4 Simple Steps to Get Re-Energized in One Hour (Or Less)

This is a guest post from my good friend Amber Rae.  Along with Nathaniel Koloc, Amber has created an incredible experience for those of you that are looking to dramatically change the trajectory of your lives – The Bold Academy.  If you’re ready to make some serious changes, Amber is the perfect person to help.

Two years ago, I quit my comfortable job in San Francisco, sold all my belongings, and moved to New York to pursue my passions.

At the time, I had a lot of things that I felt passionate about: photography, start-ups, the internet, music, creativity, and travel. I spent two years immersing myself in over fifteen start-ups that touched on these interests and I launched a number of ideas I had like revolution.is and The Passion Experiment. I even had the chance to work with Seth Godin to launch the Domino Project.

But after two years, and a list of accomplishments, I didn’t feel fulfilled. I began to feel exhausted.

I was helping my friend launch a new division of his company while simultaneously starting my own. My social calendar was booked weeks in advance, and drinks and dinners out every night was the norm. I wasn’t writing (my favorite thing to do) and my fitness routine was non-existent. I was hustling hustling hustling, making too many promises, and balancing too many priorities so I could afford my unnecessarily expensive TriBeCa apartment. I was living in one of the most energizing cities in the world but without clear focus, I was a recipe for exhaustion!

Then one day last September I hit a breaking point. I was so exhausted and overwhelmed by the amount of energy I was exerting that I broke down. That’s when I realized that I had to take a step back, re-evaluate my priorities, and make some changes.

As I assessed how I was spending my time, I noticed that I was committing to a lot of things that excited me but also drained me. I realized that what is worth pursuing is not only rooted in passion, it’s rooted in what’s energizing too. It can be difficult to pursue “passion” — but it’s easy to understand and pursue what produces energy.

With this new emphasis on “energy,” I made some changes. I moved to Boulder, a place of natural beauty and healthy living with a thriving entrepreneurial scene. I cut 75% of my workload so that nearly all of my time is spent on energy-inducing activities like writing, working out, and helping people figure out how to lead the life they’ve always wanted to live.

The changes are working. In four months, I’ve lost twenty pounds, I almost always feel on fire with energy, and my writing has been published in Huffington Post, Forbes, and I’m now contributing to Fast Company.

I’m also scaling the work I do in helping people claim the lives they’re meant to live into what’s called “The Bold Academy.” This July, 24 people who are ready to gain clarity on themselves and their ideal future will convene in Boulder for a life-changing experience. And you can be one of them.

Most of all, I’ve learned that when I’m energized, I’m able to do more, be more, and give more. I feel like the best version of myself too.

If you’re in a rut or feel exhausted by the life you’re currently living, take a step back and evaluate how you’re spending your time. Here’s an exercise I created last September when I decided to re-evaluate my priorities with a new focus on energy.

Step one: Take out a sheet of paper and make three columns. Label the first “Activity”, the second “During” and the third “After.”

Step two: In the “Activity” column, make a list of the ways you spend your time. (For example: writing articles, working out with trainer, yoga, drinking with friends, tech events, email, managing the team, client calls, biking to work, dinner dates, FaceTime with Mom, etc.)

Step three: In the “During” column, write down, from a scale of 1 (draining) to 10 (energizing), how each activity makes you feel while you’re doing it.

Step four: In the “After” column, write down, from a scale of 1 (draining) to 10 (energizing), how each activity makes you feel after you’re done doing it.

Doing this helps put things in perspective, and allows you to get a better grasp on what you really want to be getting out of life.

Bottom line?

Do what energizes you. 

Kristoph Matthews March 27, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Amber,

Inspiring story of your moves to NY and Boulder. I thought your post would be more effective if you provided some examples in your 4-step exercise, and perhaps even made a video of it. Many people, especially myself, won’t actually take out the paper and do it, but could effectively relate to examples and gain awareness. Just a suggestion :) I’ve clicked to your blog and really admire what you’re creating.

Kristoph

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Chas March 29, 2012 at 9:35 am

Thank you for sharing your story, Amber; I find it to be very beneficial for me. Sometimes it is easy to lose focus in a whirlwind of activity.

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Adam Dudley March 29, 2012 at 11:53 am

Sean…thanks for having Amber post.

Amber…I love what you’re doing…and…from your interest in helping people discover what activities strengthen and weaken them…I think that you may be interested in this man’s work: http://www.signlanguageofthesoul.com/. I have personally worked with him and find his area of expertise fascinating as well as funcional. Best wishes with your Bold Academy.

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Oli Lewington March 29, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Wow – that was exactly what I needed to read today, thanks so much for sharing Amber’s post.

I’m in the middle of a fairly massive life change, leaving my secure, well-paid job in London to live a calmer, healthier and happier life. As a transplant recipient I know more than most how precious each day and each moment is and I wanted to make sure I was living each moment for what it can be and not wasting 4 hours of my day in a car on a commute.

Reading stories like this – and seeing the enormous progress Amber has made – energises me and makes me realise that I am making the right choices and that I can see this through.

More than anything I want to help people see the value and richness they have in their lives and how to seize it, love it and live it to the full.

Thanks to both of you, Sean and Amber, for keeping me on-track.

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September April 1, 2012 at 3:52 pm

I love to read about stuff like this – and your experiences will help guide everyone. What I would really love is to adapt this kind of experience and insight into someone who has a family. Children are exhausting, but how do you change the hours of interaction with them to be energizing instead of draining… Food for thought for myself, but I would love to see more parents who are taking leaps and leading change and living life to the fullest – and how they do it.

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Isabelle Fredborg April 2, 2012 at 1:47 am

Sean, thank you for proving that guest posts doesn’t mean “I need a break, gotta fill up the blog calendar somehow, anything”. Though, wait, you ARE on vacation ;) Anyway, just saying that it’s inspiring to see people who keep the same high standard for guest posts as for their own posts.

Amber, thank you for sharing your story. It’s so easy to fool yourself to keep going longer than is good for you – after all, you “have everything”. So great to see that taking a step back has helped you to be even more successful, having a life and being happy, too.

Good point in your three step columns. Feels like most people lable them differently – before and during. That way, it’s much easier to say no to things that are good for you but require a bit of energy upfront. Like this:

Do I want to work out? (before) Nah, I’d rather do X.
Will it be nice to work out? (during) Maaaaybe.

= won’t do it

compared to

Will it be nice to work out? (during) Maaaybe.
How will I feel afterwards? (after) GREAT and pleased with myself

= will do it

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