I began writing about morning routines a few weeks back. I want to focus the next few weeks to tackle the issue of waking up energized. There are a lot of factors that affect your energy level in the morning, and I want to look at each one in some depth so that you can begin to experiment with each factor to maximize your energy. (If you’re anxious to dive into morning routines, I came across an interview with Hal Elrod, the author of The Miracle Morning: The Not So Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8am)
First things first, why even care about your energy level? That may be an easy question to answer. Your energy level affects how you feel, what you think, and what you’re capable of accomplishing. It affects all of your work, all of your relationships, and every moment of your life.
But where on your list of priorities is renewing your energy, expanding your energy, managing your energy, and sustaining your energy?
Really. I’m asking. What number is it?
Is it even on your list?
Making energy renewal and management a priority would solve at least 20 of your problems (Strategy hard at work)*
But Why Don’t We Really Care?
Fatigue is part of our culture. People wear fatigue as a badge of honour.
“I’ve only slept 3 hours in 2 days”
“Oh yeah, well I pulled 2 all-nighters in a row”
Fatigue demonstrates your work ethic. Fatigue shows your dedication.
Fatigue shows your strength. It shows how much you can push yourself, break yourself, and stay standing.
Fatigue makes you cool. Fatigue makes you a badass.
From my experience, most people have never really felt rejuvenated, so a contrast doesn’t exist. We learn through experiencing contrast. (Remember health and wellness is all about learning about yourself). Opposites provide context as well as teach you that you are capable of feeling a range emotions and states of mind versus just one state or emotion. We are quick to accept one state as our identity because that is all we have experienced so far. That belief also limits us in trying anything outside that identity.
“I’m a night person”
“I’m analytical, not creative”
“I’m an introvert”
“I need 2 cups of coffee to function in the morning”
I work to provide experiences for my clients in which they thrive: clarity, restoration, deep fulfillment, purpose, lightness, dynamism, power, creativity, strength, joy…etc Soon they start to see how much more they are capable of, and that they can summon a range of feelings and states of being whenever they want.
We accept fatigue as the norm because for most of us that’s all we have experienced. It is not surprising then that we expect to feel like this all the time.
Fatigue is the absence of physical, intellectual and emotional energy.
Fatigue leads to stress. Stress is not being able to meet the demands we and others set for ourselves. Stress is the process of breaking our bodies and minds. Not surprisingly stress leads to more fatigue.
Incurring non-stop fatigue and stress is analogous to global warming. We, as a species, are destroying our habitat—that which we depend on to live. Individually we are destroying our bodies and minds—that which we depend on for our livelihood, happiness, fulfillment…etc.
Our actions ensure that we never get to where we want to be. It’s crazy, but it’s most people’s experience, so many people assume or are convinced that this is just the way it is. People will justify it and perpetuate it to others–even make being unwell cool.
“This is the only way”, they’ll say.
What they’re really saying is “This is the only way I know.”
If they say, “It can’t be done”
What they’re really saying is “I don’t know how to do it”
There are many other ways. You have natural sources of energy that remain untapped inside you.
Before we go on this journey together, I must forewarn you: Being healthy is not cool.
Get ready to grow a thicker skin.
James Swanwick shared a great story this week on Why He Quit Drinking 4 Years Ago and the reactions he got from his friends and strangers.
*Strategy is all about asking the right questions and unearthing the deep root causes of your problems. Once you get to the source, many symptoms associated with your problems disappear. You don’t need to address every problem you have, simply dig deep, look for the underlying cause and connect the dots.