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Recently I was meeting with a client and we were discussing as I do with all my clients Energy in vs. Energy out. It is the concept of ‘how full is your bucket’ and being intentional about your energy resources. What activities are you engaging in that deplete you energy and what activities are you engaging in that add to your energy resources. Frequently when I do this exercise clients will have the ‘ah ha’ that they are expending a lot of energy on activities/people that they don’t want to be giving energy too. Therefore they don’t have the energy to engage in the activities/people they want to be giving to. The concept is to get curious and determine what are the activities that give you energy?
For many people they haven’t thought of or engaged in these activities for a long time. For some reason it is easier to go along and give our energy to the item that is most demanding, and pressing–which tends to correlate with the activity/people that drains us the most. True, we can’t always stop from engaging in that activity—but we can find other activities that give us more energy, we can find ways to fill our bucket back up when it gets drained. When we are walking around with a disparity in the favor of energy out there is no way we are going to live or work happier. We are just drained.
So this client I mentioned above and I were talking about what these activities were for her. She discussed a number of activities that she wanted to engage in but too often she is so exhausted by the end of the day she finds herself just sitting on the couch with her partner, watching TV–even if she has seen the TV show repeatedly she is there on the couch, safe, comfortable zoned out. I agreed and lamented right along with her. I admit too often my nearest and dearest and I end up couch potatoes rather than ‘doing’ an activity that inspires us. Honestly I rarely regret getting off the couch and engaging in an activity–I rarely say ‘wow I wish I would have stayed home and watched TV’. Yes, sometimes a good day o’TV is relaxing, sometimes there is nothing I look forward to more than just chilling in front of the TV. But when it becomes a time vampire then it is time to really take a look at how we are spending our time/energy. When it is preventing us from engaging in life, and our passions we need to take a closer look.
My client asked “what do I do about this pattern?” “how do I change it?” and I quickly responded “We need to get off the couch.” . We need to be intentional about time and energy. The danger of the TV is once the switched has been flipped to turn it on–it is next to impossible to turn it off. Something about energy waves, master plot by the TV gods, or the hypnotic nature of watching life on a big screen, makes it next to impossible to turn it off. So it is about being intentional about when you want to watch TV, what you want to watch and not turning it on in the mean time. It is about facing what is keeping you trapped on the couch, lack of ideas, lack of resources, fear of trying something new, fear of getting out of your comfort zone, or just too tired.
If you are too tired to get off the couch and do something new, look at how you are spending your energy through out the day. When you look at your energy in vs energy out ? Are you giving your energy to the activities and people you most enjoy and if not why?