I recently read The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon (there is also a picture book if you want to bring the message to children). This is a very powerful book with a simple message: you control the positive energy around you! Jon Gordon outlines 10 rules to controlling your happiness: Here are a few of my favorite bits, pieces and thoughts from the book:
Rule #1 – You are the driver of the bus!
This is the most important rule because you can only control yourself and the path you choose to take. As the driver, you are the one who must choose your vision of where you want to go. You have the best seat and the best view of your life so it’s up to you
Rule #2 – Desire, Vision and Focus move your bus in the right direction.
Focus on your vision each day for 10 minutes and see yourself creating everything you wrote down on that paper. It is the law of energy, the law of attraction - the more we focus on something, the more we think about something and the more it shows up in our lives. Thoughts are magnetic. What we think about, we attract. What we think about expands and grows. What we put our energy and attention on starts to show up in our life. And the energy we project through our thoughts is the energy we receive. We are winners, not whiners!
Rule #3 – Fuel your ride with Positive Energy!
E + P = O (Events + Perception = Outcome or Events + Positive Energy = Outcome) We can't control the events in our life but we can control how we perceive them and our perception and response to the events determine our outcome. There will always be potholes or roadblocks in our life. But it's how we choose to deal with the events in our life that means everything. Negative energy - Let it go, release it, throw it out, transform it… ex when the work is piled high, be thankful you have a job
One Great Golf Shot Theory - after playing a round of golf, people usually don't think about all the bad shots they made but rather focus on the one great shot they had that day - which leads them to want to play again. Be sure to focus on the positives!
Rule #4 – Invite People on your bus and share you vision for the road ahead
Keep asking people to get on the bus. The worst they can say is "no". If you don't ask, they won't know to get on. Plus, the more people you pick up along the way, the more energy you create during your ride. "I am not bound to win, I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to the light that I have." - Abraham Lincoln
Rule #5 – Don’t waste your energy on those who don’t get on the bus
Don't worry about the people that get on your bus. You can't drive anyone else's bus. You can only drive your bus. The more energy you spend worrying about the people who did not get on your bus, the less you will have for the people who are on the bus. And if you are worrying about the people who didn't get on the bus, you won't have the energy to keep asking new people to get on.
Ultimate Rule of Positive Energy - Our positive energy and vision must be greater than anyone's and everyone's negativity. Your certainty must be greater than everyone's doubt. Positive energy is like a muscle - the more you use it, the stronger it gets. Repetition is the key and the more you focus on positive energy the more it becomes your natural state.
Rule #6 – Post a sign that says NO ENERGY VAMPIRES ALLOWED on your bus
Meet with the people not on the bus and tell them we need a "positive and supportive team and whoever is negative will be kicked off the bus or left at the station" You give people a chance to change and they don't get it, then you got to kick them off the bus. Or else they will ruin your ride
Rule #7 – Enthusiasm attracts more passengers and energizes them during the ride
Enthusiasm comes from the Greek "entheos" which means "inspired" or "filled with divine". If you maintain your enthusiasm, more people are likely to get on board your bus!
Rule #8 – Love your passengers!
To really tap the power of your heart and lead with positive, contagious energy, you must love your passengers. You must be a love magnet. You become a love magnet by sharing your love generously. Enthusiasm gets them excited about being on your bus, but love is what keeps them on your bus. Love takes time. It is a process, not a goal. Love is something that needs to be nurtured. Focus on bringing out the best in each member of your team. When you love someone, you want the best for them, you want them to shine. And the best way to do this is to help them discover the value inside them.
5 Ways to Love your passengers
· Make Time for Them
o Get to know them as people, not numbers. Just as you would tend to a garden, you need to cultivate your team with love
· Listen to them
o Your employees just want to be heard, so listen to them and hear them. Empathy is the key
· Recognize them
o Honor them for who they are and what they do
o The more you recognize them for doing things right, the more they will do things right. Feed the positive dog inside them and watch them grow!
· Serve them
o Serve their growth, their career, their future, and their spirits so they work, life and being on your bus
· Bring out the best in them
o The best way any leader can bring out the best in someone is to help each person develop his/her strengths and provide an opportunity for him/her to utilize them
o If you really want to love your team, help them do what they do best
Rule #9 – Drive with purpose
When we drive with purpose, we don't get tired or burned out. When you fuel up on purpose, you find the excitement in the mundane, the passion in every day, and the extraordinary in the ordinary. As the driver of the bus, you have the best view and vision so you will need to communicate your vision and purpose to your passengers.
Rule #10 - Have fun and enjoy the ride!
Don't forget - Too blessed to be stressed. A study was conducted of 95 year olds and when asked what they would do differently if they had to live their life again they responded:
o Reflect more, enjoy more moments and more moments of joy
o Take more risks and chances. Life is too short not to go for it
o Leave a legacy - something that would live on after they die
Life is a test. Each adversity helps us grow. Negative events and people teach us what we don't want so we can focus our energy on what we do want. Ask yourself, "What can I learn from this challenge? What is it teaching me?"
REMEMBER, YOU ONLY HAVE ONE RIDE THROUGH LIFE SO GIVE IT ALL YOU GOT AND ENJOY THE RIDE!