Chapter 20 of my First book: . Finding MY ENERGY sources and leveraging them. And having a little FUN along the way!
CHAPTER 20: Finding MY ENERGY sources and leveraging them. And having a little FUN along the way!
This is a picture that I took while on my way to one of my hangouts.
One of my RE-ENERGIZING hangouts.
The hangout is a bench, in a park, near my house.
Fresh air, a nice view, and a nice little walk to get there.
Hard to beat that! Although, it is a little cold in the winter. 😊
Best of all. It is quite flexible.
This re-energizing hangout works just as well
whether I am honouring my need to
re-energize by myself, or with others.
The bench holds up to three people comfortably.
And there is plenty of standing room for others as well.
How convenient is that!
“Passion is energy.
Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you “
– Oprah Winfrey
Winter, Spring and Summer of 2017: Connecting Part 1: Sharing and Caring. Connecting with OTHERS.
When it came time to coming up with ways in which I come up with my energy, it did not take me long, once I really put my mind to it, to come up with 2 key sources of mine. One is spending quality time with myself. The other is spending quality time with others. I find that they are both very important. I have trouble having one, without the other. But, I must admit, I have yet to find the sweet spot between the two, but I am trying to find it, if I can.
Although I may never find the exact sweet spot, the level of self-awareness that I am gaining of what gives me my energy, and what taketh it away, has been a real game changer a.k.a. Life changer. So, although I have not yet found the ideal mix, I have found that, if I go too long without connecting with others, then I start losing my energy, and fast. So, to that end, I have decided to tackle connecting with others FIRST, in what I am calling “Part 1” of this chapter, and then, I will tackle connecting with myself, in “Part 2” of this chapter.
One would have thought that, I would have realized the power of what social connectedness can do to energizing oneself, when I went without it for such a long time during my social isolationist days, but, it is only recently, that I have noticed how powerful connecting with others can be. In hindsight, my approach to trying to tune everything and everyone else out during my clinical depression days, was not a great approach to figuring out what energizes oneself. It was only later on, when I was coming out of that funk, when I was starting to re-connect with people, that I realized how important the energy that I received from connecting with others was to me.
And by connecting with others, I mean, a lot of others. I was connecting with clients and potential clients, I was connecting with peers, I was connecting with my blog readers, Etc. I was now connecting so much that I could only keep track of it all in a spreadsheet. I was sharing all kinds of material. I was sharing all kinds of ideas. And it seemed that the more I shared, the more people shared back with me. I was learning and growing, just as much, if not more, than the people I was trying to help learn and grow themselves. Learning and Growing (a.k.a. L&G, My #2 value) along with OTHERS. Talk about an energizer!
I was amazed at how excited I was feeling in the mornings when I would get out of bed and check my overnight messages from my LinkedIn and Facebook contacts, and then, how energized I felt when I sent out some of my own. I was even squeezing in time at the gym, while on the bike, to connect and share even more. The more I shared with others, the more energized I felt. Leadership Development. Share away! Improving Communication. Share away! Increasing one’s level of energy. By all means, share away!
Before you knew you knew it, the shy, sales averse, Captain Comfort zone guy was spending almost all of his time connecting with people and little time building the tools and processes that were required to support his new business. Oops. Time to refocus my energy. “I felt like I needed to spend more time creating my tools. So, I decided to go offline for a while and set them up, and then, the plan was, to start reconnecting again”. And that is what I did. I went off-line for a while. And that is when I first started to notice it.
That is when I first started to notice, that, I was starting to lose my energy. Slowly at first, but then, I started noticing, that I was not as excited to get up in the morning anymore. Wow! What was going on? Well, what was going on was, that I was finally realizing, that I get a lot of my energy from sharing and connecting with others. Seems like I had over vectored on the tool building front. Oops! I might want to mix it up a bit more moving forward. Luckily for me, this time around, I was listening to my feelings and not trying to tune them out. I was also starting to get to know myself better this time around. Sharing ideas was one of my Top 5 strengths. Learning by interacting with others is how I grow, which is one of my top values. And here I was, cutting myself off from people. Yikes!
Oh well. I know better now. I gave that one, i.e. isolating myself from others, a try in the past, and I am not sure that I like the fit. And apparently, I am not alone on the connection side of things. At my coaching school, there are nine guiding principles that we have been taught. Guess what #4 is? “People grow from connection. Connecting is the wellspring of creativity. Collaboration is the conduit for enhancing people’s strengths”. Wow! Growth! Creativity! Enhancing Strengths! Very Cool! So, now, if you don’t mind, I have some connecting to do.
Winter, Spring and Summer of 2015: Connecting Part 2: My ME time. Connecting with ME
Somewhere along the path of my self-transformation from Captain Comfort Zone to Captain Courageous, I think that my PASSIONS got the better part of me. All of a sudden, this person, who was once a shy and quiet and more introverted type of guy, had become, what at first appeared to be, a really extroverted type of guy. Wow! Talk about a personality change. It almost felt weird. My level of extroversion almost seemed more transformational to me than my recent 100-pound weight loss. That apparent personality related change, more than anything else, really had me questioning myself as to whether I had become someone else through this midlife self-transformation, or if I was just reverting back to who I had once been.
