Recently, I read an article sharing data that most adult Americans live in a constant state of exhaustion. Lack of sleep was the number one culprit. Yet, even adults who averaged seven to eight hours of sleep every night still claimed to feel tired and/or lack energy.
In the past, I’ve read studies like this before and would be baffled. However, the more I learn about human behavior, the better I understand our exhaustive dilemma.
Here’s a brief explanation:
As we make our transition from adolescence to adulthood we begin to perceive and believe that being alive is dangerous. We also see examples, from the lives of our loved ones that dreams don’t come true. Thus, we abandon putting energy into our dreams and turn our focus towards protecting ourselves and surviving this dangerous journey called life. Deep inside each of us, that child still has a dream that will never go away. Yet, we wake up everyday and ignore this child, only to strap on our figurative body armor, so we can go out into the world and survive.
What we don’t consider is that no one survives this journey. We all die. The point of living is to fulfill our purpose on the planet. Instead of being consumed by the fear of survival we really should be looking for ways to enjoy every moment and every breath as if it were our last.
…but that’s not how most of us live.
We live to survive and just surviving is no fun. The main reason surviving is no fun is because survival is extremely exhausting.
Here are seven behaviors most adults have adapted to survive, that literally drain energy:
1. Lack of Authenticity.
Life can present its challenges, but I can’t think of anything more challenging than pretending to be someone or something you’re not. Yet, so many of us question whether we can truly be authentic and show up as ourselves.
I get it. In a world, that shouts, “Assimilate!” it can be downright frightening to be a little different.
The question you’ll have to answer for yourself is whether it’s worth blending in like all the other exhausted frauds, to abandon who you really are.
By the way, humans are constantly surveying their relationships for frauds. We’re also pretty good at spotting them. If you don’t choose to live authentically, be prepared to be exhausted because it’ll take a lot of work to convince us you’re being real.
2. Being dramatic. (Drama!)
We’ve all met the person who lives in the same neighborhood that we do, has a similar job, eats similar foods and drives a similar car, yet somehow their experience of all those things is exponentially more dramatic.
(Hint: If you don’t know this person you just might be this person.)
News flash: Generating drama takes an enormous amount of energy and this just might be the reason nobody really seems to pay much attention when you stretch dramatically, yawn dramatically and dramatically say, “I’m so tired!”
3. Ignoring Wisdom/Insights
We all encounter a sage or two in life. Some of us are lucky enough to be surrounded by sages. A sage is anyone who imparts knowledge or profound wisdom in our life. When this happens we always have two choices.
1. We can accept this wisdom and begin making the necessary changes to live our lives accordingly.
2. We can reject this wisdom and continue to live the way we’ve always lived our life.
Both choices have consequences and both choices require energy. The rejection of wisdom creates an energy leak due to the long-term internal guilt produced. Thus, it takes the same amount of energy to ignore wisdom as it takes to act on it. The difference shows up in the quality of life we live based on our decision.
Lying is hard work. Let’s count the ways this bad habit can rob us of energy.
1. The lie must be created. The more elaborate the lie the more energy.
2. The lie must be mentally rehearsed.
3. The lie must be told.
4. The lie must be defended.
5. The lie must be remembered. (For life in some cases.)
6. The lie produces the fear of being caught. (Can’t sleep?)
7. If caught, the lie could destroy something you put lots of energy into building.
I’m sure there’s more ways that lying will rob you of energy, but these seven seem like more than enough proof.
5. Celebrating Nothing – (Turn Down/Up For What?)
Late night club hopping, bar crawling, music thumping, bottle popping, for what? Oh, because it’s Friday? That’s odd, there’s 52 Fridays in a year. The same is true for Saturdays or any other day of the week.
Well, let me think about that:
- I have to work tomorrow.
- It could get expensive.
- I’ve had enough to drink already.
- I have to drive.
- I could get sick.
- I need to get some rest.
This list goes on…
I’m all about celebrating, but celebrating nothing is no fun and it often comes with a bunch of regret. Especially when the rent is due.
Mark Twain said, “My life has been filled with calamities, some of which actually happened.”
Worrying about something actually requires the energy and creates the stress as if that something already happened. Yikes!
Studies have also proved that 85% of what we worry about never happens.
What’s worse is, if what we’re worried about happens to be in that 15% that actually happens, we’d be forced to experience the negative impacts twice.
I’m exhausted just writing that…whew!
Wait…I’ll write all the reasons this steals your energy next week. (Laughing) You get the point!
Please share any other ways you know we lose energy in a comment to continue this discussion and remember to stay inspired, it’s a lifestyle choice!