Why My Energy Can’t Manage Itself Anymore

In recent days I’ve come increasingly aware that my energy and attention are finite. I have known this all along, of course, but it’s become very real to me these days as I’ve noticed my energy being stolen right out from under me. There are some negative drains, of course, though I believe it’s also partially due to the fact that I have a lot of worthwhile things to pour my energy and attention into — yet I seem to always run short.

Colin Harman
Nov 11, 2016 · 3 min read

This isn’t to say that I run out of time — I have plenty of time. It’s that I’m often not a great steward of my time like I wish I was. It seems like these days more than ever before there are more things tugging at my attention, promising to be a worthwhile use of my ever-vaporizing energy. My mind would find lots of meaningless ways to spend my energy if it was able to self-govern and go about its way. It would assure my body had (too much) food, found entertainment, and left my feeling satisfied that I pursued a life of relaxation and leisure. Doing so would leave me in a place of feeling like I’ve conserved my effort for something, someday that truly matters. Leaving me to again look forward to the day when the fate-fairy drops true purpose in my lap.

Oh, brain, you so dumb.

if I want to accomplish anything in this life that truly matters it’s going to take a huge investment of my energy and focused attention. My purpose on this earth and in this life won’t be realized without the intentional combination of these two finite resources. Yet, what am I doing with them when I have the free time to do so? I flick scroll Reddit and social media, I binge watch shows I don’t really care about on Netflix, I add weird stuff to my cart on Amazon, or rearrange the apps on my phone. It’s all about ‘just relaxin’, cuz you know I’ve earned it.’

Wrong.

I haven’t earned it, it’s just my brain telling me that, so it can conserve energy and attention for something else that will never come unless I pursue it. Why do I let myself believe this lie? My brain wants to be lazy so bad, but to accomplish my purpose in life I must to beat it into submission with my willpower whip.

My attention is desired by lots of things, and those things can take hold of my attention if I’m not deliberate about where it is focused — zapping the remainder of my energy. There’s also people that, in an effort to distract themselves from their own mindless wandering, will drain you dry of any remaining zeal you might have for their own gain like a creepy evil spirit from Harry Potter. If great people add to and enrich your life, these types of people do the opposite, so I avoid them whenever possible. My willpower has enough work to do without excessive outside critique, interruptions, and emotional weight barraging it from all sides.

I know this is something I’m to be a steward of and I yearn to be more deliberate than I have been up to this point.

Now more than ever it’s time to deliberately choose what gets my attention, what I spend my energy on, and not leaving it the highest/loudest/shiniest bidder.

Alas, I can’t say that declaring this on the internet is going to be the catalyst that turns my life into a fulfillment factory that belches purpose smoke out of my attention chimney, though it certainly can’t hurt — right?


This was originally published on my website where I share other self-declared handsome things that I’ve made and written. Also you can follow on Twitter and/or glimpse at my life on Instagram.

Colin Harman

Written by

• Designer & learner • Art Director @ North Point Ministries • Inferior ½ to @MariaHarman • Aspiring coffee enthusiast • Typography addict • Disney•Pixar junkie