Sunday, May 01, 2011

Focus & Energy

I'm really proud of something my wife did this week.

As the first born daughter in a large family, there were certain birth-order characteristics that fit her perfectly at times.

Like looking after her brothers & sisters and other friends & family who need to stand up on their own two feet, even fall down a few times and pick themselves up by themselves.

Firstborns, especially females often have this built in protective nature which makes it difficult to let someone repeatedly fall down even when they know better.

This week we took a trip to Indianapolis and she decided to help two family members reconnect by providing transportation that made it possible.

Then the next day, my wife set boundaries and reclaimed her space.

Kathy is the type of person who wants to make the world a better place, promote peace & harmony and if she was in the Miss America contest, she was probably the one who coined the answer, "I want to promote world peace".

But all of this takes energy.

Despite our best intentions, we do have some limitations.

What Kathy did this week was decide to focus her energy on the important in her life and stop fighting battles that were unwinnable. In this case it was to stop trying to help a family member make positive changes who really didn't want to change.

Now, she's not ending the relationship, but she has decided to refocus.

As you look forward to a new week and a new month, are there things you need to do to create more energy by refocusing?

More from the DLM Blog:

How to Save Your Energy for Things That Matter

Posted: 29 Apr 2011 07:06 AM PDT

Albert Einstein, one of the greatest minds to ever live, chose purposefully not to even memorize his own telephone number. He obviously had enough brain capacity to memorize a short series of numbers, but still, he chose not to. He viewed memorizing these digits as a waste of precious life energy.

Instead, he used this energy to memorize more important things, which lead to revolutionary accomplishments in the field of Physics.

The same principles of energy that Einstein acknowledged, apply to us. It is easiest to see the effects of this energy in extreme situations. If we are deprived of food for too long, our bodies won't have enough energy left to perform physical tasks. If we don't sleep for two days straight, we won't have enough energy to partake in a meaningful conversation. Not eating, or not sleeping will drain us of our energy reserves. We all understand this because it's common sense.

But there are also many other negative habits, which we simply aren't aware of - slowly robbing us of any extra energy we might have. These habits include: overeating, long hours in front of the TV, compulsive complaining, etc.

If you want to get something great done in your life, you must first be able to adopt habits that preserve your energy, and free yourself of habits that waste it.

The good news is that, there are simple practices that allow us to preserve this vital life energy inside of us.
  • Quieting the Mind
    Did you know that your brain uses the largest amount of energy compared to any other organ in your body? Some of our mental work is unavoidable and necessary for us to function. We don't want to get rid of all of it just because it would save us energy.

    But what about all the worrying, complaining, and resisting that we use our minds for? This, of course, is all pointless mental work that should be avoided as much as possible. When you notice your mind going in this direction. Stop. Take a deep breath, and observe your mind slowing down.

    Repeat this process for as long as you need to. (It wouldn't be a bad idea to make meditation into a daily practice either.)

  • Proper Nutrition
    By Proper Nutrition I don't mean eating enough to survive. All of us, who are fortunate enough to be able to read this post online, have access to all of the food we could ever dream of.

    What I mean by Proper Nutrition is eating the types of foods that are optimal for your body, the types of foods that keep us energized longer than a Big Mac can. The food you eat is supposed to energize you, not force you to take a 30-minute nap afterwards.

    There is plenty of good information available on nutrition, just be aware of the "Get Slim Quick Schemes". Begin moving towards a diet that gives you long-term health benefits. Just keep in mind, the diet that is the healthiest for your body will also be the most beneficial for your energy levels.

  • Take a Break
    The benefits of getting a good night's sleep are well known - so instead, I want to reintroduce an often overlooked idea, that offers similar benefits for managing your energy resources: the idea of taking breaks.

    Try to remember yourself as a kid in school. How energized did you feel, every single time, after you returned back inside from recess? You came back to class as a new kid, right? Are you taking breaks as a grown-up now that there's no one forcing you to? No, I bet not.

  • Jog, Walk, or Crawl
    The benefits of exercise are tremendous. Not only is exercise vital for good health, it's also important for staying energized throughout the day. It still continues to amaze me how much better I feel after any kind of physical exercise.

    If you can't jog, go for a walk. If you can't walk, go crawl. It does not matter what you do, just get your body moving.

  • Socialize
    Being alone, locked up in your apartment, is no way to live life. If you've been there you know what I mean.

    Meeting up with a friend or family member has an almost magical power of bringing you back to life. You feel invigorated and energized once again, and you begin wondering why you didn't arrange to meet up earlier.
To start out, I'd identify one energy preserving habit to integrate into your life, and one energy robbing activity to get rid of. Have fun reclaiming your precious life energy - and with this extra energy, please get something great done!

Written on 4/29/2011 by Juha. Juha is the author behind Ever Evolve, a blog on Simple and Effective Self Development. If you enjoyed this post you might also be interested in The Effective Readers Guide to Personal Development, which can be found on his blog.Photo Credit: Toms Bauń£is

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