I firmly believe there are only two possible actions you can take in life. You can develop and add more energy to the world, or you can use up and subtract energy from the world. This isn't about spirituality or magic either. This is literal.
Chemistry defines energy as the capacity to perform work. This is the same definition I am using above. You can develop yours and others capacity to perform work in the world, you can destroy and subtract from that same capacity. Every choice you make results in one or the other.
Understanding this provides greater meaning and clarity in everyday living and choices. Below we will discuss some specific options.
I tend to think of energy in three main domains: mind, body, and soul. However, there are undoubtedly as any domains as you choose to focus on. You could also choose to focus on your finances, emotions, social relationships, local and global environment, or even specific domains like cooking, writing, or running. However, the three big ones of mind, body and soul have served me well and seem to capture the majority of my life in a holistic way.
Mind. When I think about ways to increase my mental energy, I mainly think about learning. This can include learning a new subject like string theory or something else crazy, or simply learning new skills in old subjects like writing and reading. There is always information and knowledge you can find in a good book or teacher that you don't currently know. Find them, read them, talk to them, and watch your mental capacity to do work increase.
Body. This includes physical strength, conditioning, mobility, and nutrition. I can exercise in the gym, at the park, in the ocean, or even at home. It doesn't really matter where, but the important thing is to make your body better. The same goes with food choices. Choosing to eat healthy gives you more energy. Of course, deciding what is healthy can be difficult, but at the end of the day it comes down to listening to your body. If you feel like crap after you eat salmon, then don't eat salmon even if it is touted as a super food! Find what gives you more physical energy through trial and error. Not everyone is the same.
Soul. To me, this category includes social relationships, emotions, and my sense of mindfulness and being engaged with the present. I find that if I am increasing my energy in the other two domains of mind and body, my spiritual energy usually seems pretty high as well. However, they are not completely overlapping. I can become better learned and better conditioned both mentally and physically and still feel awful loneliness if I have no friends and family to share it with. Developing more energy is ultimately about sharing it with the world, especially those around you.
Like the idea of developing energy, I tend to break this up into the three categories listed above. Again, if those don't work for you, choose different ones. I know that James Altucher of The Altucher Confidential chooses to use four: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Whatever works for you is fine.
Mind. There are lots of ways to subtract energy from your mind. All learning is temporary. Eventually you forget how to do something or the facts you spent hours memorizing for the test at school. If you aren't developing your mind through learning and new experiences, then you are most likely going backwards. The other more obvious ways are connected to the "body" category, such as, drinking, drugs, and other harmful activities like high impact sports that result in multiple concussions. None of these categories are completely isolated from one another and the effect on your mind from the other two categories is huge!
Body. Everyone knows how to lose energy. This is no secret. Eat bad food, don't exercise, overwork yourself, sleep one hour every night and rely on lots of stimulants like coffee and nicotine. Do this for a day or two and you can probably recover fairly quickly. However, make this a habit and you will need a very long time to reverse the effects, Make smart decisions with your physical energy, it is literally the foundation for the rest of your life's energy sources.
Soul. I find this category to a little more subtle than the rest. Sometimes the same things that add energy to our spiritual lives in moderation are the same things that take away from our spiritual energy in abundance. Social relationships are a great example of this in my life. As noted above, I don't feel complete unless I have social interaction with close friends. On the other hand, many friends, even my closest ones, love to party, drink, gossip, and eat poorly. While the social bond gives me nourishment in many ways, especially when we are laughing and relaxing, the other habits can be really draining. I often find myself alternating between periods of social isolation that allow me to really build up my levels of physical and mental energy, but drain my spiritual energy from the lack of human connection and periods of high social interaction that tend to be a bit draining on my physical and mental energy, but extremely filling in many spiritual ways.
As you can hopefully see by now, adding energy to your life is a constant process. It is something you can take part in every moment of your life. When you start to view life through this lens, you can see each moment as an opportunity to actualize your own potential and become more capable of doing positive work in the world. This is extremely motivating and gives an exciting reason to get up every morning and start the day.
I hope this article has given you a little more energy as well. If it did, please stop for a moment and ask yourself, "What can I do to increase my energy right now?"