Wednesday, June 27, 2012

what's in you wednesday: where does your energy go?

My whole life I've been a writer. You can tell me something, but it doesn't correctly process in my brain unless I write it down.  It's for that reason I would listen to my college professors speak, but I had to record their lectures so I could craft on paper all of their words.

During my 2.5-day Corporate Athlete Course last week, I almost completely filled a composition notebook from the various sessions.  It helped me to digest the message during the course, but it will me help reinforce the concepts if I write them again, here.

So with that ... I present my Corporate Athlete scribble.


In western civilization, busyness is worn as a badge of honor.

But the reality is, busyness undermines productivity.

For every decade beyond the age of 30, humans lose 10% of their muscle structure and neurological capacity. And for every decade beyond the age of 30, humans tend to become more busy.  That's typically when the career kicks in to higher gear and the family scene begins to develop.  If our external demands are increasing, we need to increase our capacity to mange those demands. Because when the demands of life exceed our capacity - we crash and fail.

(I'm proof that can REALLY happen!!)

What we all want is less stress and more time. But we can't exactly add extra time to our schedules because that's not feasible. And since the stress in our lives will continue and will most likely grow - we need to nurture and harbor the critical energy that will allow us to function.

Successfully managing our energy not our time is the key to extraordinary results.

Our teacher shared with us the story of a former student, a young father, who was married with two small children. Every night, he would come home from work in time for dinner at 6:00 PM.  However, one week, he was entertaining out of town business guests and would not be home until 11:00 PM, several hours after his children were asleep. On the third day, he asked his manager if it would be possible to cut out a little early so he could swing by and see his children for 15 minutes, en route to the restaurant, that evening.

His manager agreed.

So the man left his office and drove home. On his way home, he mentally prepared himself for how he would spend those 15 precious minutes with his children, whom he hadn't seen for several days. He had a mission and he would not fail. When he arrived home, he walked in the front door and kissed his wife. He then took his phone off his belt and deliberately turned it off and placed it on the counter.

He could afford no distractions. 

Walking in to his children's room, he had a laser beam focus on his little people. He wrestled with them. He helped them to get in to their pajamas and brush their teeth. He could have read them a story, but he opted to wrestle some more instead. (He must've had two sons!!)  He then tucked them in to bed and said a goodnight prayer.  When his 15 minutes were over and he stood up to leave, his young child lifted his head from his pillow and said, "Daddy, do you think you could come home at 8:00, every night?" It was like a knife in his heart ... but it made him realize something profound:  He wasn't just there with them, he was completely focused on them and his young children could tell the difference.

They preferred the Dad who could spend 15 minutes of QUALITY time with them, over the Dad that could come home several hours earlier and not have nearly the same level of engagement.

So my question is this: who in your life deserves your best and most deliberate energy?

And more importantly .... are they getting it?


Totally unrelated: I colored my own hair and the result is not quite the color that was on the box. For that matter, it's not quite a color I've seen anywhere in nature. Thus I conclude: I don't think coloring my own hair is the best use of my energy.