I remember taking a self-assessment on one’s level of introversion versus extroversion as part of one of the business development workshops that I was facilitating around that time. When I asked the group to separate into two groups based on their respective preferences, I was now over on the side with the more extroverted group of people. How weird was that? Then something even weirder happened.
One of the women in the more introverted group volunteered to share some information on what it was like to be more introverted with the rest of the participants. She was so passionate as she was sharing that information with us, that no one could even get a word in edge wise. She was so excited and energized, that she was almost standing on her chair, her voice was loud and clear and her passion was coming through in spades. Wow! What a difference passion can make in communicating with others, at least for a specific period of time. Either that, or she had not answered the questions to the self-assessment correctly. Her passion just seemed to trump her introverted nature at that moment and things just took off from there.
Humm. Maybe I was not as newly extroverted as I thought I was? Maybe my newfound passion for what I was doing, and how I was going about doing it, was contributing to this newfound level of sharing my thoughts with others? It got me thinking. Was I as extroverted as I now thought I was? Is connecting with others really where I get most of my energy?
Well, it was a very close friend at the time, who challenged me on that point. That challenge took place as I was just setting out as the newly discovered Super Extroverted Dave. Well, she told me, that she thought, that I was not as extroverted as I thought I was. Humm. Food for thought. Well, it took me a while, and a lot of thought (i.e. self-discovery), and a lot of trying things out, but now, I believe, that she was right. I believe that a lot of my increased level of extroversion was brought about by a huge increase in my level of passion at certain times.
I had become so passionate about what I was doing and sharing, that my introverted self just seemed to fade away at these times. The more I would connect and share, the more the momentum and passion and desire to share would become. But then something would happen. More of a feeling than an event. I would feel as if I had hit a wall. My energy and my desire to connect with others would just seem to go away. That was usually on Friday night or Saturday morning. At first, I was not sure what was happening but I soon figured it out. I needed some quiet time, with my close family members and also, with just little old me. I had come to realize that, not only did I want some time alone, to recharge, I needed it.
Good thing that I did not throw out all my movies, apparently, I might still have some use for them, just not as often, this time around. Oh, and the time that I was able to spend just connecting with myself when I was alone, well what can I say? It did turn out to be a huge energizer for me. Not to mention a time for self-reflection. Connecting with myself and connecting with others, Part 1 and Part 2. You can’t have one without the other. At least, I can’t.
December 2017. Passion is Energy. Focusing on what excites me. In my case, having FUN!
“Passion is energy”. “Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you”. I think that Oprah is on to something here. Now that I think of it, being excited and PASSIONATE about what I am doing, certainly seems to make it a whole lot EASYer on myself, in not just starting to do it, and doing it, but in keeping at it, even in the face of adversity.
Passion is also one of the two elements in GRIT, one of my Top 10 values. Perseverance is the other element of GRIT. And when it comes to persevering, once again, I can’t think of anything that can positively impact my motivational level for continuing to move forward by making changes, both big and small, then that energy that comes from that passion that Oprah is talking about.
O.K. So, if my passion is so important in creating my energy, how do I identify what passions me the most? Another self-assessment perhaps? Well in this case, it was a question that a coaching colleague of mine asked me the other day. She asked me what my State of Being was? State of Being? That was a new concept to me. Given all of the work that I had been doing on self-discovering myself, I was surprised that I had not come across that one yet. Oh! No! Not another self-assessment, and just when I thought, that I was done.
Well, in this case, there would be no need for another self-assessment. I guess that I had learned enough about me to answer this one. So, no sooner had she explained the concept to me via an example then I realized what mine was. Hers was being in a state of Happiness. That did not mean that she did not pass through sad times, it just meant that most of the time, she was in a Happy space that just felt natural for her. It is where she felt the most energized. In her case, her happiness zone. Well, no sooner had she shared hers, then I had come up with mine. It was right there in front of me. No need for further self-refection or self-assessments. My state of being was already among my Top 10 List of values. I just had not appreciated it as much prior to that conversation. It was having FUN.
Yes, capital F.U.N., fun. How cool is that? Well, for me at least, since that is my State of Being. Well, that explains why I am always trying to come up with games when doing homework with the kids, or finding ways of making my personal and business administration and household chores fun. Having fun energizes me. And having fun with others energizes me as well. Well, here is to FUN, and to making more things fun moving forward. How fun, I mean cool, is that!
So, What did I learn?
How did I make change EASYer on myself 😊 (or not ☹)
So, now that I have realized that I require a balance between connecting with others and connecting with myself, have I found that sweet spot? No, not yet. Will I ever find it? I doubt it, but, I am not going to stress about it. At least now, with my newfound level of self-awareness of where I get my energy, I now have a better sense of when my energy is starting to wane and it is time to switch gears. Time to switch gears as to what I am doing and who I am doing it. Sharing and caring with others and sharing and caring with myself, either way, getting energized, and having FUN while doing it! I don’t how I can make it any EASYer on myself than that. 😊
That was all about me. What about YOU?What are you doing to make your journey of change EASYer on YOU? 😊 (or not ☹)
What gives you energy?
And, what taketh it away?
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