Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Mental Energy

Mental Energy

The mind and the body need to work in tandem for maximum performance. By watching our diet, having enough rest and exercise, we can keep the body fit and energetic. Healthy people are always full of energy. A heatlhy body helps to bring about a healthy mind. But there are also other factors that affect our mental energy, which we do not often realize.

Why do we lose interest in our job or lack the motivation to carry on sometimes? An energetic mind is characterized by alertness, creativity and enthusiasm. How do we ensure that we maintain that kind of mental state consistently? Why does the thought of work immediately make some of us feel tired?

I believe we can achieve an energetic state of mind by managing two things well:

1. Goals
2. Resistances

The mind tires easily when it lacks direction--there are no goals for it to go after. So our thoughts meander around aimlessly. There is no focus when it comes to channelling one's mental energy, so it gets dissipated in many aimless activities that bring no cumulative result. The outcome is frustration, boredom and lethargy.

We need to have a focal point for energy to be accumulated, streamlined and applied efficiently. We can be very busy everyday in the office--answering phonecalls, talking to colleagues and attending meetings--but we could still end the day without accomplishing anything tangible. We must always start the day with a few specific goals in mind. What do I need to get done today? Then we go after them.

These goals or targets need not be big. It could be simple things: a report to be completed, an important e-mail to reply to, a quotation to send off; but if if we start our day with these clear goals in mind, then the mind knows its priorities. At the end of the day, it gets a high from knowing that it has achieved its goals and this "high" feeling provides a rush of fresh energy that rejuvenates the mind. These small daily wins keep us constantly motivated because we always end our day with a sense of accomplishment.

Mental energy also gets lost too due to mental resistance. This mental resistance results from all the things that prevent us from going after our goals--our fears, our lack of confidence and our doubts. Everytime we encounter these resistances, we have to waste energy mulling over them, hesitating and finding excuses to avoid moving ahead. As a result, we lose our momentum forward and end up feeling mentally tired.

Hence, mental resistances must be identified, tackled and removed once and for all. It's good mental housekeeping--we remove these obstacles so that we are not constantly impeded. To overcome these resistances, we need to knock off all their supporting reasons. If we don't tackle them head-on, our fears and doubts gain strength with each passing day because we all have a subconscious habit of collecting justifications for their existence. We have to realize that fears and doubts are but illusions--mental constructs that disappear the moment you remove their shaky foundations.

Once the mind knows where it is heading (goals) and sees a clear path towards it (no resistance), we will immediately feel lots of mental energy to forge ahead. Nothing in the world can stop us once we know how to harness our mental energy!

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