In this fast-paced world we are now all living in, one of the biggest things I see missing in people’s eyes is POSITIVE ENERGY. Too many people just seem to be running on thin air. Whether they are overtaxed by work, personal family life or an overdose of digital (or a combination of the above), people are bound to face issues of burn out if not lethargy. For this reason, one of the more pressing needs is to find meaningfulness and relevancy in our work. If I’m going to bust my butt at work, it had better mean something (and not just a paycheck). If the younger generations have cultivated such an attitude from the get-go, it has been coming to the installed base of older works (Gen X, Baby Boomers…) often thanks to and through the younger generations.

The trilogy of positive energy

Naturally, there are many ways to look at capturing energy. First, there is how the energy is being spent and looking for ways to spend less doing the same activities. However, looking for efficiencies has its limits. It doesn’t raise the initial amount of energy. I am no dietary expert or zen Buddhist, but I am sure that eating well and doing some meditation will contribute mightily. Another little ingredient that I sprinkle into my daily routine is music, whether it is playing guitar or listening to a randomized playlist. Another favorite technique is to find and conjure up positive thoughts. For me, however, there are far three more systemic ways that I use to regain positive energy in my daily life:

Sense of purpose, the right sleep and taking time out for a digital pause. {♺ Please Retweet!}

positive energy -

The Priority: Purpose

Purple Yellow Drop

Energy through purpose and pauses

Before setting up my business, I spent a considerable amount of time figuring out what my business would be about at its core. My purpose is about moving people. It was important for me that the business purpose not only jive with my personal philosophy of life, but that there should be an interdependence between the professional and personal expression of that purpose. In my seminal piece on the New Marketing of the 5Es, the 5th E — Essence — is the most powerful, yet perhaps the most elusive, especially in a crowded, hyper-active life. Once one has found one’s Essence, the rest tends to flow. {♺!}

Sleep – the rejuvenator…

It sounds obvious that sleep is important. Yet it is a real and serious challenge for many people. However, because it’s deeply personal, for some reason it is not a topic that business people and HR teams tend to tackle. Some more illuminated companies provide sleep pods for mid-day naps. However, the subject of sleep is now a recognized academic topic. Why shouldn’t LFD curricula include some sessions on sleep?

The {Digital} Pause

As an avowed hyper-active person, heavily on the go, I have designed to bring a new form of discipline in how and when I stay connected. It is not a hard and fast rule, as I don’t always succeed and I prefer to remain pragmatic in my approach. Nonetheless, the rules I have established for myself are: At meals, at a minimum, never have a telephone face-up on the table. Instead the phone ought to be on silent and, preferably, stashed. Don’t sleep with the phone (at least not turned ON) beside the bed. There should be no 2nd device while watching films with others present. I already created my mobile manners manifesto here. And, the majority of the other “digital” pauses come from ensuring that I do activities that are not dependent on a device: play a sport, read, walk… The other activity I manage to enjoy, although not daily, is a mindfulness session with the ever relaxing Andy @Headspace.

What’s to be done?

Here’s a short course of action:

  1. dew on the web

    Getting attached to a purpose

    Sense of Purpose. Every day at work is filled to the brim with duties, meetings, decision-taking and unexpected events. We are all working hard. What for? It’s a question most people at work haven’t fully asked themselves. Not everything we do can or must be meaningful; but, it is exceedingly important that every day mean something. By making sure that you can attach your tasks at work to an overriding sense of purpose will help not only in your success. It will help bring energy to you, because you know why you are doing it.

  2. The Right Sleep. Take sleeping seriously. It’s absolutely astounding to see how many misconceptions there are about sleep. Yet, we all know how much our days are better with a good night’s sleep. Taking sleep seriously doesn’t mean necessarily sleeping more. It means sleeping better. There are many reputed sites that now provide good advice. But, in the end of the day, each must find their own path, creature comforts and rhythm. I know, for example, that my best days include a mid-afternoon 30’ nap. You can try these two resources: Journal Sleep and National Sleep Foundation.
  3. (Digital) Pause. Throughout the mania of each day, we are on constant alert, with little time for a hiccough, much less deep reflection. Moreover, there is need for moments of nothingness as well as for making those chance encounters. How are you purposefully creating these moments? I like to programme breaks in my calendar, be they blocked-out meetings with myself or sufficient travel time to walk to the next meeting. Those pauses are significant in that they allow you be totally in the present.

I am far from perfect in my quest, but by writing up my ambitions and strategy, I hope to hold myself accountable to this plan. If not, you are free to call me out on it! 

Your thoughts and reactions?

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