Maximize Your Energy

Teenagers and Phones
As a parent, I always want to be in communication with my children.  So, when my daughter showed she was responsible enough to take care of a cell phone, we bought her an older model phone.  She did not care how old it was because she now had the “holy grail.”  I have learned that a teenager’s cell phone is their life.  As a high school teacher, I often have students coming into my class requesting to charge their phones.  Apparently, if the phone dies, they die too.  You should see the looks on their faces when their phone is almost out of juice.  They seriously cannot function.  Then, when I grant their request and the phone is plugged in, a look of peace washes over them.  They can breathe again.  If you do not have your own teenager, you probably think I am exaggerating but I assure you that I am not.  A teenager with a fully charged phone needs nothing else in this life – not even food and water.

A phone charged or charging is the image I want you to think of when it comes to your own energy.  Since, you do not have unlimited energy, you need to know how to recharge your batteries.  By definition, energy is the capacity to do work and you have a lot of work to do every day.  However, there is a big problem with the way most people try to recharge their batteries.  Have you heard about the energy crisis?

The Billion Dollar Energy Crisis
I recently did some research on the energy drink market.  One article I read said that it is a $55 billion per year industry.  WOW!  55 Billion and rising.  Basically, companies are capitalizing on a simple mix of water, sugar, caffeine and other legalized stimulants.  When you walk into your favorite convenience store looking for something cold to drink, take notice of how many of those coolers are now filled with energy drinks.  Personally, I have never had one.  I prefer to drink coffee.  Strangely though, I like it just for the sweet taste after I add some natural sugars.  I even prefer decaffeinated coffee unlike the serious coffee drinkers.  They average about 3 cups of caffeine per day.  That is why it is an 18 billion dollar per year industry.  Clearly, the caffeine business is booming.  The main reason is that people need energy and they are relying on caffeine to do the job.  However, I believe that consuming large amounts of caffeine is a physical solution to an emotional problem.

4 Quadrants of Emotions
All the emotions you experience daily can be put into four different categories or quadrants.  Three of them will zap your energy and only one recharges you.  Two are negative and two are positive.

When you feel sad, depressed, lonely, etc., you are in the low energy, negative emotional quadrant.  Those feelings will slowly drain your energy.  Picture yourself slowly sinking underwater.  Eventually, you will need to come up for air.

When you feel angry, fearful, frustrated, anxious, etc., you are in the high energy, negative emotional quadrant.  Those feelings will drain your energy quickly.  Picture yourself panicking in a deep lake because you cannot swim.  You need to be rescued, immediately.

Both of these negative emotional quadrants are not healthy.  You do not want to live your life in them.  People who are always in a bad mood live life in the negative quadrants.  Therefore, it is imperative to have strategies to navigate back to positive emotions.  Controlling your breathing is often the quickest way back – nice, slow, deep breaths.  Praying, meditating, changing your scenery, listening to music, exercising, eating healthy foods and taking breaks are all great strategies too.  It is important to stay positive because any negative emotion will drain your energy.

The high energy, positive emotional quadrant consists of feelings of excitement, challenge, celebration, pumped up, etc.  Although, these are great feelings it is important to realize that what goes up must come down.  You cannot sustain these energy levels.  However, you should ride them out.  Picture yourself on a surfboard riding an awesome wave all the way to shore.  That is the goal when you find yourself in this quadrant.  Ride the emotional wave to the end but know that when it is over, you will be tired.

The final quadrant is the low energy, positive one with feelings of peace, calmness, relaxation, etc.  This is the place you want to spend most of your time each day.  This is where energy is restored.  Picture yourself staring at calm waters while the sun rises or sets.  Maybe you prefer the mountains or the oceans.  Whatever calms you is your serenity place and that is your charging station.  This is where you will be RESTored.  This is where you will maximize your energy.

No matter what you do in life, emotions are interconnected.  They fuel your energy levels.  I hope that you see that the solution to a lack of energy is emotional rather than physical.  I hope you will not consume unhealthy amounts of caffeine to get energy.  I believe if you learn to navigate from negative to positive emotions ASAP and spend most of your days in the low, positive quadrant you will find rest and peace.  You will recharge your batteries.  You will truly maximize your energy.

I hope you are encouraged and please add your comments below.