I've been thinking about "energy" lately—not physical energy like what you might get from a good workout or a strong cup of coffee, but mental energy. For those times when we get dragged down in the day-to-day, the dullness, the monotony, and we need to be pulled out of the blah—we need a jolt of energy.
Perhaps you could call it a renewed spirit or enthusiasm. But we all have a personal source of this energy. It's just a matter of identifying what makes us feel mentally alive.
I've realized that I feed off the energy of other people when we're sharing a common interest and I'm learning new things. For example, back in grad school, if we had a really great discussion on language and writing, all those nerdy details that only people in a writing master's program would talk about, I would leave class feeling energized.
Or when I meet with other entrepreneurs and we discuss, ask questions, share information—like last week's coffee date with some local business owners/PowerPlay members or the monthly Business in the City meetings—I feel energized.
Or when I talk to other writers, people who share my interests, and I learn something new—like at Chicago Women in Publishing events or the occasional coffee or dinner with writer friends.
Or when I catch up with good friends and we talk about current news, food, literature, life. These are the times I tap into that energy.
I can find inspiration in many places, solitary places, like books and blogs and a quiet moment of reflection. But for me, energy is a bit different than inspiration—it comes from a different type of interaction. As an introvert, it takes getting out of my comfort zone sometimes. With time though, it yields amazing results—it leads to developing relationships, building knowledge, and cultivating that ever-elusive energy.
What situations or people energize your mind and spirit?