We all know the little things that recharge our batteries.
For most of us, a walk in a real forest would calm us down and give us that much needed energy. Yet, as we go about our every day lives, there seems to be no way to slow down. If anything, we're told to speed up.
Here's a solid case for why that walk into that forest is so needed and how to recalibrate your energy once again.
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Note: (This is an unedited transcript)
Let's say you're driving down the highway and you see this person that's just zooming past you.
You're keeping to the speed limit, But this person is probably 10 or 20 kilometers faster. And you think to yourself, if you both headed on the same road to the same destination, and what if it were a really long journey, say 100 kilometers? That's long enough? How much quicker? How much earlier would that person reach?
The answer is incredibly surprising.
That person who's going at least 10 kilometers faster than you, is only going to reach 2 to 4 minutes before you. But something else is going to happen. Driving slower highways, that reduces the amount of fuel you're going to use.
When you have higher speeds, the engine needs to work even harder to overcome drag. And this is mainly from wind resistance. The faster the vehicle goes the more the drag increases, and you end up using more fuel.
Now here comes the second surprising bit, and that is how much less fuel you use. The answer is if you're traveling at 90 kilometers an hour instead of 110, you're going to use 23% less fuel. You're only going to get there a few minutes late, and you're going to use up so much less energy.
And that is what today's podcast is about. It is about this factor of walking in the forest. We know how this feels. We know that we are almost constantly drained or at least some of the time we're drained and we feel this need for reinvigoration. We feel somehow we have to take a walk in the forest.
So what is this walk in the forest all about?
When I got to New Zealand, I used to attend a networking group and it was still called BNI, which is business network international. I didn't know anybody in New Zealand. I would go there on a Friday morning and then we'd have breakfast and then we'd do the networking bit.
But when I came back, my wife Renuka would always say, “Oh, you're so energized.” And that's because I'm an extrovert. And I like meeting people.
I could meet people all day in all evening. And then right through the night, and I would still be buzzing by the time I'm off to bed. And then something happened, which changed all of those energy levels.
Our business started to slightly move online. And I couldn't do anything with the referrals that I was getting at that networking meeting, I couldn't even give referrals. So I was kind of stuck because the whole system is based on giving and getting referrals.
I had to say it how I had to cancel my membership. And my energy levels started to drop. Because I was not able to meet anybody. Yes, I was on forums online. Yes, there were chat groups and all these kinds of things, but it wasn't the same.
In fact, some days I'd be so drained that I had to go to the mall and just walk through the aisles, looking at people, just strangers, never speaking to them. But even that would energize me. That was my walk in the forest.
And yet, if you're an introvert, what I've just suggested would send Shiva's down news point, because the mere presence of people let alone them talking to you and trying to make small talk or big talk, both of which are horrible, both of them would drive you crazy, but just people would reduce the level of energy.
Your walk in the forest would be different.
I once went to a presentation and there were about 15 of us in the room who were attending this seminar. And there was this guy and he was all over the place. He was like, “Muse a key, move around, he looked like I felt, which is like an extra of it.”
And at the end of the day, I was kind of taken up by how he did all this stuff and I said, “Look, let me buy you dinner.” And he said, “You know what? If you don't mind, I'm just going to sit in my car and drive to my next destination. I just need to recharge.
And so his walk in the forest was completely different. And the reason I bring this up is because I was watching a video on YouTube about a photographer and he's a doctor and he has young kids. So he don't have a lot of time to get that energy back, to reinvigorate himself.
And what he does is, some nights he leaves the house, he takes his camera, and he takes these amazing pictures. And that's his walk in the forest. All of us know that we need this walk in the forest.
It's the time when we feel completely happy, happy with all of the things we are energized, other by ourselves or because of people, or because we're just in a place. Before the lockdown and COVID and all of that stuff, I used to go to different cafes, one cafe, for planning another cafe to just read and a third cafe just to have coffee. But all of that changed.
And my energy started to go down quite considerably. And it's only now, after all of these years, that I've been able to find the cafe where I can go at about 9/30 in the morning and sit there quietly and read and have some very small conversations with the Barista.
And suddenly my walk in the forest has made me into a sort of introvert where I don't want to be disturbed. And I just want to be alone with my thoughts and with my books and with my planning or whatever I'm doing.
And on the other hand, I do this very extroverted activity where I take photographs of people at work at fire stations, at fisheries in bakeries and dozens of places. And that's a completely different walk in the forest.
You know that you feel depleted at the end of the day.
And often many of us don't have the time. But we have the time to carve out a little walk in the forest. Maybe you drive and when you get back, maybe just sitting in the car for 10 minutes, not going anywhere, is your walk in the forest.
Maybe just going out to the garden in the lunch break, maybe that's your walk in the forest. Or maybe meeting 12 dozen people all at once is your walk in the forest. we live mostly in urban life and the way we used to unwind the way we used to get that energy that doesn't happen very often.
But we all know what energizes and re-energizes us and it's definitely not in the Graham and Facebook or even sitting in front of Netflix. We know that and we know that speeding up doesn't change anything except bring more drag into our lives and literally like it drags but also life's a drag.
All we really need is some space to know ourselves when we're introverts, when we're extroverts and to find those spaces where we can take a walk in the forest.
Instead of being that crazy person that races down the highway, you slow down, you're a little late, but you energy levels, they're so much higher. Life is just that little bit more interesting every single day. And that brings us to the end of this podcast.
What's the one thing that you can do?
I can't suggest what you do, but if you could just write a list of two or three things, then make you really happy. Well, now you have your list. And even if you don't do it every day, but you do once a week or twice a week, you will be re-energized.
You can also listen or read: How To Increase Energy (Even In The Midst of Chaos)