Leave Energy for Good Choices

Have you guys ever struggled with running out of energy before the day is over?  What tends to follow when we run out of energy? 

We probably start making some bad choices.  

You can listen to the Podcast free here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/save-energy-for-good-choices/id1282091502?i=1000392410632&mt=2

https://soundcloud.com/user-655379556/save-energy-for-good-choices

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SUMMARY

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Hi everyone Rocco Luongo here, welcome to Thoughtful Leadership.  Have you guys ever struggled with running out of energy before the day is over?  What tends to follow when we run out of energy?  We probably start making some bad choices.  

Imagine your battery indicator dropping throughout the day and then start realizing that,  “I am getting to 0% battery before my day is over.”  How do you react when you realize that your battery is low?

Allow yourself to take the time and to recognize that you have human needs and be a good steward of the human body that you inhabit.  Imagine that you’re a pilot, that has a schedule which says when you’re going to take off and land.  That’s your job, but the real job is to do it safely.  A pilot is supposed to maintain his or her timeline, but more importantly, a pilot is supposed to get you there safe.

It takes energy to go in that gap between stimulus and response, and to make a good choice; not to be impulsive and reactionary, but rather to have your words and your action to be the smart output of a thoughtful process.

 

If your battery is on low, you’re going to tend to be more frank.  You’re not going to tend to be more tactful.  You’re not going to tend to be more diagnostic.  You’re not going to tend to be more peaceful and stoic, or more open to suggestion.

If you feel like there’s a lot more day left than you have energy in the tank, be a smart pilot, and avoid that storm.

Suppose you realize that your battery is too low?  Get yourself a power block to recharge.  Whatever works for you. Go to the cafe, go to the gym, go do yoga.

I rarely become a jerk, but when I do, it’s almost always because I overextended myself and I have not let my actions, to be the smart output of the thoughtful process.   

Why does this matter?   We’re trying to break the pattern of our behavior being an impulse. You won’t get to a new place using your old methods.

DO:

1)   Think about how much energy you really have left in your tank, and compare that to how much you have left to do.

2) Try to see if that are you “losing-it” at that same time every day.

3)  Let time work for you.  Time does not have to be against you.

4)  Remember it takes energy not to be a jerk.

 

DON’T:

1)  Don’t be immune to the good work others have done; reach out to an advisor, mentor, or coach.

2)  Don’t continue down the same path if you’re heading for a crash.

3)  Don’t let yourself down to 0%, just don’t do it.

 

 

Here’s the key takeaway:  Save some energy for good manners and be a good pilot for your body; don’t let yourself crash.

 

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FULL TRANSCRIPT OF VIDEO

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Hi everyone Rocco Luongo here.  This is video two of my thoughtful leadership series.  Hey have you guys ever struggled with running out of energy before the day is over? . . . and then what tends to follow that…?

What tends to follow when we run out of energy?  We probably start making some bad choices.  

Those bad choices might be a bad email that we fire off.   It might be a short response to a supplier or a colleague, or it might just be treating your loved ones, frankly, without the respect or the love that you should.

I think that we all understand this.  I think we’ve all struggled with it.  We all get the feeling of running out of steam.  Sometimes the details of the day get away from us.  Sometimes we’re working so hard and we end up realizing that there’s a lot more day left than we have juice in the tank.

It’s sort of like our battery indicator is just dropping and dropping and dropping throughout the day and we start realizing that,  “Hey, man, I am getting to 0% battery before my day is over.”  And what does that lead us to?  I think that we probably all can identify with that to some extent; I know I sure I do.

I remember some days, and I wonder if you’ve ever had this problem, where you even wake up in the red?

For example, this actually happened to me yesterday, I have 20% left in my battery, blinking red and it’s only 5 p.m.  And I still need to find a way to soldier through, push my way through the day, and I’m wondering, “How do I get there?”

How do you recognize, or how do you react when you realize that your battery is low?  You know one of the things I do, this is something that we engineers do, we find patterns.   That is what science is, to an extent.  That is certainly engineering.  It’s finding patterns and finding commonalities between things that are happening now versus things that have happen in the past and we can try to extrapolate that forward and say,  “Hey, what’s about to happen?”

For example, one of things I realized, and this was during the coaching session last night with one of my one of my favorites, Jason.  We were talking about this topic.  Rarely do I become a jerk, but I have found that if my battery is getting too low where all of a sudden I’m being pushed into making much more frank and quick responses, being impulsive, because I just don’t have the energy to use any tact.  I don’t have the energy to connect.

