Words that are in me: ‘Always put your energy in things you have an influence on’

 Godelieve van Eekelen takes a pragmatic approach to wishing things were different

Always put your energy

Put your energy where it’s productive, not where it is toxic. Laura Eades 2014

What a waste!

We tend to lose a lot of energy on things, and people, we have no chance of changing at all. What a waste, but we do it all the time!

This phrase is about the way we treat the thoughts that arise from our critical mind – the part of us that would prefer things to be different. It’s a reminder to stop putting your energy into changing other people, or wanting to change other people. Focus on your influence!

In the end, you are the only ‘thing’ you can actually change

The moment I realised what this actually meant, I knew the message was to focus on ourselves. And nothing else. I don’t mean ignoring others, but taking responsibility for any situation you dislike. And changing around how you experience it.

The control we have over our own lives is so much bigger than we often realise. That also means we have a big responsibility, and there is no one else to blame.

Let me give you some examples:

  • I’m not working late because my manager is forcing me to, but because I didn’t manage expectation in my own favour. That’s my reality. The good news is I don’t need my manager to change. I can push back, delegate, re-manage expectations.
  • I don’t put on extra weight because I have so many partys to attend, but because of what I choose to put in your mouth when I’m there (but I’m no saint, I’m the most sugar-addicted and wine-loving person I know).
  • I can not erase a traffic jam, but I can leave earlier to allow for delays.
  • I can not stop the rain from falling, but I can wear a raincoat, buy an umbrella, stay at home or take public transport instead of the bike.

But it’s just an example. I’m from Amsterdam… nothing can stop me from taking the bike.

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Godelieve van Eekelen is a 37-year-old Dutch HR specialist living in Berlin. Formerly Amsterdam-based, she emigrated two years ago and is in the process of developing a job which fits her life as a mother-of-one. Optimistic, impatient, pragmatic, empathic, analytical.

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