When you meet someone charismatic, knowledgeable, attentive, interesting, generous, it’s always a pleasure to be in the company of this person, isn’t it? It is true in professional settings, at parties, and even during random interactions.
The draw is unmistakable: you want to look up, to listen up, and to stand closer.
You feel energized by the encounter, and moreover, you yourself feel more interesting as a result of this interaction.
What exactly does this person bring to the exchange that makes the experience so invigorating? Is it just charm? Is it really expertise? The looks, maybe? Sense of humor? What’s your best guess?
If you peer group is made up of people in their mid-thirties and older, and if they are anything like you, most of them are highly intelligent, funny, charming.
Yet, there is one who stands apart as most engaging. Why?
Energy. This unmistakably attractive person has energy. This person has enough energy to deliver a spark, light and warmth, like a campfire. He gives off enough energy to fuel to those around him, in contrast to people who always feel drained, and demand energy from others. He (or she, of course) has energy to talk, to listen, to share, to take in, and to ignite.
(When I say “the person has energy”, I mean “the person feels full of life”. You can almost visibly perceive the person’s light being turned on inside. I am not referring to the coffee-fueled mechanical energy of the Energizer bunny, and not to the esoteric “positive aura”.)
Abundant personal energy is so attractive because it’s so rare in mid-adulthood, as many of us are simply chronically tired. And it shows, even if we show up and do what we have to do.
The better you are, the more overwhelming life can become, because a) you want to do more when you’re at the top of your game, and b) more is expected of you because you’re so good.
Your children (and often parents) needs and want your help and attention. You want to be involved in their lives and to give of yourself.
You still want to make a big push in your career; you’ve already achieved a lot, but you can still have more impact.
You want to give your attention to your good friends. You probably have fewer close friends than you did when you were in your early 20’s, and now it takes more time and energy to maintain the quality and the depth of the friendships you’ve kept.
Plus, you want to keep up with the news in the world, updates in your professional field, to read and watch things for pleasure, to keep up with your social and professional networks.
Oh, did I mention romance and intimacy? To feel treasured and connected, you probably invest time and energy to either keep up or create that unique connection.
This may all be exciting and fulfilling, but …you are spent. Your energy is drained. And often, it shows.
We show up, because we are excellent, and because we are responsible, but showing up doesn’t always mean that we bring energy. Technically, bringing energy is not a requirement.
If you want to be unmistakably attractive, to wow, to charm, to deliver happiness, you must bring energy.
Beam with it, share it, give out your warmth and light. You will be a welcomed, refreshing change at any gathering.
I hear a million dollar question (courtesy young professionals who manage successful careers and being involved parents to kids under the age of 7): “Where, oh, where to get this extra energy?!!!!” Here: evaluate whether your personal energy battery is full or empty, and make time to recharge it when empty, above all else.
There is no other secret or magic– you must give yourself time to refuel, if you want to stand out and to up your game, if you want to show up 150% for your kids and career.
Needing time to recharge, and giving yourself this time without guilt and regret is one of the greatest challenges of mid-adulthood.
Let’s do it anyway, though, so that we can recognize each other in tired, dusty crowds by the warmth and light emanating from us.
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NEW developments: I’ll be teaching a custom-designed 2.5 day program on Developing Intuition & Creativity at MIT Sloan School of Management in March. Would you like to introduce analytical thinkers in your organization to a similar program? Please, set up a call to discuss , or send me an email at Alina@AlinaBas.com