I was like a leaky tea strainer. Energy would come in and leak out through tiny holes in my life. Then I was introduced to the idea of energy.
Everything in your life is either giving you energy or taking it away.
When you look at your life through this simplistic lens your energy levels start to make sense. Influencers full of broken dreams want to sell you a new exercise routine or a new diet to fix your energy levels.
What if your energy levels were mostly affected by something other than exercise and diet?
When you stop the energy leaks, your life changes.
- More energy allows you to create, rather than consume.
- More energy allows you to put in more effort.
- More energy allows you to discover hidden passions.
- More energy allows you to view the world differently.
- More energy helps improve your relationships with people.
If there is one thing you want more of in your life it’s the scarce resource of energy. That’s right: energy isn’t infinite.
Every day you get a finite amount of energy to spend. How you choose to spend the currency that is energy is up to you.
If you spend your energy poorly and get into energy debt, then it can suck the life out of you. You can appear alive and act as though you’re lifeless.
These are the areas I’ve found that leak energy from my life. They will help you find your own energy leaks.
Anger Is the Biggest Energy Leak
I used to get angry at people for no reason. You could pass me on the freeway and I’d get angry at you for driving faster than me. You could be ahead of me at the supermarket and I’d blame you for slowing my day down. You could call my workplace up on the phone and have a disability, and I’d be angry at you for not having full eyesight or hearing.
Having low energy made me act like a terrible human being.
It took me years to work out I was angry at everything. Worst of all, I was angry at myself. I later realized I was angry at myself because I had a severe mental illness. It was controlling my life and I couldn’t get it under control. So I chose anger rather than fixing the root cause of the problem.
Anger is showing up a lot in the world right now. People are angry at politicians. People are angry at the economy. People are angry at each other. People are angry at huge corporations. People are angry about the stock market and the lies it conceals.
All that anger does nothing. It builds up inside of us and gets spewed out on Twitter for people to retweet.
Anger doesn’t solve problems.
You use up so much energy by being angry. Spend a day being full of outrage. Notice how tired you are at the end of the day. This tiredness is being blamed on diet and exercise. It’s really because of all the anger you’ve been addicted to feasting on.
- Solution 1: Convert anger to passion or hard work that is helpful.
- Solution 2: Sleep on your anger — anger dissipates with sleep.
- Solution 3: Choose non-reactivity rather than anger.
Complexity is tempting. Complexity is how you can avoid doing the real work and get distracted by a task, process or activity that has nothing to do with your goals. It takes a lot of energy to understand something complex. Ask yourself “do I need this complex thing in my life?”
Remove the layers of complexity in your life.
Use complexity when you absolutely must, not as your default option.
A Lack of Empathy
How you treat people affects your energy levels.
Thinking you’re right and everybody else is wrong — or worse, stupid — drains your energy. When you empathize, you accept that people are going to be wrong and so will you. You see yourself in other people — therefore, stopping yourself from shaming them in your head when they screw up (and they will, guaranteed).
It takes a lot of energy to assume you’re the almighty powerful one and everybody else is plain stupid or can’t hear the brilliance in your thoughts.
Empathy is feeling what other people feel so you will prevent yourself wasting your energy on shaming them and focus on getting to a solution through the understanding and acceptance of their imperfection.
Constant Noisy Environments
Social media is the nosiest environment of all. Spend a day in a Facebook Group full of social media gurus and you’ll see how noisy it can be.
These groups are full of people who complain and blame all day long that their social media dreams aren’t coming true. And the ones that have hit their 1M follower dream keep coming back to the group wondering why their life still feels empty.
It’s easy to signup for an online echo chamber of negativity.
If you live in this echo chamber for long enough then you start to hear the same thoughts and ideas over and over and think they must be right, and everybody else is wrong.
Solution 1: Time alone
Time alone is how you escape the noise. Dare to sit alone in your bedroom and listen to yourself breathe in and out. Damn it’s subtle, yet life-changing.
Solution 2: Embrace the quietness
There are many quiet places. Spend a day in quietness. Go to a rainforest or take a day trip to see a waterfall.
Let nature be the noise, and you be the witness.
An Obsession for Success
Being addicted to the desire to be a high-achiever can suck your energy away too. Tim Ferriss spent years as a high achiever. He created a viral podcast and wrote best-selling book, after best-selling book.
He realized that this obsession for success was a coping mechanism to avoid the pain of the sexual abuse he endured through his childhood.
It’s nice to aim high. It’s fun to have huge goals. It’s great to find success. The trouble is if all you ever do is chase success you’ll deplete your energy reserves. Life is about so much more than the attainment of success.
Chasing success can cover up the problems in your life and blind you from seeing the tiny things that give meaning, fulfillment and enjoyment to your existence.
Solution: Have periods where you don’t chase success. Put your goals on hold, regularly (you can always come back to them).
Question why you want success so badly in the first place. Is success really the be-all and end-all? Or is it your family, your legacy, your ability to help others, or enjoying time to relax?
*Not* Working on Yourself Blinds You
You leak energy when you refuse to work on yourself. Little things that upset you or destroy your focus will find their way into your life.
Learning about yourself helps you see again. Working on yourself is how you find out what is missing. The energy leaks are everywhere in your life and you create them. Working on yourself helps you spot the energy leaks.
- Solution 1: Have a conversation with yourself through writing.
- Solution 2: Build relationships with people who don’t tell you what you want to hear all the time.
- Solution 3: Read books on psychology to understand how you think. What you think about is where you spend energy so it’s worth understanding.
Point All the Energy You Find at a More Useful Target
When you find the energy leaks in your life you stop them from depleting your energy reserves. The best part about the whole process is you now have more energy to spend each day.
People ask me where I get the energy to write tens of thousands of words online every week. The answer is this:
I get the energy to write from all the places that used to leak energy.
I now take the energy I’ve rescued from all the energy leaks and put it into words. Those words then help people find ways to take action.
Your regained energy can compound into higher levels of energy for others. This energy then flows back into your life in the form of meaning and fulfillment.
By finding energy losses, converting them into energy for other people, and getting back meaning in your life as an outcome, you discover the energy needed to operate at higher levels of consciousness.
Higher states of consciousness produced through plugging your own energy leaks can help you think on a totally different level.
Fight your energy leaks and win back your untapped potential.