What Comes First: Energy Or Achievement?
“What you do with your life and how you do it either adds energy to or subtracts energy from your life,” writes Gary in The Millionaire Real Estate Agent. “The energy you have at your disposal—the fuel for your life—is determined by the choices you make.” In other words, we must be aware of how the choices we make can affect our energy, and through our energy, our success.
Important accomplishments with life-changing results don’t just happen in a day — they take time. Reaching Big Goals requires ongoing, sustained effort. And to keep momentum over the long-term, we must have an enormous amount of energy. This energy fueling happens two ways: paying attention to the five major energy areas of our lives — the spiritual, physical, emotional, mental, and business — and by continuing to learn.
The Five Energy Areas and How to Feed Them
Being intentional about how you put energy into the spiritual, physical, emotional, mental, and business areas of your life will help you live the best life possible. But, you have to take responsibility for your energy and how you allocate it. Before you start feeling overwhelmed with the thought that you have to be aware of your energy all the time — take a breath! There are skills and routines that you can use to create a plan that keeps these energy areas sustained and fulfilled.
Spirituality and religion look different for everyone. But some kind of spiritual practice can create space in your life for growth, understanding, and connection to the world. Many people, like Gary, recommend focusing on this area first in your daily plan. Being spiritually grounded or at peace can set you up to be clearer and more intentional with the other energy areas in your life (and other people). Time spent in quiet reflection can lead to inner peace. The way you practice spirituality in your life may vary greatly from your spouse, neighbor, or friend. However, whether you choose to congregate at a communal space (church, temple, or mosque), meditate in solitude, or simply practice mindfulness for a set amount of time, tending to this energy area will feed your spiritual life and provide you with a welcome calm energy that you can return to if you need centering throughout the rest of your day.
This energy area is comprised of two things: exercising and eating. Both facets need fueling for you to stay healthy.
Like Gary and Jay write in The One Thing, “the food we eat is a key player in our level of willpower,” and willpower is intrinsically connected to energy and success. In other words, how you feed yourself impacts brain health as well as bodily health. In The ONE Thing, they discuss how the prefrontal cortex (which, according to the American Psychology Association is the area of the brain implicated in attention, planning, working memory, and the expression of emotions and appropriate social behaviors) feels the impact should you skip a meal. That’s a whole new layer to the idea of “food for thought.”
While exercising isn’t a one-size-fits-all practice, getting in some physical activity will fill you with energy and help create a solid mindset for the rest of your day. According to Healthline, if you’re able to exercise early in the day, it can benefit you physically in several ways. It helps to maintain healthy cortisol levels, provides more “fat-burning hours” than exercising at night (if your goal is to lose weight), helps manage blood glucose levels and blood pressure, and can improve your sleep habits. Working out early also improves brain function with increased alertness and focus, and it gives you endorphins which help boost your mood throughout the day.
Many people reserve “emotional energy” for nights or weekends, which is when they think they have the most time to spend with the people they care about. However, not seeing to this energy area during the weekdays is a mistake. Being in touch with our emotional energy keeps us in touch with our core values and our deep motivations (like our Big Why) and keep us focused on why we need to accomplish our goals.
To make sure that your emotional energy is actually accounted for and powering your life, be mindful about including it in your day. Plan to spend time with people you love. For some, this may look like sitting down to breakfast with a simple bowl of cereal, just to get face time in with your partner or children. For others, it may mean reaching out to a friend or elderly relative to catch up as you commute home from work. Even tucking a little positive affirmation or love note into someone special’s lunch bag can go a long way toward building positive energy in this area that can last throughout your day. Nurturing your emotional energy is essential to sustaining your mental health, which is now more important than ever.
Focusing on planning and getting your calendar in order will set your mental energy up to carry you successfully through the workday. Whatever tools you use for scheduling, put them into action early. That way you can see the big picture and focus on what’s necessary to get done. We always suggest clearing your calendar for specific “planning time.” During this time, it’s a good idea to examine what you’re looking to accomplish and what you need to do to stay on track in the week and month ahead to reach these goals. When you allot specific time out of your day and week to determine how you will use your time, you’re planning how you can best be productive on a day-to-day basis. Planning when you’ll be productive and when you will focus your time elsewhere allows you to know when to focus, which in turn, boosts your mental energy.
Here is where you spend your most energized hours in the office on the most important tasks for making your business successful. For agents, this means lead generation. You must generate the leads necessary to get appointments and close deals. As stated in MREA, “for effective lead generation, you need to be systematic (frequency and consistency) and go for sheer volume.” Use these hours to reach out to people in your database or create a marketing plan aimed at gaining new contacts. Depending on your position, these hours may also include recruiting talent. Whatever the most important things you must tackle to successfully run your business are, get them done when your energy is highest.
Renewal Through Learning
Another way to maintain energy at a high enough level so that you can achieve your Big Goals is to live a learning-based life. This means you must commit to regularly gaining knowledge so that you can hone your skills and develop great awareness. This, as Gary says, is the foundation of proactivity. When you have these highly developed skills and awareness, what you do to achieve your Big Goals will feel more effortless and you will be required to expend less energy to get there. You should aim to spend 10 to 15 percent of your time pursuing learning, and you can learn by doing or studying, AKA you can practice skills or read about those who have perfected skills before you. In this way, learning is leverage. It provides you with wisdom, competence, and foresight. You can then streamline your energy so that what you expend benefits you in the best and most resourceful way possible.
Keep Your Energy to Maintain Your Focus
The truth is you don’t always know what your day is going to look like. Curveballs come at you, surprises arise, and you march on anyway. But even when these things happen, when you time block for productivity and focus in the areas of life that are important to you, you can still be extremely productive.
The Millionaire Real Estate Agent recommends getting these energy-charging practices done before 11 a.m. — the first two at home and the last three at work. Although the benefits of waking up early are well-documented, making sure that we block time for tending to these different types of energy throughout the day can still bring us immense benefits even if we’re not early birds. Once you get into this type of routine, the momentum you’ll build will help create a feedback loop, where the energy we put into cultivating and tending the energy we have will carry us to our Big Goals.
Commit to the idea of putting your energy plan into place and nurturing each area every day and you will reach those Big Goals. When you combine these five energy areas with leading a learning-based life, your energy cycle will feed itself and you can achieve anything you want to.