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Negotiating Life’s Detours: Follow Your Energy

Someone asked me recently if I had a guiding principle that helped me decide what new work to take on, and how I decide how much time to spend pursuing my various interests. It’s a great question. Entrepreneurs have an idea a minute, and it’s often difficult to know which ideas to invest time in. A mentor of mine gave me this principle some years ago, and I try to live by it.

Go where your energy is strong.

Does the path you’re on give you energy just thinking about it? Then follow it. If it doesn’t, consider a new direction.

Easier said than done, perhaps, but you can start with small steps. Do you love to sing (write, play tennis, carve wood) but find you don’t make time for it? Find a teacher and begin lessons, or block out an hour twice a week to practice or engage in the activity. Is your life of work not fulfilling at the moment? What one change can you make that might release your energy? Maybe you need to have a conversation with your boss or staff, review priorities, or ask for a change that would make you look forward to walking into the place where you spend a third of your life, instead of dreading it.

Even the right path has detours from time to time. Subject each new direction to your energy test. Is it strong? Do you wake up mornings eager to begin? When you’re doing this activity, do you forget where you are and what time it is? This is what it means to go where your energy is strong. This principle makes decisions a lot easier and keeps you on the road that’s right for you.

Where is your energy strong? Take a moment now to consider the ways in which you spend your energy each day.

  • How much of it is on target, and how much of it is not?
  • In what ways do you know when you’re headed in the right direction?
  • Do you have a vision that guides you?

Sit for a few minutes each morning, close your eyes, and visualize what you want in your life. It is time well spent. Good ki!

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