Call it a personal energy crisis. On the surface, your life seems full enough—maybe even too full—yet you're running on empty. You feel stretched thin, stressed-out, drained.
Sound familiar? It's an epidemic. The most common complaints Americans bring to doctors, are: "I feel tired all the time?" Once possible physical causes of fatigue have been ruled out (a crucial first step), many doctors diagnose mild depression and reach for the prescription pad. But is this really depression—or just depletion? And why do some people always have energy?
You probably know someone who has more to cope with than you do but warms and cheers everyone around. You might also know someone who regularly turns ideas into realities not purely through talent or self-confidence but simply because his energy is stronger than any discouragement he encounters.
So where's the pump for this kind of fuel? It's a misconception that the energy we require is primarily physical. Yes, you need to get enough sleep, water, nutrients, and exercise. However, the survey of endocrinologists, nutritionists, and sports medicine specialists turned up an astonishing consensus: Fully 70 percent of our total energy is emotional—the kind that manifests as hope, resilience, passion, fun, and enthusiasm.
We in the developed world mostly take very good care of our bodies, but we often take lousy care of our souls. And that points to the secret of high-voltage people. They don't all have lucky genes or a happy childhood—but they invariably make it a priority to protect and replenish their emotional energy. The good news is that anyone can develop this skill. First, you plug the leaks: Learn to recognize what drains your energy—life situations, toxic people, or habits of mind like worry, guilt, indecision, and envy—and take steps to avoid or minimize it. Second, you identify what fills your tank—pleasure, prayer, novelty, anticipation, fun—and give yourself more.
Since we're all different, there is a menu of strategies to choose from. A few suggestions are novel, like resolving chronic, exhausting guilt by putting yourself on trial. If you're feeling bad about something you've done, ask yourself whether you were under duress or doing the best you could for your age and background. If so, give yourself a break. Not guilty. Case closed. However, if you decide you knowingly did wrong, move to what is called the penalty phase: Do something real and specific to compensate the person you hurt or repay your debt to society. Other strategies might seem familiar—dump the bad boyfriend, set limits with your mother—but the fresh context of treasuring your emotional energy above all else may finally give you the impetus to act.
If claiming what you need sets off that "Selfish!" siren in your head, remember that all good things, including true, unforced giving, flow from a full heart. Emotional energy is the precondition for everything we care about. Everything worth doing that's difficult gets lost without it. Marriages fail when we run out of the emotional energy to reach one more time across the divide of anger and silence. Dreams die when we lack the emotional energy to hang in there in the face of all the obstacles It's never selfish for a good person to put fuel in one’s tank.
Once you learn how to tap this fuel, you'll discover that it's a renewable resource. Unlike physical energy, which runs down as we get older, emotional energy can increase the more you learn what works best for you. Imagine getting more and more energy every year of your life. There's always something you can do to get more.
Give the summary of the text using the words below:to turn ideas into realities; to take very good care of; secret of high-voltage people; to protect and replenish emotional energy; to drain energy; to lack the emotional energy; renewable resource.
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