health

How To Have More Energy Than a Nuclear Reactor

"I'm pretty introverted and low-key, but once I get to know you, I start to come out of my shell"

This line always gets a laugh.

I use it in every interview, and often use it when meeting new people, it's a crowd pleaser.

Why?

Because I'm the highest energy person you will ever meet in your life (including 5 year olds, I wear them OUT)

I constantly hear from friends and colleagues: "How can you be so full of energy!?"

What would it mean to you to achieve a consistently high level of energy?  What could you accomplish?

Here are some concrete strategies I use to maintain an irrationally high level of energy in all that I do:

1) Get More Sleep Than You Need:  I often sleep 10+ hours on my days off.  On days I work I will sneak a half hour nap before dinner.  The sleep adds up, and while I burn the candle at both ends while working, when I take time off I frequently am awake less than 5 hours a day.  No one can run on all cylinders forever, take the time your body needs to recover and store energy, then give it some more.

2) Be Physically Active:  When Richard Branson, one of the world's most successful businessmen, was asked how he stayed so productive, his two word answer was "work out".  It's paradoxical, we don't want to believe that something that makes us tired can give us more energy, but in the long run, the vitality and buzz you get from being active and having a body ready to respond to your desires is worth every ounce of sweat.

3)  Give Your Body The Right Fuel:  My personal dietary choices are rather eclectic and I believe that everyone's body is unique and you need to find the nutritional path that works for you.  That being said, you wouldn't put diesel in a Prius, you wouldn't put jet fuel in a Harley Davidson, and you wouldn't put vegetable oil in a Aircraft Carrier.  Different vehicles require different fuel, so do some reading, talk to a doctor (preferably a healthy one) and figure out what works for your body, then give it the absolute best.  As a general guideline, whole foods treat the body well, when in doubt: drink more water, and avoid putting things you can't pronounce in your mouth.

4)  Interact With Young People:  Children and young people have insanely high energy levels, especially considering the fact they live on cheetos and almost never sleep.  Being around them every day keeps me on my toes and keeps my energy at a peak level as long as they're near.  Find a way to interact with kids, if you don't teach then volunteer at an afterschool program, coach a soccer team, babysit for a friend, or get busy making some little energy enhancers of your own.

5)  Find Your Passion:  This is an entire blog series and book of it's own, but when you find something to do all day that rewards you not just financially but emotionally as well, you'll find yourself anticipating the alarm clock rather than dreading it.  When I know i have a group of passionate musicians waiting to sing with me every morning, I wake up ready to go and with a skip in my step, even with 3 hours of sleep.  Finding work you are so passionate about that it feels like play is the true secret to having high energy in every part of your life.

6)  Love Everyone:  Try to find something to love and compliment about everyone you meet and interact with.  It starts an unstoppable reciprocal cycle and you will soon find that every interaction you have shifts from draining to empowering.  The smile on a friends face when they thank you for the letter you sent, or the satisfaction of seeing a coworker blush at your praising words to their supervisor, or the look on a kids face when they learn something new from you and you let them know how proud you are of them is the kind of energy that is long-lasting, sustaining and life-building.  Caffeine ain't got nothing on love.

Don't bite off more than you can chew, choose one suggestion and commit to it for 21 days (the scientifically proven sticking point for a new habit)

If you make it that far, it should be automatic, and you can come back and try the next tip, I guarantee if you aren't already doing them, any one of these will skyrocket your energy levels and you won't want to turn back.

Which tip are you going to try?  Do you have suggestions of your own?  Share them in the comments:

How To Eat For Your Voice

Many singers and speakers fail to realize what a great impact their food choices have on their voices.  Below find some helpful information and tips for keeping your voice at it's shiny best.

STAY HYDRATED.  No seriously, if you don't have to pee right now, you aren't drinking enough water, go drink a gallon and come back to read the rest later.

Disclaimer: Your body will react differently to most foods, these are general rules.  Your allergies, intolerances and body chemistry may vary.

Foods that affect your voice will generally fall into 2 categories:

Mucus-Inducing Foods: These include all dairy products, as well as most sugary processed foods and candies, as well as chocolate.  They will tend to produce a coating of mucus (or "slime") on your vocal folds, generally making it more difficult to sing/speak, though sometimes desirable if you are feeling particularly dry/raw/horse.

Drying Foods:  These include salt and foods that emphasize it (nuts, chips, etc.), citrus foods (oranges, lemons, limes) and spicy foods.  They have the pleasant effect of relieving the intense mucus of the previous category (also caused by allergies and food intolerances).  However if not properly hydrated (do you have to pee yet?) it's best to avoid these foods near performance time.

In general avoid eating within an hour of performance to avoid losing the ability to properly support your tone from your core.  If you aren't "peeing pale" then you aren't drinking enough water.  And try to get your 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day, it will leave you feeling refreshed and energetic and give you the stamina to approach the major roles.  Professional singers and speakers are athletes, and need to respect their bodies.

How have you noticed particular foods affecting your voice?  Tell me in the comments.