Your Energy level is the determining factor for your Drive
Thomas was the energetic owner of a small brokerage firm that sourced rare and sometimes dangerous materials for its clients. It was a strange world of heavy regulation, and lots’ of ‘who knows who’ contacts. Three months into coaching Thomas seemed to change.
“I am so tired every day now. I don’t get it. I just went on a vacation, but I dread coming to work. I know I should care about the bad sales, but I cannot be bothered anymore. My drive is gone.”
Something in his story sounded familiar. “Have you visited a doctor?” I asked.
“Why would I, I am just tired.”
“You might have Lyme’s disease. I had a colleague who had the same symptoms as you. Went from high energy to just being miserable.”
So Thomas went and visited the doctor. It turned out, he had Lyme. Since the entire company was carried by his high energy relationships, the company returns took a deep dive…
7th dimension of Character: Energy and Health
In the previous blogs about the ‘dimensions of Self’ far we have discussed 6 dimensions of the inner world of people’s character, but there are two other dimensions of the Human character left to discuss. The first one is the relationship between ‘Body’ and ‘Mind’; your attitude towards your Energy and Health level.
It is well known that the more people acquire real wealth, the more they are aware of their bodies, whereas for example obesity is far more prevalent under the working poor. And although some of that can be explained by the tragic fact that junk food is subsidized and healthy food is relatively expensive, there is much more to this. Ask someone who just lost a significant amount of weight about how they feel and they will usually respond with an answer like “I have so much more energy now”.
People like attractive, self confident people. Therefore people that feel better and look better will get the better opportunities, and as a result spend even more attention, and money, to how they feel and look. It can become a self reinforcing spiral, both upwards as well as downwards.
And what is drive other than focused energy?
When we speak about this 7th dimension of Energy and Health we are really talking about your Mindset on:
- Nutrition (and related to that all medication taken),
- Physical exercise, and
- Relaxation (sleep and vacation periods).
It is a combination of knowledge and goal setting, discipline (habits), and of maintaining all three fields at their peak performance levels.
That your mind is influenced by your body, and vice versa is of course the basis for Yoga exercises. Just as in any area, success starts with measuring. I have witnessed remarkable comebacks by some business owners who addressed their vitamin D deficiency and suddenly were no longer tired all the time.
One often overlooked part in this dimension is that of the natural sleep and rest cycles, the so called circadian rhythms. Besides the needed rest at night, there is a smaller ‘slow down’ period, usually early in the afternoon.
Get weaned of coffee and alcohol for a while, and discover your natural cycles: When is your brain performing at its peak power? In the morning? Or are you ‘an evening person’. What is the best time for you to go to sleep? Once you have found that out, schedule your daily activities around these time periods. Do the ‘busy work’ when you are not at your optimum energy level. Do the (mental) heavy lifting when you are at your peak.
In his world famous work ‘Thinking Fast, Thinking Slow’ Noble Prize winner Daniel Kahneman describes how an Israeli study showed that the time of day when judges handled requests for clemency due to good behavior had a major impact on the likelihood that the request was approved. If you were unlucky that your case was handled at the end of the day you were basically always out of luck. Why? The judges were tired, and were not ready to make risky decisions where they could make mistakes. But a case that was handled straight after a break, had a much better chance…
The extra energy that you can put into your important activities, instead of going through the motions, can make the difference between success or mediocrity. It is no wonder that the ads in the ’employee wanted’ section often mention the need for someone with ‘drive’.