Energy as Our Most Valuable Currency
Why is our energy important?
Have you noticed how you feel after completing a workout or after an amazing conversation with someone who inspires you? Your body and mind feel energized, content, and uplifted. It’s like you feel ready to take on anything! This is because such activities feed your personal energy. You use a certain amount of it in order to do the workout or to stay present and participate in the conversation, but at the same time, those activities also give you energy. They don’t just take. Our personal energy is the capacity we currently have and can invest into any given task, activity, or experience. An intricate combination of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects, it is like our reservoir with fuel. And it turns out to be our most valuable currency.
The 4 types of energy
The energy pyramid below is a great starting point for understanding the 4 different layers of our energy and how they function as one entity.
Our physical energy is the fundamental layer of it all. We need to ensure we have enough physical energy in order to be able to move up this pyramid. This one is responsible for building our endurance and promoting our mental and emotional recovery. It basically makes it easier for us to overcome and handle emotional and mental challenges when they come our way! If the physical aspect represents the quantity of our energy, then the emotional one stands for its quality. It determines whether we’re feeling positive or negative! This type is responsible for creating the internal climate we need in order to enter our ideal performance state. The main takeaways here are about staying in the present moment as a key to being in control of ourselves, and the idea that how we feel profoundly influences how we perform. The mental aspect, moreover, gives a focus to our energy. It’s essentially responsible for focusing our physical and emotional energy on the task or activity at hand. When we have high mental energy, we are able to give our full attention to whatever it is we are doing and we are capable of creating and expressing ourselves. Lastly, our spiritual energy! This aspect provides a certain force to our energy and overall well being, and works as the most powerful source of motivation and determination. It reminds us that finding our life purpose and aligning with our values is what’s going to always drive us forward. This is the kind of energy we get from feeling and knowing that what we do truly matters.
How do the 4 types of energy work in sync?
Notice their order. Much like building blocks dependent on each other, our 4 different kinds of energy can only work together as one whole system. Each one enables and supports the one above. The following examples will illustrate and elaborate on this for you! Let’s start at the bottom. If you’re ill (Physical aspect), for example, then having a lovely video call with a family member and catching up (Emotional aspect), won’t be enough to make a big difference. You’ll definitely feel a bit energized and better in the moment, but your foundation will still be suffering. You need to address your physical health before you can benefit from activities in the upper layers of the pyramid. Looking at the next layer now. When going through a break-up, for example, we are experiencing a lot of heavy and unpleasant emotions (Emotional aspect). It’s a tough time for everybody. Because our Emotional energy is so low, that also affects our Mental state. Sitting down to do deep work or focusing on a task without being distracted all the time can seem almost impossible. We won’t be able to have high Mental energy before fixing our Emotional state first. Last but not least, we have the relationship between our Mental energy and our Spiritual energy. If we are struggling to focus our attention or easily enter a creative state in order to generate ideas (Mental aspect), then it will be quite difficult for us to feel connected with ourselves, our long-term goals, life purpose, or values (Spiritual aspect).
The bottom line is we cannot access a true state of Spiritual energy without having the other three blocks taken care of first. Only when our Physical, Emotional, and Mental levels are stable and high, can we unlock the very top one. And the thing is, Spiritual energy is where our real and long-lasting driving force comes from. We know that one can seem a bit tricky because it feels more intangible and abstract, but it’s an aspect that can make a big difference in our lives. Being spiritually aligned gives us a strong sense of purpose which serves as the biggest motivation we will ever have. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is another tool that might help us make sense of this energy pyramid. It’s a widely known theory in psychology comprising a five-tier model of human needs. This too follows the principle where needs lower down in the hierarchy must be satisfied before individuals can attend to needs higher up. The logic is the same!
Maslow's hierarchy of needs
Designing our days around our personal energy
Unlike time, which is fixed for all of us, energy can be expanded and renewed. This changes the whole game! Rather than managing our time, we actually need to manage our energy. But what does that mean? Managing our personal energy means understanding it and using it wisely. There are two main things we need to implement here. Firstly, we need to figure out what activities (or people) feed us energy and which ones usually deplete us from it. We might realize that our weekly pilates classes are always a big energy booster, but that a certain administrative task is a downer every single time. Perhaps we can outsource it to someone else! Or we can spend a bit of time thinking about how to optimize it, how to get it done faster, or at what time during the day or week it will fit best. The main idea here is to minimize the activities that drain our energy and prioritize the ones which feed our energy. As much as we can! Secondly, we need to observe and learn about our energy peaks and lows, and then design our days around them when possible! That might mean tackling a big work task or a creative project during the time of day we experience the most amount of energy. And then, respectively, we might want to schedule some downtime with a book and a cup of tea during an energy dip.
Approaching every single thing from today’s to-do list with our personal energy in mind will give us a brand new perspective. When we understand how our energy works, we will be able to perform optimally, avoid burnout, and stick to our schedules and practices. Managing our energy and designing our days around it, instead of our time, is what will make us productive, healthy, and more aligned with ourselves. This is what holistic productivity and Awera are all about.
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