“The higher your energy level, the more efficient your body. The more efficient your body, the better you feel and the more you will use your talent to produce outstanding results.”

~ Tony Robbins

A few weeks ago I interviewed my colleague Sarah McVanel about the power of recognition and the F.R.O.G. Factor. We had such a fun conversation that she returned the favour that same day, asking me about Success-Energy and some ways that you can get more of it.

Watch the interview below, or read the transcript that follows.

Sarah McVanel: Hey, everyone. So thrilled to introduce you to my wonderful speaking colleague, Michelle Cederberg. You probably have already been introduced to some of her great stuff because she has an amazing vlog that she offers every week, Weekly Work-Life Recharge. I share it all the time because, Michelle, it is so full of juicy stuff and I just get your vibe. When you’re sharing what you’re all about as a health and productivity expert, we need more of that. So thank you so much for what you’re doing.

Michelle Cederberg: Thank you for having me here for a chat, my friend Sarah.

Sarah: We’re talking about a cool concept that you’ve come up with, which is about success-energy. As soon as you said those words, I just got it. I just got chills, and we need more of it. Tell us all about success-energy.

Michelle: “What is success-energy?” Well, think about all the things that you need to do in order to be successful. You have to figure out your goals, have those habits and things that you need to be successful, but one of the things I think that’s missing is the energy that drives our success forward, which we often don’t nurture and we often don’t push aside. Physical, mental, emotional energy that you need to fire on all cylinders at a high level in life.

Sarah: Absolutely. What’s the first thing when you say, “How’s it going?” Busy.

Michelle: Busy.

Sarah: Is that not the most deflating word in the English language?

Michelle: I don’t know how you’re supposed to answer that, but it’s like, “Oh my gosh. I’m so busy.” That’s not so good. You want to say, “I am energetically busy and loving life.”

Sarah: It’s usually the shoulders get hunched and then you’re just, “I don’t know where to start.”

Michelle: Every day feels like Monday. But I want people to kind of tap into what they want to be doing, what they love doing, and then have the habits and energy that are gonna get them there.

Sarah: Okay. Well, we gotta hear about some of these habits because we all need some of these habits in our life.

Michelle: Yeah. Well I mean, in terms of recognition, I wanna talk about that one because I think it’s a big one. I talk about people, personal health, purpose, play, and prosperity that you need to have a life and career that you want. And I think people are a huge source of our energy for success. And I know you agree with that.

Sarah: Tell it sister.

Michelle: And so, for me, if we have people around us that are sucking us dry, or if we are one of those energy vampires, it’s not gonna give us the energy to get through the day to do the things that we need to do in a positive and productive way.

Sarah: Yeah, and it’s not like one of these sexy vampire shows that we’ve got here. Real life is an energy vampire. We all know them. You’re probably thinking of one right now as you’re watching this video. You don’t actually … here’s the permission giving, right?

Michelle: Yeah.

Sarah: You don’t need to have them suck your energy.

Michelle: That’s right, and the interesting thing about energy vampires is … think about the opposite, how good it feels to spend time around people who lift you up, who are positive, who get your vibe, like my friend Sarah. I just think it’s so important for us to be able to surround ourselves with positive people because there’s an energy exchange that happens every single day between every person that we come in contact with. Negative, positive, neutral. And we all know sandpaper people, right? They just rub you the wrong way. You kind of come into their midst and you think, “Get me away from this person.” Well what if … and this is why I love so much about what you talk about Sarah, because it really is about recognizing the greatness in yourself, but also giving that to other people.

Because when you do, that success-energy comes up.

Sarah: And why does that happen? As you mentioned, I gotta talk about it all the time, but what is it, from your health and productivity expertise, why is it actually evidence-based that happens?

Michelle: Well it’s interesting because there’s been research shown that when we give kindness, when we get kindness, when we view kindness playing out around us, we actually get a release of endorphins that picks us up. Helps us to feel better. And all of the sudden we’re looking for more of that love drug, if you will. It makes me think that if that’s true, then is it true on the opposite side, if you’re giving negativity, if you’re getting negativity, it’s like, “I’m just hanging around in this cortisol stress hormone.” Right? That’s no fun.

Sarah: Yeah. And we know that in the prefrontal cortex, cortisol can’t live at the same time as the endorphins rush.

Michelle: Stress and creativity cannot co-exist. It’s one of those things that we have control over every single day and yet we choose to hang out in the negativity. We complain about the weather and we complain about the economy and we complain about how busy we are instead of saying, “Wow. Look at this great day.” It’s minus 31 in Calgary today, but it’s beautiful and sunny. I’m going with the beautiful and sunny. Right?

Sarah: Yeah.

Michelle: Or what are the things that you’ve done well today that you can recognize in yourself rather than, “Oh my gosh. I didn’t get half the things done on my list.” And that kind of thing.

Sarah: Well and it reminds me of this whole positive psychology science around grit that’s happening now. Right, around passion and perseverance can help you to achieve goals and some people are born grittier than others. And what can you share with people who find it a little bit harder to tap into their success energy than other people?

