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Golden Oldies: Your Energy Banks

by Miki Saxon

It’s amazing to me, but looking back over more than a decade of writing I find posts that still impress, with information that is as useful now as when it was written. Golden Oldies is a collection of what I consider some of the best posts during that time. I wrote the following way back on 2006 and believe it applies even more now.

 People spend great effort learning new skills and pushing themselves to grow. They are busier, with more claims on their time; social media and FOMO eat hours and all of them require energy — especially change. Even the people who successfully juggle all this feel no joy; the zest is gone and happiness is a dim memory. Listen to their voice and you can hear that their energy is almost non-existent. Now, as then, I hope this post is of use.

Read other Golden Oldies here.

Do you have an energy budget? You should. Everything you do takes some kind of energy and your energy at any given time is finite.

As with any resource, it’s important to know where you’re spending it, how much you have left, and when you need to make a deposit.

It’s also important to recognize that you can spend energy moving forward or spinning your wheels—the first is an investment with discernible ROI, while the second is a waste.

There are three kinds of energy

  • physical,
  • mental, and
  • psychic (different from mental)

and you draw some of each for any given task. This is especially true when working to change something in your MAP because you need to

  • be awake and alert,
  • think, and
  • actuate, i.e., make the changes real.

Three kinds of energy, but only one bank for each type—not one set for professional use and one for personal.

Since an effort to change is ongoing, you’ll be drawing on your three energy banks at various times and in various amounts. These requirements need to be added to the energy needs for the rest of what you’re doing, both personally and professionally, and prioritized. The bottom line is that you shouldn’t bite off more than you can chew.

As with any bank account you need to make more deposits than withdrawals or you’ll end up like Enron. It’s your responsibility to keep them filled, just as it is to keep money in your bank account if you plan to write checks and gas in your car if you’re driving somewhere—it doesn’t happen by accident.

Moreover, what replenishes your spouse/SO/kids/pets/whatever’s energy won’t necessarily replenish yours (and vice versa).

That means that you need to learn what actions/inactions replenishes each kind of energy for you and then do them.

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