I had to reach rock bottom to find the Path of Power. My wife asked for a divorce, and no matter how hard I worked, I couldn’t fix our relationship. No amount of effort allowed me to prevent the end of our marriage. It was a first for me, not being able to make something happen that I really put my mind to, and it led me to realize I needed to shift the way I was living my life.
Ultimately, this was the revelation for me that the Path of Force has serious limitations.
How is Power different from Force?
The difference is subtle but profound. Using Force tends to drain us, while Power springs from a bottomless well. Entrepreneurs are vulnerable to walking the Path of Force when they become convinced the company must come first and the company cannot survive without them.
Usually that idea rests on the thought that there’s plenty of time for the rest of life once their business is on solid footing. In my case, it came down to a feeling almost of invincibility, the thought that, “I can focus on my health and my family later.” This belief puts you on an unsustainable course. It denies an essential aspect of what it means to be human: being able to spare the attention needed to be truly connected to those around us.
Tapping into Power, on the other hand, requires a broadening of goals and attention. On the Path of Power, investing in myself comes first – not that I’m now spending more time on myself than the business, but that I’m carving out time for the things that feed my energy. Those include my business and personal relationships, and my physical, mental and spiritual health.
Time vs. Energy
People ask me how much time I spend on my self-development, trying to figure out how much earlier they will need to get up or what other activity they will need to cut out. But they misunderstand the difference between managing time and managing energy. Self-development – the time I spend meditating, journaling, reflecting, enjoying nature, paying personal attention to my family and employees – gives me energy that actually allows me to accomplish more in less time.
I block time on my calendar daily for these activities because I want to be connected with myself and the people in my life, but also because doing these things allows me clarity and insight. I take time to reflect on life and on my business, and instead of seeing reasons to feel frustrated or worried, I see opportunities. I’m no longer blinded by the constant feeling of being unable to catch up.
Doing things you love – and not just doing them but enjoying them – is important for your health. Taking joy in life creates a ton of energy. The sun burns and radiates boundless energy because of its own internal chemistry. I think that’s a good symbol for what the Path of Power enables when we feed our souls.
A sense of purpose is also key to finding and walking the Path of Power. I’ll explain that and the concept of IKIGAI in a future post.