If we believe the argument that love (in it’s broadest definition) is what makes us happy, then it follows that Emotional Energy is the currency with which we can actually measure and track this force as it manifests itself in our lives (as described in The Celestine Prophecy, and Emotional Energy Factor).
To set the stage, Emotional Energy is a nebulous word that, to me, just defines anything that isn’t your physical energy. We can be physically tired, but we can have ample amounts of emotional energy, thereby helping us get through the day in a positive way. The reverse is true, as we can be in top physical condition, but emotionally, don’t have the stamina/will power to get out of bed in the morning. We have methods of tracking our physical fitness (height, weight, BMI, etc..) but we have shockingly little to track how we feel emotionally, which, to me, is actually the most important part.
So if we think about emotional energy as currency, we need to track how we spend it, and how we receive it on a daily basis. Just like currency, if we spend more than we have, we are in debt (i.e. we feel bad), and if we get more than we spend, we have wealth (i.e. we are happy). The only difference from actual money is that, unlike in the real world, emotional energy can, in fact, grow on trees. There is actually an infinite source of emotional energy on the planet, but it’s up to us to track how we are feeling, and when the time is right, to tap into our own internal production mechanisms.
But first, you need to track how you are spending and receiving your emotional energy. How is it spent? You’d be the better judge of that, but any interaction with people, places, or things, usually involves an exchange of internal energy. For example, how do you feel when you are at work? Happy? Depressed? Frustrated? How about when you talk to your boss- do you usually leave feeling more energized or more drained? What about when you play with your dog- energized or drained? What about your friends- I’m sure some of them are a net drain, but some of them are a net positive. Places too- how do Natural Parks make you feel? The gym? If you go through your day, think about all the people/places/things in your life, and see what your emotional energy exchange is with them, I think it will give you a good sense of how you spend, and receive your energy.
Interactions usually fall under 3 categories: Net positive, net drain, equal. And a lot of times it depends on the circumstance too. I know that if I’m feeling down, and my parents know that, they usually make me feel a lot better. But sometimes when I’m really excited about something, they don’t know how to react and therefore make me feel worse than I did when I started the conversation. So that’s where things can get tricky. But if you take the time to map out all the relationships you have, and how they make you feel, I think you’ll be surprised with what you find.
After you’ve figured out your emotional energy map, then comes your fiduciary responsibility to make sure that you maintain wealth, and not debt, throughout your day. You have a blueprint for your life. You at least know how each person/place/thing in your life makes you feel, and depending on the day, are at least in a position to manage it. There are a lot of things you can do with this information. The easiest ones start with people: if people are a net drain on your life, chances are, it’s probably best to spend as little time with them as possible. It doesn’t have to be abrupt, but if you start the process of moving away, over time, people won’t even notice. You can replace them with spending time with people, places, or things you actually enjoy. Being cognizant of who those people things/places/activities are is the first step to incorporating more into your life.
The great part about emotional energy is that at any point, you can tap into your own personal reservoir. You just have to figure out how to create your own emotional energy when you’re feeling down. Things I’ve found that work for me include: going to they gym/running, putting on some of my favorite music and having a dance party (yes, the crazier the better), writing, playing basketball, painting, cleaning (surprising one nowadays). These are just some ideas, but the point is that you need to figure out what they are for you.
At the end of the day, these are all just observations on how to just keep in better touch with how you are feeling, and tracking that progress. Since I’ve started running a business, I believe the cliche, “What is measured is not managed”. And to me, one of the most important things I can manage is my emotional energy.
Because to me, emotional energy is the difference between simply existing, and actually living my life. Given the option, why would I spend even a day not living?