I have a problem. I have too much energy and a ridiculously difficult time directing it. Poor me, right? So, what do I do with my energy? Where does your energy go?
This problem has been vexing me since I was a wee one. Despite what I might message externally to anyone, I've always felt quite directionless with my energy. Now that feeling makes sense after I realized I had never put real energy into understanding my purpose. Or a vision for myself.
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When anyone has ever asked me for a 5 year plan or "where do you see yourself in 5 years?" (I've been asked this on plenty of interviews) I just made something up. I'd ask myself, "will this sound remotely reassuring to this person?" If the answer was a ballpark "yes", I just blurted it out. I told them, literally, anything they wanted to hear about the direction of my energy. This always made me feel like I was going nowhere with my life.
Also, Mitch Hedburg joke.
Case in point. I was a professional athlete for a few years. I couldn't even tell you, while in the thick of racing, what I was trying to accomplish. Other than sweating in skin tight clothing. Which, as it turns out, I can do pretty well without racing Ironman. Who knew?!
For 2020 I said enough of this shit (and celebrated some success). I need direction. Literally any direction for my energy. If I'm walking through a forest and the path diverges, I'm glad to take neither path and bushwhack my way through life. I actually prefer that to be my "direction" most of the time, not just things I do. Enter: Coach Tracey Lovejoy. (Shout out to Tracey and Catalyst Constellations!)
Tracey and I worked tirelessly on what the hell I want to do with my life. We got nowhere. I mean, we got somewhere, but not the somewhere I started asking about.
In navigating my energy and frustrations over the past 30-something years I have often neglected to look inward and really dig. The primary focus of my confusing energy has been, almost exclusively, external. What can I accomplish? Should I accomplish? Need to accomplish?
Tracey and I took a few different structured approaches to my existential crisis(es) and she eventually guided me past a grouping of giant sequoias, through a few bramble thickets, and past pile of Jurassic-era ferns into a clearing. In this clearing I saw a mission and vision for my energy. (visualization jokes... I'm soooo funny!)
My mission is to speak from my heart.
My vision is to create emotion when I speak. That my voice carries weight.
Well that's pretty fuckin' clear. Amiright?
When I think about where my energy goes, I now have a much clearer internal picture of how to direct what I do and say. I want what I produce to be from my heart. In doing so my effort should carry weight and it should create an affect on others. (Emotion isn't just about happy/sad).
My mission and vision are about what I do to produce outcomes rather than the outcomes themselves. I can totally do whatever the hell I want and as long as I know I'm doing something related to this vision and mission.
I feel much more confident now about not failing at this existence.
These are working concepts, of course. But I can already see the bushwhacked path behind me that was so often guided by these concepts without me even knowing it.
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I have a working purpose! Like a Purpose with the capital "P". The big kind.
My Purpose is to help people see joy. And if I'm speaking from my heart and working to create emotion and weight, how can I not help you see some joy in your life?
I see joy in all sorts of fun projects, out on a run (whenever I can get back to running), writing, taking pictures, making videos, helping others, and the list goes on. I want to help people see the joy that exists right in front of them.
Maybe it's their "aha" moment. Or a smile after a job well done. I want to help.
Seeing joy is also about seeing that you're not alone. Which is why I value connection so much. And authenticity within that connection.
Anyone who has ever met me knows I usually put on a show of sorts. I'm not posturing, but I am being the best Jim Carrey/Beastie Boys/Casey Neistat version of myself I can be. I want to be what brings me joy, for others. And these fellas scream joy to me.
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Joy is the answer right now but I don't know the mechanism yet. The concept of sharing has always been a piece of this puzzle for me, but in exactly what way is a bit of a mystery. I'm thinking about how I can help solve problems for someone or find shared purpose. How can I create real value for people? Value that helps me feel like I'm doing work aligned with my purpose. But. Also generates the income I need.
I've struggled with not having any particularly "big ideas". I tend to aligned myself with things that look interesting and seemingly packed with joy, and run toward those opportunities for growth and learning. Now that I have more clarity on my internal I feel more equipped to reassess the external and look for the bigger opportunities.
Examples. I always want my blog to have a focus. My instagram to have a focus. But my interests vary so much I start feeling inauthentic if I try to follow the typical recipe of social sharing (have a niche and stick to it). With an interest in being as authentic as possible, wanting authenticity to ooze from my every action, I'm thinking 2021 is a good year to figure a few things out.
So where does my energy go? If you pressed me for my intentions, I'd answer that I want influence attitudes and culture (not sure as to what scale) (Maybe that is a big idea...). I've spent too long perpetuating things I eventually feel guilty or gross about. I want to be a see-er and spreader of joy for people when we have the chance to interact in any way, whether face to face, over Zoom, or through social sharing.
And this isn't for the sake of platitudes on a poster. I want to eat happiness and shit joy for peeps. Full stop. Is that weird?
Today is a good day to see some joy in the world. See where your energy goes. :)
So. Where is your energy going right now?
March 4, 2021