By Gerry Murray. 08-03-2020
(Scroll down for a laugh)
“The key muscle that fuels spiritual energy is character - the courage and conviction to live by our values, even when doing so requires personal sacrifice and hardship.” ~ Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz
Do you ever feel that you’re operating in survival mode? This often happens when we lose our sense of purpose. We end up without much passion or sense of direction.
This often comes down to a lack of Spiritual Energy, the last of the 4 key energy sources that we have as humans. By spiritual, I don’t mean religious. I’m referring to a connection to a deeply held set of values that connects us to the outside world beyond purely our self-interest. This is also the domain of what is called contribution.
Why is Spiritual Energy important?
Because it is a significant source of our motivation, determination and staying power. Think of things that motivate you and that you enjoy and you’ll often feel a lot of energy. In contrast, things that you don’t enjoy tend to demotivate you and sap your energy.
It’s also related to character traits such as integrity.
Whilst our most fundamental source of energy is physical, our most significant is probably spiritual.
So, to recap on our 4 sources of energy:
- Physical capacity defines our quantity of energy
- Emotional capacity defines our quality of energy
- Mental capacity defines where we focus our energy
- Spiritual capacity defines the force of our energy
The Power of Full Engagement
Twelve years ago I read the excellent book by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz (Yes, the same guy who ghost wrote the Art of the Deal for a certain president!) called The Power of Full Engagement and it has been a source of inspiration and practical advice ever since. The subtitle is: “Managing energy, not Time, is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal."
I highly recommend it. Here’s a link
These past weeks I’ve quoted from the book at the end of each post and I’ll finish this week with some more summary points about Spiritual Energy:
- Spiritual energy provides the force for action in all dimensions of our lives. It fuels passion, perseverance and commitment
- Spiritual energy is derived from a connection to deeply held values and a purpose beyond our self-interest
- Character - the courage and conviction to live by our deepest values - is the key muscle that serves spiritual energy
- The key supportive spiritual muscles are passion, commitment, integrity and honesty
- Spiritual energy expenditure and energy renewal are deeply interconnected
- Spiritual energy is sustained by balancing a commitment to a purpose beyond ourselves with adequate self-care
- Spiritual work can be demanding and renewing at the same time
- Expanding spiritual capacity involves pushing past our comfort zone in precisely the same way that expanding physical capacity does
- The energy of the human spirit can override even severe limitations of physical energy
Now, (ironically) I’m off this afternoon to deliver a Time Management course in Luxembourg tomorrow!
May your character guide you well this week…
I asked the librarian if she would direct me to the "self-help" books.
She said "that sort of defeats the purpose doesn't it”
Hear the one about the Buddhist monk who *almost* achieved total spiritual enlightenment?
He only made it to Nearvana.
A kayak instructor and a priest sitting at the gates of heaven.
An angel says to them “sorry, but there is only room for one more person in heaven."
He then leaves to go consult with the other angels. The priest says “it’s obviously going to be me because I’m the most spiritual.”
The angel then returns and says that the kayak instructor is going to go in. The priest, who is now very confused, asked why. The angel replied “well, whenever people came to your meetings, they would go to sleep. Whenever people would go kayaking with the instructor, they would be praying.”