What would it be like if you could recharge yourself like a rechargeable battery? What if you could have that old zip and zest, or a twinkle in your eye when you came into work? What if you could have the stamina to put in a full workday but still leave with lots of energy?
Like many people, I watched Johnny Carson as his decades on television came to a close. I was curious to see who the guests would be on his second-to-last show. (His last show was a replay of scenes from the past 32 years.)
Carson’s last guests were Robin Williams and Bette Midler. Why these two people from the thousands of possibilities? Many actors and actresses, comedians and other types of entertainers would have given an arm or a leg to be on this celebrated show with tens of millions of viewers. I brought this question up to friends, and after tossing about several possibilities, we came up with what has to be the answer: Robin Williams was among the highest energy males Carson could have had as a guest; Bette Midler was among the highest energy females Carson could have had as a guest.
Both performers exuded energy in every aspect of their being. As a showman, Carson learned quickly that what you offer to your audience is energy. The same is true with you and your career: What you offer to your employee, or your customers or your co-workers, is energy. The more positive energy you offer, the greater your returns in terms of the wages you earn, the business you generate or the synergy you achieve.
Be Willing to Drop Back and Punt
How can you recharge yourself, and rev up your energy level, if you’re not willing to occasionally drop back and punt? How can you exude high energy if you plow ahead day after day at the same old grind, shortchanging your sleep and rest and perhaps not even taking a real vacations?
If you’re ready to drop back and punt, but aren’t quite ready to take a huge chunk of time away from work, here’s some things you can do right where you are, to proceed with your life at a more leisurely pace.
- Play with your child for hours on a Saturday afternoon without any concern for time.
- Eat dinner early in the evening so you have time to take a stroll or do other enjoyable activities.
- Re-subscribe to the local community theater’s fall series—and actually attend.
- Re-engage in one of your hobbies with renewed enthusiasm.
- Make a new friend about once a month. From where? Who knows. They start showing up because you’ve allowed the time for it to happen.
- Book a cruise or cross-continental trip, maybe for the first time, or the first time in years.
- Volunteer for a charitable or civic activity where you’ve long wanted to help, but until now have not taken any action.
- View a sunrise at least once a month, and perhaps weekly.
- View many, many sunsets each month.
- Frequent some of the area’s best parks and feed the ducks.
The ability to withdraw occasionally from the maddening crowd is crucial in this frenzied society, yet many people can’t because the impetus of too much work feeds on itself—the more they work, the more they work. Until we learn to see the fault in our fast-paced lives, until we learn how to drop back and punt, we will forever be chasing the clock—and missing out on our lives.