We all want to be energized and fired up to take on the day. So much so, that we may turn to coffee for a pick me up. For some, that’s not enough. Bring on the energy drinks!
But haven’t you had days when you felt invigorated without having to slam an espresso? What’s happening on those days?
I bet you’re doing something you’re passionate about and that you love.
When I was a kid it was really hard to get out of bed to go to school every day. I hit the snooze bar several times, fell back asleep, moaned and groaned, and finally, begrudgingly got up.
But at the age of ten I joined a bowling league. (Yes, I was one of those kids.) The league was every Saturday at 9am. I had to get up at the same time I got up for school in order to be at the bowling alley on time. And here’s the strange thing. Even though I stayed up later on Friday nights than I did on school nights, I never hit the snooze bar on Saturday mornings. Most of the time I didn’t even need my alarm. I would happily pop out of bed and get ready to go bowling.
I didn’t wake up tired, I woke up inspired.
What made the difference in my wake up attitude? I loved bowling. I looked forward to it. (Maybe my mom should have taken me to a counselor. Hey, what’s wrong with bowling?) My best friend was on my team and I didn’t want to let him down. I was excited to get up early and go bowling.
I didn’t hate school. I liked some of my classes and I enjoyed seeing my friends. But the school structure did not excite me and most of my classes bored the mess out of me. It was tough to get excited about.
As an adult, I’ve noticed the same phenomenon.
While I’m giving a presentation to a few hundred people or hosting a radio show, or playing a gig with my guitar I don’t feel tired. I feel supercharged. I’m hyped. (Even when my radio show was four hours long every week day, it didn’t wear me out. It actually took me a while to calm down once I was off the air.)
I’m passionate about those things and I love doing them.
When’s the last time this has happened to you? Isn’t it amazing that you can work harder and longer doing what you love – and still feel more energized and satisfied – than working shorter hours doing something you hate?
Yes, we all have to do things we don’t want to do. But, how often?
Is there a way you could do more of what you’re passionate about and less of what drains your energy? Wouldn’t that be awesome? Wouldn’t that help you and everyone who comes in contact with you?
Sure, Greg, and then I’ll ride a unicorn over a rainbow into a pot of gold.
I know it sounds impossible, but what if? How about this for a start?
1) Figure out what you love and what you don’t. Make a list of everything you do each day, for a week. Highlight all the activities you enjoy in green. Highlight all the activities you don’t enjoy in red.
Which type of activities are you spending most of your time on? If they aren’t the green ones, look out.
2) Now start looking for ways to minimize the red and maximize the green. Are there people who like what you dislike? Could you delegate to them? Could you group the things you dislike and do most of them once a week? Could you talk to your boss about where you do your best and see if that could be where you focus your time? Remember, it will help the company bottom line, too.
3) If none of that works, do you need to change jobs or careers to do more of what you’re passionate about?
4) Is there a way you can reframe the work you have to do that doesn’t energize you? Can you see the purpose of your work and how it helps others? For example, if you’re an insurance salesman instead of seeing your job as “selling insurance,” could you see it as helping people find the best way to keep themselves and their families healthy and financially protected?
5) Do this exercise with your personal life as well.
Life is too short to spend most of your week doing things that suck the life force out of you.
The world needs your best work and that work is driven by your passions. Find them…and you can throw out the energy drinks.