The 3rd Pillar of Personal Development for Change Agents: Powerplant

Uncategorized Jul 13, 2021

When it comes to your personal energy, metaphors matter! 

Do you treat yourself like a battery, or a powerplant? 


When you think of yourself like a battery, chances are you're just trying to make it through the day before you run your charge down to zero.  But as Brendon Burchard points out in his book High Performance Habits, when you think about yourself like a powerplant, you have a lot more options for engineering your energy output to sustain your joy and your impact throughout the day.  

This is a fundamental shift in thinking that has dramatic implications for how you approach this vital arena of your life: your personal energy level.  This is what we're going to explore with Pillar #3 in this series on the 7 Pillars of Personal Development for Change Agents.  The video and the worksheet are all about engineering your personal powerplant to maximize the energy you bring to your journey of joyful impact.  


Engineering Your Personal Power Plant: Four Key Control Levers

The video explores each of these four levers and shares ideas to try out as you adopt an engineer's mindset and experiment with what will work best for you.  Here are some highlights--check out the video for more details.

Powerplant Lever #1: Sleep

  1. Pick a set wakeup time 7 days/week, and if something has to give, vary your bed-time
  2. Think about your sleep target in terms of the number of 90-minute sleep cycles you get in a week
  3. Food and drink sunset (90+ minutes before bed)
  4. Digital sunset (60+ minutes before bed)
  5. Download your day: use meditation and journaling to achieve what Cal Newport calls “Shutdown complete”
  6. Cool, dark, quiet space for sleep
  7. Breathe right: whatever it takes, keep your mouth shut!
  8. You CAN make up sleep if you get less than you want in a given night: don't be afraid to try naps & what Brian Johnson calls "napitations" which blend short meditations with physical rest

 Powerplant Lever #2: Nutrition

  1. Eat real food, not processed “carbage”
  2. Drink water, not sugar
  3. Listen to your body and use data: get bloodwork done figure out if you have any deficiencies or other medical conditions that diet and supplements can address
  4. Bring mindfulness to what and how you eat—schedule time to sit down and slow down
  5. Have an eating sunset, and fast for 12-13 hours between your evening meal and your breakfast

Powerplant Lever #3: Movement

  1. Movement matters, not just intense exercise.  Humans are built to be in motion all through the day, so don’t be active AND sedentary
  2. Move your body every 20-30 minutes—YES this means getting up and jumping around during zoom calls and meetings
  3. Engineer movement into your day—set alarms to remind yourself to stand and move, walk whenever and wherever you can
  4. Bring mindfulness to your movement—pick activities that help you connect with yourself and others while you are in motion

Powerplant Lever #4: Mindfulness

  1. Morning Priming
  2. Breathwork
  3. Gratitude Practices
  4. Downloading Your Day and Planning Ahead
  5. Evening Meditation


Get Started on Engineering Your Powerplant

Download this session's worksheet for an opportunity to give yourself an amazing energy boost by identifying one positive practice to start and one negative practice to stop with each of these four fundamentals of your physiology: sleep, nutrition, movement and mindfulness.  And remember, don’t be afraid to start small—scale your resolutions to whatever level you know you can commit to, even on your worst days.  Even the tiniest positive step on one of these fundamentals pays huge compound interest in your energy over time!



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These are the same materials we use with the social entrepreneurs in our accelerator program and the funders we coach one on one.  The world has never been more in need of a new, greatest generation of change agents and that's why we're opening up free access to these materials to anyone who's ready to make use of them!