Tina Lewis Rowe

Insights, Information & Inspiration

Is Your Spirit Simmering?

Are you cold, lukewarm, simmering or boiling?Each of us conveys our personal enthusiasm, energy, and strength, through the things we say and do and our overall approach to life and work. People around us react and respond to us based on our actions–not our intentions.

There is nothing attractive, admirable, inspiring or compelling, about someone who is only existing without showing any spirit. On the other hand, we are sometimes overwhelmed and put-off by someone who is over-the-top in their enthusiasm. As always, we need to aim for the maximum that is effective–not less and not more:

Keep your spirit on simmer most of the time and boiling when it needs to be. You will present yourself to others in a way that is most likely to inspire confidence and admiration. You will also be able to sustain your energy and enthusiasm in a positive way.

Consider some of those you associate with as though each is a pot of water. (OK now, be nice!) Think about what you are seeing most of the time, regarding their interest in the people and events around them and their courage in the face of personal and professional challenges. Think about how you would describe the spirit of each one, then consider:

  • Are they cold? Do they just sit there and exist, with little energy for others? Do they seem more focused inwardly than outwardly? Do they appear to not be involved mentally or emotionally in most things? Are their conversations mostly about themselves? Do they add very little warmth to any situation and have to rely on others to get things cooking ?
  • Are they lukewarm? Do they make slight efforts to be and do more, but not enough to really have an impact? Do they only show the level of energy necessary to get by and satisfy supervisors or others, but not enough to really contribute on their own? Do they seem to only care about others when it is convenient for them? Do they require a supervisor to turn up the heat  when work requires unusual energy?
  • Are they simmering? Do they stay energized and enthused so they are always ready to boil when high levels of energy are necessary? Do they show they are involved, interested, and actively part of the people and events around them? Do they seem ready to go if their efforts are needed? Is their energy controlled effectively, so it is useful not stressful?
  • Are they boiling? When matters are important, are they energized and enthused with a spirit of willingness to work? Do they use their high levels of energy in a way that provides positive leadership for others? Instead of being boiling mad, are they boiling glad?  (Does that sound like Jesse Jackson, or what?)
  • Are they boiling over? Is their energy and enthusiasm often out of control, so they create more problems than they solve? Are they so excessive that others do not hear their messages, even if they are worthwhile? Do they need to put a lid on it, and calm down a bit so they are more useful to everyone?

What about you? Think about the behaviors that led you to evaluate others as you did, and consider how you might be described. If you want to show that you have turned up the temperature on your spirit, consider these indicators of simmering-and-prepared-to-boil:

  • Have an energized posture, stance, and stride. Look as though you have life in your life!
  • Sound power-full and happy. Do not groan every time you get out of a chair, moan about work or home, or creak in protest over many things every day. All of those are dispiriting to those around you and to yourself. You do not have to be grinning all the time, just try to avoid excessive complaining. (If you are ill or in genuine pain and you cannot make it better, you are excused from this requirement! But only then!)
  • Work with power and energy. Give everything your best, all the time.
  • When you talk to others or do work, purposely demonstrate interest and enthusiasm. Do not flop into chairs, lean on every surface, slump through the day and/or have a droopy face that looks exhausted, miserable, bitter, sulky or unwelcoming.
  • Avoid frustrating and irritating those around you by going to the other extreme with your bombastic style or your unfocused passion for life or work. Often the person who is bouncing off the walls with his or her specific passion appears to be motivated by ego. If you find you are being resented and resisted, ask someone you trust to tell you if your high energy manner is hurting you, rather than reflecting your spirit positively.

Keep your mind and spirit simmering all the time–and ready for a controlled boil when the heat is on!

June 20th, 2008 Posted by | Life and Work, Personal and Professional Development | 7 comments