Exhilarated or exhausted?

30Mar09

In my work with individuals identified by their organizations as “top talent”, I have observed that if they commit serious energy to something, they will succeed at it.   They are just that ambitious and driven and focused.  Some of them are also exhausted.   Not all of them sustain their success.

It’s not a matter of time management.  It’s about energy management.  Have you ever worked your tail off all day or all week and at the end you were bone-tired but exhilarated?  Ever, had the opposite happen – at the end you were resentful and exhausted?

Some people can concentrate for hours or days in isolation, figuring out a complex problem or composing or designing  and they have to be dragged reluctantly back into the world.   Others can travel from city to city, making presentations, giving speeches, attending parties, interacting happily with hundreds of people and they love doing it week after week.   What is energizing to some is draining to others.

It’s the difference in good, easy energy and bad, difficult energy.  Your easy energy comes from a natural strength.  And, while it is natural, you still must develop it.  If a person is born with the physical gifts to be a professional athlete, she still has to find a sport that she loves and develop her gifts. 

Your greatest satisfactions will come from developing and putting your natural strengths to work.

People don’t always know or follow their strengths.  I have worked with people who have spent entire careers in jobs that are bad energy jobs for them.  Some have done well as measured by money and title.  But at a price of being burned out or unhealthy.

Do you know your natural strengths?  Are you ignoring them or using them?  Next time you complete a really tough project or task, ask yourself –  am I happy because I am so *&%!  glad to be done with it, or do I really wish I could do it all over again tomorrow?  

Top talent are those few who make the most of their gifts.  What do you think?

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