What’s Your Sustainable Model of Personal Energy?

personal energy flowsWe used to have a low-producing well for the water supply at our house. If we had a drought, and I needed to water the garden, there was insufficient water. I would set a hose and let it run for an hour or two, and the well would run dry. Then we would need to wait for the natural water table to replenish the supply in the well, so that we would have sufficient water to service the house.

This clearly wasn’t a sustainable model of water supply.

However, this was also my model of personal energy for many years.

I’d work really hard until I depleted all of my energy reserves, and then I’d collapse and need to rest until my energy supply filled back up again.

I wasn’t very good at sensing the leading indicators, either, so I often wasn’t aware that I was running on fumes until it was too late to turn it around.

This obviously isn’t a sustainable (or intelligent!) model of personal energy, but with the high level of commitments that so many of us have these days, it isn’t uncommon, either.

We eventually drilled a new well at the house, and we haven’t run out of water since. This well taps into a deep source of ground water that sustains the supply at a healthy level at all times.

It suddenly occurred to me that this metaphor could be useful for those of us who are searching for a sustainable model of personal energy.

What if we each knew the sources of spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical energies that keep us supplied, at a healthy level, at all times? And then, of course, we need to allow those sources to keep us sustained.

Here are some examples of my best sources. I think they will be different for every person:

  • Spiritual energy: meditation is my best source, by far
  • Mental energy: having a challenging creative project
  • Emotional energy: for most people, this may be the emotional support they receive from close friends. While this is true for me, too, I’m very introverted, and my best source of emotional energy is my connection with nature. Nature just makes me feel good.
  • Physical energy: lifting weights, and adequate sleep

What are your best sources? What would the impact be, in your life, if you allowed those sources to keep your energy well-supplied and sustained?


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