With last month’s focus on clarity behind me, I can honestly say that my work there is still paying dividends going forward. I expect this to continue for some time.
I’m simply a more conscious human, considering myself, my life, and those around me more often than not.
And maybe I’d rather consider my success last month more than what I’ve been trying to undertake this month. Maybe this is because this month I have to to tackle my weakest area….
If you recall from my initial High Performance Habits survey, I didn’t fare well in the “Energy” category:
Unsurprisingly, my Energy is a 3.17 out of 5. I don’t set up my environment to win. I make it really hard to go to the gym (claiming I’ll go at 10pm after my kids are in bed. That lasted two weeks). I make it hard to eat healthy. However, I have made strides recently by deleting Twitter and Instagram from my phone and logging out on my computer. No more mental energy drained by politics or comparing myself to others.
Having such low energy not only killed my ability to perform in my career, but it also infects every other area of my life:
- I feel like opportunity is passing me by.
- I have lowered confidence in myself physically, emotionally, intellectually.
- I shy away from things I’d otherwise go for.
- I am eating worse and getting fatter.
- And if I’m really honest, I feel like I’m worse at getting people to believe in me, trust me, and support me.
If I’m going to be a bright light shining in a room, I’m going to need a stronger power source.
The habit of “generating energy” focuses on three practices:
- Releasing tension and setting intention
- Bring the Joy
- Optimize Health
1. Release Tension, Set Intention
In HPH, Burchard outlines a number of different transition moments that make for great reset opportunities to let go of tension from the previous situation and set your intention going forward.
As a person who often carries over negative energy from one activity to the next, and often feels depleted but still plows into my next task right away… I think this can benefit me.
Every day in my life is different so there are no “regular” things that cause me tension, but if I were to name them they would be client communications and managing other people. A great way for me to release that tension throughout the day is with travel.
I don’t mean jetsetting about the globe like some sort of travel YouTuber, but instead just moving to a new place. The reset of a new environment, whether between desks or spaces in our office, or between my office and a coffee shop, the movement helps reset.
In practice, this is simple. It’s a pause, a few deep breaths, a focus, and then go forward.
2. Bring the Joy
The second practice to generate energy that Burchard outlines is that we can choose to “bring the joy.” This could not be more similar to my choice to tattoo “Amor Fati” (choose to love your fate) on my arm.
By starting my day with a few essential questions, I can drastically improve my ability to stay focused on that joy versus losing mental and emotional energy to tension. Questions like:
- What am I excited about today?
- What might cause me stress today?
- Who can I show gratitude to today?
Additionally, Burchard mentions a number of “triggers” that he uses throughout the day to bring the joy that I find highly unrealistic and doubt I’d implement: multiple phone alarms, every doorway, every time he touches something, every time he stands up, every time he blinks… just kidding. But they are a bit much so I’ll pass on those.
What does strike me is doing it more for the people around me than myself.
Similar to the release of tension, any time that I move from one place to the next it provides a great opportunity to choose to be joyful. I think this is especially important during my morning and evening commutes when I want to arrived focused entirely on what I’m about to do.
3. Optimize Health
I don’t want to talk about this.
I know I need to not binge eat, sleep more, etc.
I use eating similar to how I used to use alcohol: to cram down negative emotions. When I feel bad, I don’t need to eat. I need to move.
What really stood out to me here was when Burchard writes:
“If you place yourself on an energy scale from 1 to 10 (10 is amazing and 1 is dead), and you don’t feel you’re at least a 7, this is the most important section of this book.”
What it’ll take to succeed here is a mindset shift. Working out and sleeping 8 hours don’t “cost” me time. In fact, I’ll be so much more productive and happier that it’ll give me a lot of time back.
Six weeks of regular exercise has been proven to enhance dopamine production and receptivity in the brain.
Burchard also reminds me about my priorities:
“If you have kids, you should take this double seriously. It’s essential that you inspire your children to be healthy. Fit kids can pay better attention than unfit kids, and exercise makes a tangible difference in their IQ and long-term academy achievement.”
I want to get healthy because I still haven’t conquered this demon of self-sabotage that was alcohol and is now food.
To get in the best shape of my life, I’ll stop watching Netflix late at night and binge-eating.
Additionally, I’ll start tracking my macro-nutrients every day (fat, protein, carbohydrate) and exercising strenuously at least once per week.
Finally, I want to overcome an objection that I think might be silly. I never go to the gym after work because it’s crowded.
But I don’t know if that’s true. I’ve never been. I just always assume that it’s crowded. I think the first step is going to be to challenge that assumption and then, step out in faith that my other previous assumptions are wrong as well.
So here’s to the next thirty days.
Time to BRING THE JOY.