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by riley harrison

The real difference between men is energy. A strong will, a settled purpose, and invincible determination, can accomplish almost anything; and in this lies the distinction between great men and little men.

Thomas Fuller



Don’t we all feel energized when we contemplate the possibilities of life? The secret is having the discipline to channel that energy into purposeful focus.

I’m  energized when I  follow my heart rather than be led by my intellect. Being analytical may help me to understand but the energy required to surge forward enthusiastically comes from the heart. We create by feeling not by thought.  Who do you think is more successful in life and has more energy – optimists or pessimists? Optimism is a skill that can be enhanced by learning to focus on possibilities and thus releasing latent or unrealized energy.

Place your major emphasis on what’s right and make what’s wrong a secondary matter. This doesn’t mean that problems don’t exist and aren’t real; it does mean that with this proper perspective you will have more energy, will and determination to address the “what’s wrong” issues.

Remember Ruckert’s law – nothing is so small that it can’t be blown out of proportion. Don’t allow yourself to be held hostage by negative thinking and pay the unacceptable price of diminished optimism and limited thinking.

Chronic complaining and criticizing is a terrible misuse and drain of energy. Consider how positive energy alters the landscape of your existence. Consider how positive energy affects relationships. Positive energy inspires. Negative energy demoralizes.

We need to be around  positive people. How can we identify them? – they are successful at living life. They live life and avoid the traps of being overly analytical and always requiring more information before acting. If you wish to accomplish and be creative, make a conscious effort  to be around positive thinking, action oriented people. They are focused and don’t waste energy. Avoid the vampires of life, those who drain your spirit and energy. Energy is highly infectious; so is negativity. Choose carefully who you associate with; it affects your perspective and how you channel your energy. Negative people expend energy justifying being victimized. Positive people view life as a fun experiment or puzzle to be solved. A fun outlook is energizing.

Energy is wasted trying to be what we are not. Singer Billie Holiday said “You can’t copy anybody and end up with anything. If you copy, it means you’re working without any feeling.” If there is no feeling, there is no energy. There is no universal formula. It’s your job to discover what works best for you. It’s a self discovery process.

Your thoughts affect your energy level. This is the beauty of greater awareness; when negative, pessimistic thoughts begin to seep into your consciousness you can learn to say to yourself “Stop it” or “There I go again” and refocus on more positive life circumstances. Optimists see the glass as half full;  pessimists see the glass as half empty. Engineers say the glass is twice the size it needs to be.

Do what works. Don’t ignore your “knowing”. You know what you know. Why do we choose to ignore what we know? It’s easy to keep stepping on relationship landmines because you ignore what you know. When talking, people will often say I know I’m probably boring you. And the personal growth question is why continue behavior that creates alienation rather than connection? We knowingly give advice that  both parties know will not be heeded; it exasperates rather than helps. You know when your energy isn’t being received or appreciated, so why waste the energy. Sanaya Roman says “When you are feeling depreciated, angry or drained, it is a sign that other people are not open to your energy.”  We choose to ignore reality because we  want it to be different. The gap between reality and desires (or when desires are mistaken for reality) will cause a lot of grief and frustration and wasted energy. Wouldn’t it be great if others had the same perspective on life that you have? But the reality is that they don’t; they are different people with a different gene set and have been conditioned by different experiences.

Have awareness how décor and  your surroundings either diminish or renew your energy. What you love and appreciate creates feelings of gratitude and elevates your energy.

Don’t expect others to give what they don’t have.  Where is the reality in that?

What’s the criteria for what you should give? Ask yourself this question: Am I giving or contributing in a way that fills me with energy? If your contributions or method of service depletes you, you will unconsciously or consciously resent it. Your energy will be wasted and your contributions will not genuinely serve others.

Energy is your most prized possession. Emerson said “The world belongs to the energetic”.




