Most of us believe that we have a finite amount of energy each day, and we must carefully monitor and ration it so we get everything done that we need to, without collapsing from exhaustion before we’ve even reached lunchtime.
A significant factor in how much energy we have is down to three core elements that everyone needs – sleep, food and exercise.
And by honouring these needs as best we can, we can give ourselves as much energy as possible, and lead as healthy a life as possible.
But beyond these obvious needs we all have, what if your energy wasn’t limited, that you weren’t just given a little battery of energy each day and when it ran out, that was it, you had no choice but to rest until some returned?
What if there was a way you could magically increase your energy beyond those apparent limits?
Well the great news is we can increase our energy, and we’re in control of it far more than we might think.
There are three crucial elements we can look at and fine tune to help us have more energy for creating.
First, we can choose tasks and projects that actually give us energy, rather than take it away.
Think of the times when you’ve been creating something you’re incredibly excited about and completely immersed in. Time flies by – an hour passes in what seems like minutes – and you lose track of where you are, even who you are.
By choosing the artwork and the projects most important to us, and even more importantly, by letting go of many of those that aren’t as important, we can summon up energy that we didn’t know we had.
Take a quick look at the current projects you have on the go.
How many fit into the category of: “I cannot WAIT to get creating this project again, and I get so excited and immersed in it, it’s almost like I have superhuman energy and enthusiasm when I’m working on it…”?
How many fit into a category that looks more like: “I suppose I’d better try to finish this project sometime, if I can muster up even a little bit of motivation and drag myself through it, it might not be too painful or difficult…”?
Here’s a big tip – let go of those projects that fit the latter category and focus on just one or two that fit the first superhuman energy category!
Second, creating every day gives us tremendous momentum and this translates into energy.
When you commit to creating for a minimum time each day (and you can start with just five minutes if you want) then with each day your momentum builds. With each day, your creative habit becomes a little more powerful, it becomes a little easier.
The energy you were wasting before endlessly deliberating whether to create, what to create, and for how long, can all now be directly purely into creating the art itself.
Have you ever seen a new path or road laid, then a few weeks or months later, the concrete has cracked and warped and tiny flowers have found their way through to the surface?
How much energy would they need to do that in a matter of seconds? An unbelievable amount, it’d never happen! But by growing a little tiny, almost imperceptible amount every hour of every day, those tiny flowers make amazing progress. Their little leaves can break concrete.
A micron at a time they get closer and closer to the surface, their consistency and determination means their blossoming is inevitable and indestructible.
You can find the same kind of energy in your creative life by simply creating a little each day and building the same kind of powerful habits, momentum and unstoppable energy.
Third, the people and influences you surround yourself with greatly influence the energy you have.
In this sense we can say there are two types of people – drains and radiators.
The drains do just that – drain the energy of those they’re around, sucking their energy with criticism, moaning and negativity. They don’t even have to be negative about you specifically. Just spending a few minutes with someone who’s constantly broadcasting doom and gloom to all who’ll listen is enough to cause your own mood to plummet too.
Radiators on the other hand are people who radiate energy and enthusiasm. They’re kind, encouraging and supportive, and spending time with them leaves you feeling invigorated and uplifted, and as if you’ve been plugged into an electric socket and given a boost of energy.
Take a hard look at the people who you surround yourself with. Are they drains or radiators?
Who do you spend time with that is nothing but a leech on your own energy and happiness? Find ways to spend less time with them, or to cut them from your life altogether.
Who do you spend time with that make you feel a million dollars, that always has something encouraging to say? They don’t need to all be people you know in person, they can be writers and artists online too. Anyone who gives you energy and makes you feel better, more creative, more energised.
Also, take a look at yourself. How much of a drain or radiator are you on the people around you? How can you enable others to feel more uplifted, more energised and at the same time feel more like this yourself too?
(Hint: encouraging others and seeing their progress is incredibly inspiring and uplifiting. It’s why I chose to pursue a career as a creativity coach!)
I hope you can see from highlighting these three areas, we are not slaves to a very limited amount of energy.
We can consciously choose ways to bring more energy into our lives.
And, just as importantly, if not even more so, we can consciously choose which projects and acquaintances we can begin to let go of, and make space for others that are so much better for us, and that will add to our energy, not take it away.
How do you manage your energy? What can you do in the next 48 hours to increase the energy you have to create your art? Leave your thoughts and comments below. : )
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