Between the pandemic and politics, last year was more stressful and emotional than anyone could have predicted, but this year I will be looking to science in order to turn the page. Sure, I believe that universal masking and the distribution of vaccines will certainly make a difference in all of our lives, but I also will be looking to science to gain control of my life in other ways.
I am a master practitioner of Bruce D. Schneider’s Energy Leadership Program which teaches us to recognize seven levels of energy that we employ as we live our lives. These energy levels range from fully catabolic, self-preservation energy to fully anabolic, uplifting and enlightened energy. Catabolic energy is a powerful energy that has enabled humans to survive throughout history. Adrenaline would pulse through a Caveman’s veins as he confronted a Sabretooth. When we are under stress, our bodies put us into fight or flight mode with emotions running high. We engage catabolic energy when faced with perceived stressors. However, continued reliance upon this type of energy and the hormones related to it (Cortisol, Adrenalin) will break down our bodies leaving us feeling drained and depleted. We can only fight for so long before becoming exhausted.
Have you felt anxious, angry or hopeless in the past year? It certainly makes sense that you would feel this way given the uncertainty, lack of control, and external stressors that we all faced last year. At this point, many people are feeling drained but science has an answer if you are willing to believe in it.
Are we really facing a Sabretooth Tiger?
We are all dealing with stressors and some of us may actually be fighting for our lives in one way or another, but none of us are facing the physical danger of a Sabretooth Tiger. The world is a perceptual illusion. If we allow it, our thoughts and emotions will lead us to react to all stressors as if we are in an immediate physical danger but most of the time the fight or flight response enlists the wrong type of energy to resolve our problems. Thoughts and emotions dictate our actions. If we change our thought pattern, we can influence our emotions and create different actions. If we can open ourselves up to possibilities that are not limited to self-preservation options, we will discover much more successful and sustainable solutions to our current challenges. Simply being aware of the situation and gaining control of our thoughts can move us into utilizing anabolic energy that is sustainable for long term solutions.
The energy leadership theory describes anabolic energy as energy that is constructive, fueling, healing, collaborative, uplifting and effortless. Anabolic energy moves us toward working with others to achieve common goals and induces hormones such as Oxytocin and Testosterone to reinforce the collaborative effort that moves us beyond a combative mindset with the sole purpose of self-preservation. As more anabolic energy is employed, more proactive strategies will be revealed to you instead of simply reacting to the obstacles in your way. High levels of anabolic energy correlate with increased awareness in the beauty of all aspects of life as you become both a participant and an observer of what life brings you.
A Scientific Approach to Life
The scientific method does not try to force an answer to a problem but instead it requires a hypothesis which must be tested without bias. Experiments that prove the hypothesis must be duplicatable so that a scientific consensus can be established. Just like the recent vaccine trials, there must not be any short cuts or outside influence upon the experiments to prove the hypothesis. If desired outcomes are not achieved, the experiment is not deemed a failure but it is a step toward revealing the ultimate truth. A conclusion must not be forced if the results are not a match. In some cases, we must adjust the hypothesis rather than methodology or process. True Scientists do not become emotionally attached to outcomes but continue to stride toward the truth. There are no failures but only steps toward success. Detaching from outcomes and focusing upon the methodology and process are keys to finding ultimate truth and therefore ultimate success.
Applying the principles of the scientific method to navigating our own lives can improve satisfaction with our lives. If we can approach life as a scientist where we are both the participant and the observer, we begin to transcend the sense of self and begin to see a broader spectrum of life. What might have been perceived as a failed outcome becomes a stepping stone for success in our lives. An inquisitive and non-judgmental approach to life’s situations broadens the array of possibilities and takes advantage of anabolic energy to begin to effortlessly move thoughts, emotions and actions into a state of flow.
Flow is a comfortable state of being where you feel like you are effortlessly moving through life, in sync with the universe, and doing what you were meant to do. Flow is that intuitive, relaxed state of being where success feels effortless and everything seems to fall your way. It is a state which represents who you are in the purest sense where nothing is forced and everything seems natural.
Who is with me? Are you ready to loosen the grip of those heightened emotions? Do you believe in the power of Science? Join me to trade in the anxiety-laden, emotionally charged feelings of last year to move toward a non-judgmental, clear-eyed, scientific approach to tackling this year.