Hi there, my name is Athol and this is a Top Five Thoughts video where I not so much review a book, as give you my top five thoughts I was having as I was reading it.
Today’s book, is The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon. One of my favorite books. Pretty readable, pretty light. I blew through it in about a couple hours. The subtitle being Ten Rules To Fuel Your Life, Work and Team With Positive Energy.
Number Five – The Law of Attraction
So in short, it’s a Law of Attraction book, and there are hundreds of Law of Attraction books. Probably the one that you are most familiar with is The Secret. Compared to The Secret, this is far more grounded, practical and relatable. The Secret was very pie in the sky, very airy fairy. Just think about positive things and magically wonderful things will happen to you. This is far more grounded and practical in the sense of energy being the things that you actually do and experience either positively influencing you or negatively influencing you. They’re either raising your energy or lowering your energy. So the food you eat either makes you feel better or feel worse. The people you hang out with are either making you feel better or feel worse. The things you do either make you feel better or feel worse.
That’s something I’ve pretty much internalized and it’s been part of my work for quite a while. In fact if you read The Mindful Attraction Plan, you’ll see a lot of The Energy Bus kind of thoughts kind of under the hood ticking away there. It also has that sense that the negativity itself is the thing you’re fighting against rather than the negative people.
Number Four – No Energy Vampires Allowed
No Energy Vampires allowed is essentially saying, “You know what? There really are some people that are just going to be horrible drains on you. They’re simply here to take energy. They’re not here to really contribute anything, and you’re carrying them through life, through the workplace, through the friendship, whatever it is, and you are going to be so much better off simply cutting them and not having to deal with them any more.”
That’s a pretty bold, dramatic thing to say. That sometimes you’re better off firing people and not having to deal with them. I mean I’m sure you can think of some people who when they don’t come to work everyone does better. They come in and they supposedly do things and help and contribute and whatever, but at the end of the day your team performs worse and the days they don’t come in everyone performs so much better. It’s like they actually do negative work. So cutting the energy vampires from your life and your team or whatever is actually a really good thing.
Number Three – Energy Cultures
The book is a little bit schizophrenic on this point, but I took from it that groups have their own energy cultures. There are groups of people that are really positive and there are groups of people that are really negative. Within those groups, the group is most affected by the energy level of the leader. So a positive energy leader tends to create a positive energy group, and a negative energy leader tends to create a negative energy group.
This is really important, especially when you are trying to change from a negative energy group to a positive energy group when you’ve been that leader. If you’ve been a negative leader and you have negative team members, there has to be some sort of bridging the gap moment where you change from positive and allow them to change into something more positive too. Though sometimes they will never change and you’ve got to cut them from the group. It read simply in the book, but the reality must feel more of a jumbled approach of yes, you’re fighting their negative energy but also you’ve been the leader and you’ve created the negative energy and now you’re positive and how long do you wait.
Bearing in mind this is a business management styled book, there’s an assumption that you are the leader and you’re not the person who is working retail. The truth is if you are someone fairly low on the pecking order, it’s almost impossible for you to change the energy culture of the group. If you’re the CEO or you’re the Director or the Manager and you’re in charge of a team or a group or whatever, then sure, absolutely you can change the energy of the group. But if you’re down the pecking order and you are having to report to all of these Negative Nellies above you, it’s almost impossible to change the energy of the group. Sometimes you’ve just got to leave.
Of course they will look at you like you’re the energy vampire causing trouble and not performing correctly. They’re going to see you as the problem. Sometimes you really do just have to leave the group. It is so much easier to leave to a new place, start over, start fresh, as opposed to trying to change a huge organizational structure when you have no power in that organizational structure.
Number Two – People are Always Buying You and Your Energy
This was a line in the book and I think it’s really important. The line is, “People are always buying you and your energy.”
That’s certainly true. I can see that for myself. The days where I feel particularly good, I’m particularly up, these are far more likely the days where I get positive comments, I get people interested in coaching, and people responding to me that my books helped. The days I feel particularly down or negative, I tend not to get a positive response from anyone. So yes, people really are buying you and your energy, it’s true. The trouble is, and they didn’t really touch on this at all, is when you have positive energy, you are also going to attract the energy vampires into your life. Sure you’re going to attract people that want to give you positive comments, but then you’ll also attract the vampires as well.
So if you go back to thought number four, no energy vampires on your personal bus, well the trouble is you also attract energy vampires when you have a lot of positive energy. So there’s always this delicate balance between okay I have this positive energy and I’m seeing people finally respond, but you also have to pick through that sometimes to see who exactly is interested in you. I also find on the days I’m particularly up and get a lot of positive comments or whatever, those can also be the days when you get some of the most negative and hateful comments. Also you can get people seeking to advantage themselves by hooking themselves onto your coat tails or whatever, so it’s a very delicate balance.
The way that I tend to think of all of this, is that there is an energy economy in your life. That means it’s important to being mindful and paying attention to what are you spending your energy on, and what is actually getting you some kind of positive response. So the book is not particularly perfect. It has some really good thoughts, but the true takeaway from this is that there is an energy economy that you’re part of, and it’s not quite so simple as you thinking positive thoughts and doing good things. You’ll get a mostly positive response if you do that, but it’s going to be a little bit of a mixed bag at times.
Number One – Work and Family Interactions
I’ve seen this in hundreds of coaching clients. Despite this being a management book and only a slight alluding to it in the story arc in the book, there is a real interplay between your performance and happiness at work, with the quality of your relationship and home life. One can really affect the other. If one improves I’ve often seen the other one improve as well.
Plenty of guys have come to me for marriage advice and to make their relationship better. While we obviously focus on that, what we often find is slowly but surely all the things that they’re learning from their relationship also applies in a way to their career and their job performance. This is especially notable if they are business owners. The marriage advice and relationship advice can really flow into their business and they can have a much better time of things at work. The same things that make their wife respond better, are making their employees and clients respond better.
I’ve also seen crashes at their career really play into crashes in their home life. But that interplay between home and business life is really, really true, really valid.
And that’s about it. Going to leave it there. This is a good, quick, easy read. If you’ve never read anything on the Law of Attraction type stuff this is a good starting point. And I will catch you next time.