Your Energy Quota

This week's exercise is inspired by Tom Rath's work in positive psychology. In his book, How Full Is Your Bucket, he offers a formula for keeping your personal energy quota full.

Feeling an energy level imbalance?

We've all had those days where something crappy happens, and, before you know it, that seemingly trivial thing engulfs your entire day.

Introducing Your Energy Quota Exercise

What It Is
A 15 minute opportunity to find new ways to restore your energy.

Why We Love It 
At times it can feel like each day consists of a laundry list of must-do's that don't bring us joy. This exercise helps you center more of your energy around the little things that give you energy. 
How It Works

Take a moment to think about the everyday things you enjoy doing. Make a list of at least 10-15 of these happy items. These things can be as commonplace as taking your dog for a walk or using your favorite reusable bag. The point is to identify the ordinary moments in life that bring you joy.  

Now, take a look at your week ahead and identify any potential low energy points (e.g., your long commute or that monthly meeting that always zaps you).

Find a spot in your calendar right after that low energy point and schedule a moment of reflection by asking yourself:
A. Is this low point an important indicator of a deeper emotion I need to explore? 
B. Is this low point an indicator of the need to recharge my own energy?

If A, explore what you are feeling. Recognize that this emotion might be telling you something and give yourself some space to consider what that might be.
If B, consider making time to recharge your batteries. Take a look at your happy list in #1 and consider what you can do now to help replenish your energy quota.

Is the goal to try to be happy all the time?
Definitely not. According to HMS professor Susan David, happiness is an important emotion, but it shouldn't be used to mask other feelings like sadness, frustration or anger. While focusing on joyful activities can be a great way to balance your energy levels, the goal shouldn't be to fake an overall state of happiness or bottle up emotions that we are afraid of feeling. 
Hungry for more?
Here are some additional morsels:
Shout. It. Out.
To Angel Hu for her exercise crafting skills! 

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Shankar Desai