This is the third and final segment on stalking yourself. To briefly review, stalking yourself is the practice of learning to “see” yourself and your life without illusion. Sounds simple enough, and we assume we already see and know what is happening in our life, but as I have shared the last couple of months, we quite often live in an illusion and therefore miss important aspects of what is happening. Miss is the wrong word. Misinterpret is more accurate. We interpret what is happening to us in ways that match our beliefs and assumptions, a process that often doesn’t give an accurate picture. Stalking ourselves allows us to see accurately, and then, from what we see we can design a strategy to change what we don’t like, or augment what we do like.
So far we have stalked our internal dialogue and our habits. This month we will stalk our energy fluctuations. By energy fluctuations I mean your sense of “aliveness.” Your life force, your energy. Sometimes we feel full of energy, alert, ready to take on any task with vigor, excitement and enthusiasm. Other times we feel sluggish, lethargic, unable to muster much motivation to do anything. Why do we feel the way we do each day? Are these energy fluctuations cyclical? Do they happen by chance, or are there causes behind them? Stalking your energy fluctuations will give you your answers.
I have stalked my own energy patterns and I would like to share with you what I have found out about myself.
Mornings for me are high-energy times. I am most creative and productive in the mornings. My father was also a morning person. One of his favorite sayings was, “One morning is worth two afternoons.” He was a salesman for the Yellow Pages. He would get to work at 6 a.m. while the other salesmen would come in at 9 a.m. But he also would quit at noon. I never saw my father work an afternoon in his life, and yet he was always in the top 10% of the sales team.
My wife on the other hand is an evening person. She finds she’s most creative and productive in the evening, especially the early hours of the morning. When she’s working on a project she loves the 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. cycle.
Each of us is different, and if we want to be highly efficient we must know how to increase our energy.
How and what I eat also affects my energy fluctuations. I like to eat good nutritious whole food. I’m not a fanatic about it, and eat just about everything, but I notice that what I eat affects how I feel. This really became apparent to me when I began doing a lot of touring. At home you can cook and control your eating much more easily than when you’re eating at restaurants. I noticed (back then I didn’t call it stalking) that eating junk food on a regular basis made me feel sluggish. I wasn’t alert, sharp and full of energy. Now I love burger and fries, potato chips and ice cream as much as anyone, and still eat them occasionally. But while touring, if I ate fast food three, four days in a row, I noticed a huge difference in my energy (anyone see Super Size Me – a remarkable film on fast food?).
On a speaking tour, you need your energy and to be in top form. And junk food was so easy, fast, convenient, and dare I say, tasty. But it always lowered my energy. So I was forced daily to make decisions about what to eat. Because my energy was so important to me – I was committed to performing at my top level – I made a conscious decision to not eat fast food. Now note why I made this decision. It had nothing to do with eating healthy. It was simply a choice about energy, and once I “saw,” how fast food affected me, the decision to avoid it was an easy one. I loved high energy more than convenience and taste.
Another aspect of food I have noticed is that overeating makes one feel sluggish for several hours afterwards. Not once in a while, not most times, but one hundred percent of the time, eating a large meal lowered my energy. Eating light- to moderate-sized meals upped my energy. What is a large meal? Each of us must stalk and decide that for ourselves.
So the decision on what to eat and how much to eat transcends health. It is a matter of choices concerning how I want to feel and how to up my energy so that I can perform at maximum efficiency.
The next question to ask yourself is what thoughts nourish and uplift you, and which thoughts diminish your energy. In my talks and CDs I tell the story of how one day I gave up worrying. Why? Because I realized it is always counterproductive. Worry is Mind Power in reverse. So by worrying (which is focusing on what you don’t want), you actually help to manifest that which you’re worrying about. Why would anyone want to do that? Also, worrying depletes your energy. A half hour of worrying drains you for hours. So from a stalking of energy perspective, I realized it was making me less effective, and there was therefore no value in it whatsoever. Since then I have never worried. Oh, I have my moments of concern, and I evaluate crisis situations and try to make appropriate decisions, but worry for hours at a time – I don’t believe in it.
Also criticism: I find that when I am critical of others in either thought or word, I feel weakened and drained. When I praise and acknowledge others in thought or with words, I am empowered and uplifted.
When I think negative thoughts my energy goes down. When I think positive thoughts my energy is recharged. Negative thinking leaks energy and leaves me depleted. Being positive and inspired charges me with energy. This is not a theory with me. I have stalked my energy fluctuations and know it is true.
There are countless other ways both to increase and decrease your energy. Make a personal inventory of what is happening in your personal life. Be aware of your energy.
Stalking your energy patterns is a process of noticing over a number of months what ups your energy and what lowers it. When we know this, we can then make conscious choices in our life from an energy perspective. When our energy is increased, it flows into all aspects of our being. We become more astute and clear, able to function at a higher level.
When we are “in the flow,” feeling and performing well, it is usually an indication that our energy levels are high. Likewise, when we are feeling lethargic, bored, tired, in a rut, it is usually because our energy is low. In these cases we discover why, and then make appropriate changes.
Choose to have a high level of awareness and energy in your life. Do that by first stalking your energy patterns, and then by eliminating what depletes your energy, and by strengthening habits of thought and actions that increase your energy. Make conscious choices that maximize your energy. Do this and you will notice a tremendous difference in your life.