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Wednesday
Jul142010

I don't have enough time

How many times have I heard this? “I don’t have enough time to read books.” “I don’t have enough time to write my novel”. “I don’t have enough time to start a business.” “I don’t have enough time!!!!”

All wrong. You never lack time, you lack energy. Remember as a kid those summer days that stretched away forever? You had more energy then. Seems like time just flies by? Why? You have less energy now and do less ‘new’ stuff and more boring repetitive stuff like going to work and getting drunk.

When you learn something new there is always loads of time- an hour set aside to learn ancient greek- I guarantee that hour will NOT fly by. And when you look back on a year and say- I learnt this and this- it doesn’t seem like it flew by at all. Likewise if you make trips throughout the year you ‘slow’ time down through the expenditure of energy in doing new things.

You never lack time, you lack energy. You work for twelve hours at a desk not moving except to get coffee and go to meetings- are your surprised you lack energy in the evening? Especially because then you thrash yourself at the gym and drink a couple of beers in front of the latest hot TV series which you own on dvd. What better way to dissipate your energies than giving it away?

You never lack time, you lack energy. As you get older you have more commitments and more responsibilities. These take energy- but probably not that much if you corral and marshall how you expend it. You can also build energy- primarily by breaking down mental barriers. One way of energising yourself is to talk like a complete prat (watch Tom Green’s ‘Who fingered Freddy’ if you want lessons in pratdom) in front of people who won’t hold it against you- you family and your closest friends. We are so used to exercising control over what we say- not lying, not boasting and not fantasising that taking the brakes off releases a ton of energy. I think it’s worthwhile to start ‘big whopper’ clubs where the idea of the evening is to tell obvious big whoppers all evening. Nothing subtle at all. Great fun.

You never lack time you lack energy. We dribble away energy in a thousand ways. We have routines that take energy from us, we have habitual encounters we have decided we ‘hate’ and these also rob us of energy. Learn to spy the energy vampires and pirates who lurk out there just waiting to grab your precious vitality.

You never lack time you lack energy. Energy is not like money- which is a kind of temporal substitute for energy- energy belongs to the ‘realer world’ of abundance. The more energy you give, the more you get. Ever wondered what that mysterious parable of the talents meant? Exactly this: the more you give the more you get. OK try this: next time you go to a party talk in a really loud cheerful voice. Boom it out. Watch successful school teachers- they all have loud voices- for a very good reason- the more you give out the more energy you’ll get. Energy somehow flows back to fill the space vacated- AS LONG AS IT WAS GIVEN AWAY CONSCIOUSLY- and not squandered or stolen.

You never lack time you lack energy. Remember that time when you were a teenager. Lying on the sofa feeling you could hardly move, hardly even answer the ringing phone? But you do- party at a mate’s house- hey suddenly you have a million volts running through your body. Tiredness is not the opposite of energy- sleep is. If you are sleepy- after doing some kind of physical exercise- this being the test because we con ourselves too easily otherwise- so do five minutes of hard walking or cleaning the house- if you still feel sleepy- then sleep. But just being tired means you still have energy except it is locked up and needs to be released.

You never lack time you lack energy. How to release that ton of energy that is locked up inside you? Break down the barriers- work really fast at something- so fast you cannot check or inhibit yourself. I do this in writing- but I learnt it in aikido. They have a method called ‘hajime training’- you simply do the same technique again and again as fast as possible. It is knackering but you get to stop thinking. You switch to autopilot, glide control- and miraculously you build energy rather than lose it.

You never lack time you lack energy. Orde Wingate the unconventional but highly successful special forces commander in WW2 believed you could store energy by lounging around taking it real easy and then you could expend it during a mission going day after day with hardly any sleep for months on end- JUST AS LONG AS WAS REQUIRED. This is the key. Many people try to force themselves to do lots of tedious tasks they don’t like and much more importantly, don’t think are meaningful. When you have a mission you unify your sense of meaning with the momentum that comes from focusing on one task. Momentum energy is a massive force- see it as reusing the same energy over and over, kind of like a rebreather, or a kid on a swing who only needs a well-timed small push to go higher and higher. Politicians out on campaign give impassioned speech after speech- how? Momentum energy. How am I writing this article- momentum and removing barriers – just letting it flood down. Can always edit it later.

You never lack time you lack energy. One way to keep the momentum going is to have a refrain or mantra such as the above- use it to get back on track, refocus your thoughts. Distraction is the enemy of energy, dissipation is the enemy…unless you embrace it as another opportunity to play and be uninhibited. Why do we crave wanton sex and drunkenness? Because it allows us to uncork that bottled energy. Wouldn’t it be better to have access to it any time? To be able to use it to achieve our goals?

You never lack time you lack energy. When we get a success- by which I mean something we do seems to work- we get an energy payback. Lots of entrepeneurs report that they were ‘lazy’ until they saw how much money they could make…ie. they saw how to make a success of something. Success is in the eye of the beholder, but one source is ‘being wanted’. If more people want us- give us a job, buy our book, want to go out with us- we get more energy. If we are unwanted- rejected, scorned, then we lose energy. It’s the law of abundance- that which has a place in the world gets rewarded. But we are human, we are not dumb machines- we have the power to create meaning out of seeming chaos, we also have the power to create a ‘success situation’ where others just see ‘normal life’ or ‘nothing special’. You want to feel wanted: have a party. You want to have a quick success? Paint an abstract painting- a really crazy one, then frame it nicely. Do ten and have an exhibition party. Write a haiku. Write ten haikus and post them on the net. Clean a public space you love of garbage, every last bit. Have a garbage collecting party. Build a model kit. I made a model boat the other day and it gave me a massive buzz, weirdly disproportionate to the effort- but that is energy for you- it’s there, all around us, ready to flow into us as we dispense it. But the law of the universe is this; you can’t squander and waste it. You have to pour that energy into things you find meaningful. So the more you can find meaning the more energy you will have. Expand meaning and you will expand the inflow of energy.

You never lack time you lack energy. I have just written this in about ten minutes.

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