Building up from what breaks us down :: How to use a drain to develop what we WANT
If there are draining aspects of your life that you’d like to reduce or eliminate, here is an exercise that helps lead you away from the energy drain, and towards the opposite – an energy infusion!!
Consider what is draining you. There are likely many circumstances that drain, but perhaps one or two that stand out – maybe these illicit an emotional response. For me, I (used to) consider my daily train commute a major source of drain. I will use the TrainDrain example to illustrate the exercise.
Effects of the Problem
Begin by brainstorming the effects of the drain. For now, try not to get caught up in the “why’s” of the effects, (they will be considered at a later step).
The draining EFFECTS of my train commute:
- Cranky getting home
- Physical fatigue
- Negative attitude
- Resentment towards husband
- Resentment towards employer
My TrainDrain Effects have emotionally and physically draining characteristics…
…and one or two might even be considered irrational!
Instead of the Problem
Now, reviewing your list of Effects, consider alternatives. (*Considering Alternatives* has been a major shift for me. Historically, I had difficulty defining what I WANT for my life. This exercise *tricks* me into thinking creatively about the type of life I want.)
What I want INSTEAD – the TrainDrain Antithesis:
- Happy getting home
- Physically rested
- Optimistic attitude
- Appreciation of husband
- Appreciation of employer
Even if this Want List seems basic, placing your focus here, on the positive, can allow the desires to manifest. The opposite – allowing the Drains to overcome one’s thinking – creates a negative mindset, shutting off the ability to think creatively.
Activate your Want List by focusing on one or two that seem achievable. For me and the Train Drain, nutrition and sleep felt more in my control, so I started there. Many many things had to change or be set in place in order to make more sleep and better nutrition a reality.
Understanding these factors and being patient with yourself are paramount as you begin this process.
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