People have a hard time with talk of energy, because it feels esoteric and “woo-woo.” It’s not something you can see, and many people are afraid of what they can’t see.
In yesterday’s blog post, I shared a practical and accessible way to understand what we mean when we talk about energy. It may not be visible, but we can feel it.
Understanding energy is crucial to creating space for your best work and working more effectively. So much of what gets in our way is not tactics or strategy, but energy.
Now that you have a more clear sense of what we mean when we talk about energy, here are three key principles to know about energy.
(1) Every place you spend time has energy.
Every place you go, whether physical places or virtual, has an energetic charge. Starbucks. Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. The gym. The grocery store. Your office. The library.
(If you’re an over-thinker, you go to your mind a lot, so don’t discount it.)
When you pay attention to the places you spend time and how you feel while you’re in them or after you leave, you’ll start to appreciate which energetic factors pull you in and which repel you.
Perhaps you’ve noticed that you’re more productive in certain places. Start to look at what the energy is in those places and you’ll have a head start on your productivity.
(2) Energy is contagious.
You can absorb energy from a space and from other people. And you bring your energy to a space.
You’ve experienced this online on social media, or perhaps in your work place, home life, or even at the grocery store.
If you’re feeling stress at work, you’ll likely bring that energy home. And that fight with your partner in the morning is coming to work with you. If you work around other people, you’re energy infects them. And they in turn infect others.
(This is why there’s no real divide between “work” and “life.” It’s all energy.)
I often see people reach for their hand sanitizer after riding the subway or leaving an office. How often do you think about the energy you just absorbed in a place? It has a far greater impact on you than whatever the Purell is killing off.
(3) Thoughts, emotions, and sounds carry energy.
Energy is contained within everything. Your thoughts and emotions create an energetic charge. What you listen to, read, and eat carries energy. What you wear.
The intention you set before you do something infuses energy into it.
Often what make the difference between whether someone hears you is not your words, but your energy.
You can’t fake this. If you’re annoyed by something but trying to be patient, what comes through when you speak is your annoyance, not patience and compassion.
Of course, nobody is high energy all the time. People who think they are are lying to themselves. What’s most important is to be aware of your energy and the energy you are absorbing from others, and how it impacts you as you go through your day.