Reclaim that privacy.
Watch feel good movies. May I suggest two from Netflix documentaries? “I Am” and “Happy” are both are fabulous.
Ask for help, from that guy, or from on high. There is someone on your team or in your family or in your softball league who will help you out. If you have a spiritual practice, you can call on that energy to fill you up. “Give me grace. Give me strength. Give me energy. Please and thank you.” This may be the best thing I do to generate energy…I call on it from the unlimited source of it.
Anything that makes you laugh, do it. Hang out with people five years old and younger. Download the Comedy Central app at www.ComedyCentral.com
Not all energy is positive. Some people wield hurricane force. In their wake is fear and disaster. What’s the difference? Love. Those who are motivated by love and being of service create a positive effect. These tips are from me to you, with love.
Ellen Rohr provides “in the trenches” insight that business owners can relate to. Comments? Questions? A different view? Reach her at (417) 753-1111 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join the Bare Bones Biz community, at www.ellenrohr.com, for fee tips, problem-solving webinars, money-making tools, and lots of love.