Thoughts on prizing ones “personal energy”

Recently, I was in a conversation where a thought came to me.  Basically, what I said was that I “prize” my energy.  The best way to describe what this means is to repeat the conversation:

I had mentioned how, while I was at the University, it became clear that I would have to be engrossed with all this “crap” and nonsense that would go on for God knows how long.  I’d have to worry about my GPA, if I did everything the way each teacher wanted, if I did all the correct extra-curricular activities, and such.  While I was there I spent more time dealing with this “crap” than doing anything productive.  And, according to what I was told and saw, it was going to get worse.  The natural reaction that appeared in me was simple:  I was repelled by it and turned away, which is exactly what happened.  Once I saw that I was “in the crap” I said, “that’s it!” and got out of the University . . . one of the best moves I did in my life.

Now, Mr. American Success would say that I had “given up” or “failed” in some way (God help us all!).  In actuality, I turned away from a condition that would entail the endless and worthless expending of my energy.  This is not new to me.  As I look back on my life I have found that if anything entails endless and worthless expending of my energy I tend to turn away from it.  Why?  The words that automatically came out of my mouth are:  ” . . . I have more important and productive things to do”.  In other words, I’m going to use my energy for productive means . . . not waste it on nonsense.  What this shows is that I “prize” my energy and do not want to waste it on things.  I want my energy to go to worthwhile things, not on ‘administrative red tape’, ridiculous unproductive scrambling, and such.  This tendency I still feel today.  If anything does happen to entail a lot of my energy I HAVE TO KNOW that it will lead to good things.  If I don’t feel that, then I will not want to do it . . . I’ll turn away and go somewhere else.

Some people may interpret this as being ‘lazy’ or searching for the ‘path of least resistance’.  This is utter nonsense.  When I use my energy on productive means I am productive.  When it is wasted on nonsense then I am not productive.  It’s that simple!  By focusing my energy in areas that are productive I achieve and accomplish the most.  This is no ‘lazy endeavor’ nor is it a ‘path of least resistance’.  Many people who waste their energy on nonsense (such as those who go to the University or who are in Business or the government) end up having to use the system to “judge” their productivity.  They use the ‘system measurement’ to determine what they do, such as that they got a 4.0 or received an award and this is often made a big deal of, almost as if god himself gave it to them.  My experience, though, is that these people are wasting most of their energy to satisfy the ‘system’ . . . and don’t even know it.  Nowadays, most people waste their energy on nonsense.

This idea of one’s “personal energy” is something I have spoken of a lot through the years.  I have always felt that a person only has “so much energy to expend”.  As a result, it must be managed and controlled, directed to worthwhile thingsAnything that wastes ones energy should be avoided.  A good example of this is when I would go through museums while on vacation in Europe.  At first, I’d see everything.  This just whipped me out and everything became one big blur . . . I couldn’t even remember what I saw.  Why?  It took all my energy.  Over time I began to learn to ‘manage’ my “personal energy”.  Now, before I go into a museum, I look at where everything’s at and then I would plan to go see only those things that I am interested in, bypassing everything else.  When I did this I found that I appreciated what I saw more, remembered them, and was not whipped out after words.  This same logic is the same I used in the example of the University above.  In that case, I foresaw that it would waste my energy so I turned away from it.

In my opinion, to go beyond one’s “personal energy levels” ends up causing a number of problems such as:

  • It impairs a person and prevents growth and development.
  • It makes a person unproductive. 
  • It makes a person unhappy. 

This is what my experience is anyways.  As a result, the management of ones “personal energy” is critical in life.  Life is best lived when one is managing one’s “personal energy” well.  This is done in a number of ways:

  • By devoting one’s “personal energy” to productive ends.
  • By avoiding wasteful expenditure of one’s “personal energy”.
  • By keeping one’s “personal energy” within acceptable limits.  This means that there is a ‘range of expenditure’ of ones “personal energy”.  That is to say, there’s a limit when too much energy is expended and a limit when too little is expended.  This creates a range that one’s “personal energy” must always be to be most productive.  In many ways, its like an airplane engineer watching the gauges for the turbine engines.  He must make sure that all the temperatures, the pressures, etc. are within acceptable ranges.  If they go over or under then it can lead to problems.  Really, we’re no different.

Knowing ones “personal energy” means that one must monitor it.  That is to say, one must know when it is ‘too much’ or ‘too little’.  This takes years of experience and watching oneself.  Its a reflection, I think, of knowing oneself.  In this way, a person must watch for and learn what situation one works the best in.  This, of course, varies with each person.   Some people, such as myself, work best in non-stressful situations, for example.  Other people may thrive in it.  Most people, though, don’t watch themselves enough to find these things out.  To know ones “personal energy” a person has to be aware of oneself and how one reacts in the world.  I think that’s the only way a person can learn to appreciate and “prize” their “personal energy”.

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