Blue field like crop rows and burgundy border, saying "Don't Just Survive - Thrive

The Power of Full Engagement by Loeher and Schwarts

Thesis: Manage energy, not time.

Stuff to remember:

  • To become a corporate athlete, you must work toward the following set of values:
    • Full engagement requires drawing on four separate but related sources of energy: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.
    • Because energy capacity diminishes both with overuse and with underuse, we must balance renewal expenditure with intermittent energy renewal.
    • To build capacity, we must push beyond our normal limits, training the same systematic way that elite athletes do.
    • Positive energy rituals – highly specific routines for managing energy – are the key to full engagement and sustained high performance.
  • Ways to gain energy
    • Eat right. And remember the 80/20 rule. Be good 80% of the time and the 20% is okay.
    • Sleep well. The longer and more continuous and later you work, the less effective you are.
    • Schedule breaks into your day every 90-120 minutes
    • Cardio – interval training
    • Strength training
  • Restoring emotional energy
    • Identify activities you enjoy and schedule them. They are now sacrosanct.
    • Push past emotional limits  will grow your tolerance and skills.
  • Cultivating mental energy
    • Be a realistic optimist – this will lead you to joy and productivity
    • The key supportive mental muscles include mental preparation, visualization, positive self-talk, effective time management, and creativity
    • Changing channels mentally sparks creativity
    • Maximum mental capacity is derived from balance between expending and recovering mental energy
    • Continuing the challenge the brain serves as precaution against age-related mental decline
  • Cultivating spiritual energy
    • Spirituality is a collection of deeply held values and a purpose beyond our self-interest
    • Character – the courage and conviction to live by our deepest values – is key to serve spiritual energy.
    • Sustain it by balancing a commitment to a purpose beyond ourselves with adequate self-care
  • Embarking on meaning.
    • The search for meaning is among the most powerful and enduring themes in every culture since the origin of recorded history
    • The “hero’s journey” is grounded in mobilizing, nurturing, and regularly renewing our most precious resource – energy – in the service of what matters most.
    • When we lack a strong sense of purpose we are easily buffeted by life’s inevitable storms.
    • Purpose becomes a more powerful and enduring source of energy when its source moves from negative to positive, external to internal and self to others.
    • A negative source of purpose is defensive and deficit-based
    • Intrinsic motivation grows out of the desire to engage in an activity because we value it for the inherent satisfaction it provides.
    • Values fuel the energy on which purpose is built.
    • Virtue is value in action.
  • Where are you at now?
    • Facing the truth frees up energy and is the second stage, after defining purpose, in becoming more fully engaged.
    • Avoiding the truth consumes great energy and effort.
    • We deceive ourselves to protect our self esteem.
    • Truth without compassion is cruelty.
    • A common form of self-deception is assuming that our view represents the truth, when it is really just a lens through which we choose to view the world.
    • It is a danger and delusion to become too identified with any singular view of ourselves.
    • Accepting our limitations reduces our defensiveness and increases the amount of positive energy available to us.
  • Taking action
    • Rituals serve as tools in service to whatever goal we choose to focus our energy on
    • Rituals are a means to exercise our values and priorities into action in all dimensions of life
    • The limitations of conscious will and discipline are rooted in the fact that every demand on our self control draws on the same limited resource.
    • We can offset our limited will and discipline by building rituals that become automatic as quickly as possible, fueled by our deepest values
    • Most important role of rituals is to ensure effective balance between energy expenditure and energy renewal in service of full engagement
    • The more exciting the challenge and the greater the pressure, the more rigorous our rituals need to be
    • Precision and specificity are critical dimensions of building rituals during the thirty- to sixty-day acquisition of ritual period.
    • Trying NOT to do something rapidly depletes our limited stores of will and discipline
    • To make lasting change we must build serial rituals, focusing on one significant change at a time.