{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie | A Clear Sign June 26, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Hear, hear!


riley harrison June 26, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Thank you Julie


Derek Potocki June 26, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Hi Riley,
“Am I giving or contributing in a way that fills me with energy?” this is what I’m taking from this post.
This, of course, could be stretched to: ” Am I thinking, talking and acting in a way that fills me with energy?”
What a great question!
Thank you for your post. Always great.


riley harrison June 26, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Hey Derek,
Thanks Derek and I think that is the right take away. We really have to be vigilant and not let negative forces hijack the use of our energy.


Derek Potocki June 27, 2011 at 11:59 pm



Justin from Mazzastick June 26, 2011 at 10:24 pm

Hey Riley,
“When you are feeling depreciated, angry or drained, it is a sign that other people are not open to your energy.”

That is worded so well because I have felt this before but really couldn’t put it into such simple words.


riley harrison June 26, 2011 at 11:02 pm

That’s a great line isn’t it. I know you read a lot and I bet you would enjoy reading CREATING MONEY by the same author (Sanaya Roman).


Evan June 27, 2011 at 1:10 am

I think intelligence is also required or people waste their passion in futile enterprises (which is tragic).

I agree that needing to have all the possible negatives handled means we will never do anything and that this is a tragic waste.


riley harrison June 27, 2011 at 1:37 am

Hi Evan
To me intelligence without passion can’t compete with the combination of intelligence and passion.


Ashvini from thoughts on entrepreneurship, leadership and motivaiton June 27, 2011 at 6:21 am

Hi Riley,

Positive people channel their energy in a different productive way and I think we all benefit when we are in the company of positive people.

Also I agree that it is important to accept varying viewpoints and learn from them.

Very inspiring.
Thanks and regards,


riley harrison June 27, 2011 at 12:15 pm


Thanks for your input and wish you the best.


Terry Conti June 27, 2011 at 7:57 am

Hi Riley,

What a positive post. Being positive is so healthy. It makes you look for the good. If things around you aren’t good, look for the good no matter how bad. If you dwell in the bad, that where you’re going to stay. If you dwell in the good that’s where you’re going to stay. Choose wisely, everyone.

Terry Conti


riley harrison June 27, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Well hi Terry. Thank you for the good review. I really appreciate it because I know you are a very positive thinking person. Wish you the best my friend.


Dia June 27, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Hi Riley,
This is a beautiful post. I love to read posts like this on energy. ;) Exactly my friend, we have to expect the best and believe the best will happen to us. Where we focus plays an important role on how successful we become. When we focus on what is good and positive, our positive energy increases, then we are on the road to creating beautiful things in our lives. Thanks for sharing my friend


riley harrison June 27, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Hi Dia,
Well said my man. We are in synch.


Bill Dorman June 27, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Wow Riley, that was a pretty deep but very well written post.

My challenge is when I know I’m not bringing the right kind of energy or I can tell I have lost ‘my audience’, how to disengage instead of dragging it out.

I really liked : I’m energized when I follow my heart rather than be led by my intellect. This is where your passion comes from.

Another good statement was ‘Don’t ignore your “knowing”‘. So true and don’t fight it.

I try very much to be positive energy. Especially at work when people start bitching and moaning I advise them to give me a solution, we already know what the problem is. I challenge them by saying “we are all smart people, figure it out”.

Good to see you and I really liked this post Riley. Hope you had a good weekend.


riley harrison June 27, 2011 at 5:21 pm

Hi Bill,
Well thanks Bill. When I was in the business world (as an employee vs. working for myself), I always gravitated towards the people in marketing and sales. In retrospect I think it was because good salesmen have to have positive energy or they aren’t going to connect with people and make sales. So when someone like you enjoys my post I know I’m on the right track. I spent the weekend involved with people I mentor – very worthwhile but also very intense. Today I’m just kicking back and relaxing (kinda).


Lori Gosselin June 27, 2011 at 4:12 pm

No Fair Doppelgänger! There’s no way on EARTH I can be succinct when there is so much wonderful information here! (Although Julie | A Clear Sign did a pretty good job! Hear hear Julie!) I’m reading along thinking, Oh – I really like that line, but then there was another and another and another.

