This is a guest post from my good friend Amber Rae. Along with Nathaniel Koloc, Amber has created an incredible experience for those of you that are looking to dramatically change the trajectory of your lives – The Bold Academy. If you’re ready to make some serious changes, Amber is the perfect person to help.
Two years ago, I quit my comfortable job in San Francisco, sold all my belongings, and moved to New York to pursue my passions.
At the time, I had a lot of things that I felt passionate about: photography, start-ups, the internet, music, creativity, and travel. I spent two years immersing myself in over fifteen start-ups that touched on these interests and I launched a number of ideas I had like revolution.is and The Passion Experiment. I even had the chance to work with Seth Godin to launch the Domino Project.
But after two years, and a list of accomplishments, I didn’t feel fulfilled. I began to feel exhausted.
I was helping my friend launch a new division of his company while simultaneously starting my own. My social calendar was booked weeks in advance, and drinks and dinners out every night was the norm. I wasn’t writing (my favorite thing to do) and my fitness routine was non-existent. I was hustling hustling hustling, making too many promises, and balancing too many priorities so I could afford my unnecessarily expensive TriBeCa apartment. I was living in one of the most energizing cities in the world but without clear focus, I was a recipe for exhaustion!
Then one day last September I hit a breaking point. I was so exhausted and overwhelmed by the amount of energy I was exerting that I broke down. That’s when I realized that I had to take a step back, re-evaluate my priorities, and make some changes.
As I assessed how I was spending my time, I noticed that I was committing to a lot of things that excited me but also drained me. I realized that what is worth pursuing is not only rooted in passion, it’s rooted in what’s energizing too. It can be difficult to pursue “passion” — but it’s easy to understand and pursue what produces energy.
With this new emphasis on “energy,” I made some changes. I moved to Boulder, a place of natural beauty and healthy living with a thriving entrepreneurial scene. I cut 75% of my workload so that nearly all of my time is spent on energy-inducing activities like writing, working out, and helping people figure out how to lead the life they’ve always wanted to live.
The changes are working. In four months, I’ve lost twenty pounds, I almost always feel on fire with energy, and my writing has been published in Huffington Post, Forbes, and I’m now contributing to Fast Company.
I’m also scaling the work I do in helping people claim the lives they’re meant to live into what’s called “The Bold Academy.” This July, 24 people who are ready to gain clarity on themselves and their ideal future will convene in Boulder for a life-changing experience. And you can be one of them.
Most of all, I’ve learned that when I’m energized, I’m able to do more, be more, and give more. I feel like the best version of myself too.
If you’re in a rut or feel exhausted by the life you’re currently living, take a step back and evaluate how you’re spending your time. Here’s an exercise I created last September when I decided to re-evaluate my priorities with a new focus on energy.
Step one: Take out a sheet of paper and make three columns. Label the first “Activity”, the second “During” and the third “After.”
Step two: In the “Activity” column, make a list of the ways you spend your time. (For example: writing articles, working out with trainer, yoga, drinking with friends, tech events, email, managing the team, client calls, biking to work, dinner dates, FaceTime with Mom, etc.)
Step three: In the “During” column, write down, from a scale of 1 (draining) to 10 (energizing), how each activity makes you feel while you’re doing it.
Step four: In the “After” column, write down, from a scale of 1 (draining) to 10 (energizing), how each activity makes you feel after you’re done doing it.
Doing this helps put things in perspective, and allows you to get a better grasp on what you really want to be getting out of life.