In last week’s challenge we explored physical and emotional energy. This week, we turn our focus to two other types of energy–Productive and Spiritual. If you missed the first article, you can view it by clicking here.
Types of Energy:
Physical energy: influenced by our daily lifestyle habits, food intake and fitness levels
Emotional Energy: influenced by our thoughts and attitude
Productive Energy: influenced by our actions and mindset
Spiritual Energy: influenced by our connections and self-care
One of my goal group participants was very surprised at her progress during her first week in our annual goal class. While prior to the class she had felt unable to accomplish the simplest tasks, she now found herself completing her goal-centered to do lists — and more! “How does that work?” she asked in a post to the support board.
This member discovered “productive energy.” Aristotle said, “We become what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit.” When we repeatedly step forward, we propel ourselves forward even further. When we continually stand still, we dig a bigger rut. When we continually move backward, we dig a big hole.
To truly understand productive energy, think of a time when you were fatigued and then became inspired to do something. Perhaps it was reading a book, writing, or organizing, or completing pages in a scrapbook. Before you knew it, you looked at the clock and hours had passed–even though you were tired earlier. What changed? Well you didn’t eat anything or exercise. The change was in what you were doing. Your attitude and productiveness elevated – thus elevating your performance and your energy.
Make a list … and make sure to check it twice: The first step in building productive energy is to be focused on the right track. Have a clear list of what you want to accomplish with clear and attainable timelines. Make sure to star three items for the day that will allow you to feel good about the day regardless of what bumps pop up in your path.
Recharge: In order to be productive, you must have balance and that means learning what you personally need to recharge. Some people need quiet time each day, others just need a good night’s rest. Discover what helps you recharge and work that it into your to-do lists.
Forget revving your engine and just go… The great thing about productive energy is you don’t have to prepare or spend a lot of time thinking about it. Often we over-think and would be much better off following the Nike slogan. Push yourself over inaction and you’ll discover that productive energy is ready and waiting for you whenever you need it.
Put it into Practice: Read through these four tips and “star” which seems to speak to you the most as a way to increase your Production Energy. Schedule time to work in that area this month.
Spiritual energy can be thought of as “soul food.” It isn’t anxious or stress-filled motivation energy, but a calm and centered energy. Think of a time where you have experienced deep relaxation or a time where you have been moved by a sermon or religious reading/teaching. That centeredness is spiritual energy. The beauty of spiritual energy is that it is steady and fulfilling. It doesn’t rely on “highs and lows” to keep recreating itself. It comes from listening instead of talking and “being present” instead of “trying to get somewhere else.” Because this is a quiet and calm energy and doesn’t shout loudly for our attention, it is often the most neglected. Finding “peace” seems like an “extra” that many of us don’t have time to pursue. Yet, within that peace, lies an ever-renewing source of energy. I would dare say that living without it is dangerous–and trying to live well without it, quite difficult.
Qualify spiritual practice: What does spiritual practice mean to you? It could be daily time for reflection or meditation; or daily Bible study or religious reading or prayer time. Take some time to think of where you have found spiritual energy in the past and if you are making room for spiritual energy on a daily basis.
Make a pact: Make a pact with yourself not to starve yourself of this soul food. Remember this is a quiet energy that won’t shout for your attention, so it is important to nourish and commit to it.
Keep a spiritual journal: Make entries of your spiritual practice time and record what you learn and discover. Use this as a source to return to again and again to inspire continued spiritual development.
Journal: Journal about what life means to you and the concept of “purpose.” What is your purpose? At the end of your life, what do you want to have completed here on earth and why? Use your journal to keep in touch with your purpose. You can also try writing about what “personal peace,” means to you.
Form a group: To stay on track with spiritual practice, consider a partner or group to touch base with on a regular basis.
Put it into Practice: Choose one of the above ideas to work with and schedule the time to do so on your calendar.
Your Turn: Make an energy action plan incorporating these different action steps from the first and second article into your life. Also, start an Energy Journal and take notes of what changes work for you and how your energy is influence by your efforts.