You’re sitting in bumper to bumper traffic anxiously glaring down at the gas gauge, wondering if you’re going to make it home.
The closest exit is still a mile away.
It will take fifteen minutes to make it there, if you’re lucky.
You finally approach the off ramp, but someone cuts you off, so you miss the exit.
The next one is just a half mile away, but it takes you ten more minutes to get there.
Now you’re sweating through your work clothes because you had to shut off the air conditioning to save your gas. As soon as you take the exit, your gas light flashes, begging you to fuel up.
Your heart starts beating faster.
If you run out of gas, you will be late picking up your kid from daycare. Not to mention, you still have to go to the grocery store to pick up something for dinner.
Just as the Shell station comes into sight, your car starts shaking, jolts, and shuts off…right in the middle of the road. People start honking, throw in a few choice words, and nobody stops to help you. You rest your head against the steering wheel, inhale deeply, and tell yourself that you will never drive with that little gas ever again.
Hell of an afternoon right? Sound like a nightmare to you?
What if I told you that most of us live life like this?
You’re sitting there saying that you’re extremely responsible when it comes to filling up your car. “I don’t let it go less than a quarter of a tank!”
Give yourself a pat on the back because I’m not talking about your car’s gas tank, I’m talking about your own, personal gas tank.
What is your gas tank?
Your gas tank is the amount of mental, emotional, and physical energy you have to dedicate to things in your life.
Don’t believe me?
Think about why you go on vacation.
You go to escape the parts of your life that drain your energy and/or to decompress.
What do you do on vacation?
A bunch of activities that help put fuel BACK in your tank (whatever those may be because they are different for everyone).
Maybe you want pure and utter relaxation. Or you like to be insanely busy, but you’re still refueling.
Think about how you feel when you return to your everyday routine. Refreshed, energized and ready to kick ass… that is until you feel rundown again.
There’s a pattern here.
On a vacation you cut out the unnecessary b.s. from your life because vacation is time to escape it all.
But what if you applied that mentality to your every day life?
It’s true… there will be things in your life that are completely out of your control, and will inevitably suck some energy out of you. Everyone has them.
But you can control the energy suckers you voluntarily add to your life. You can stop siphoning energy from your own tank.
Here are some big ones to get a handle on
1.) Time. You constantly feel like you don’t have enough time to dedicate to the most important things in your life. You want to add hours onto your day just to have a little more time. You spend time on things you don’t necessarily care for and not enough time on what matters to you.
2.) Money. It burns a hole in your pocket. You suck at saving. You want so much, but don’t make enough. Debt burdens you. Bills are torture. You never have enough money to do the things you enjoy.
3.) Health. You don’t have enough time and/ or money to dedicate to your health and fitness goals. You don’t have enough energy at the end of a long hard day to dedicate to working out or eating nutritious foods (that would most likely make you feel better). So you sit on the couch and eat your feelings.
4.) Negativity. You have a hard time being upbeat and positive because you feel like nothing is going right in your life. This continues into a negative feedback loop and comes back to bite you in every part of your life.
5.) People. You’re spending too much time focusing on people that just don’t matter. This could be people who aren’t providing value to your life or slowly poisoning you with negativity. You don’t have to like everyone, and not everyone is going to like you. You also don’t spend enough time with the people who actually matter.
There’s three solutions to each one of these problems, and most problems you could add to this list.
1.) Prioritize: Figure out what’s most important and let the rest slide. You would be amazed at how much time, money, and energy you waste on useless people and negativity in your life. Focus on what matters!
2.) Eliminate the BS. Seriously. Cut it out. Don’t like someone or something? Stop associating with them. Give it away. Get rid of everything that isn’t bringing value to your life!
3.) Stop Procrastinating. When you procrastinate, you cause yourself more stress, which results in anxiety. Anxiety is the ultimate gas guzzler. Get your stuff done and stop making excuses as to why you’re not doing it.
I’m not the best at math but here’s a little equation to get you thinking…
Prioritize + Eliminate BS + Stop Procrastinating = More Energy in the Gas Tank
(aka Valuable time, more money, better health, less negativity, more meaningful relationships).
Think about it…
There are two gas stations. The first is charging $1 a gallon and offering a special fuel that helps your car get twice as many miles per tank and is environmentally friendly. The second is charging $5 a gallon for fuel that pollutes the environment and damages your car. (This isn’t a lesson on fuel and the environment…understand the metaphor here)
Which station are you going to fuel up at?
No brainer. Apply this concept to yourself. Put the right fuel in your gas tank.
This is not going to happen over night. In fact, it’s a really big challenge at first.
It’s hard to undo a lifetime of wasting energy.
Once you can recognize when you’re actually doing this, you can stop.
It takes so much practice and even the best of the best slip up at times. After all you are a human being and you’re not perfect. Don’t beat yourself up (after all beating yourself up IS in fact a gas guzzler).