Anything you do requires energy. And everything you do creates energy. Anything. Even reading this article. You’re spending energy by focusing on the text, processing the info in your brain and matching it against what you already know. At the end of this process, you get some energy back in the form of new ideas, new approaches or possibly some answers. Hopefully, you’ll get some positive energy by reading this :- ).
Have you ever thought what happens with this energy you get back? How much of it you really use? How much of it you discard unconsciously? We’re usually thinking in spending patterns rather than in receiving patterns. We think: how much it will cost me to do this, or how much I will have to give to make this happen. But we almost never think in terms of: what’s the reward of doing this?
I know what you’re thinking: you think I’m heading towards the “what’s in it for me?” mindset. Well, this is not what I meant. The “what’s in it for me” mindset is a form of egotism and selfishness. It’s a way of getting things without paying for them, or paying as low as you can. I’m talking about something else. I’m talking about a mindset of receiving and not stealing. A mindset in which you’re thinking what type of energy you get back. It’s almost like thinking in terms of a diet: how many calories I will get out of this meal? Close to this subject, I wrote a while ago quite a popular article about psychological calories and how we can differentiate between positive and negative psychological calories, feel free to read it and then come back. This article is on the topic somehow similar to that.
The Receiving Pattern
Receiving energy from what you’re doing is not as easy as it might seem. For starters, I don’t think we’re paying all the attention we can to all the energy we’re receiving. Most of the time we know in advance that our energy exchange will provide some kind of value back, and we’re focusing only on what we already know.
You may spend the whole day at your job, and you’re receiving a weekly paycheck. This is all the energy you get back. Or, to be more specific, this is all the energy you think you get back. In fact, you’re receiving much more. You have some daily interactions with your colleagues, with your clients or with your employees. Maybe you travel a lot for business purposes. Or maybe you do a physical work and your body is thankful for that.
Receiving energy needs your full awareness. We’re exposed to a a million energy sources every day, but our valves are closed. Our awareness is focused only on our habitual patterns, we’re expecting energy only from certain sources and we’re constantly ignoring the other sources. Being aware means opening your energy valves to everything that may feed you. Opening your understanding and your consciousness to every potential encounter. Because every interaction is an energy source.
Suppose you’re having already an energy receiving strategy. That’s only half of the journey. Why? Because even if you’re into a receiving mindset, you still have one serious problem: energy leaking. And why is that? Well, the answer is so simple, yet so difficult to digest: because you’re giving it away.
Even if you do have a lot of energy coming back to you, there is still a popular mindset which will make you weak, and that is: fake altruism. Don’t get me wrong, caring for others is empowering and nurturing, I’m talking about a situation in which you put others before you. The powerless altruistic guy. The one that is ignoring his needs because he needs to serve others.
I may offend you here, but I’m so totally rejecting this type. Whenever I meet somebody who claims he puts others before himself , I take a step back. There is only one thing worse than a guy who claims he puts others before himself and that’s somebody who really does this. When I meet this kind of person I take two steps back. And, one step here, two steps there, I’m all dancing around, trying to escape the fake altruism wave.
Because this is a wave, this is almost fashion. Everybody is altruistic these days, everybody is reaching out to help others. Everybody is starting a campaign to help the ones in need. That’s ok folks. As long as you’re not neglecting your very own needs. Because I really don’t see any point if you’re doing this. I find it even worse than egotism and selfishness.
Pay Yourself First
You can’t really help others if you don’t help yourself. You’ll get out of resources. I’m not talking about genuine giving and gifting, which comes from a mindset of abundance and ease, I’m talking about this forced attitude of making yourself a slave of others in the name of some social or religious percepts that you may not even understand.
If you’re giving away all your energy, you’ll end up weak, vulnerable and defeated. You don’t want to do that. Being really altruistic is caring for yourself as much as you care for others, not neglecting your very own individual for the sake of some fuzzy concept about “the others”.
Paying yourself first is an act of responsibility. Taking care of what you and your closest want is also an act of responsibility. It all goes from within, not from without. If you’re not completely healthy and powerful from within, you can’t project something valuable outside.
If you’re letting the energy you receive go away under the false premises of a fake altruistic approach, you’re doing more harm than good.
You can’t really help people if you’re not strong enough.
You can’t support somebody if you’re not supporting yourself.
You can’t give something if you don’t have it.
Running For My Life - from zero to ultramarathoner
The spooky thing about depression is that it sneaks in. There aren’t really trumpets and loud voices announcing: “Hail, hail, this is depression entering the room, all rise!” Nope. It’s slow, silent, creepy. It doesn’t even look like depression. It starts with small isolation thoughts like: “Maybe I shouldn’t get out today, I just don’t feel like going out”. And then it does the same next day. And then the day after that and so on. And then it starts to whisper louder and louder in your ears: “Why would you go outside, you loser? Didn’t have enough yet? Want more people to make fun of how much of a big, fat loser you are?”
And then you start to breath in guilt and shame, instead of air. Every breathe you take is putting more dark thoughts into your body.
Until you get stuck. You can’t move anymore. At all.
If you want to know how I got out of this space, eventually, check out my latest book on Amazon and Kindle.