THE CURRENCY OF CHANGE: INTRO TO ENERGETIC AWARENESS
What’s the most famous equation, and how does it relate to your life?
Flashback to summer 2017: I sat with my cohort of life coaches-in-training in a cold conference room in the DC area and listened to our teacher talk about Einstein. I was both intrigued and beginning to feel confused. Life coaching isn’t a physical science and, in fact, a lot of what I had learned at that point in the program was more in the realm of spiritual than technical. But as I listened more attentively to my teacher, it began to click.
Einstein changed the world with the discovery that everything is energy. Or, to be more precise, he changed the world with this equation:
E=mc ²: energy equals mass times the speed of light squared.
You’re probably familiar with this equation from your high school or college physics classes. It’s the equation that paved the path for so many applications that changed the rest of human history, a notable example of which is the emergence of the field of nuclear energy.
But how does this relate to your life? And why was my teacher mentioning this in a life coach training?
Well, energy is essentially the capacity or power to do work or take action. And life coaching is —to also put it very simply— the process of getting people from where they are in their life to where they want to be. Ultimately, it’s about managing change: from little steps and goals to broader paradigm shifts and mindsets.
And all change requires action, which requires energy.
If the change is external, like a new habit to start or behavior to change, that ultimately comes down to taking a series of different action steps. For example, let’s say you want to start a new habit of writing every day. This requires you go to the place where you will write, open up your journal or laptop, and then keep writing for a certain amount of time. All of these steps require you to have enough energy to complete or sustain the task at hand. And when you don’t have enough energy, which you could experience as feeling lazy or experiencing resistance, you don’t take action. And so whatever outcome you want to achieve by this new writing habit (could be finishing a paper, publishing your dream book, or maybe just a cool journal you get to show your grandchildren one day) all gets delayed or doesn’t happen at all.
And if the change you’re seeking is more internal, like a new attitude or a more empowering mindset you want to adopt, that change would be meaningful when it manifests as a change in your actions as well. For example, becoming more patient or confident is an internal, attitudinal shift that is only meaningful when observed outwardly through patient or confident words and actions.
So, as I illustrated in the examples above, all change requires action, and all action requires energy. Seems simple enough, right? Now let’s take it a step further.
Einstein’s groundbreaking formula is that everything is energy. To tie that to what we’re talking about:
Your thoughts, emotions, and actions all have an energy to them because they are related to physical processes in your body, and everything physical is made up of matter, which can be translated into energy.
So your physical energy isn’t just affected by what you eat and how much sleep you got the night before. As you’ve probably already experienced, your spiritual state and emotional state, for example, can significantly uplift or deplete your physical energy.
Your thoughts are a powerful thing precisely because they determine the potential energy you have. This thought-emotion-action triad is at the basis of cognitive-behavioral therapy and is something widely studied in the field of psychology and behavioral economics.
A self-defeating thought leads to a low-energy emotion, like sadness or apathy, and that limits the possibilities of actions you can take (hint: usually that action is not doing anything). And an empowering thought or belief leads to a high-energy emotion, like joy or excitement, and that expands the energy you have to take action.
In the next posts in this series, you’ll learn about the:
- different types of energy
- characteristics of thoughts or actions that are lower or higher on the energy spectrum
- what impacts the energy you feel toward any given task
- and how to elevate your overall energy level in life
As you know, knowledge without action isn’t beneficial. So to solidify any lessons that were helpful here and get yourself in the habit of acting upon what you learn, I invite you to do the following 10-minute exercise:
- Take out a journal or your laptop (making sure to avoid distractions)
- Set a timer for 5 mins (you’ll repeat this twice: once for each prompt)
- Free-write your response to the following prompts (either as a list or paragraph)
Prompt #1: What are some new behaviors or habits you want to start doing in your life?
Prompt #2: What are the things that drain your energy and leave you feeling depleted?
Was this post helpful? If so, share it with your family and friends via email or social media. We need support from our readers to reach more people who could benefit from this!
And stay tuned for more actionable posts that help you experience the peace and power of purposeful living. Get on our emailing list (by clicking here) to make sure you don’t miss anything we publish!