Energy Basics

I spent time with a group of magnificent MBA students at a university in Boston last week. We explored personal presence. We talked about personal energy. We went to the well.

“So what IS energy?” a young lady named Melinda asked.

Ah yes – that question.

Melinda asked it with a big beaming smile, and I wondered, does Melinda know that she has a high-energy smile?

I had great fun with the “so what is energy question” when I wrote my book INFECTIOUS. I talked to a bunch of energy experts. Here are some answers that stuck: Take 1: Energy is a life force. Not a term with great currency in Western culture, but most other cultures have a term for the notion of a life force. Nearly 100 terms, all over the world. Prana, chi, ki. More importantly, these cultures have specific practices for accessing this force. The practices can be learned. Way cool.

Take 2: Energy comes in 4 dimensions. It is physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Physical energy is the core dimension. It houses and channels the other energies.

Take 3: Great personal energy differentiates a successful leader. Research by Sandy Pentland and Daniel Olguin at MIT’s Human Dynamics Lab convincingly shows that exceptional personal energy is the main predictor of future leadership success.

Take 4: Everything is energy.

Whew – dizzying, isn’t it?

I am a practical guy. Here’s what it boils down to for me: We can define energy all we want – but how do we actually “know” it? How do we experience it in our body? And how does our body summon it?

Those are the energy basics.

Do you have a big beaming Melinda smile? Summon it. Do you feel your body tingle with excitement when you talk about a fresh idea? Summon it. Does your mind feel clear after a moment of rest and an energy drink? Summon it.

Energy lives in the body. The body will do what our brain asks it to do – that includes summon energy.

This week, pay attention to how you know energy in your body. Choose to summon your energy often. Notice how a more energized body leads to more energized relationships with others. Sweet.