Energy of the Mind
Aristotle said that, “The energy of the mind is the essence of life.”
How often have you felt tired? I’m not talking about physical exhaustion, like only getting two hours of sleep and being run down. I’m talking about overall just feeling blah…Maybe you feel uninspired or unmotivated. There are times that you just don’t feel like doing anything and all you want to do is go loaf on the coach or sleep. But what if I told you that all those feelings are within your control. That really, you’re creating them. Which is excellent news actually. If you’re creating those feelings of feeling uninspired or unmotivated then it also means you’re capable of creating feelings that are motivating and inspiring. Want to know how?
You CREATE How You FEEL
It starts with your THOUGHTS. It has nothing to do with your circumstances or what’s happening around you. We are presented with circumstances in life and then we place a thought to them. We decide what we think of it. Whether it’s fun, boring, sad, happy, good, or bad. Our feelings of vigor and life come from 100% of what you’re generating in your mind – hence, Aristotle, “The energy of the mind is the essence of life.” You create that essence by what you allow to stay in your mind.
We want to think that it has something to do with the boring meeting we’re sitting in or the chuch class that seems to go on and on and on forever. That makes total sense, you go into a class awake and alert and then within 15 minutes of the teacher reading from the text you’re yawning and fighting the urge to sleep. You’re feeling bored and uninspired because the teacher is boring. I hear ya. I used to think that too. But it’s not boring teacher’s fault to blame for your lack of inspiration, it’s yours.
ENERGY PRODUCING THOUGHTS and ENERGY DEPLETING THOUGHTS
There are two kinds of thoughts that we generate: Energy Producing thoughts and Energy Depleting thoughts. Take yourself back to that classroom where you’re sitting there thinking something is wrong with your watch because it feels like it’s been five hours but your watch reads that it’s only been five minutes. What thoughts are you thinking?
*This is BORING
*They’re reading from the textbook!
*I COULD HAVE READ IT FROM THE TEXTBOOK!
*Why am I even here?
*How long do I have to sit through this?
*They read so slow
*Seriously, how can only two minutes have passed?
*I can’t take it. This is horrible.
As our THOUGHTS generate how we FEEL – how do you think I’m going to feel after sitting through a class like that? – Tired, uninspired, annoyed, bored
Here’s another example: Sometimes my kids complain because they don’t want to do their school work. They tell me they’re tired. “Please, oh please, can I do this later? I’m so tired.” they plead. Sometimes I let them but then they go to lunch and they play outside and they laugh and giggle. They’ll run around chasing each other and all of the sudden they’re not tired anymore. Was it that the circumstances had changed? Or that they changed their thinking?
Because I bet ya that if I told them we were going to continue their coursework outside they’d go straight back to feeling so, so tired again. It’s all their thoughts about the coursework – or any work, really.
Same with us. That loooong class that never seemed to end that we were so tired in can be invigorating and inspiring to the person next to you. We’ve all experienced that scenario before right? Where you come out of a movie of a class and you were bored and tired but then you talk to your friend or spouse about it and they absolutely loved it. To them it was great! If it were the circumstance making you tired then it would affect everyone else too. But it didn’t and it generally doesn’t because “boring, not good, slow” are all thoughts and not everyone thinks the same way. Which again leads to the point that your THOUGHTS create how you FEEL.
You can CHANGE the way you FEEL
If you find yourself feeling bored, uninspired, unmotivated don’t blame the circumstance. Start looking into your mind at your thoughts and see what’s going on up there. I guarantee you’re having ENERGY DEPLETING thoughts. Energy depleting thoughts are those thoughts that can have no other outcome than to result in feeling tired, bored, and unmotivated. That list of thoughts I named above for the class – look at all those – what other feelings could those possibly generate besides feeling tired, bored, and stuck. Those are energy depleting thoughts.
What if I went to that class and yes, the teacher was still reading from the textbook at a monotone level but this time instead of thinking, “This is so boring.” I thought, “How can I make this interesting to me?” How differently would I be feeling? How quickly I changed my feelings. I went from an energy depleting thought – “this is boring.” to a question, “How can I make this interesting?” – energy producing. I gave my mind something else to do. If I’m bored it is my OWN fault.
What other thoughts could I replace those energy depleting thoughts with to make them energy producing?
– A line of inquiry always works to start with: Curiosity, fascination, wonder
-Why does the teacher feel the need to read straight from the text?
-How is it possible they still have this position after so many years?
-What can I do to make this interesting to me?
-I wonder who in here likes this way of teaching?
All those thoughts have answers that you’ve just assigned to your brain to figure out. You’ve given yourself a job to do – PRODUCING – You’re not going to be bored while you’re figuring out questions and genuine inquiry.
The second thing you can do is flip all your original thoughts. Byron Katie likes to do this and it really is amazing what happens when you do this. Example: My original thought, “This is so boring.” – flip it – “This is not boring.” – Now your mind will start working to find ways to make this statement true or more believable. Again, you’ve given your mind something to do. You’re not going to be bored while you’re actively seeking answers and trying to figure things out.
Thoughts are Powerful
Be careful of your thinking. It is powerful and the essence of LIFE. If I’m feeling uninspired I don’t wait around for inspiration to strike. That’s so disempowering. I create my own inspiration by my thoughts. I ask myself lots of questions and the feelings those produce are motivation to find the answers, determination to get to the bottom of things and from those to inspiration.
Don’t wait around to feel like doing something. You have to stop dabbling with energy depleting thoughts and shift into thinking energy producing thoughts. You never need to wait for inspiration to strike or to feel like being motivated to do something. You just need to keep close tabs on your mind and what you’re thinking about. You can always create mind energy for yourself. You can always get yourself out of a funk. It’s not up to anyone else or a circumstance that determines how you feel. You’re in charge. You’re in control. You decide how you want to feel and what you want to do.
Try it the next time you start feeling bleh…let me know how it goes!
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