The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I confess I've never really paid much attention to whether or not I am oscillating properly, or taken responsibility for my own linearity, but I will now. In fact, it would be crazy not to. The subtitle here says it all: Managing Energy, Not Time, is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal. I can't add more hours to the day, but I can pay attention to the ebb and flow of my energy and take steps to build it, maintain it, and spend it wisely.
This one ended up in my reading pile this year because Stephen R. Covey mentioned it in The 8th Habit, and I can see why he did. These guys, who started out as trainers for elite athletes, speak of energy in terms of the four aspects of a whole self, so important in Covey's paradigm. Physical energy we know about, though often neglect. Mental, Emotional and Spiritual Energy also matter. All four sources of energy are built and restored the same way: push past current limits, relax and recover, repeat. Not rocket science... just good sense.
Full explanation behind the relationship of energy to full engagement is given, together with instruction in their training program. Personally, I love the idea of rituals and have successfully employed this strategy a great deal over the years. When we commit to a certain regular behavior or pattern of behaviors, we reduce the amount of energy needed to decide what to do. No dithering, no excuses.If I am looking to gain physical energy for example, a regular morning run might be the thing. For emotional energy, a daily practice of journaling might be in order. The key is to make the decision, game plan for what you want to work on, implement, adjust and hold yourself accountable. The authors have a blank personal development plan in the appendix, along with a sample.
I have to say that I truly expect all of this to be a lot easier once the transition to Florida is complete later this year. Certainly it will be easier to exercise every day, eat well, surround myself with uplifting friends, etc. That's an excuse, of course, so I will keep doing what I can now and plan to increase the program as I go. Since the idea of being fully engaged is a little bit scary at the moment, it seems wise to start by building up spiritual muscle, which these authors recommend anyway, saying "Change is powered from the top down." This book is an excellent contribution to my year of transition and transformation, and truth to tell it would help just about anyone I know. Highly recommended.
A three-page summary, written by me, is available for free download, here.
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