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Notes from The Power of Full Engagment

The power of full engagement


  • Live your life in accordance with your purpose.
  • we need to focus not on squeezing more into our limited hours but finding ways to do more with the time we have. To accomplish this, we need to shift our focus to managing our energy, not our time.
  • we should focus on optimizing the quantity and quality of our available energy.
  • work less and take more breaks.
  • breaks give you a chance to recharge your energy levels, thus allowing you to stay productive for more time.
  • We’re all familiar with physical energy, i.e., what we use to get around, but there are three additional sources of energy – emotional, mental and spiritual
  • Spiritual strength helps us stay connected to our deepest values, which act as our life’s compass.
  • Emotional flexibility allows us to demonstrate a wide range of emotions appropriate to a given situation rather than responding with rigidity.
  • Mental endurance keeps us focused and concentrated over time.

About physical strength

  • Drinking enough water is equally as important – in fact, muscles dehydrated by only 3 percent lose around 10 percent of their strength!
  • you must develop and maintain good physical energy.
  • various studies have verified that people who work out regularly show a marked improvement of up to 70 percent in their ability to handle complex decisions!
  • we can also build up our energy levels by taking small steps outside our comfort zones.
  • look for foods that maximize our energy capacity, such as nuts, leafy green vegetables and yogurt
  • we need to learn to heed our life-sustaining rhythm and disengage at regular intervals. At work, this means taking a relaxing break every 1.5 hours or so by doing things like having a coffee or taking a leisurely stroll through a nearby park for fifteen minutes.

Training mental energy

  • never neglect what you enjoy or your physical health.
  • it’s positive emotions, like enjoyment, feeling challenged, experiencing adventure and seeing opportunities, which fuel performance.
  • Training your mental energy helps you stay focused and creative at the same time.
  • At work, we overwork our left hemisphere by constantly carrying out mundane tasks while neglecting the visually stimulated right hemisphere.
  • adopting realistic optimism, i.e., viewing the world “as it is” while simultaneously working positively toward our desired outcome.

Feeding spiritual energy

  • Developing spiritual energy requires us to be motivated by something beyond our immediate self-interest – often, this means thinking about the needs and wants of others.
  • Spiritual energy is the source for motivation,
  • we need to find a source of motivation beyond our self-interest, i.e., a purpose in life that helps us to act positively.

Defining your purpose

  • But what constitutes a “good” purpose?
  • our sense of purpose must be rooted in something beyond mere self-interest.
  • First, your purpose must be positive. Purpose serves as a powerful and enduring source of energy as long as its focus is positive.
  • you must find a positive and intrinsically motivating purpose.
  • Second, our purpose has to be intrinsically motivating. We need to want to do something because the activity itself is fun or satisfying for us.
  • aim to achieve spiritual alignment, i.e., the point at which you truly “walk the walk” and your values are evident in every aspect of your life.

Connecting to our deeper values

  • connect to our deepest values to fuel the energy which gives our lives purpose.
  • Another strategy is to reflect on someone you deeply respect and ask yourself: What are the qualities you most admire about him or her? Those can be your values.
  • example of a vision statement provided by the authors: “I fight passionately for what I believe, but remain open to learning and growing. At work, I am committed to helping people grow, deepen and behave more effectively in the world.”
  • Our values provide the framework for how we would like to behave. If you want to find out what your personal values are, ask yourself what matters most to you. To give an example, one of the authors’ clients identified the following values: family, respect and kindness towards others, excellence, integrity, and health.
  • remind ourselves of our values every day by formulating them as a vision statement that tells us how to invest our energy such that we serve our values.

About building and using rituals

  • designing positive rituals helps us to live in accordance with our values and perform at our very best.
  • “Whenever I’m tempted by dessert, I’ll have some fruit instead.”
  • Moreover, rituals must be trained by carefully pushing beyond our comfort zones: start by building rituals in increments, focusing on one lifestyle change at a time, and then build upon that improvement with new rituals.
  • One way is to use a technique called priming: every time you’re tempted by something “bad,” do something “good” instead.
  • Rituals are positive, consciously acquired behaviors that we perform without thinking, thus saving energy and time.
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