Does it happen to you, that you read a motivational article of a super-successful person who achieved his dream lifestyle and now he claims that YOU CAN do it too, but rather than motivated you feel sad and lagging behind?
The problem is not with us, it’s with the motivational industry. We have our specific source of calm energy, which is rarely addressed by them. The purpose of this article is to explain what is that thing I call “the Calm Energy” and how to use it.
But let’s start with examining the traditional motivation.
The traditional motivation
There are two ways how the motivational industry makes people motivated.
First, they display the things people desire – money, houses, beautiful bodies, glamour. These are primitive triggers, that work on people the same way as they would work on an animal – people see them, and they want them.
Second, they encourage to express emotions. I found this quote on the website of Tony Robbins:
Being cheerful means you live life in a state of pleasure – one that’s so intense that you transmit a sense of joy to those around you.
If you’re not controlled by emotions, then this constant cheerfulness might not seem to be a desired state of mind. How can you read a book being cheerful at the same time?
Both ways work with primitive body reactions, they push the natural body triggers, raise emotions and make people follow certain goal mindlessly. Which I must admit do work on the majority of people. But if you’re a naturally mindful person, if you do not allow shallow emotions to lead you (you may prefer cold logic or deep emotions), then you might not even get what’s motivating there.
I have attended a series of motivational workshops, where I was taught how to motivate myself to achieve my goal by writing how cool is to be an achiever on a sheet of paper and reading it every day. And also we were suggested to write a small plan at the bottom.
My goal was to start a blog and I wrote how cool is to be the one who writes a blog. During a workshop, I was asked how do I feel when I read this, and I honestly admitted: “I do feel nothing. This whole coolness and cheerfulness seem alien to me.” Their conclusion was straightforward: “You have chosen the wrong goal, don’t you think you should change it?”. My answer was straightforward: “NO!”, not the goal was alien, the motivation technique was.
I noticed that the part that really motivates me was the plan, which most of the workshop attendees simply ignored. The plan brought me clarity, and clarity makes the mind calm, and this calmness is what allows me to be motivated. Emotions make the mind confused and agitated, and this confusion brings fears, procrastination, indecision and other things that block motivation.
That is how I discovered the calm energy.
How the calm energy works?
When I say “energy” I do not mean any form of esoteric energy and also any form of physical energy. It’s a convenient term to describe people’s ability to do what they want to do. The energetic person is able to do what they want to do, not energetic is the one who is unable to do that. Energy is the thing we recharge and make ourselves energetic again.
Did you notice, that when you are with a very energetic, active, cheerful person, you become a bit more cheerful too? It seems like the energy is transmitted from one person to another, radiated around. Then seems that you are able to do more and to achieve more, your dreams become bigger.
But when you are with a very calm, focused, balanced person, you become a bit calmer, more focused and balanced too. It seems like there is also some kind of calm energy that is transmitted. Then you are able to see things more clearly, to react more adequately and your dreams become clearer.
So, there is an active energy, that is celebrated by the motivational industry, and we also have this calm energy, that is ignored. But it is there and works the same way – it can be radiated and it makes you motivated.
I’m not a brain scientist, but I rely on things I’ve read in a book “Quiet”. Please accept my exceptionally rough interpretation. There is a part of the brain called amygdala which is there to protect us from the hostile environment, so it reacts to the environment, blocks actions and produces fears. And also there is nucleus accumbens which makes us do things that are pleasant, so it makes us seek reward, makes us greedy and addicted.
To put it incredibly simply, some people have that reactive part more sensitive. They’re usually introverts, HSPs, deep thinkers and feelers. Some people have that reward part more sensitive. They’re usually extroverts.
If you want to motivate a person who is sensitive to rewards – show them rewards. That’s what the traditional motivational industry does.
If you want to motivate a person who is sensitive to the environment and quick to block themselves – teach them to remove those blocks. That is what is not happening often because of two reasons:
- It’s more difficult to teach a person to remove his blocks, to calm down his mind, to calm down his environment. Throwing some fancy photos and super cool quotes usually are not enough.
- This group of people is not ready to pay lots of money for such vague services (because they’re more suspicious). And motivators want money (because they have this reward part more sensitive).
My blog is dedicated to dealing with those blocks and this calm energy, calm motivation. I’m aware that there will not be plenty of people ready to buy my services (I have low reward sensitivity), but I do care a lot about the meaning of things (I have high environment sensitivity), and I find this activity meaningful.
Have you heard about Ying and Yang principle? To put it extremely roughly, Yang is that active energy and Ying is that calm energy. They’re both energies that must be balanced. Ancient people already knew things we are rediscovering right now.
A martial artist who is ready to kick your ass is calm and focused. Calligrapher who is ready to draw the most beautiful character is calm and focused. The perfect depiction of Ying and Yang balance is a sleeping dragon – so strong, but so calm at the same time.
How to use the calm energy?
Calm energy is pure ideas not distorted by fears or greed.
The first step is to reduce greed. Let’s suppose we do not have excessive greed that directs our attention to short-term rewards (if you’re still reading, I guess you don’t).
The next thing is to overcome fears which often block our actions. We cannot remove them because they’re here to warn us, they’re our insight, intuition, inner voice. We can only learn how to live with them and how not to let them block actions too often. I made a graphic story about overcoming fears, but the keyword is clarity. If it’s clear what you need to do, and what the consequences are then you will have more motivation to do that. Take a look at the summarizing panel of the graphic story about fear:
The first 5 steps give you clarity, understanding and insight. Even people (#4) do that because they can show and teach you things. The last one helps to keep the mind calm.
After that, we might want to increase calm energy. Calm energy is pure undistorted ideas in our mind. Again, there is a graphic story about keeping higher levels of energy and all the suggestions there talk about this calm energy. Do not fear the word “fear” you’ll find there, there is a difference between deep fear of injustice, not being able to fulfill one’s mission and the shallow fear of getting sick or broke.
To put it incredibly simply:
- Think about what you deeply dream about.
- Think about what you deeply fear.
- Have a personal hero as a role model (a Super-Me).
- Know why you do things.
And that’s enough bullet points. To feel the first increase in calm energy you’ll need 30-60 days. But this resource is inexhaustible, you can work on it for 100 years.
Why go calm?
As I said, traditional motivation does work for most people, so why to switch to something else and bother ourselves with this calm energy? I’d say there are 4 reasons that even extroverts should consider:
- You will understand what do you really want. Instead of jumping to accomplish the first task or the first goal, you’ll take a break and choose the goal that you really care about. That’ll get you the feeling of passion and purpose. That’ll reduce procrastination and overthinking at least a bit.
- You will hear your intuition and have more and better ideas. This time just believe me, I have no proof but my own experience – great ideas come into a calm mind. They come unexpectedly in places where you don’t even want them to happen – in a toilet, while falling asleep, because at that moments the mind is calm.
- Calm energy lasts long. “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily,” said Zig Ziglar. If you have a deep dream that fulfills your life, it’ll keep you going for years.
- Calm energy is not so easily distracted. I sometimes troll motivational forums. It’s incredibly easy to spoil their experience by telling something reasonable that contradicts the emotional boosting speech of some guru. I’m not doing this anymore because it’s too easy, those “tough” and “successful” people start whining like babies. And it’s really difficult to distract a person that is really calm.
I hope the information and inspiration that I provided in this article will be helpful for you. This whole website is dedicated to the calm energy, it permeates every page of it. Check the tags or links in the article to find more similar information and inspiration.
Also, try this free e-book about getting energy quickly.
May the force be with you.