How To Increase Your Energy

“I’ve got more energy now than when I was younger because I know exactly what I want to do.” ~Ballet master George Balanchine

Have you ever noticed how everything in life slows down when you don’t have energy?

When you wake up tired or feel spent for some reason, it feels like you are slogging through quicksand just to get through the day.

Tasks that are generally no-brainers feel overwhelming. And anything that requires more than a thimble-full of concentration is simply crossed off the list. It ain’t gonna happen.

Then an interesting and not-so-pleasant phenomenon occurs on our low energy days. We have the initial feeling of low energy, but then a secondary emotion washes over us.

We feel bad about our low energy.

We feel bad that we aren’t on our game.

We feel bad that we aren’t accomplishing what we wanted to accomplish.

We feel bad that we are letting other people down.

We feel anger and resistance against our low energy.

And when we feel resistance against our low energy, guess what happens?

We lose more energy. We expend even more energy feeling bad and fighting the feelings. We expend energy worrying about what we aren’t getting done. We expend mental energy thinking, “Why do I feel this way? I should be feeling better Now I’m going to get behind.”

Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal. ~Albert Camus

So what started out as a low-energy day morphs into a “terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day.” What was initially just “meh” turns out to be “ugh.”

But think about this. On those “ugh” days, when you are sitting in your chair thinking about your low energy and your terrible horrible badness, what if you looked out the window saw someone breaking into your house?


Your energy would return in a nanosecond.

You’d be up and climbing out the back window dialing 911 and racing to the neighbor’s house before you could think about how tired your legs are or how little sleep you got the night before.

And it’s not just fear that gets your butt moving. It’s knowing in an instant what needs to be done and doing it. No time to think about what a mess you are today.

You take focused action because you know exactly what you need to do.

You don’t have to experience something terrifying to harness focused action, even when your energy is low. A little miracle occurs any time you harness focused action on what you need or want to do. And it takes just a little focus and a little action to get started.

How to increase your energy.

Just exercising a little focused energy on what you want to do will expand your energy exponentially. It’s true. You’ve probably had this happen before but weren’t consciously aware of it.

As my friend and master coach Steve Chandler says, “My energy increases the same way the sun’s power increases when I take the diffuse rays and harness them and focus them through a simple magnifying glass, and let the focused ray of sunburn an old dead leaf like a science fiction laser.”

This trick is surefire. If you know exactly what you want to do. That’s the important key to energy expansion. You must know what you want to do.

Do you know exactly what you want to do?

Maybe you have a master plan, a life passion, a bigger purpose. If you do, then you know, and there’s always something you want to do every day because every day presents opportunities to get absorbed in your passion or plan.

So just pick something. While you are stretched out on the couch, with your energy waning, take your stronger arm and reach over for the pad of paper and a pen.  Or use your foot if you’re just too weak.

Then just write down one small, minuscule thing that you want to do related to your passion or goal — one thing that in your pitiful state of body and mind you can accomplish.

Then do that one thing with every remnant of energy you have.

And watch what happens.

It’s like being your own Chia-Pet.

Before you know it, your energy is on overdrive. You forget how mad you are that you have low energy. You forget that you have low energy at all. You are doing what you want to do, and your mind is far far away from low energy.

Now I know some of you people are thinking, “Well I don’t have a passion or master plan. So I guess that means there’s no surefire way to increase my energy. I guess I can just stay here on the couch and think about what a slug I am.”

Sorry, no can do.

You must get your pad and pen too, because there are two surefire ways to increase your energy even without knowing your big picture desires.

1. Create something.

2. Serve someone.

Amazingly enough, acts of creation and service foster the same exponential energy boost that acting on “what you know you want to do” provides. These things tend to occupy the same space in your psyche that passion does. So pick something you can create or find someone you can serve. It doesn’t have to be something grand and sweeping. Just something.

  • Send an email to a friend.
  • Create your life passion plan.
  • Write your life story.
  • Brainstorm a business opportunity.
  • Mentor someone.
  • Call your mother.
  • Make cookies for a neighbor.
  • Write down ten ways to show love to your spouse.
  • Clean some clutter and take it to Goodwill.

You get the idea.

Acts of creation and service are positive, forward-moving endeavors. Do one, and you’ll want to do more. You will feel good. You will feel purposeful. And that creates energy. Which creates even more energy. And so on.

If you want to increase your energy, stop thinking about how bad you feel. Instead, take focused action on what you want to do. Turn every bit of your remaining energy to that action. If you don’t know what you want to do, take focused action on creation or service. These might even help you decide what you want to do. And when you know what you want, an amazing energy source is always available to you.

8 thoughts on “How To Increase Your Energy”

  1. This is so me today!!! And, guess what, I did exactly this. I went in and updated a weight loss goal for the next 3 months and then started tracking my food and bam…my energy instantly lifted because I focused it on something. Thank for such a timely message for me today!

    • Hi Jenna,
      That’s so great! Isn’t it wonderful how well it works. Action is always far more productive than worrying and pondering our feelings. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Great article, Barrie!

    Performance is a function of energy. Without it, performance wanes or ends. With it, so much can be done. As you’ve pointed out, energy is in part a function of purpose, passion and focused action. Increase the latter and performance improves, imbuing life with a greater sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

    Thanks for the reminder, Barrie!

  3. I use the same line as a musician: “Strive for Maximum results with minimum effort”. That is not a call for laziness; that is the simple statement that means there are 2 ways to do things…the easy and the hard! We need to become efficient humans. It is an interesting process, to say the least…

  4. Barrie, I started reading Younger Next Year (a book your recommended a few months ago), because I want more energy and less aches/pains. I thought I needed to slow down more to have more energy, while this is half true (on some things). It has been true that getting my body moving has improved my energy.

    Another thing that boosts my energy is chatting with a friend about nothing and everything. Being two authentic creatures, trying to figure out life, no one better or worse, just wanting to connect. If it’s a great conversation, they literally have to close out the store and kick us out, because I’m all jazzed up!

    So for me, it’s not serving others but connecting to others. Looking after myself more than looking after others. And getting my butt moving on a regular basis, so my mind can slow down and my body can know I am still alive and kicking!

  5. Thanks for sharing this great article. I’ve learned that fresh air can make a difference. Here are few my tips:
    Take a walk. Whether you go just around the block or a few miles, taking a walk can help wake you up, clear your thoughts and maybe even improve your mood.
    Get out of the house. Sunlight can help wake you up and help you stay up, so take a trip outside to catch some rays and get some fresh air.
    Take a shower. Get your brain and body feeling fresh and awakened by taking a quick shower.

  6. One thing I do is get up early on my day off as if it were a normal work day. If I sleep in even one day a week it throws me off for a couple of days. Great post!

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