Frantic energy comes from sugar, alcohol, stress, fear, deadlines, rivalries, and anger. Calm energy comes from a healthy diet, an exercise routine, enough sleep, good intentions and a clear plan. They are two ways of gaining that shy doe of motivation.
Frantic energy is quick, cheap, and strong. Calm energy is slow to build, expensive, and easy to lose.
Almost all of my motivation comes from frantic energy. I bet others are pretty similar to me in this. Nothing motivates like a deadline, nothing gets you working hard like a bill you have to pay off.
But what are the trade-offs of frantic energy? I’m guessing that the primary one is health. Burning frantic energy all day long will create pollutants that have repercussions in your long-term health. The hope is that you will reach some kind of big reward before all the frantic energy pollutants kill you. And many people do reach that point, and are able to retire, or at least calm down, or else just burn out and change courses at some point when it is no longer seen as worth it.
Calm energy is difficult to find because it’s not a matter of pulling a single lever, like the coffee lever or the deadline lever, or the beat the competitors lever. Calm energy requires that a whole system be in good working order: health, clarity of mind, good intention, ability to enjoy good things when they come along, etc. Any one of those being off could cause calm energy to dissipate, leaving you feeling unmotivated and possibly unfulfilled… making the temptation for frantic energy boosts more alluring.
However, a calm-energy-system in good working order will be self-maintaining. It will feed itself, it will be sustainable for the long term, and it will increase the quality of all of the systems that it relies on… making one healthier, clearer or mind, with better intentions, and better ability to enjoy the fruits of labor that come.
I’m not sure what to make of these thoughts, other than to simply say them. I’m still a frantic-energy junkie so it almost pains me to think about this so clearly for once.