As we dive deeper into the final area of Energy Management, I want to share an experience that is very close to my heart. You need to model the power of living in alignment with your purpose to renew spiritual energy. This counts double in times of personal crisis and uncertainty.
In my mid-twenties, I was already burnt out, working 50+ hours a week in a career-track that I had fallen in (and out of) love within less time than it took me to get my degree. While I was going through the motions, I knew that something was off. I was faking happiness and selling out on my greater fulfillment for the sake of security and comfort.
After coming head-to-head with this realization, I made the bold decision to quit my stable University job and move across the country to Portland, Oregon – a city I’d always dreamed of calling “home” – where I could pursue my passion for coaching at a new start-up.
A new energy and vitality emerged in me that I had been craving. I finally felt alive and on track!
And then, less than a year later, I experienced another transition. My “dream job” turned out not to be so dreamy, and I again found myself at another crossroads: Do I go back to my former career-track lifestyle and hustle my way onto a stable path? Or was I brave enough to stay true to my calling and step out into the unknown landscape of entrepreneurship?
In my most honest moments, this is what I knew:
Work had been consuming my life
I was single without any likely romantic prospects
And my body was physically weak and my energy was completely spent!
So much so, that when I caught what I assumed to be a common cold, my body wasn’t strong enough to fight it off. After two weeks of feeling absolutely miserable, I finally went into urgent care to get blood work done and see if something more serious was going on. When my doctor walked in the room with my results, he looked somber.
“You’re exhausted, Leslie.” Pause.
Well, I know that! I thought, waiting for my diagnosis. But that was it! I didn’t have another disease that was causing this illness (thankfully!).
Rather, how I felt was directly related to my lifestyle and habits I had adopted – and so often prided myself in – over the last decade. My doctor continued to share how I needed to significantly shift how I was living if I wanted to regain my health and strength.
Leaving his office, I had a lot to consider! Just hours before, I had found out that the “dream job” I moved across the country for had flopped and I was left unemployed. Not my best day to say the least!
When I got home, I pulled out my journal and sat down on my back patio and began to make a “to do” list in an attempt to regain some control over the uncertainty that had become my life!
But mid-way through, I stopped. I didn’t even have the energy to begin any of the items I had already written down.
My new way of living had to start RIGHT NOW.
On the journal page opposite my “to do” list, I started recording qualities about myself that I knew to be true, right, and good. As this new list took shape, I began to reconnect with my inner-self and the woman that I wanted to become once again.
Over the next few weeks, my “to be” list served as the guidepost for my life. Rather than starting a day driven by tasks, I intentionally chose my actions based on how they would allow me to be instead.
The results were remarkable! I felt more energized, at ease, and purposeful, while experiencing less stress, pressure, and powerlessness.
Living out my “to be’s” allowed me to reconnect with my deepest held values and beliefs while accomplishing many goals I hadn’t been able to get after when I felt so drained and exhausted! And in the three months following my revolutionary life change, here’s what happened:
- My diet was healthier, and I got into a regular fitness routine
- I finished my coaching certification and launched my own practice
- Friends and family finally got visits! I hadn’t seen in months and reconnected with those I love
- I started dating my best friend of 20 years and soon got engaged (and then married later that year!)
These are just a few of my personal highlights that living a purpose-driven life allowed me to experience. And what a journey it was! While I never anticipated all of these life changes (too bad and the great!), I learned something incredible: When you choose to live life-based on the things that matter most, your life will respond back with appreciation.
Reconnect With Your Purpose
While you may not go through such a sudden change as I experienced (and I hope you don’t for your sake), you can create your own “to be” list to help you reconnect with your purpose and values.
Begin by considering the following:
- Who do you want to be (not just what you want to do)?
- What do you want to be remembered for?
- Are there certain values or bigger life purposes that you’ve been ignoring or putting on hold?
- What is your life craving most right now?
Now write down 5-10 simple actions that stem from your purpose and values, rather than your tasks and obligations. These energizing actions will help keep you in spiritual alignment as you move forward in your life.
I hope creating your “to be” list proves to be an exercise in realigning with your purpose. Let’s start a new year more spiritually energized!
Get More Energy
As you’ve read through this series on applying the science of Energy Management, let me know what’s worked for you and how I can support you best.
Be the Revolution,