It takes energy to get in between that narrow gap between stimulus and response, and to decide that I’m going to pull these two things apart.  I’m not going to react, like my knee getting smacked with a hammer, and just popping up as if it operates on its own.  I’m going to use my brain.  I’m going to take the time I need.  I’m going to make that gap between stimulus and response, and I’m going to make a choice in that gap, to begin to realize that it isn’t going to be automatic.  My response is not just going to be automatic.  My responses are not going to come from a highly-stressed, low-energy state where I’m being impulsive.

You have to change from a response, that is simply a reaction, to the thoughtful output of a purposeful process. That’s what we need to do.  We need to substitute it in there, and that gets tough to do when we’re tired.  Quick side note: If you’re hungry, “hangry” (hungry + angry = hangry), that’s a big part of it, too.  Remember, that you’re a human, and humans need food, and rest, and simulation, energy, and all these different things.

So, allow yourself to be a human.

Allow yourself to take that time and to recognize that you have human, physical needs and be a good steward of this human body that you inhabit.

A friend of mine is a pilot, BJ.  Pilots are well-trained.   They have got strict schedules for when they can fly.  They have log books that they have to fill out.  There are FAA regulations on them.  But they also have a lot of pressure to be on time.  There’s people out there who are trying to get home, they might have sick kids, they were on a business trip, vacation, whatever it is, but the pilot is responsible for all those people on that plane.

A pilot has a schedule which says when I’m going to take off and land.  That’s my job, but my job is to do it safely.  If I recognize that something is happening, for example, I am out of fuel and I’m not going to make it, or maybe there’s weather that’s causing me to circle too long and I need to make a different choice of where to land.  A pilot is supposed to maintain his or her timeline, but more importantly,  a pilot is supposed to get you there alive and safe.

It doesn’t do a pilot ,or you as the passenger, any good to be on time by crashing through a storm which should have been avoided.

That is the pilot’s choice, and to an extent, if we’re going to be a good stewards of our own lives, a good pilot of our own body, then we have to recognize if we’re running out of fuel and we’re heading for a storm, it’s much better to divert than it is to go forward and crash.

It takes time and energy to go in that gap between stimulus and response, and to make a good choice; to not be impulsive and reactionary, but rather to have your words and your action to be the smart output of a thoughtful process.

If your battery is on low, you’re going to tend to be more frank.  You’re not going to tend to be more tactful.  You’re not going to tend to be more diagnostic.  You’re not going to tend to be more peaceful and stoic, or more open to suggestion if you’re running on empty. So think about your own battery, and think about how you react.

Is there a pattern?   Do these kinds of things tend to happen more at 4 to 6 p.m., in the witching hour, than they do at 8 in the morning?   If you recognize that your battery running low, what can you do to recharge?   I know when I recharge, I like to exercise.  I go for bike ride, lift some weights, or go for a run.  I like to be social with my friends.  I like to hang out with people, I’m an extrovert so I get energy from social activities.   So think about how you recharge, think about what your power blocks are.

If you feel like there’s a lot more day left than you have energy in the tank, be a smart pilot, and avoid that storm.

Get yourself a power block.  Whatever works for you. Go to the cafe, go to the gym, go do yoga, go stretch, go talk with a friend, walk your dog, pet your dog, play fetch with your dog, we have a dog named, Willie.  But, don’t continue along the path that’s going to lead to a crash and that’s the first step right there.

The old world values quick answers, demonstrating decisiveness.  That’s what I grew up with.  Watching movies with Michael Douglas, like Wall Street, with his hair slicked back and shiny.  He’s always playing that same kind of evil, Wall Street guy who’s quick and decisive and frank and that’s powerful.  That is the old way of doing stuff, people.  The old world values frank comments to show power and authority.

The new way is mindfulness and thoughtful, honest communication.   The new way is going to get you much further.   Showing the value of seeing things your way through demonstration, through a story, by sharing struggles, this is how you get that point across.  Showing people the point you’re trying to make instead of ordering them around takes more energy, so don’t think you’re going to advance, learn a new way of communicating, a new way of behaving, of achieving your goals, if you use your old methods or if you have these old stereotypes that still are taking up too much real estate in your brain.

You won’t get to a new place using your old methods.

The simplest way to see how this works is to ask yourself, “Would I be more motivated to take action by being bluntly ordered to do it or by seeing for myself the value of taking that action?”

Isn’t that the obvious choice?  It works so beautifully well.  Whenever you receive a principle-centered piece of advice, like the one you’ve been given here, or anything, always evaluate it for yourself to make sure that it makes sense.  It is incumbent upon all of us to connect our own dots.

I’m sharing “dots” with you.  These dots are data points, and they work for me, they work for my clients, but only you can decide what works for you.  So don’t shut your brain off, don’t go to autopilot.  Be a good, smart pilot, and a responsible steward for this body that you occupy.  Recognize that it’s up to you to connect your own dots. That’s a shout out to Kim, Thank you!

