Tony Schwartz and Jim Loehr authored a book called "The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal.” Said another way, it's not the time that we have that makes the difference, it’s what we make of that time that is important. The energy that we bring to the world is our most precious resource and the more responsibility we take for that energy the more empowered and productive we become. On the flip side, the more we blame others or external circumstances the more negative and compromised our energy is likely to be. Here are a few thoughts on bringing high-performance energy to the world:
1) Full engagement requires drawing on four related sources of energy: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Working together they are extremely powerful, but remove one of the key components and it's like trying to operate a car with three wheels. Much like Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, we must keep the four energy components of our saw continually sharp.
2) Because energy capacity can diminish with both overuse and underuse, we must balance energy expenditure with intermittent energy renewal. This means that we learn to live life as a series of sprints rather than a continuous marathon with no rest. Each sprint requires full energy engagement, but is followed with a balanced period of rest or energy renewal.
3) To build energy capacity, we must push beyond our normal limits, much like elite athletes do. Stress is not the enemy of our lives if it is systematically applied in order to grow.
4) Positive energy rituals and highly-specific energy routines are required for sustained levels of high performance. Much like a football teams pre-game ritual, we all need to find high performance energy routines that prepare us for full engagement.
In an environment that includes more than one person, energy is extremely contagious. Whether positive or negative, the energy you bring to your family, friends, or co-workers will compound. If you bring positive energy to someone, you empower and encourage them. If you bring negative energy to someone, it has the opposite effect. We all have the same amount of time, but the energy we bring to the world is our responsibility. Use that energy as Walt Disney did and be a life enricher rather than a well poisoner.