Breaking down and acknowledging where your energy is being spent can be a powerful tool in your path to growth. I think we can all agree that energy is finite and we all have a certain amount of capacity to give to the world to process all the information on a daily basis. I’ve heard two schools of thought around the idea (at least what sticks out to me), one is that some people are just more resilient than others and the second is that others energy output more efficiently. Think of it like this, we all get the same amount of energy in which to put things, and some of us have a more organized life, and efficiency put in place to expend that energy. The other is that some people are just more resilient and that can be attributed to many factors, upbringing, trauma (how they learned from it), genetics, as examples which gives them the tools to put “more” energy into more areas. While agreeing with both concepts and that this could be a conversation of how an individual perceives themselves, I tend to acknowledge that both sit within my life daily. So I guess that it boils down to that we need to create as much efficiency with where our resiliency currently sits (regardless of how you got that resilience) and how to increase that threshold.
Increasing efficiency as to how you spend your energy is as easy as compartmentalizing three different spaces that you can put everything, remember I LOVE simplicity. If we take energy as a gage and create a framework that we will inevitably have to put energy into daily activities and decisions (remember that everything is stress, even positive experiences) and they will all impact the energy expended into the universe. A little tip here, positive experiences require energy to make them happen, but they will give energy back in return, while negative experiences require energy to get them and they continue to use more power after the fact (if we let them). The more time that we need to put into these areas is where the compartmentalizing takes place so we can make wise decisions and identify whats a good/productive place or whats bad/unproductive place to spend energy.
The First Question
When I’m faced with a decision (where to spend energy) there are three questions I ask and here is the first, “does this directly affect my most committed relationships (family, work, social)?”, If I answer yes, then I start to acknowledge all the factors that contribute to making a decision. Those factors should be the balance of rational/analytical thinking and intuitive/emotional thinking, and these factors are how they directly affect the other party involved in the decision and me. The energy level here is the highest because you have other humans involved and relationships that you value highly based on many factors. From there I come up with three plans and the one with the most upside I fire and move on, I can’t see into the future, and I’ve made the best decision with all factors calculated. It doesn’t require any more energy than that.
The Second Question
The second question is “does this only affect me and indirectly those in the above question?”. If the answer is yes then I more of the emotions involved what is to be gained by me in the way of experiences. At this point, it will only affect me and to be frank, if it indirectly affects the above most of the time that’s their shit. This energy is YOUR selfish energy and should bring you peace and happiness. I’ll use an example here, I’ve been tattooing for 15years, and over half of my tattoos I’ve heard “my husband/mom/boss is going to kill me.” Disingenuous behavior is bred in not putting energy into these areas because you treated this situation as if it was the above if it doesn’t directly affect those relationships then put a fucking smile, face that fear and fucking do it.
The Third Question
The third question is “if I put energy here does it add to my life and add value to the first question”. This is the most straightforward spot for me because its a place where the world can seem to come down on you if the energy isn’t channeled into positive things. Your thoughts become consumed in areas that are just occupying and clouding your internal peace and the journey towards growth. I always use politics here because of its such a distant world that we need to be aware of, but it can create an all-consuming sense of desperation. Let’s use the immigration as an example, it’s incredibly heartbreaking to see children taken from their parents and it entirely can alter our current state if we let it. We have to ask ourselves is the energy that I’m putting there helping both of us, helping me, or at a minimum helping them and all need to be positively helping… If you just always live by the belief that actions speak louder than words and be honest about if your willing to act on something that it begins to answer itself. No action means YOUR wasting energy, be aware of things that interest you and create perspective but don’t let it negatively affect you if you are not willing to find the bandwidth to action to make a change.
In summary, if it directly affects my highest valued relationships then it requires the most energy and all factors are weighed, if it only affects me and brings peace then fire away, and if its neither of those I’m aware of it but I give it no energy. Let us ask ourselves, “am I more resilient, or do I have a system of efficiency?”. Look at those three areas, and you might find out that you spend a lot of times in shit that doesn’t matter, doesn’t provide any growth, and clouds your journey to peace.