You’ve got to connect your own dots out there, and the easiest way to do it, especially if it’s principle-centered, is simply to imagine living your life by the opposite.

Again, and this is a shout out to Steve Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, you’ll probably get sick of hearing me say it. Read it, read it, read it!  It is a prerequisite for being a functioning adult, if you have any desire to achieve anything meaningful.

The simple test you should do for any piece of advice, is to imagine how it would be to live the reverse of it.  That thought experiment will get you a very great insight to let you know what does make sense.

How to do it:

Start by thinking about how much energy you have left to give.

Number one, that’s basically saying how much is left in the tank.

Number two, honestly assess what you have left to do.

If I’m talking to you right now, you’re probably motivated, you’re into improvement, you like to do stuff, you like to achieve, and you probably try to give too much. You know what I mean, we all do sometimes, but that’s one thing you’re going to have a deal with.  This may be the subject of another talk, but for right now you are going to have to honestly assess how much left you have to do.

So now you have, 1) How much energy you have, your battery level; and 2) How much you have left to do.

Imagine that you have 20 percent of your battery left, and you’re about to go to bed at 10 or 11 at night, you’re probably okay.  That’s awesome! Or maybe you will evaluate that as, “I could have done a little more.”  But, if we can get through 80% of your battery without running aground, that’s great and you should celebrate!

But if you have 20% of your battery left, and you’re in the red, but it’s only 3 in the afternoon, you could well be heading for a crash. So, start thinking about those times, is it the 4 to 6 p.m. slot?  What is the pattern?

I rarely become a jerk, but when I do, it’s almost always because I overextended myself and I have not put the gap between stimulus and response and made my communication, my actions, my words, my intonation, to be the smart output of the thoughtful process.   

Why does this matter?   We’re trying to break the pattern of our behavior being an impulse.

We’re going  to use this concept of a battery, and how much is left to do, as tools.  It’s a kind of a cost-benefit analysis, because you are making a ratio.

For example, “I got two more hours to go and I’m at 20% battery; I might make it.”

or . . .

“I’ve got 10 hours to go and I’ve got 5% battery.”   I need to stop and recharge. I am heading for a crash.

I hope that you understand this, and that it makes sense to you, but remember the pilot story.

Your job is to pilot yourself through your day safely and you can only tolerate 0% crashes.

It’s going to take your intervention, introspection, and growth to get you there.

So, DOs and DON’Ts this week:

DO:

1)  Think about your battery.  Think about how much energy you really have left in your tank, and compare the amount of that battery to how much you have left to do.

2) Try to see if that are you “losing-it” at that same time every day.  Patterns teach us things that we cannot see in the moment, that’s why you should write things down. That’s why we do journaling as a part of our coaching sessions, that’s why we write down our action items, and we make plans, and we do status meetings, and all this stuff that might seem boring and meaningless, isn’t.  This is how we define patterns and patterns teach us things that we cannot see in a one-off way.  That is the basis of engineering in a lot of ways.

3)  Let time work for you.  Time does not have to be against you.  Last week, we talked about silly putty and stress and how time is the common denominator in stress.  We know that time-pressure makes us feel stressed.  A great pilot might be able to handle that storm, and won’t feel the same stress as a new pilot encountering a storm.  It depends on your skill and your level of advancement.  These qualities affect your perception of time pressure and stress.  Have you noticed that?  People who are better at stuff don’t seem so stressed about it even if it’s a tight timeline?

4)  Remember it takes energy not to be a jerk.  It takes energy to separate stimulus and response, and to have a smart, thoughtful output.

DON’T:

1) Don’t be immune to the good work others have done; reach out to an advisor, mentor, or coach.

2) Don’t continue down the same path if you’re heading for a crash.  If you’re blinking red, have hours and hours of work to do, it is time to recharge.  Take a break, make a change.  Any of those things are better than crash.  Here’s the caveat:  We have to honor our commitments, and you may have to apologize, you may have to pay something to make this change.  BUT, it beats crashing.

3)  Don’t crash yourself. Don’t let yourself down to 0%, just don’t do it.

Here’s the key takeaway that you’re going to have to do differently: Allow yourself to be a human being, but be a good pilot of this human body that you inhabit. We are all imperfect. Save some energy for good manners and be a good pilot for your body; don’t let yourself crash.

Thanks very much!  This is Rocco Luongo, I hope you enjoyed Thoughtful Leadership.  I have enjoyed producing it for you.  Check out my website GoRocco.Pro. Get yourself a coaching assessment.  Download some white papers.  Read a little bit more. Engage on social media, on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn  LinkedIn Thanks again for your time.  Check us out GoRocco.Pro. Thank you.  Go YOU!!!

 

 

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