I feel my energy rise when I feel my happiness rise. Sometimes I go along, doing the doing and forget that I’m happy! I know – ungrateful or what!? When I stop and take a breath and think about the exciting things in my life rather than doing the exciting things in my life, I feel my bubble rising!

I will pull out one line: ” avoid the traps of being overly analytical and always requiring more information before acting.” THIS I resonate with today. So many doubts rise in me about publishing my own book, but why wait and over analyze and study more and on and on? For maybe the first time in my life, I’m taking a leap of faith and believe me, it’s a BIG one! So there! :-)


riley harrison June 27, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Hey Lori,
I read your latest post today and am amazed much our thinking is in synch. BTW have you read The ARTIST’S WAY. It is the book that really helped me overcome fear in publishing my first book. I also know some very successful writers that will second my endorsement of that book. And remember if I love it so will you LOL. When your book is published, I want you to autograph my copy.


stacey herbert from how to live with integrity June 28, 2011 at 5:42 am

Here here…me to..virtual book signings for all I say


Kate Hobbs June 28, 2011 at 1:15 am

Hi Riley
You said “We need to be around positive people.” Totally agree on that one. However, there will be times when we come across that “draining” person and have to deal with them whether in work or otherwise. Once I have finished with them I then seek out positive people that I trust to counteract the negative. I find that if I don’t, the negative “clings” to me.

Great post, great followup comments.


riley harrison June 28, 2011 at 3:11 am

Hi Kate,
I find that if a have a steady dose of positive people, I build up an immunity or safeguard to the effects of being exposed to negative people. You are right though sometimes negative people are unavoidable.


stacey herbert from how to live with integrity June 28, 2011 at 5:41 am

Riley riley riley…you never cease to make me have to read and not skim…I love when a blog has that effect on me. “Chronic complaining and criticizing is a terrible misuse and drain of energy”, I have been very guilty of that in times past, but I am learning just how unedifying it really is..and am now trying to stop the thoughts that bring about this type of speech. As they say prevention is better than cure. Awesomeness


riley harrison June 28, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Hey Stacey,
That’s the highest of complements: You actually have to read my blogs. LOL


Ken Wert June 28, 2011 at 11:48 pm

Riley, it has been the challenge of my life to try to lift the people I’m around, to inspire in them the desire to be more positive. It is sometimes tough. People who habitually see dark and dreary motives to what people say and do, people who instinctively see the cloud in the silver lining can really find it difficult to change. Negativity has become so ingrained, almost becoming part of the DNA of their souls that it often (sadly) takes hitting rock bottom before they start to notice silver linings and the like out there.

But there are others who, over time, start to see life more the way I see it by association. My mood and attitude seems to spark in them the desire to see through the same glasses at a life I see in bright hues of opportunity and excitement and passion and good people trying to live life well.

Thanks for a very thoughtful post. We can all use the periodic reminders!


riley harrison June 29, 2011 at 1:43 am

Hi Ken,
I know what you mean about negativity becoming part of one’s DNA. However being an optimist, I still think many can be helped and get “rewired” if you will. Good luck on your work with disadvantaged children. Wish you the best and thanks for dropping by.


Rob Collins June 29, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Hey Riley. I really liked this post, it made me feel energized just reading it. I just wrote a post yesterday about the power of our thoughts and how it affects how we feel. My wife and I have just completed a 3-day charity trek and it was surprising how the negative people found the trek so much harder and seemed to be less able to deal with aches, pains and injuries.

Not all of your post ‘clicked’ with me, some statements towards the end just went over my head. But like you suggest in your post, I’m making the choice to focus on the best bits!


riley harrison June 30, 2011 at 9:10 pm

Thanks Rob. Just take what works and ignore the rest. That was my best thinking at the time but it’s always subject to change. You sound like a pretty positive guy.


