This is a quote from the Wall Street Journal in September 2009: “A recent study reported that 52% of working French don’t sleep well on Sunday night. But work-related stress is not a French disease, and is ubiquitous and severe in all developed economies. In the U.K. and U.S. 70% of employees don’t sleep well on Sunday night either.”

That means probably about
• 19 302 500 French workers
• 98 413 700 Americans and
• 21 700 000 British people
spent their Sunday nights tossing and turning in September of 2009, instead of getting a good night’s sleep.

Was September 2009 a bad month? No. Did these people have a restless night because they were really looking forward to going to work on Monday morning? I am sure some of them did, but that would probably be a fraction of a percentage of the number.

Why would people have a good weekend and then have a restless night before returning to work?

Over weekends we tend to do the things that please us. We do what makes us happy. We relax and enjoy time with friends and family. Even when the weekend is busy, we are often busy with things that give us a purpose in life, such as carting our children around to various activities, or shopping for stuff that add quality to our lives.

When we return to work, we do the things that please others. If those activities please us as well, then we are very fortunate. When you work for an employer, what it really means is that you put your own dreams on hold and use your energy to create another person’s dream.

Providing energy to another person is hard work. Any parent can tell you how exhausting it is to raise children. Commuters are prone to dis-ease, not just because of the higher risk of contracting dis-ease. Commuters share their energy with fellow commuters. Some people are very skilled at getting their energy from others. Often we are not even aware that we give energy to other people, and the takers are not necessarily aware that they are taking energy from others rather than generating their own energy.

Of course we all have experiences where we recognize these energy-takers. Have you ever said that having a relationship or a friendship with someone is “hard work”?

Do you feel exhausted after having spent time with some people? When you do, you tend to think the reason for the exhaustion is that you have focused hard on a task. You do not recognise that the person you have worked with is an energy-taker.

People who have a sleepless Sunday night, often exchange energy with others in a way that leaves them exhausted.

On the other hand, look at people who live their passion and their life purpose. They can go without sleep. They work twice as hard as others, and there is no-one looking over their shoulders to check the quality of their work, which is always top-class.

Truly creative people who live their passion do not easily get tired. They constantly create energy and they keep that stream of creativity flowing. They are not easily distracted.

They also have another secret. They know how to protect their own energy. They know how to not allow the energy-takers to drain them. Sometimes they are regarded as ruthless because they know how to cut people out of their lives.

Does this ability to leave others behind make them bad or selfish people?

If you read the biographies of energy-generators, you will realize that they inevitably make a difference to this world. They are inventors and entertainers. They run successful enterprises and make an impact on their environment. They have world-class sports performances. In fact, there is a reason who a biography is written about each one of them.

We may say that some of those people have not had any achievements that justify a biography. What can a celebrity whose claim to fame is some physical attraction contribute to justify a biography? If we measure their success in terms of changing the world, they can probably not contribute that much. But if their lives inspire others to reach for their dreams, however big or small those dreams are, then they set an example.

If you are an energy-creator, do you know how to protect yourself from the energy-takers? Could it be that you lie awake on a Sunday night because you are employed by an energy-taker?

If you are an energy-taker, how about learning to generate your own energy? You will be pleasantly surprised when you start to listen to your heart. Live your life as if today is your very last chance to achieve your ambitions. You might even get a good night’s sleep on a Sunday night!

Author's Bio: 

Elsabe Smit is a professional transition coach, helping individuals and businesses to achieve their personal and commercial objectives. What is the one thing which is consuming all your energy at the moment?

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