Michelle: You know, I think when you talk about grit and success-energy, I think one of the biggest things that we need to do is be super clear on goal identification. Like whose goal are you chasing? Your own or somebody else’s. Is the goal that you’re going after meaningful and resonant and thrilling to you? Are you tapped into things that give you purpose every single day?

Because if you don’t have those things as you’re trying to aspire for higher levels, it’s gonna be a lot harder to have grit. Because you need endurance in order to get the goal done. And I think the biggest thing that people who are successful at their goals have is that they don’t give up.

You know, most of the people who don’t achieve their goals, they give up to soon. And most of the time why we give up is ’cause we’re not connected to a meaningful resonant, thrilling goal that’s purposeful to us. I just get excited thinking about it. If you don’t love what you’re doing, you’re not gonna wanna do it.

Sarah: Yeah. Well … and I got goosebumps when you were saying that ‘whose goal is it’. Because it brought me right back to when I had to make a really tough choice for the health of my family about do I stay in this corporate job that is doing all the things that I thought I was supposed to do with my life. And I was successful. And then to leave all of that and to shift into a new reality – it was that very question. And I don’t think I’ve ever put it in my head that way. Whose goal are you chasing?

Michelle: Well and here’s the thing about success-energy and striving after goals like that. If your energy is being drained and you’re not happy in your life or your kids are struggling, can you really call it success? You know, if you put fitness to the side, if you are working long hours and not seeing your family, can you really call it success?

And that’s … I think we really have to think of big picture success – people, personal health, purpose, play, prosperity – all of them. We need to have a little bit of each of those areas working in our favor if we really wanna call it success. That’s my personal opinion. Because there are some people that find success at high levels. Work, work, work, work. Nose to the grindstone. If there’s no balance and loving your life, why are we working so darn hard? That’s where I’m at.

Sarah: And I totally relate to that. Full confessional. I’ve been really working hard building my business and it’s from a passion place. I just love what I do. And this weekend I went snowshoeing for the first time in a long time, I had a whole game afternoon with my daughter, and then we caught my son’s hockey game. I usually I feel like I need to pick and choose because I’m trying to fit in some work things into my weekend that I don’t get a chance to do during the week.

And I’m showing up Monday morning with a totally different energy that I normally do. And that’s really what success-energy is all about, right?

Michelle: Well you’re bringing up a good point there with restoration and recovery and giving yourself that downtime … so you can refill your vessel … so you can have energy to step up in a bigger way. Recovery and downtime are massive, massive boosters of productivity and yet we will work, work, work, work, work; we’re building a business, “I gotta get it done”. And think that’s the societal view of success. Rest is counter-intuitive.

Sarah: Right, right. And we can even get so caught up in something that we’re excited about that we don’t even notice that we’re sort of getting … we’re have an imbalanced success-energy over here, but it’s at the sake of something else.

Michelle: Oh man.

Sarah: For those of you who aren’t following Michelle and her blog, I would follow her YouTube channel because if this is really resonating for you, this is probably the most important thing that I have taken from watching Michelle’s videos every week, is that reconnection to relaxation… ’cause you really practice what you preach.

Michelle: I try.

Sarah: You … well I mean, hey, nobody’s perfect and perfect’s the enemy of progress. You consistently-

Michelle: I do value downtime, I do value work life balance, I do value time with my husband and my dog, and I also – like Sarah – love what I do. But I’m okay to put it aside for a weekend for restoration and balance and recovery.

Sarah: Yeah. I love it. Thank you so much. This has been incredibly helpful. Any other final words? How can people reach you? What else can we share?

Michelle: They can find me at worklifeenergy.com and the last thing I wanna say for your viewers is be kind and gentle to yourselves and the path to success-energy, it really is about knowing what brings you joy, about what floats your boat, what gets you going. So really think about the direction you want. Goals are important ’cause it helps you to know what you’re saying yes and no to.

And it helps you know where to put your best success-energy.

Sarah: So powerful. So many people who follow me on a regular basis are caregivers, healthcare … or human resources folks, leaders like every one of those groups really needs to hear. Of course everyone on my list needs to hear this, but certainly there are some key groups who are giving so much of themselves to other people. They really need to hear that message. So thank you so much.

Michelle: Thank you Sarah. Have a great week.

Sarah: Thank you. You too. With all of our success-energy, we’re gonna crush it.

Thanks to Sarah McVanel for taking the time to chat with me (and share the interview). If you have any questions about anything we talked about, reach out to me here.

Until next time I’m Michelle Cederberg, helping you boost your success-energy, one recharge at a time.

Michelle Cederberg, MKin, BA Psyc

Certified Speaking Professional (CSP)
Certified Exercise Physiologist (CEP)
Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC)
ORSC Trained Team Coach

Live Energetically ~ Do Work You Love ~ Get the Most Out of Life


Twitter: @4worklifeenergy
Facebook: www.facebook.com/WorkLifeEnergyNow
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/michelle-cederberg-21013b3/