As one with always a million things on my mind, a thousand tasks, and hundreds of projects, I am fully aware that more does not equal better. Are You Fully Charged? The 3 Keys to Energizing Your Work and Life by Tom Rath lays out a new way of looking at all the things you do in your life and figuring out how they really effect you.
I’ve grown into the opinion that the more creative ideas I get out of my head and into the real world, the happier I will be. Yet, for weeks and months at time, I can find myself lost in funk, a haze of unsatisfied bees buzzing in my brain, no matter how much I get done. According to Rath, part of the problem is where I am focusing my energies.
An early point made in the book deals with how people look at what they want to accomplish and in turn make themselves happy. Some people are purely spontaneous about approaching projects, while others plan obsessively. Rath leans toward the former:
Your overall satisfaction with life certainly matters. But you create meaningful change in moments and days, not years and decades. It is easier to improve your own happiness – and the well-being of others – when you focus on doing it right now. Taking small meaningful actions today is the best way to make changes.
The next point, and the main one I took from it, is the fallacy of the premise “make yourself happy first, then you can help others better.” Are You Fully Charged? points out that studies have shown looking outwards first actually helps your internal happiness far more than the other way around.
Research suggests that the more value you place on your own happiness, the more likely you are to feel lonely on a daily basis.
This twists a good deal of modern day thinking around the idea of focusing on yourself, bettering yourself, and finding yourself. It’s possible to do any of those things, you may have to ignore it completely and focus on others first. Rate says we are hard-wired to benefit from helping others. It ignites a feedback loop of positivity, which feeds you back even more than you put out into the world.
I know, sounds a little new age, The Secret, hug-a-tree sort of stuff, but Rath lays it out free and clear of any magical wonderment. It could be just what you’re looking for. I found it accessible and something I plan on going back to every year or so as a refresher.
Are You Fully Charged? gives you a new way of looking at all the aspects of your life and how to bring in sync with what you really want.[amazon template=iframe image&asin=1939714036]