Most people assume that we get energy from eating, sleeping, and breathing. And, while I’m all for a balanced meal and some deep breathing, I’m not buying it. That alone won’t sustain you.
Have you ever been completely exhausted, only to perk up when your significant other gets home? Or been totally burned out, but then a friend suggests a game of tennis? Nourishment runs a lot deeper than just nutrition and healthy habits. How about love? Self-esteem? Passion? Purpose? All of these things can revitalize and nourish you.
You can eat all the kale in the world, but it’s not going to give you the energy to get through a job you hate. You can get your eight hours of sleep a night, but it won’t sustain you through your toxic relationship.
Nourishment isn’t just about what you allow into your body; it’s what you allow into your life. And those of us who are nourished only let the things that support us in.
Curious how nourished you are? Take the quiz:
- Get out a piece of paper or open a Word document.
- Make two columns: one labeled “Nourishment” and the other labeled “Expenditure.”
- Now list everything you do in a typical day. Put it into one of the two columns, depending on if it gives you energy or takes energy from you.
- Write +1 next to the things you like. Write +2 next to the things you get excited for. Write +3 next to the things you absolutely love.
- Write -1 next to the things you dislike. Write -2 next to the things you dread. Write -3 next to the things you absolutely hate.
- Add your totals. Are you positive or negative?
Bottom line: we’re all going to have to do things we dislike in our lives. We’re all going to have to expend our energy. But, if your total is in the negatives, that means that you’re either taking on too much junk, or you’re not doing enough that you love.
See if you can drop or modify any of the -3 things. And see if you can do more of the +3 activities.
Listen — you’re full of passion and excitement. You’ve got plans to change the world. So why burn yourself out before you get there?
You can totally get your Lamborghini diesel, but it might not get you very far. You’ve got to give yourself the nourishment you need to reach your potential. You’ve got to fuel yourself with things that give you energy.
Nourishment is about priming you to be the best and happiest version of yourself. So you can choose to be that exhausted, burned out, stress pot — or you can change the world.
Mike Iamele is the Boston-based author of Enough Already: Create Success on Your Own Terms, which takes a critical look at the dysfunctional pressures of modern success and leads readers through a powerful journey to create a new kind of success on their own terms. He has a bachelor's in communication from Northeastern University, and went on to receive his certification in herbal studies and a health and wellness coach certification from The Boston School of Herbal Studies and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, respectively.