Imagine this with me. When you wake up each morning, you have a jar beside your bed, and inside that jar are one hundred balls. Each of these balls contains one percent of the energy you have to spend on your day. You’ll carry the jar with you, and over the course of your day, you’ll watch the balls in the jar disappear as you’re spending your energy. At the end of the day, when you go to sleep, the jar will be empty, or there will be some unused balls. The next day when you wake up, your jar will be filled with one hundred new balls of energy.

You can use these energy balls however you want during your day, but remember, each one is precious. There are only one hundred of them – they represent 100% of your day’s energy. With that in mind, you’re going to want to be careful how you spend your energy. Each ball you use is an investment in some area of your life. They are more valuable than you realize. 

Most often, we spend these energy balls in groups. On a typical workday, the rituals I use to kickstart my morning use up about ten balls. I spend about sixty balls working during the day. About ten balls get invested in my physical health and mind, and I spend about five of them strengthening my faith. My final fifteen balls of energy get invested into my relationships with Cristina, my kids, friends, and family. On the weekends, those numbers shift, and I spend more of my energy balls on my relationships, less on my work. 

That’s what a typical day looks like, where I’m able to use all of my energy exactly as planned. But how often are our days “typical?” What happens when something comes along and hijacks some of my energy balls?

Here’s an example…

Say something negative happens early in my day, maybe an argument with one of my kids… Since negativity requires energy, imagine I’ve just wasted twenty of my energy balls on that negative interaction. With those twenty balls spent, I’m left with eighty balls to spread out across all the other areas, if I’m lucky. Left uncontrolled, that early morning negativity can continue robbing me throughout the day and steal thirty, forty, and even fifty of my balls. Left with half of what I started with, my energy for the things that matter is spread thin.

Negativity isn’t the only thief. Distraction is also on a mission to steal our energy. For many, social media, YouTube, and television rob us of valuable balls every day. We lose two or three in the morning, four over lunch, and five or six as we end our day. They add up quickly over time and can even feed that negativity we just discussed, which steals even more energy. If we’re not intentional about defending our energy from distractions, we can easily waste more of our day’s balls. 

What about the days when we’re feeling run down, tired, or just not 100%. A lack of physical health and well-being can also rob us of our energy balls. When we’re not physically feeling strong, we start our day at a deficit, with only seventy or eighty balls. This is also why taking care of our health, fitness, sleep, and nutrition is essential. It’s the only way to ensure we start with a filled one-hundred-ball jar. 

A quick note for those days where you’re not at 100%… On those days where we only have eighty energy balls to give (we all have those days), we need to try and give 100% of our eighty balls. When we start with less than one hundred balls, we need to be extra vigilant to fight off negativity and distractions and more intentional in spending the energy we do have wisely. Use the energy you do have wisely.

The other thing that can have a major impact on our energy balls is our mental well-being. Working to keep our minds strong and healthy is just as important as our physical health when it comes to keeping our energy at its peak. For me, this means making sure that I maintain a good investment of each day’s balls into my spiritual and mental health. Quiet time in prayer and gratitude is a key part of each day. Since I believe God is my source and the one who fills my jar each day, it makes sense that I would be intentional to include my faith in how I spend my energy balls. 

Here’s one last thought. When I started writing this, I began with the idea that you will only ever get one hundred balls in your jar. My mindset shifted on that a bit, and here’s why. I had a day a few weeks ago where my jar was running low, and Cristina was able to share some of her energy with me. She helped refill my jar. We all have the ability to do that for someone else and to receive that gift for ourselves. Make sure you make room for both, the giving and the receiving. 

The Takeaway

Every day, we only have so many energy balls to spend. Protect them, don’t waste them, and spend them wisely. Be open to sharing some of your energy and receiving energy from others as well. Above all, be intentional about how you use your energy each day.

Ready for more?

Follow me here for more insights like this one. You’ll also get massive value out of the Grit Meets Growth podcast that I share with Chris Cathers. Find it here or on your favorite podcast platform, and let’s all develop a little more grit in our lives!