“Do something today that your future self will thank you for.” — Sean Patrick Flanery
You can amplify your personal energy through 3 simple habits.
It’s not just about working harder. It’s about innovating your processes while unleashing and growing new capabilities.
These 3 personal energy habits are not obvious, and they are not common. But they are incredibly effective.
These are the 3 habits that energize me:
- Embrace the Challenge: Tackle the tough stuff head-on. It’s not about comfort; it’s about growth. But the surprise is how this resets your motivation. The last thing in the world you want to do could be the first thing to do to renew your energy.
- Fast and Furious: Shift into high gear. Speed isn’t just velocity; it’s an expressway to excellence.
- Feel the Feels: Ask yourself, “How do I want to feel doing this?” Inject intention and emotion into your tasks for a game-changing perspective.
This is the trifecta of personal energy habits. I want to share these 3 habits because they have proven themselves over time to help me unleash new levels of personal energy and high performance:
These aren’t just habits. They’re catalysts for personal revolution in your productivity.
Join the journey of pushing your boundaries and unleashing your productivity like never before!
#1. Do Something Hard Today
This has been one of my best ways to recharge, because it’s counter intuitive.
One of my habits has been Worst Thing First. Addressing the worst things first allows you to tackle the most critical and challenging issues upfront, improving efficiency and prioritization. If you do your Worst Thing First, then it no longer looms over.
So if I do my Worst Thing First for the day, it won’t loom over me for the day. If I do my Worst Thing First for the week at the beginning of the week, say a Monday or Tuesday, it’s out of the way and won’t drain my energy all week.
This can create a bit of a dilemma sometimes because you want to start your day with momentum, but you also want to make sure you address your most important tasks, and you want to also spend your best energy on your best results.
I needed a bit more science here. Enter Dr. Andrew Huberman, a neuroscientist who distills science into actionable insights.
A while back he explained how you can reset your motivation by doing something that sucks, that’s safe.
By doing something that sucks more than your current situation, you reset your motivation in the most effective way possible.
And, by knowing this, it helped me adopt a simple pattern to do at least one hard thing each day.
Hard is relative. But the real beauty in this is that I’ve found by doing my hard thing each day, which changes day to day, helps me build momentum in more ways that one. Not only do I get my hard things done, but it helps me built up a frame of reference examples of doing hard things.
So doing something hard today is the gift that keeps on giving in terms of energy, motivation, and ultimately, grit.
In the words of Albert Einstein:
“In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.” — Albert Einstein
And in the words of Christian Larson:
“Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.” — Christian Larson
#2. Do It Fast
I’ve underestimated the power of speed, multiple times in my life. I found it’s easy to slide from fast to slow, when something becomes routine or mundane, or simply, because of a lack of urgency.
But speed is a total game changer that is not always obvious.
You do things more when they are fast, because fast can make it easy. It’s quick and painless, so to say.
For example, if you can read a book in 20 minutes versus 10 hours, you’ll read more books.
If you can write an email in 2 minutes versus 20 minutes, you’ll find it’s a breeze, and you’ll enjoy your email more.
Otherwise, you get bogged down and it slows you down, and eventually this weight adds up.
It adds up each moment, it adds up in your day, it adds up in your life.
Speed is the solution.
- Speed enables focus and flow: When tasks are completed swiftly, you can maintain your focus and immerse yourself in a state of flow, where your concentration and productivity are maximized.
- Speed enables agility and adaptability: The ability to work quickly empowers you to swiftly respond to changes, seize new opportunities, and navigate challenges with agility and adaptability. You can try more things more ways. This experimentation leads to more breakthroughs, too. In this way, it helps you innovate in your personal processes for even better productivity.
- Speed builds confidence: Accomplishing tasks rapidly enhances your self-assurance and belief in your capabilities, contributing to a positive mindset that encourages taking on more challenges.
- Speed transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary: Rapid execution can elevate ordinary tasks or projects to extraordinary levels, as efficiency and promptness often lead to innovative solutions and impressive outcomes. You can also gamify your work and make it fun to improve your abilities.
My best strategy for speed is simplify.
In the words of Bruce Lee:
“It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.” — Bruce Lee
In the words of George Bernard Shaw:
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” — George Bernard Shaw
#3. Ask Yourself, “How do you want to feel when you’re doing this?”
I want to avoid falling into the trap of feeling a certain way, when I perform a particular task. I want to choose how I feel up front, so that I can practice feeling that way as I perform that particular task.
For example, if there’s a task where I might feel anxious because it’s challenging, then I change my state first. I choose to feel confident, and I first focus on changing my state, so that I’m not teaching my nervous system bad feelings.
I find it’s also easy to go from one task to another and forget to switch gears or forget to reset my state.
So, this little habit of asking myself, “How do you want to feel when you’re doing this?”, helps me catch myself and make a more conscious choice about the feelings and state I want to practice.
It might be as simple as refocus on my breathing or get out of my head. I often remember the phrase from David Goggins, “Slow your heart rate down.” And the way to slow my heart rate down is to use a few simple breathing techniques.
But let’s step into “state” a bit more since not everyone is familiar with what exactly that means…
What is State?
In psychology and personal development, a “state” refers to your current emotional, mental, and physiological condition or mood. It encompasses factors such as feelings, thoughts, energy level, focus, and physical sensations.
Your state can fluctuate throughout the day due to various factors like external circumstances, internal thoughts, and physiological changes.
