A couple of weeks ago I started a new gig that I absolutely love. And when I mean I love it I mean, it-wakes-me-up-at-night-obsessing-about-it-love-it. Admittedly, I have been so psyched that I had to take up running in the morning because I thought I was going to explode if I didn't. I should have been exercising before this, but now I don't really have a choice.
So what am I talking about? I started a position as an Associate Producer for the Amazon Prime docuseries, The Social Movement. It combines entrepreneurship with solving the world's social issues in the coolest way. Some of the greatest most passionate minds in the world coming together to solve the world's most pressing social issues aaaaaannndddd... I get to help find awesome socially conscious businesses and people to be on the show. It's literally the coolest gig ever.
When I started it, I was a little concerned about the time commitment. I'm a little ADD so working on this day in and day out was something I wasn't sure I was going to be a fit for. Another worry I had was that my energy would be so zapped that I would be exhausted by it. So I set out to make sure that my "cup" was in great shape to take on the challenge.
We've all heard that pessimists see a cup as half empty and optimists see the cup as half full. In my life, I have definitely had both perspectives but what I have come to realize is, for me, it's not about whether the cup is half empty or half full. It's how many holes it has in it. This is what helps to determine how full your cup is and how you perceive it.
Imagine for a moment that you are a glass full of water. Every day, the energy you have to perform all of the tasks for a day are in that glass. Every drop of water counts to get you through the day. Now imagine, on the sides of the glass, are all of these holes with tubes. Each tube has a valve and a label on it like: pay bills, spouse, mowing the lawn, washing laundry, driving to work, job, doing a hobby, side hustle.... every single thing that you have to do or think about during a day has a hole with a tube. Some of these things you want to spend energy on and some you don't.
Every day, you have a choice as to whether that tube is open or closed. The more you think about something, the more energy it takes, therefore the more water leaves from your glass because of it. If you are thinking about going grocery shopping or mowing the lawn over the weekend, that is taking energy from your glass. The earlier in the week you think about it, the more energy it will take over the span of your entire week. By Friday, you could be seriously hating on your lawn or your friendly neighborhood grocery store, all because you chose to open the valves on the side of your glass labeled lawn and grocery store multiple times a day during the week causing you to drain your energy reserve.
Really, those are silly things. We all have bigger things going on than that in our lives that we think about more than we should. They drains us, leaving us with a half (or less) empty cup and no energy for things that we have to actually get done that day.
For me, I knew I had to manage all of the "valves" that I could so that I was only opening ones I had to, reserving energy for this new position.
I started by listing what all of the holes in my glass were starting with the task oriented ones such as laundry, cooking, cleaning, working out. Then I added the things I worry about like not getting a headache, eating right, my family. Then I added my "shoulds"; I should be working on my book, my course, eating vegetables, reading more, shaving my legs.
Then I envisioned my cup and felt through which of these were draining my energy unnecessarily. I discovered that some days, because I was worrying about things so much, I was starting the day with an almost empty glass. This simply wasn't going to cut it if I was going to do this new position, so I went through and problem solved as many of these issues as I could. And what I couldn't solve, I regulated.
Every time I found myself worrying or thinking about something that didn't matter or I couldn't solve, I would just "close the valve". This conscious process led to me having more energy overall so I could spend it on things I wanted to versus things I didn't... I spent about a week doing this before I started my position and it has made all the difference. I have ample energy to get the job done and am loving it as a result.
So if you find yourself with a leaky cup in life, ask yourself, how can I close the valves? You will have more time and energy for all of the things that make life worth living.