Happy, energetic woman at work. by marcos86 via Dollarphotoclub

4 Ways to Fuel Energy and Well-being at Work

Our last post about staying genki (a Japanese word for energized and enthusiastic) at work focused on physiological strategies for enhancing your well-being. This post focuses on some less tangible strategies to ramp up your energy and enthusiasm in life and work.

Identify and Plug Energy Leaks

Have you ever experienced that tight feeling in your chest or gut when you do something that doesn’t feel quite right? Maybe you went along with your friends on something you didn’t want to do, agreed with the boss’s opinion for the sole purpose of climbing the corporate ladder, or didn’t stand up for yourself when you were treated poorly. While you might be conscious of how and why you compromised yourself in the moment, more often than not these small “integrity gaps” go unnoticed on a conscious level. The problem is that each of these little compromises is like a small hole in your gas tank – it slowly drains your energy, and soon you might find that your job is no longer work you love to do.
To fill these leaky little energy holes, you first need to become more aware of the values and principals you want to live by. Take a moment to list five things in your life or work that give you that “leaky” feeling. Now ask yourself what value or principle is being compromised by you or someone else in that situation.

Now that you are clear on the areas where your actions, decisions, or circumstances are not in alignment with your values, you are in a better position to ask what action you can take to close that integrity gap.  Closing those gaps is easier if they were created by your own actions than by someone else’s. If you have compromised your value of kindness by treating someone unkindly, you can go apologize and rectify the situation. You have less control, however, if your energy is being drained by someone else’s unkindness towards you.

Ultimately if certain people in your life keep acting in ways that go against your values and principles, your best choice may be to let go of your relationship with them. Recently several of my clients have experienced a mismatch in work values with employees who are also their friends. They had to make the decision to let those employees go. Without exception, after the difficult task of letting the person go was over, all of these clients found they had a lot more energy and enthusiasm for their business.

Fuel Up By Using Strengths

Plugging your energy leaks is just the first step in staying genki on a mental, emotional and spiritual level. The second step is to make sure you are regularly fueling up your mind and spirit so that you have the energy you need to go the distance.

Spending time each day using and developing your preferred strengths and talents is a key source of energy. Think of that good tired feeling you get after spending a day doing something you really love. While you might be physically or even mentally tired you feel emotionally and spiritually fulfilled or energized. Think about the days at work that are most energizing for you. What did you spend most of your time doing? What skills were you using? What areas of knowledge were you working with? Take note of these areas and make a plan for how you can spend more of your time doing these things that energize rather than deplete you.

Energize Your Purpose

Another key source of energy is a sense of meaning and purpose. Research shows that people feel more energized when they understand how the work they are doing is making a positive difference in the world. It doesn’t need to be a grand purpose or even be meaningful to anyone else – it only matters that it feels important to you.

Focus on Your Vision

The final ingredient for filling your genki gas tank is having a compelling vision. A compelling vision is energizing in and of itself, but it also provides focus and direction that prevents you from wasting energy pursuing too many different vectors. Just like you can eat too many sweets, you can overload yourself with work opportunities, hobbies and social activities. When your vision is clear, it becomes easier to tell which of the many good things you are being offered are really and truly good for you.

Doing what you love is an endless source of energy

When you combine the physical energy tips from last month with these techniques for ramping up your mental, emotional and spiritual energy, you will stay genki from dawn to dusk.

A version of this post first appeared on Tokyo Families Magazine.

Feature image by marcos86 via Dollarphotoclub.