Tired and Fulfilled Versus Exhausted and Empty
Admittedly, living Fully Charged can be mentally and physically tiring at times. But aren’t you tired already? Isn’t that why you’re here? Fully Charged tired hits differently; you may be spent and ready for bed by the end of the day, but your energy coffers are still full—you’ll feel more fulfilled. You know the saying “it takes money to make money”? The same is true of positive energy. Most of the strategies in this book are objectively easy, but they may feel hard or tiring because they use “muscles” you might not be used to using.
For example, you have to invest energy in the form of self-awareness to recognize when you’re stewing or sliding down the rabbit hole of negativity. It takes energy to realize doing so only saps more energy and makes you feel worse. Then it takes effort to do something about it—to decide to act in a positive way and follow through. The more energy you put in, the more you’ll see that the payoff is inherently worth it because of the energy and happiness you get in return. And that energy not only powers you in the moment, but also keeps powering you.
What Living Fully Charged Is Not
Understanding what the Fully Charged Life does not involve will help you better understand it and how to get there. Here’s what you are not aiming for:
Living Fully Charged doesn’t mean being in sunny, happy Yay-mood 24/7 or always feeling charged up to 100 percent. If you’re dealing with a work crisis, had a fight with your husband or your kid woke you up at midnight . . . and 2 a.m. and 4 a.m., or you just feel meh, you can still live Fully Charged.
Quick fixes to complex feelings or problems.
Things will still weigh on your mind and you might still feel stressed or any number of other negative emotions, but living Fully Charged helps ensure the weight doesn’t crush you and the negativity doesn’t swallow you up. Negative feelings will always come in, but they also go out, and you can help them along or make sure they aren’t allowed to squat and multiply in your psyche unchecked, stinking up the whole place.
Yes-ing yourself to death.
To live Fully Charged, you can’t run yourself ragged doing all the things and saying yes to all the positivity all the time. Pushing yourself in the wrong ways and faking or forcing enthusiasm or optimism doesn’t work, except to drive yourself batty and into the dreaded battery red zone.
3 Ways to Take Charge
#1 Picture Your Version of Living Fully Charged
Everyone wants more energy and a life that feels full. Go deeper. Spend a few minutes thinking about exactly what more energy and living fully means to you. What do you want your Fully Charged Life to look like and feel like? Be specific: What exactly will more energy do for you or allow you to do? How exactly will that positively impact your life? What have you struggled with in the past that you hope to change?
For example, if you want more energy to do fun activities with your kids and to better connect with them, imagine a scenario in your mind of how that plays out. How will you feel? What will it look like and mean to you? Or maybe you want more energy and motivation so tasks at work or at home don’t feel like such a slog. Maybe you want more energy to start exercising or eating better. What does that look like? What will the outcome be? How will that make you feel?
Having clear whys and whats both in your heart and at top of mind make trying, following and keeping up these strategies a lot easier.
#2 Answer the Question “What Really Matters to Me?”
This is a requirement. And living Fully Charged demands an honest answer. Then—this is key—you must pursue those things without guilt. So many of us feel guilty for doing or not doing certain things. Or we do/don’t do things out of obligation, because we think we should or because other people expect or want us to. It is not your responsibility to fulfill someone else’s expectations of you. Why let them define what matters to you? Their expectations and definitions serve them, not you.
If you live your life based primarily on what others expect, want or believe you should or shouldn’t do, it is no longer your life. No wonder you’re exhausted. So choose to be a little selfish. Let go of feelings of guilt and obligation; they are weighing you down and wasting your energy. And guess what? No one makes you feel guilty except yourself. No one can make you feel obligated except yourself. People will certainly try. You do not have to take the bait.
Instead, listen to your gut or the universe or whatever you want to call it when faced with choices of where to direct your energy or when trying to figure out if something charges or drains you. I believe we all instinctively know—we just don’t always listen. Or we let other people’s expectations drown it out. Or we’re afraid to acknowledge or give weight to what we really want or need because of the possible fallout. It’s scary to face the truth and hard to accept that a habit or person or the way you’ve been thinking or behaving might be doing more harm than good. Try it anyway and see what happens. See how it feels.
#3 Just Do It
There’s a reason Nike made piles of cash off the slogan. Like so many of the best things in life, it’s straightforward. It doesn’t waste time arguing over BS excuses or even legitimate ones. It doesn’t leave room for overthinking or weighing the pros and cons of whether you should or shouldn’t. It doesn’t invite in other people’s opinions. Best of all, it implies that you can. So do.
If you don’t like the outcome or the tip isn’t working or doesn’t feel right to you, okay, thanks for playing. Choose not to do it again or try something else or do something differently next time. But if it feels okay or better, and you get that charge, what’s cool is that each time after, “just doing it” feels easier. It can eventually become automatic. That’s your brain’s neural plasticity at work.
Your typical ways of thinking, reacting, feeling and behaving have created well-worn pathways in your brain. Like a super-popular hiking trail, the path is clear and requires little extra effort or thought to traverse. The first time you venture off that path and do something different—like change the way you think to make room for positivity, start a new exercise routine or step out of your comfort zone in some way—it forges a new connection in your brain, as if those neurons were explorers finding their way through the jungle.
It’s not easy and there’s no full-fledged hiking trail yet. But the next time, those neurons make more of a clearing. Each time after that, the connection in your brain grows stronger just like a trail becomes more and more defined the more you walk it. This is how you rewire your brain for positivity, for energy, for gratitude, for love, for everything. Living Fully Charged gets easier with time until eventually it’s just the way you live. So let’s get on with it.