Want to be bursting with energy throughout all your waking hours for the rest of your life? You can get there. But before that, let's explore the basics of personal energy. Namely, its importance, types and sources.
What is the nature and purpose of human energy? What kinds of energy do we use and which is the most important one? How can we maximise energy generation and use? These are important questions worth asking. Answering them would enable you to realise a vibrantly energetic life allowing you to pursue and realise the most rewarding of activities and aspirations.
It is completely natural and normal for humans to have high levels of strength and energy from childhood to well beyond 100 years of age. Unfortunately, prevailing practices, beliefs and attitudes, largely fuelled by propaganda, disempower us from the ability to manifest exuberant well-being which is our birthright.
I have the fortune of meeting people from various age-groups daily. A great majority of my colleagues are in their early twenties, some of my best friends are in their eighties and nineties.
I am saddened by how frequently my young colleagues complain about low levels of energy. “I’m so tired.”, “I’m knackered, mate.” or just “Exhausted.” are some of the most frequent answers to a simple greeting like “Hi, how are you?”. At the same time, the majority of these people partake in stimulating beverages on a daily basis. A habit that only deepens their enervation, makes deep sleep unlikely if not impossible and slowly drains their remaining vitality. Their problem is compounded by an inadequate diet consisting of a large proportion of cooked and processed foods. These include sugary drinks, packaged sweet and savoury treats, tinned and ready-made meals. To add insult to injury, the negligible amount of fruit (the prime food for a human being) they consume is usually eaten as a ‘desert’ at the end of a meal. What was a perfectly packaged, delicious, and energising natural food, now becomes a fermenting mass sitting on top of an already unhealthy mixture in the stomach. Instead of providing the vibrancy, joy, and nutrition that it was intended to, the fruit so consumed becomes another burden for the body. It goes without saying that a major proportion is overweight or obese, if not diabetic, have at least one malady, and not infrequently deal with low mood, if not depression.
Allow me now to introduce, my friend Peter (not his real name). Peter celebrated his 80th birthday on three consecutive days with socials consisting of a healthy meal and intellectually stimulating conversations. He has been running and still does, a healing centre where tens of therapists provide hundreds of treatments on a weekly basis. He doesn’t drink tea or coffee and is very moderate in his eating. Although, a slender, short man, he oozes with energy and his average working week is 70-80 hours. Another excellent friend of mine – Jane (not her real name) – is ninety-one. She gets nine hours of bedtime daily, raises up around seven in the morning, has a small breakfast and dedicates herself to a period of meditation followed by daily Pilates exercises. She is a poet and translator, doing mental work daily. She’s comfortable using computers and co-ordinates near monthly translation workshops at her house. Jane delights in preparing for and hosting a long meal with a friend several times a week and goes to a day-long spiritual retreat on a monthly basis. Above all else, neither Peter nor Jane, ever complain about being tired. They ‘run’ around during the day and retire at night giving their bodies and minds time to rest and recover.
I hope these examples, help you realise that physical age is neither a restrictive, nor predictive factor of vigour. But if age is not, then what is …?
Constructive lifestyle changes require two equally important ingredients. These are knowledge (awareness of the correct course of action) and motivation (willingness and power to take action). These are not necessarily sequential. Correct perception of the meaning and significance of new knowledge can motivate and inspire action. Strong motivation, on the other hand, can trigger a search for knowledge in order to change behaviour.
Knowledge brings conviction on an intellectual level by incorporating the new views into a coherent understanding. Motivation, on the other hand, often requires the inclusion of the emotional apparatus, so that internal energies are aroused and directed towards meaningful action. The knowledge, which will be presented here is of universal nature and applicability. Motivation, however, is more personal and needs to be adapted to one’s individual circumstances, priorities, and values. While knowledge can come from ‘without’ – books, teachers, etc, motivation comes from ‘within’, even if triggered by an external influence. So, ultimately, beneficial lifestyle changes are a personal responsibility that no one else can do for you.
The importance of energy
Realising our full our potential requires complete command of our physical and mental faculties. This is possible only with sufficient supply of energy. We have almost total control over the factors responsible for our well-being and energy levels. Utilising our energy enables us to clarify, pursue and realise our goals and aspirations, thus shaping our destiny and living a meaningful life.
The uses of energy
Activity, a defining feature of life, is an expression of energy through motion. In a human body, energy is also used for maintaining body temperature, regulating metabolic processes, controlling essential functions, muscular activity, and mental processes.
The kinds of energy, their use and creation
What follows is a non-exhaustive and non-exclusive division of the types of energy the body uses.
The raw materials for energy creation
The human body is able of generating and utilising energy in multiple ways. These apparent redundancies provide agility and adaptability, which ultimately increase the chances of survival.
May you see your personal energy in a new light and be willing to maximise it.
Maximising your energy: DOs and DON'Ts
Raw Energy Course (e-book)
Martin Stefanov Petkov