Lesson 91: Whatever you do, do it with energy

Published 3:29 pm Thursday, September 16, 2010

Energy is the essence of life.

Oprah Winfrey

There is a secret to success in stage acting. If an actor knows and applies this secret, every performance will be a good one. It doesnt matter if he forgets a line or falls on his face, or if the scenery crumbles around him. If the actor applies this secret he will wow the audience every time the curtain rises.

Heres the secret: perform with energy. Energy is not something you can clearly describe, but people know it when they see it, and they also recognize when its not present. A performance that lacks energy

even if it is otherwise perfect will be seen by the audience as dull and even boring.

Why is this so? Its simple really. Energy is contagious. When an actor performs with a high level of energy, the audience feels its own energy level rise in a sort of sympathetic vibration. The performer in turn picks up on the audiences

energy and feeds it back to them in a continuous, dynamic loop.

This principle applies to virtually everything you do in life. Energy is a personal force that comes from within you

and you control it. Whether you realize it or not, you decide how much energy to inject into every task.

Most people usually dont feel or display much energy. Thats fine and normal, but its rather dull and not much fun. By simply injecting energy into everything you do, you can improve your performance and sense of self-satisfaction.

One of my personal mottos is, It doesnt take much to impress people. And it really doesnt. Mostly, all it takes is a little energy.

When you walk through a door, stride a little more

purposefully. When you talk with someone, smile a little more enthusiastically. Listen a little more closely. Respond a little more earnestly. Be a little more interested in every task you perform, from the most mundane to the most important.

Dont fake it or force it, of course. Remember, energy comes from within; its a natural force. Just tap in to that limitless reservoir of energy residing inside you. Youll be amazed at the difference.

Excerpted from The Graduates Book of Practical Wisdom: 99 Lessons They Cant Teach in School by C. Andrew Millard, published by Morgan James Publishing, available in bookstores and online. &opy; 2008 by C. Andrew Millard; all rights reserved. For more information visit www.wisegraduate.com.