“Do not draw your sword to kill a fly” – Korean proverb
In other words are you expending your energy as effectively and purposefully as you could be?
This month it’s all about managing your energy, particularly useful I think as we start the New Year.
Generally, the word energy is used to describe the idea of vigour, movement and vitality. Something that has power to exert and make change.
I also believe that it is about having that ‘spark’, that extra ‘zing’ in your step.
Without your spark, you might feel like you are ‘wading in treacle’ with just enough energy to cope with what’s on your plate right now.
So take a moment now to consider what metaphor or image you would use to describe yourself when your energy is high and you have your ‘spark. It might help to either write/ draw your metaphor or image.
Now also take a moment to consider the image or metaphor you would use to describe yourself when your energy is low and your ‘mojo’ has simply gone missing. What do you notice? Are they similar, completely different? What might tip you from one to the other?
How wisely are you using your energy? How might you be squandering the energy you have? Are you fighting battles that are no longer relevant?
When I was younger I had ‘bags’ of energy and ran around climbing all sorts of ‘mountains’ simply because they were there. In those days I had the time and energy to get away with it. Now, I am far more aware that my time and energy are a finite resource and that I need to choose where to direct my energy and focus to best advantage. Sometimes this does involve me putting myself first and simply saying no to requests from family, friends, colleagues etc.
So how do you know, when your energy is at the right level? What do you notice about yourself? Where do you feel it physically? For me, my stomach is a good indicator. That’s where I will feel it when I’m not quite operating at my peak – when my energy is low there is often a corresponding dip in mood.
- Daily time out, physical change of scene.
- Make it a priority to get outside and appreciate the outdoors.
- Take regular breaks – time to just, ‘be’.
- Find a hobby, an alternative focus that absorbs and engages you.
- Make a list of five energy drainers – then do something about them. ( A cluttered desk, wardrobe full of unworn clothes are some of mine)
- Make sure you are eating a well-balanced and nutritional diet
So in terms of your energy:
- What do you need to let go of? – are you using your sword to kill flies?
- What do you need to take on? – What activities, people will help recharge you?
- What are you actually going to do, now?