The art of finding your energy

I struggled with finding my energy for a long time. I wasn’t sure what this “energy” was that people where talking about other than:

W=\int _{C}\mathbf {F} \cdot \mathrm {d} \mathbf {s}

When I started building my career, I was in the mindset of “keep your head down and work”. I was all business, no fun (not at work anyway), and coworkers were professionals with whom I shared the same space 8 hours a day. I saw work as a purely practical place, no room for emotion, no boredom, and always productive. Everyone reading this is probably laughing in disbelief.

I (still) see myself as very analytical, with low tolerance for emotional arguments in a professional environment. However, some of my best friends are (ex) coworkers. This is something very counterintuitive that I always dismissed as “one of those things” (spoiler alers, it isn’t).

What energy needs

Energy is one of the basic building blocks of the universe. It comes in many forms (kinetic, thermal, potential). It drives the creation of galaxies and planets alike. No wonder we use the same word for our own motivation. Much like a battery, our mental energy also needs recharging. Milennials have the highest rate of stress related problems in history, we don’t recharge our battery enough.

Forming connections

We are the first generation to be brought up with technology like the internet, social media and the constant shallow social contact that comes along with it. People we work together with are often the only people we talk to in person on a daily basis. Those connections we form and maintain are almost by definition deeper than the ones we only have digitally. The highlight reel that most social media are, doesn’t exist in person. We see the people we work with as they really are, and vice versa. We all have people we’ve worked with that frustrate us like no one else can (other than maybe, family), and people that become lifelong friends.

What does this mean?

You’ll notice that I started talking about my career, without mentioning a field or subject. That’s because this is about finding your energy. I’ve had jobs where I hated the work, but I kept coming back over a 6 year period, because I loved the atmosphere and the people I worked with (looking at you, service industry). People make a job, recharge your battery and keep you sane. Burnout is caused by working in a toxic environment.

If you want to find your energy, find people that give you energy. What you’ll actually be doing is secundary.

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Huibert is an innovation engineer, prototyper, maker, innovator and entrepeneur. He believes anyone can be an inventor and entrepeneur with the right mix of attitude, time investment and a sprinkle of knowledge.
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