Managing Energy v.s. Time
During the last weeks of my Senior Year in college, I attended a Wharton undergrad executive board event where some of Wharton’s most prominent alumni sat with students for a roundtable lunch to talk about their careers and their paths to “success”.
I asked them a question that had been playing in my mind a lot the past few months — as a student that was graduating soon, experiencing tons of uncertainty about the future and trying to work towards creating my own structure, what would their advice be?
The answer was “Time is your most valuable commodity. Make sure you prioritize and make the correct, smart choices now.”
Although I know this is by no means representative of everyone (and perhaps I am speaking from a place of privilege) — I do think there is something inherently wrong with this idea, an idea I have heard a lot — the notion that time is our most valuable measure of life, something that is finite, diminishing with each day. And so we are compelled to pursue things with the mindset of a race — a contraction, a narrowing, an unending sense of urgency.
Why not think of ENERGY– not as a commodity or measure — as something that can be managed and expanded upon. Energy is never created nor destroyed, simply transferred from one form to another, and in that way it is eternal, fluid, in a continual state of transmission — infinite. If we could look at our actions and intentions and manage energy as opposed to time then, linearity and structure lose their potency. Instead, there’s movement, change, there’s breath, room, growth. The perception shifts: you propel yourself forward, you take time to recharge — you are continually rejuvenated, renewed. It’s like a wellspring that encompasses mind, body, emotion and spirit.
I’m sick of hearing that time is finite and the most precious resource, it is self-limiting and constraining and it often makes me feel like I am operating out of fear, of boxed-in, of confined. Energy makes me feel open, expansive, floating, free and most of all, balanced.