Finite Pools of Energy
Energy. Get up and go. Fire. Passion. There are many names for that which gives us our drive to keep moving and to do the next thing on our agendas. We each have the capacity to grow this fire-filled passion pit and live our lives highly motivated, energised, and overflowing with enthusiasm.
The amount of energy we have to give, however, is directly related to the things which demand said energy; the pool - the reserve - we have available to us is finite.
Speaking recently with a good friend, we spoke about energy and looking after yourself. We had recently closed down our (very, very small) community startup after 2020's significant change in pace; it wasn't a viable thing for us to plough our effort into and make it a success. We both agreed that while we loved the concept and the potential we first saw it was sapping our energy; it was consuming our conscious energy but also the unconscious reserves we had for all the other stuff on our plates.
We talked - at length - about how as 'people who care about people' a lot of our energy is driven into helping others find their purpose. Our purpose is helping them achieve theirs. But, in doing this, what does it leave us for ourselves? How much capacity do we have for other relationships or activities? Is there anything left?
We've all had 'that one friend' who - whilst probably being the loveliest person on the planet - is totally wrapped up in their own world and always has something going on. You want to be a good friend to them and support them through whatever it is they're facing but, goodness, it is tiring.
I'm loathed to call this a 'toxic' scenario since there is likely no ill-will between anyone concerned. The energy needed to keep things that way, though... it can be a big ask.
What makes the difference?
Understanding in ourselves what matters and who matters to us enough for us to give our energy reserves is massively important and certainly no easy task. We have to think critically and - as much as it may sound mercenary and slightly cold - strategically about who, what, and how we're giving our energy to the world.
How much of our finite energy pool will it take to foster the relationship with those people or activities we want to invest time in?
Is this energy reciprocated in any way?
How might this investment affect our energy for other things?
There is nothing wrong with letting a few things go. Being dogmatic and hanging on to something because 'failure is bad' or even 'just because' can quickly become unhealthy and a real drain on the limited well of energy we have for ourselves and our surrounding world.