As a teenager, staying at my grandparents for a few days, my grandfather once called me a “lazy do-nothing, good-for-nothing”. He was always doing something – washing his car, sawing in the garage, fishing in a nearby river, playing golf. I do not recall him just sitting and being with family or just sitting and being period. Grandmother was just the opposite; sitting and watching TV most of the time. Looking back, I can see her laziness as a reaction to his excessive industry. Am I a lazy do-nothing, good-for-nothing? At the time, I just didn’t have the energy to do much. I was dealing with “emotional issues”, as is typical for solipsistic teenagers. I didn’t know that self-absorption and resistance toward activity, was draining my energy. Today, when I see a “lazy do-nothing, good-for-nothing” teenager, I feel compassion, because I remember my own days of energy-exhaustion.
Yesterday, I went to the Gym for an hour, then mowed my lawn, which is a 2 hour task that includes the difficult terrain of hills and slopes. Then, I scrubbed my bathroom and the guest bathroom. After a short break, I did a few hours of Coaching work with students. In the evening, I still felt fresh and awake. I recalled a time in my early twenties where just mowing the lawn would leave me exhausted, lying on the Sofa all day.
Where did you get all this energy, Fred?
I’ve been asked this a lot. I am asking myself right now. Readers of my book “Increase your Energy” deserve to know.
Aren’t we told that youth have much more energy than older adults? With me, it was the other way around. The older I get, the more energy I have (what a beneficial belief).
The first rule of high energy is non-resistance. I embrace activity. An example: If there are three suitcases to take, instead of trying to divide the task between three family members, I attempt to take all three suitcases. This has puzzled people. “Fred, don’t exhaust yourself!”. But in reality, increasing your physical fitness, will give you more energy. If going to the Gym once a week makes you tired, try going three times instead – your energy will go up.
The second is the ability to “just be”. Just-being is the polarity to activity. If you can just be, without guilt, you re-charge your physical and mental battery. We enjoy the presence of our kids or partners while they are lying beside us sleeping. Why? Because in their sleep, they are “just being”. There is no expectation of having to do. One can just sit and enjoy a persons presence. This fully regenerates a person.
Ideally, “just being” can be experienced without sleeping. The no-mind state you have right before sleep, is just a small taste.
Unfortunately, since the 1950s, electronic screens have hijacked the “just being” process in most households. So instead of “just being” with each other, partners and families are entertained by screens. Due to lack of energy, TV and computer screens are used to not to have to do or think anymore. Over time, the ability to switch off doing and thinking without the screen, is lost. It will benefit anyone to practice silence and being, without phone, computer or TV screens.
A week ago, I went to the Mall. I felt more drained from just 30 minutes in the mall, than from 12 hours of sports and work. I came home and took a nap. Why? Apart from all the ads and screens, cheap perfume and cheap music, it’s to do with the crowds. We are influenced by the people we surround ourselves with. Would it be possible to practice “just being” with these strangers, until there is no more energy-drain? Yes, if I took the time for that, I could probably transcend the issue. But spending many hours in a mall practicing just being is not on my priority list just yet.
Do you know someone who spends more time with their pets than with human beings? Often you’ll find that their parents or former partners deprived them of just-being. They’ll feel it’s easier to “just be” with animals.
If I use a drill, I charge its battery right after use so that it’s ready next time I need it. When I use my video camera, I charge its battery right after use so that it’s ready to go next time I want it. This tendency to pre-charge runs through my entire life. I live my life as-if readying myself for grand, important and wonderful events. And that’s why I attract the same. Because I expect grand, important and wonderful events, I maintain physical and mental fitness, stay dressed nicely, keep my home clean, and learn new skills all the time. The day I stop doing these things, is the day I lower my expectations. With lower expectations, comes lower energy. And with lower energy, come all sorts of health and money problems.
Someone once commented on my writing: “The most used word on your website is Energy“. That’s true. It’s because Energy is the basis of everything else. In case you haven’t noticed yet, the whole Universe is made of Energy.