I was recently at a Tony Robbins event, and boy was I once again blown away. Tony provided so many good take-away reminders and lessons. I do a lot to protect my energy, but I forgot about some of the activities I can do to quickly boost my energy right now no matter how up or down it seems to be. At the event I was up dancing and screaming for hours on end, and I had more energy at midnight than I normally have at 7pm. And it wasn’t just me, nearly everyone experienced the same phenomenon.
In light of this experience I became very aware of things that increased or decreased my energy when I returned home.
Recently, I had a conversation my friend Brad Davidson, who is an awesome trainer. We have the same philosophy about food and exercise. Brad and I were chatting about a similar experience we both had. We both normally get up very early, pray and meditate and then exercise. However the evening prior, he decided to have pizza with his kids. Since he doesn’t do this often, this isn’t really a big deal, right? That same night I decided to have a glass of wine (one, normal sized glass). I usually don’t have more than a couple of glasses of wine each month so it’s not a big deal, right? But during our conversation the next day, we both expressed that we had the same revelation about how our lifestyle choices directly affected our energy. We both overslept. We both expressed not having the normal energy we have to get up and enjoy the morning. What we ate or drank the evening before, wasn’t “bad”, in fact it was pretty normal.
“It’s hard to slay dragons with an adult sword.” — Brad Davidson
I follow a strict program about 95% of the time, and generally don’t feel bad if I have a little something that doesn’t fit the program 5% of the time. So if I occasionally have a glass of wine or a scoop of ice cream, I don’t make a big deal out of it. But I’m honest about the 5% rule. I don’t do it 20% of the time and call it 5%.
Regarding my overall health, this strategy works well for me. I don’t have bizarre rashes, or the digestive issues I used to get from eating a lousy diet. However, I began to reassess this 5% rule from a different perspective, from the perspective of how these foods affect my energy. This isn’t a judgement of right or wrong, just an assessment based on what I want in my life. Limiting foods that I know aren’t great for me to less than 5% allows me to live a “normal” life. But here is the question I have for you. “Do you want to be normal?” I don’t! I realized that I was limiting myself to normal with some of the choices I was making. I don’t want normal energy because I don’t live a normal life. If you want to be normal, engage in normal behaviors. If you want to have an extraordinary life, engage in extraordinary behaviors.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t ever eat pizza or have a glass of wine. What I am saying is to be honest with yourself about what it’s costing you if you do. What is it costing you with your energy and your relationships? If you don’t have energy, are you as likely to do a good job at work or engaging with your kids? If you actually like being normal, or “average” (another word for normal), then you will decide which behaviors are suitable. If you really want to be outstanding in all areas of your life, limit how often you engage in behaviors that steal your energy. Instead of making these decisions right or wrong, ask yourself if what you’re about to do is going to help you get what you want, or if it’s limiting you to “normal”. Simply asking yourself that question daily may change the way you see food and the lifestyle decisions you make.
Here are few common energy sapping behaviors:
- Eating sugar and processed food
- Drinking alcohol
- Smoking marijuana
- Being sedentary – movement increases energy
- Being dehydrated
- Binge watching Netflix
- Lack of new learning
- Focusing on your problems
- Not forgiving
- Chronic anger
Here’s a challenge for the week. Choose three things to commit to from the list of energy boosting activities below. I recommend you keep it simple so you’ll do it and follow through. I bet you feel a significant increase in your energy!
Increase your energy this week by doing the following:
- Start each morning by focusing on 3 things you’re grateful for
- Start each morning with warm lemon water
- Drink 1-2 extra glasses of water each day
- Do something to help someone else – even something small
- Replace 30 minutes of TV or screen time with a walk
- Replace 2-3 alcoholic beverages with sparkling spa water
- Replace 2-3 processed snacks with cut veggies or fresh fruit
- Engage in new learning
For more tips to boost focus energy and mood, listen to The Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast.