Are You an Energy Sucker or An Energy Giver

Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones fame, claims that there are only two types of people in the world, energy suckers and energy givers, I tend to agree, however, there are no single sided people on this planet (law of balance) so everyone, including you, are an energy sucker and an energy giver, and you can’t do more of one without the other.

For example: when you attend a yoga class, or get coached, if you are the energy giver you are the teacher. If you are in business, and a leader, you are an energy giver (unless you are a badly stressed leader) and if you are working for a business, you are in some ways, an energy sucker.

The first thing that fails about this model is that it assumes one shoe fits all. People are unique and their values will determine where they give and where they suck energy. Motivational speakers the world over, such as Anthony Robbins, will imply that “you can do it” 24/7 …. it’s a lie. I know many of these people personally, they don’t do it 24/7, they just sell it on stage like that to make it simple.

The second thing that fails about this two dimensional model is the aggregation of life into one single amorphous lump called a grid. It doesn’t differentiate between work, home, sport, me time, social connection, spiritual, mental, financial or relationship. This is a huge flaw in the generic do it yourself “become a guru” self help industry. The relationship teacher might suggest that what you do at home is life and the business teacher might suggest one type of behaviour can cause sweeping benefits if you also take it home (or forget to tell you not to. Actually there are seven areas of life in which behaviours are often radically different for success in each, including energy sucking and energy giving. For example a learning mind is an energy sucking mind, and a teaching mind is an energy giving mind. Keith Richards might have been surrounded by a lot of people who wanted to learn from his success… hence the negative on sucking, but he learnt, he learnt from drug rehab, from therapists during which time, he sucked as deeply as the best.

Here’s a graphic of a third dimension in human development. The seven areas of life – then ask “where is energy sucking good and where is it bad?

A further anomaly in the human development scale is the use of two dimensional modelling of the four key ingredients of wellness. This is one of the more abusive teachings by amateur groups on the science of being successful. It’s the grid used by such giants as @Deloitte and others. This grid is almost ridiculous.

This self leadership teaching tool creates a four point grid that defies everything we know about human nature. It implies a four level balance project in which physical, mental, emotional and spiritual come together in some sort of hand shake and create wellness. It couldn’t be further from the truth.

Just to share a few dangers. Firstly, the implication is that physical is the body, when really, it is the physical world of all seven areas of life. Physical implies some security in the bank in finances, physical implies some relationship in the bank at home, some friendship in the bank and spirituality in the bank as well as the conspicuously obvious low hanging fruit of body wellness in the bank.

The reason we move to create the physical in 3D (all seven areas of life in the bank) is because we do not want to operate in fight flight or on adrenaline during the day, but also, we do not want to operate in fight flight or adrenaline at home either. But all too often we calm people down at work and send them home frustrated and angry. It’s my observation that the more “harmony” and collusion that cultures demand at work, the more prone to emotional and physical abuses a person becomes at home. It’s all just bad teaching by the two dimensional Cornflakes teachers of human development.

A real representation of the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual dimensions of life demonstrates that those at the lower reaches of any society march to a different drum than those further up, and further up, does not mean wealth, yoga, meditation or fancy car. Consciousness, as it’s sadly called, is simply the amount of order you can see in what others think is the chaos of life.

  1. Values are physical.

Most human development is natural. You’ll find the leader at the top of an organisation will be operating from at least the mental/ spiritual realms of life in all areas of their life. The challenges are these:

  • Emotional Intelligence is an oxymoron. All human beings have emotions but those at the top, don’t act on them.
  • All human beings rise to their own level of incompetence and if they react to it, they’ll fall to the physical to cope, this is like a rock climber slipping on a rock hold 2,000 meters above the ground and, instead of falling to their nearest anchor peg, fall to ground zero.
  • People need to be coached up or out. Those in corporate who have fallen on tough times in any of the seven areas of life, need to be coached back up to the emotional and past that to the mental. Physical and emotional drama cannot be compartmentalised and if there’s a physical drama (lowest level of trauma) at home, it’ll come to work and infect the culture. Emotion is still an extremely low level of human operation but it is the welcome domain of those who are literally on the bus for a free ride. It may be their objective to feel good, but it is a very weak and vulnerable definition of feeling good, and it has no sustainable resilience.
  • Beware of the lowest common denominator in business. When a group gather to collude on learning, growth, development or even leadership matters, there is a tendency in human nature to drop to inclusiveness to include the slowest, the lowest, the least conscious individual in the result. Sometimes, to move forward, you need to consider letting people go rather than re training or motivating them. Remembering, that change is not just about work behaviour, it is about domestic circumstances, personal environment and self talk. Sometimes, as I’ve come to appreciate when I work with celebrity clients, what looks easy to change isn’t. That’s one reason why the Cornflakes Self Help Teachers who’ve copied and pasted material from their own stumbling journey, use two dimensional models to teach. It just makes the 3D complexity of being a real human, ridiculously oversimplified.


In less than an hour a day an individual can rise to mental/spiritual awareness for the entire day. They can turn up at home with more energy than they came to work with and they can find personal success in all seven areas of life unlike the corporate training models currently sold as values and wellbeing rhetoric. This is human nature. Nothing I teach is new. People are different in nature: more inspired, more grateful, more enthusiastic and more visionary. It’s this, holistic human development that I feel is needed more than ever as we strive to eliminate the teaching tools of 2D graphics of human nature and re-introduce an understanding that people are whole, they work, have families, need health, want a great future, do not want to be living on a knife edge of physical or emotional drama and desire most of all, to love, to love life, to love work and to love someone. But instead of being an energy sucker in love, we want to be a giver of love and to do that, we need to love life and bring it home, rather than, to stress with life and come home wanting to be loved.

The back on track program is a personal coaching program that is aimed to teach self leadership at an evolving, nature based, holistic and totally human level. It’s purpose is to balance life by finding success in all areas of life rather that sucking energy in the wrong places. It’s done online and in coaching sessions and will take an individual to the highest levels of human performance and teach them how to stay there.

This program can also be done in a 2 day corporate retreat.

Contact me for more information or make your comments below.



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