Opinion

Happiness isn’t energy

One of the questions for the September Journaling Challenge* is to reflect daily on what gives you energy. Not what makes you happy, or what are you grateful for, but focusing on what gives you energy. Less than two weeks in to the challenge, and I’m already surprised at what an impact that mental shift from focusing on energy in addition to happiness has.

I’m a bit of a broken record that “I love the fall, and could skip September”. It’s just a reality for our family that back to school time is back to a wicked hectic routine time. I went in to September with a low bar: get through each day with some semblance of grace. Last year, I wrote about Owning Your Energy, so I probably shouldn’t be surprised that new insights around “energy management” popped up again this September. 

Christine Miserandino’s the spoon theory is her personal story about what it’s like to live with a sickness or disability. Her point is that most of us have the energy we need to get through our days. Which is true. What’s also true is that we don’t end our day with the same energy we started with. We’ve spent it throughout the day.

Our daily energy supply is finite.

Finite resources need to be managed – like any other finte resource: water, time, money, or real estate. We’ve all had those days where we “hit the wall”: the bottom of our energy reserves. Rather than running down to empty, I’m finding that documenting what’s amplifying or diminishing my daily energy is helping me see where I can make changes. I’m adjusting my schedule, my conversations and my priorities for each day. Check out Levi King’s Inc. article How To Reserve and Replenish Your Emotional Energy for more ideas.

Reflecting on and adjusting my decisions related to my energy levels means I’m having better days more consistently … Which makes me happier.

A huge thank you to my friend and yoga instructor, Jenny Smyth for hosting the September Journaling Challenge! If you’re interested in learning more about your own energy, start with an energy audit: as yourself what is both draining and charging your emotional energy battery for at least 21 days and look for patterns.

Follow your energy and your passion will find you.

I’d like to know how you manage your energy – both how you amplify what works for you and diminish what doesn’t. Drop me a comment below or email workyourhappy(@) gmail.com.

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