They might as well have protested at the dust

If people put half the energy of their protests into actually taking care of themselves, then there would be a disproportionate rise in our collective happiness.

It’s simple math. Basic energy economics. When we strain ourselves for something that is a waste of our life and energy, nobody wins.

When we invest our time and attention flooding our minds with outrage porn, patting ourselves on the back for being offended and congratulating each other on how upset we are, nobody wins.

However, when we shift our focus from the quantity of our complaining to the quality of our creating, everything changes.

Castaneda, the distinguished anthropologist and author, explained that we can either make ourselves miserable, or we can make ourselves strong, but the amount of work is the same.

His words are invitation for each of us to take responsibility for the energy we bring to the world. Because regardless of what kind of energy it is, there are numerous ways to channel it that are healthy and unhealthy, productive and wasteful, joyful and disappointing.

It’s a choice. Maybe the biggest one we make.

My former coworker used to complain on an hourly basis about how bogged down she was with her role at our company. She never shut up about how there was too much work, too little time and not enough money to do her job.

Meanwhile, the rest of us in the office thought, um, yeah, welcome to startup life. You’re not special.

Imagine if she reinvested that energy into launching new internal team projects? Imagine if she alchemized that anger into initiating new business partnerships? Imagine if she stopped weighing herself down trying to protest reality and started attending to what she could actually change with our customers?

Maybe she wouldn’t have been laid off a year later.

Schwartz said it best in his book about the power of full engagement:

Use as little conscious energy as possible where it is not absolutely necessary, and leave yourself free to strategically focus the energy available to you in creative and enriching ways.

Simple math. Basic energy economics.

If you find yourself wearing the ravaged face of human protest, remember this.

Creating hell and creating heaven require the same amount of effort.

May as well put that energy to good use.

Isn’t there a part of you that wants deliverance from this problem?


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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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