Galen Pearl June 29, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Being aware of our energy is so important. This plays out in several ways, as you describe. Our environment can affect our energy. Right now my house is cluttered while we are doing some in home moving around. I feel the drain that this clutter causes and I am looking forward to getting things put back in order. The people around us can affect our energy. Emotions are contagious, so being around positive people and protecting ourselves from energy drainers can help us maintain our own energy level. And finally, our choices can affect our energy. Am I exercising? What am I reading? What am I watching on TV? Great post on energy. Thanks!


riley harrison June 30, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Hello Galen,
Like you I’m a big believer in awareness. I know that my energy fluctuates doing the day and I schedules tasks accordingly. Tasks requiring creativity are slotted in the high energy periods and tasks that can be done by rote (e.g. bill paying) are done in the low energy periods.


Stuart June 30, 2011 at 9:24 am

Mm, the energy of life is a powerful thing indeed Riley. You made some excellent points about being energetic to generate energy, and generating passion to influence others.

I must add something though – you say we need to be around positive people. I agree for the most part, but we cannot neglect everyone else. There will be negative people appearing in our lives no matter how positive we may be, and these negative people may be looking for our help in removing their doom and gloom.

If a negative person appeared in my life who wanted to spend time with me, I’d oblige by trying to help them remove their negativity. If I felt it would be a challenge for me, then I’d take up that challenge. I may not help at all, but if I don’t help, then I would feel worse for not trying at all :-)


riley harrison June 30, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Hey Stuart,
I do mentoring with people that are working through some real problems and negative energy comes with the territory. That being said, if my energy is being continuously and steadily drained I’m not sure that I’m benefiting either party. I also accept that some might be better helped by others who aren’t adversely affected. I think burnout is something we have to be vigilant about. You might be a more compassionate person than I.


Stuart July 1, 2011 at 7:27 am

I agree – if our energy is being drained, and we are facing ‘energy burnout’, we’d be better off helping ourselves to recover rather than continuing to try and help others. And if that means leaving the person who is draining you, then so be it :-)


Steve from Internet Lifestyle June 30, 2011 at 4:15 pm


Great post. Passion when it is harnessed is a powerful force. Working to stay positive and passionate about a subject will keep you enerigized, vitalized and “on point”.

You give a wonderfully worded, yet powerful message here!



riley harrison June 30, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Well thank you Steve. Always good to hear from you.


Spyros Heniadis June 30, 2011 at 11:11 pm

Hi Riley, I think it runs parallel to what I was saying about power, and I would say that power is a recognizing and harnessing our energy instead of letting it disperse ineffectively.

You say this:

“When you are feeling depreciated, angry or drained, it is a sign that other people are not open to your energy.”

And it makes me think about the difference in the energy. I see positive energy as an augmenting force as you describe, shining in to the world harmonizing with ever more energy. The negative energy is more like a sink or a drain. I think of it as the difference between additive and subtractive colors. When you put together additive colors they blend until you have white, a harmonic alignment of their vibrations into the reflection of pure light. With subtractive colors, the energy/harmonies are absorbed, there is no reflection. It is an absence or devouring of the energy.

Great post Riley, thanks for sharing it!


Antonia from Conversational hypnosis July 18, 2011 at 5:06 am

That’s very true. Out passion determines who we are. Our ability to endure the pain and challenges that the things along our way give to us is what make us better from other people. With a great passion, everything could be possible. We have to aim high in everything we do.
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Tim Ryan from naples park homes August 25, 2011 at 11:23 pm

You do have a point, but sometimes it is really hard to find that energy when all the work is on you. But you’re still right, we just need to prioritize better. Thanks for the excellent advice.
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Maria from Certified Nursing Assistant September 25, 2011 at 4:43 pm

“The real difference between men is energy. A strong will, a settled purpose, and invincible determination, can accomplish almost anything; and in this lies the distinction between great men and little men.” ……. So basically, what makes a person different from the other is his or her attitude. The more focus, the high possibility for him/her to achieve success. Like what others say that what we think reflect on what we are in person.
Maria@Certified Nursing Assistant recently posted..Government Grants For CNA TrainingMy Profile


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