7 Secrets of High-Energy People
"The single biggest difference between people who get what they want and people who don't is energy," says Mira Kirshenbaum, psychotherapist and clinical director of the Chestnut Hill Institute in Boston. In this excerpt from her new book, The Emotional Energy Factor, she explains how to harness it so you can live the life of your dreams.
There's an energy crisis in America, and it has nothing to do with fossil fuels. Millions of us get up each morning already weary over what the day holds. "I just can't get started," people say. Or, "I feel drained just thinking about the long hours ahead." But it's not physical energy that most of us lack. Sure, we could all use extra sleep and a better diet. But in truth, people are healthier today than at any time in history. I can almost guarantee that if you long for more energy, the problem is not with your body.
What you're seeking is not the adrenaline-filled, bounce-off-the-walls kind of energy. It's emotional energy. It's an aliveness of the mind and spirit that connects you to the vitality and fun of life. Yet, sad to say, life sometimes seems designed to exhaust our supply. We work too hard. We have family obligations. We encounter emergencies and personal crises. No wonder so many of us suffer from emotional fatigue, a kind of utter exhaustion of the spirit, a sense that we're just going through the motions.
And yet we all know people who are filled with exuberance and joy, despite the sometimes grim external circumstances of their lives. Even as a child, I observed people who were dirt-poor or disabled or whose physical energy had been sapped by disease, but who nonetheless faced life with optimism and vigor. Consider Laura Hillenbrand, who, despite having been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, wrote the best-selling book Seabiscuit, about a horse who becomes an unlikely champion. Hillenbrand barely had enough physical energy to drag herself out of bed to write. But she was fueled by having a story she cared about and wanted to share. Or think of the painter Frida Kahlo, who endured excruciating pain her entire adult life, yet produced vibrant, deeply felt canvases.
Emotional energy came to the rescue. The best news? Unlike physical energy, which is finite and diminishes with age, emotional energy is unlimited and has nothing to do with genes or upbringing. So how do you get it? You can't simply tell yourself to be positive. You must take action. Here are seven practical strategies that work.