How to Change Your State
Changing your state involves deliberately altering your current emotional and mental condition to shift from one mood or mindset to another. This can be a conscious effort to improve your mood, increase focus, boost energy, or manage stress.
There are several techniques you can use to change your state:
- Deep Breathing: Practicing deep, slow breaths can activate the relaxation response and help calm your mind.
- Move: Engaging in physical activities such as stretching, walking, or exercising can release endorphins and improve your mood.
- Change Your Posture: Adjusting your body language can impact your emotional state. Standing tall and maintaining an open posture can promote confidence.
- Visualization: Imagining positive scenarios or outcomes can shift your mindset and generate positive emotions. For tough stuff, see yourself on the other side of it. This will pull you forward through it.
- Affirmations: Repeating positive statements can reframe your thoughts and boost your confidence. A simple example I use is, “You’ve got this.” And I remember the feeling of different people saying this phrase to me under various circumstances.
- Change Your Environment: Moving to a different location or changing your surroundings can help break negative thought patterns.
- Listening to Music: Listening to uplifting or calming music can influence your emotions and energy.
- Laughing: Laughter releases endorphins and instantly improves your mood.
- Setting Goals: Having clear goals and a sense of purpose can motivate you and positively influence your state. You can even just set mini-goals to gamify the challenge before you. How fast can you do it, or how fun can you make it?
- Mindfulness and Meditation: Practicing mindfulness or meditation can help you become aware of your current state and choose how to respond.
Changing your state is a skill that takes practice. Different techniques work better for different people and situations, so you have to experiment and discover what methods resonate with you.
By learning to manage and intentionally alter your state, you can improve your overall well-being and enhance your ability to navigate life’s challenges effectively.
In the words of Bruce Lee:
“Do not wait for circumstances to change. Create the change yourself.” — Bruce Lee
In the words of Brian Tracy:
“You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.” — Brian Tracy
In the words of Marcus Aurelius:
“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” — Marcus Aurelius
In the words of the Dalia Lama:
“Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.” — Dalai Lama
And in the words of Oprah Winfrey:
“The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.” — Oprah Winfrey
Combining These 3 Habits Creates a Compound Impact on Energy Levels
The compound effect of implementing three simple habits – doing something hard each day, doing it fast, and asking how you want to feel while doing it – can have a profound impact on your energy levels and overall results.
- Do Something Hard Each Day: Incorporating a daily habit of tackling something challenging or outside of your comfort zone can lead to significant personal growth. By consistently engaging in tasks that require effort and skill development, you gradually expand your capabilities and build resilience. This not only boosts your self-confidence but also generates a sense of accomplishment that energizes you.
- Do It Fast: Adopting a habit of swift action and prompt execution is crucial for productivity and energy management. Procrastination can drain your energy and create mental clutter. When you commit to getting things done quickly, you free up mental space and eliminate the stress associated with delayed tasks. This efficient approach prevents tasks from accumulating and overwhelming you, leading to improved focus and vitality.
- Asking How You Want to Feel: Incorporating the habit of consciously considering how you want to feel while performing a task can significantly impact your mindset and energy. When you proactively choose a positive emotional state, you can shape your perception of the task itself. This can help you find enjoyment, satisfaction, and engagement in activities that might otherwise seem mundane or challenging. By aligning your emotions with the task at hand, you infuse it with purpose and enthusiasm.
When combined, these three habits create a powerful synergy that enhances your energy levels and overall results.
Doing something hard challenges you to grow, doing it fast eliminates unnecessary stress, and focusing on how you want to feel infuses each task with a sense of purpose and positivity.
Over time, the compound effect of consistently practicing these habits can lead to increased productivity, improved emotional well-being, and a heightened sense of accomplishment – all of which contribute to a more energized and fulfilling life.
Bonus: Gratitude is the Ultimate Way to Change Your State
Gratitude holds the power to transform your state of mind in a profound way, and scientific studies reveal its remarkable ability to counteract negative emotions.
When you immerse yourself in feelings of gratitude, you create a mental shift that can help you overcome fear and anger, ultimately leading to a heightened sense of power and resourcefulness.
Scientifically speaking, gratitude has been shown to activate areas of the brain associated with reward and positive emotions. When you focus on what you’re grateful for, your brain releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter linked to pleasure and motivation.
This surge of positive neurochemicals counteracts the neurochemicals associated with fear and anger.
Fear and anger are often rooted in the amygdala, a part of the brain responsible for processing emotions. When you experience gratitude, the activity in the amygdala diminishes, making it difficult for fear and anger to take hold.
Essentially, the brain struggles to process conflicting emotions simultaneously, and the presence of gratitude weakens the grip of negative emotions.
By practicing gratitude and consciously shifting your focus to the things you appreciate, you can effectively rewire your emotional responses. Instead of getting stuck in feelings of fear or anger, you redirect your attention to positive aspects of your life.
This mental shift not only diffuses negativity but also empowers you to summon feelings of strength and resourcefulness. Deep appreciation for the good in your life creates a foundation of positivity from which you can draw when faced with challenges.
Mastering the ability to switch into a state of gratitude equips you with a powerful tool to navigate your emotions and reactions.
By training your mind to dwell on the aspects of life you’re thankful for, you can disrupt the cycle of fear and anger, replacing them with feelings of empowerment and a deep sense of resourcefulness.
This practice allows you to tap into your inner reservoir of positivity, enabling you to approach difficulties with a stronger and more resilient mindset.
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