Energized? Yes and No.

August 22, 2016

As an exercise, my wife and I decided to occasionally write blog posts using a book called the 52 Lists Project. Somewhere in the middle of this book is the list for this week and for as long as it holds our attention, we’ll add a post a week with a different topic.

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On the topic this week of what energizes me, I run into a wall of new topics or questions. Energy. Where does mine come from? What adds to it?

What energizes me?

This question is actually a lot less simple than you might think. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Therefore, from what do I transfer energy? What activities, what emotional voyages, what interactions, what inner turmoil or discussions?

Let’s start with external forces. I’m motivated, and therefore energized, by a host of external forces. These include the attention of others. The perceived attention of others. The judgment of family and friends regarding my professional and artistic pursuits. From all these there’s a thread of internal/external. Without my perception or read on the attention of others, it wouldn’t motivate me because it wouldn’t matter.

Is the first answer of external forces wrong? Are these external forces really driven by internal desires or measurement? Something to ponder.

Further, the items that might actually be external and quantitative – like money or social status or even having Twitter verify me as an actual human – also fall into a pool of values. How much does each of these criteria matter to me? Do I value money more than experiences? Do I value travel more than money? Do I value having created a work of art more than having someone hang a green ribbon on that work of art?

Sometimes – and this is only week one in what is supposed to be 52 weeks – I feel like this type of project is non-energizing. It’s life-sucking because it stalls the process of creation and makes me look inward and outward and all around. It stops me cold and makes me wonder if I’m being energized by the ‘right’ things?

Who’s to say what motivates me is right or wrong? That’s the stuff they deal with in Oscar-award-winning movies. My energy comes from within and branches so quickly into possible tracks that it might better be compared to internal lightning. The tracks I can follow back to an original source are as fleeting as a snap of electricity from the clouds.

Am I energized? Yes. By what? Ultimately, by being and doing and then observing what results of that activity.