What is it with me and my attitude about the books I’ve been reading lately? You can’t see it, but I’m being very obstinate and ornery.
I’ve just received a newly published review copy of Tom Rath’s (@TomCRath) “Are You Fully Charged: The 3 Keys to Energizing Your Work and Your Life” and already I can hear myself making snarky and smarmy comments. I mean, I haven’t even cracked the book open yet! Is it just me?
Here, let me show you what I mean:
” ‘Are You Fully Charged’ will challenge you to stop pursuing happiness and start creating meaning instead … “
Do that many people still operate under the false assumption that having more money or more things will make them happy? If that sounds like you, you will want to read this book.
“It’s easier to improve your own happiness and the well-being of others when you focus on doing it right now, Taking small, meaningful actions today is the best way to make changes.”
Seems to me that we have too much “meaning” in our lives. Everything seems to be important and significant. Personally, I think that’s the problem.
Hmmm. I think I’ll keep reading.
If You Love “StrengthsFinder,” You’ll Love “Are You Fully Charged?”
I’ll admit that the only reason I didn’t throw this book to the bottom of my review pile is because I’ve read Tom Rath’s “StrengthsFinder 2.0” and found it incredibly valuable.
I’ve wasted entirely too many years of my life working hard to improve my weaknesses when I should have been focusing on my strengths all along.
Well, “Are You Fully Charged?” is a lot like that. It will shock you to see that some of the behaviors you thought were working for you, really aren’t anymore.
As I mentioned earlier, Rath is best known for writing “StrengthsFinder 2.0.” But he’s also written “How Full Is Your Bucket?,” “Strengths Based Leadership,” “Wellbeing” and “Eat Move Sleep.” In total, his books have sold more than six million copies and have made more than 300 appearances on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list. That means that a lot of small business owners and business people have found a lot of value in what he’s got to say.
Focus on Adding Meaning, Interaction, and Energy to Your Daily Life
The first mistake I made in my pre-judgement of the book was the use of the word “meaning.”
To me, “meaning” means making a judgement or having something occur as important and significant. But that’s not exactly how Rath uses it in this book.
Here, the word “Meaning” is more like “Contributing” — he defines meaning as “doing something that benefits another person.” So, word of warning; take your time with this book, it’s meant to be savored and not rushed through. Don’t mistake it’s accessibility for simplicity.
There is good stuff in there.
The next thing that Rath advocates in “Are You Fully Charged?” is adding “Interactions.” Specifically, creating more positive than negative moments in your life.
I’ll bet that YOU are the one freaking out right now. You’re probably like, “Wait a minute! I’m not the one creating negative moments! It’s other people who take a perfectly wonderful day and ruin it by doing something stupid!”
Am I right?
Well here’s the good news. You get to choose how you are going to react. Here’s a quick excerpt from Chapter 9 of “Are You Fully Charged?,” the first chapter in the “Interactions” section of the book:
“With each interaction comes the choice. You running to someone who is filled with rage or hostility or who flat out ignored you, that negativity can cancel out any positive exchanges that might have followed. Even when faced with obvious bad intent — which is rare — it is still in your best interest to try to turn the situation into something positive. Then you avoid getting worked up in dwelling on it for the rest of the day. As you go through each day interacting with friends and strangers, make it your mission to ensure that as many exchanges as possible turned out of little bit better than they started.”
Finally, the last section of “Are You Fully Charged?” talks about “Energy.” This involves your making choices that improve your mental and physical health. And yes, this means eating better, sleeping and making time to exercise and do all those things you tend to put on the back burner.
“Are You Fully Charged?” Will Help You Take Your Life Back
Business owners, especially those with employees, should do what they did with “StrengthsFinder 2.0” and share this book with their employees. Make a commitment to engage around the material and you will see the energy rise in your organization. I’ll bet profits will rise, too.
When I was involved in the Dale Carnegie program many years ago, I learned that frustration, anger, and general unhappiness and stress comes from feeling that we don’t have any control in what happens to us. Rath takes this basic idea and pushes it down into your real life, no matter what it looks like.
The basic message of the book is you choose. And, by making small conscious choices every day, you will take your life back, have more energy and be more powerful than you imagined you could be.