This is the third in a series exploring how the growth force principles found in nature—that perpetuate life and health—can be applied to our lives to increase healthy growth.
You can find the first two articles here: Interdependence and Multiplication
Energy transformation is the principle that calls us to recognize both positive and negative energy that is already flowing in a system, and utilize both for a productive outcome. In fact, sometimes the energy, which we might be tempted to label as ‘negative,’ can become a positive energy force if utilized well.
Just ask a surfer about utilizing existing energy. The force of the waves surfers use for their favorite sport can be very destructive. When resisted by retaining walls, the pounding surf can destroy all but the strongest barriers we erect. Yet surfers are able to utilize that same energy for propelling them through the water for hours of entertainment.
In another sport, boxing, opponents see force as something to be resisted and blocked. But in jujitsu, rather than blocking energy coming at you, you utilize that energy and turn it to an advantage. The martial arts economize energy by recognizing and valuing the energy, already at play, to accomplish a specific purpose.
We can use this same principle in our lives.
Perceived negative energy can come in the form of a disgruntled employee, a downturn in the economy, loss of a key client, or increased competition. At first glance we may be temped to resist these developments. We may tell the employee to shape up, batten down the hatches to ride out a bad economy, panic when we loose a client or redouble our efforts against increased competition.
Energy transformation encourages us to see each situation as a gift and take advantage of it. A disgruntled employee may actually have a great idea for better business or the person’s abilities and passion may not fit their job and making some adjustments to their role may increase productivity. A down-turn in the economy may give you an opportunity to reach into a new market. Increased competition or loss of a client may help you think outside the box about whom and how you need to serve.
A synonym is leveraging. How can we leverage both the positive and negative resources positively? This means not only finding the gift of seemingly negative aspects but also maximizing and taking full advantage of the positive aspects of our lives.
As you make decisions, here are some energy transformation questions you may want to ask yourself:
- What obstacles are you facing that could be turned into an advantage?
- How can you re-allocate resources to take advantage of an unexpected windfall?
- Which personal passions could be better released in employees (or yourself) with some adjustments in time allocation or focus?
- How can you use a victory or accomplishment in one area to stimulate growth in another area?
- Which of your employees or clients has the kind of enthusiasm that could be harnessed to influence others in a positive way?
- What perceived negative resources could be used for positive purposes by recasting, repurposing or re-envisioning how they are used?
As with the other growth force principles, energy transformation challenges us to look beyond the obvious and to respond to potential in our ministry for maximum results.
Royalty free image by Jeff Jones in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, USA. Retrieved from: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/901637