(or The Top Ten Ways to Develop Balanced, Focused Energy in Your Life) by Jeffrey D. Brown1. Eliminate What You Tolerate. Eliminate clutter, noise, distractions, and people who drain your energy. Beginning today, make a concentrated effort to rid your life of whatever you’ve been tolerating. Begin by making a list of ten tolerations. Now take action to eliminate them, permanently, when possible. Most people say that eliminating a big toleration causes them to immediately feel more energy — as if a tremendous weight has just lifted! To have a high quality life and be healthy, you need all the energy you can get. By eliminating extraneous “stuff,” you will noticeably enhance access to the supportive energy that naturally flows through your life. 2. Create 10 Daily Habits that Support Being at Your Best. Carefully chosen daily habits are cues that remind you to act deliberately. Acting deliberately has been described as operating from a place of deep inner calm. Access to inner calm prompts you to respond to life in a manner appropriate to the moment rather than merely reacting based on whatever emotion may be active at the time. By practicing 10 Daily Habits that support your best, you conserve your energy and resources so that they can be used to make life better for yourself and those around you. 3. Notice Life’s Small Wonders. Count your blessings. Tend the garden before you. Enjoy the effect of what you cause. There are a thousand ways to express this idea, so here’s a tip to help you capture the magic of this principle: Create a Book of Small Wonders. In it, write what you accomplished today. Include what you are especially proud of, how you handled difficult situations, how you grew personally and professionally, and those little unexpected moments of wonder that happened in the course of your day. Don’t underestimate the power of this simple practice: it shifts people from frustration to a sense of hope and opportunity with the stroke of a pen. 4. Develop and Practice an Instant Centering Sequence. Here are some tips to consider. a- Take brief midmorning and midafternoon work breaks. b- Get a few minutes of muscular movement every hour or so during the day. c- Sustain your breathing — it’s been said that it’s the inner breathing of the one hundred trillion cells in our body that’s fundamental to how we act, feel, and think. Continuous, steady breathing is essential to calm, focused energy in any situation. d- Practice present moment awareness. Our ability to acknowledge what’s happening in the present moment, and to flow with it, influences our capacity for responding to hidden opportunities. What’s the quickest way to activate an Instant Centering Sequence? Begin by simply feeling your physical body and noticing the sensations you find there. Our entire being is a huge sensing apparatus — all we have to do is begin to understand what it is telling us, and respond from that inner wisdom. Need help? Begin with relaxing (see #5 below) and ask your coach to help you uncover and develop these natural abilities. 5. Take Time-Out Twice a Day. If you’ve tried meditating before and thought it wasn’t your cup of tea, now is a great time to try again. Here’s a simple, effective way to begin. Sit comfortably and watch your breath, especially the exhalation phase. Imagine you’re like a dolphin — as a dolphin surfaces, it blows all the air from its lungs. The natural result is for plenty of air to flood back in. In meditation, breathe out completely, but keep it effortless. Notice how there is a pause at the end of your out breath, and then a natural impulse to breathe in. Doing this for ten minutes will have you experiencing a much more relaxed state. Twenty minutes can significantly restore your sense of energy and vitality for what lies ahead. Try meditating or relaxing in this fashion for twenty minutes at least one session a day, preferably in the morning. If you’d prefer to listen to a relaxation tape as an alternative to meditation, I recommend audiotape programs created by Emmett Miller, MD. Try using his 10-minute tape during work breaks. 6. Eat small, frequent, balanced, meals and snacks. We’ve all heard that “we are what we eat.” But did you know that your energy moods are affected by what, and when, you eat? The key point here is when you eat a small amount of a well-balanced food choice every two and a half to three hours, you keep your brain (and body) supplied with those nutrients essential for best performance. Of course, the terms “small and well-balanced” are important to bear in mind, but that’s a discussion for another time. 7. Exercise Regularly for Structural Balance and Good Health. From my perspective as a former rehabilitative exercise therapist whose clinical practice specialized in postural education and body-core integration for performance athletes, attention to good posture is vital for getting the greatest benefit from exercise. Fitness Tip: Learn what “dynamic moving balance” feels like, and exercise in such a way as to support and enhance it. The right coach is invaluable in this regard. Also, dedicate some time to doing rhythmic “aerobic” cardiovascular exercise as well. It’s good for your heart in more ways than one. 8. Know Your Mission, Vision, and Purpose. Have you identified a clear vision for your personal and professional life? Do your recognize the power of clarifying and reviewing your vision on a regular basis? This is a recurring theme in my work with high-achievers. We all need a clear vision to orient around that helps us stay on track when we hit stormy seas (or get tempted by the latest fad). A vision is something felt in your heart, expressed in words and symbols, and undeniable once you’ve found yours. Circumstances may change (and probably will), but your vision has been with you for a long time because it is who you are, or at least, one of the more profound expressions of that. 9. Strengthen Your Community. Communities are great for creation and creativity. The community you select will prompt results in your life that you simply could not get on your own. The key term here is select. The benefit of a chosen community is it brings out your best — their best brings out your best. We naturally upgrade our community throughout our lives as we develop personally and spiritually. The process of strengthening community may take time, but being around people who hold you to your personal highest and best, is unmatched in its contribution to our lives. 10. Create Reserves. Now, here’s an interesting topic: Reserves. Let’s define Reserve as “having enough plus a little bit more,” or even “some extra that’s put away.” Why would you want Reserve? With Reserve in a few key areas, you gain a sense of freedom to be and deliver your best. A Reserve of anything can translate to feeling a sense of peace and possibility. Each of us have our own unique sense of how Reserve works in our lives. It’s not about acquisition; it’s aboutthe process of creating and owning a Reserve, and how negotiating that process empowers us with a sense of our natural ability to make a difference in the present moment. What would it be like to have a Reserve of Balanced, Focused Energy in your life today? Good things will come to you in the process of creating one! Copyright 2001 by Jeffrey D. Brown. All rights reserved. However, permission is granted to freely copy or distribute to anyone you wish, so long as you retain the entire message, including the name and address of the author.