GUIDEPOST ONE; PERSONAL ENERGY
WHY DOES ENERGY MATTER?
An introduction to the session and it's content
When I talk about energy, I'm talking about how you feel, your personal energy. Do you feel like you could conquer the world or do you feel like leaving the house is too much to ask? I'm not talking about ley lines or crystals; though I know those are important for some people, they are not ideas I attune to.
Personal energy is simply the amount of motivation or will power you have. Identifying the energy you have and how it is influenced is a crucial step in learning how to take control of your career.
AIM AND OBJECTIVES.
Aim to Identify how personal energy impacts you
1. Start to think about how you feel each day
2. Start to notice how some things take energy from you and others give you energy
3. Start to see how you take energy from other people and how you give them energy
ENERGY AND DUCKS?
Why do we use Ducks in place of Energy?
Talking about energy can often feel a little loaded or formal, so we prefer to talk about ducks. Making the subject feel metaphorical and light-hearted, makes it easier to talk about, more comfortable to think about and can make us feel a little more in control.
So imagine a duck is a unit of energy and we have a number of ducks to give each day. Let's say 30 ducks a day for now.
Something slightly annoying might take away one duck while something incredibly impactful might take away seven ducks. For example, the printer not working might take away one duck, a client treating you dismissively might take away four.
What's important to understand is that just because something only scores one duck doesn't mean it has no impact. A one duck event that happens 20 times a day could have more impact than a one-off event that takes away seven ducks. This system allows us to measure the things that affect us — helping us to appreciate where we need to focus our attention.
We will look at using The Duck system in greater detail in the upcoming session. For now, we want to focus on the idea that taking away ducks has an impact.
If you want to see an overview of the full system have a look at this link, it will, however, be explained in more detail over the upcoming modules and guideposts.
PEOPLE HAVE DIFFERENT AMOUNTS OF DUCKS.
When it comes to ducks, the amount we have is pretty fluid. Some people start the day with more ducks than others. Some people lose ducks quicker than others. Some things give us ducks; some take them away. Sometimes we know what is affecting us, other times we don't. We can even have more ducks for somethings than we do for others. All of this is entirely ok.
Bear in mind the amount of energy we have can be fluid. The amount of energy we have a day might vary through different points in our life based on a variety of things. These include external stress, health and our ability to manage our emotional intelligence. The trick is being able to recognise this and adjust accordingly.
Ducks can transfer into emotion.
The number of ducks you have can impact or cause your emotional state. Our emotions are affected by a whole range of things including
• Environmental factors
• Physical health
By managing emotional intelligence, you can minimise the impact of these influences. Noticing how our emotional state is impacted is a first step in taking control.
DUCKS AND EMOTION
To help us understand how many ducks (units of energy) are being taken away, emotional states can help. Im a big fan of Plutchiks emotion wheel, some people think it's a little simplistic, but I think that works for us right now.
The wheel displays eight primary emotions (Joy, Trust, Fear, Surprise, Sadness, Disgust, Anger and Anticipation). As these emotions intensify or decrease, they turn to other emotions, joy can turn to serenity or ecstasy. If emotions mix, a new form takes place, so joy and anticipation will bring about optimism.
Plutchiks wheel gives us a benchmark to understand other peoples responses to our interactions. By allocating emotions and observing if those emotions or our own intensify, densify or change, we can start to identify what has an impact.
WE CAN GIVE AND TAKE DUCKS FROM PEOPLE.
Although many of us don't realise it, we are often responsible for giving and taking ducks away from others. The good news is this is something that we can learn to control and use to improve the lives of ourselves and those around us.
I always find it easier to understand my own emotions and responses by reflecting on my impact on other people. Generally, this is because my behaviour is often tied up in a mess of experiences and memories. We can usually consider other peoples behaviour much more objectively.
Different things take duck from different people; Just like the number of ducks we have a day can vary, so can the things that take ducks away.
This blog on taking energy explains in more detail.
Identifying our impact
Think about the impact you have had on the people you have interacted with over the last few days. It doesn't matter how you interacted; it might be face-to-face, via email, social media or phone. Think about how those interactions impacted upon that person.
Ask yourself; How did they come across at the beginning of the interaction, happy, sad, accepting? How about the end of the communication? Were they in the same state or where they now angry, joyful or distracted? What happened to make the change? Could you have done anything differently? Moreover, should you have done anything differently?
Now create a similar table to the one above outlining the following.
Their relationship to you,
Their original emotional state at the beginning of the interaction,
Their emotional state at the end of the communication
Any reflections you might have around what caused the change
How you might improve future interactions.
I substitute people for numbers when doing this exercise. It makes me more likely to focus on communication, not the individual. Above, you can see an example of a table; this should give you some context.
The reflection part here is essential. Try and get to the bottom of how you impacted the person and why. Was it down to your emotional state, the way you spoke to them, the accuracy of the information? All these can be both positive and negative; we want to acknowledge both. It is as essential to see what we are doing well as it is to notice what we can improve.
Sometimes you will not be responsible for the change in mood; it is also important to acknowledge this. It might be because something else has happened during the interaction. Alternatively, because they have had a bad/good day and most any communication would have a negative/positive impact.
Remember, you are looking to understand how interactions impact emotions and ducks. The better you know your impact on others, the more skilled you will become at understanding their effects on you. We will build on this in letter guideposts.
HOW RESPONSIBLE AM I FOR OTHER PEOPLES DUCKS
Indeed, other people emotions are not always our responsibility. However, when we start to care more about others, they often begin to care back. Not all the time, of course, but I can live with that. Its for you to decide if you can. I don't mind if people don't return the favour, my philosophy is that life is hard – for everyone, for some more so than others. Often the people that seem strongest are struggling the most. Working on being kind in an adequate measure (and sometimes it is hard work) makes me feel like I take a little less from the world.
Of course, I'm not always kind. I have bad days; sometimes I'm stressed, or annoyed, which can make me come off as arrogant, impatient, ignorant or worse. However, this is not about being perfect; that's a false goal. Allow yourself some leeway. For now, let's just aim to improve; it is honestly enough.
You should now have an idea of how energy can be taken away from us, or given to us throughout the day. You should also have started to think about how you impact on other people and why that's an important thing to identify.
Next weeks session will look at how external factors can impact upon our daily energy levels. So, for now, please complete the feedback below, have a look at and undertake the homework practice. If you want links to any of the topics raised have a look at the signposting session.
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Measuring your mood
How do you feel at the beginning of each day, how do you feel at the end of it?
To get you in the habit of identifying your Ducks I want you to start by keeping a mood diary. So using the diary, you were asked to get hold of last week or using the tools provided by the links in the signposting section. Whatever works for you works well enough.
For now, simply record your mood on a scale from 1- 10 (1 being terrible, 10 being excellent) at the beginning and the end of each day.
You might find these additional resources helpful
For measuring mood online there is a great site called mood panda that's free to use and anonymous
When it comes to measuring our moods, I want us to keep it simple, but if you want to go into more depth, have a look at these sites for ideas and templates.
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