Things that bring me ENERGY

      I’ve been in kind of a rut. Mostly because I’m over thinking things. Being self-employed is a different ball game all together. It’s been a little over a month now that I made the transition. Things are going really well but there are new challenges that I did not anticipate. The most challenging thing to me is learning how to allocate my time. You see, when I worked at Flow my schedule was created for me. The shoots or meetings we had were put on our schedule. Now, I decide what to do with my day.

     I have no obligations besides the ones I create. Which sounds great yeah, but the thing is, if I don’t work, I don’t work. I have to put myself in a state that prioritizes creative output. Instead of doing things all day long (shoot, edit, repeat), this kind of work calls for an active participation in the decision making process. I recognize that this is a good skill to cultivate and sharpen at this age. Even so, it’s still uncomfortable. It’s easy to say I’m not good at it and focus on something else, but the most influential people I follow say in interview after interview: how you manage your day is the ultimate driving force of your success. Sometimes it’s overwhelming because you start making these lists and you realize how much you need to do in order to get where you want to go. To counter that I’m integrating a new habit I picked up from listening to a podcast called THE MFCEO PROJECT (Thanks Curtis). He does this thing called “5-tasks to win the day” in which he picks the 5 most important tasks from his list. The tasks, that if accomplished, render the measly tasks easily slayed. So far it’s helping a lot. 

     Yesterday I was feeling the stress of everything, and I was going back in forth in conversation with Mary about all the things all best friends talk about. The best part about the friendships I have now is that they are all growth-oriented. They don’t just listen to me bitch-and-moan. They listen, and then tell me to do something about it. Because life doesn’t happen TO US. It happens THROUGH US. 

    So Mary challenged me to make a list of things that give me energy. I think the point was to stop focusing on the things I don’t like, don’t want, don’t appreciate, and shift my focus to the things I do like, do want, and do appreciate. 

1) People

I’m a people person through and through. I don’t know why really, but being around people just makes me hyper, curious, and excited about life. I definitely need my own space to recharge, but connecting with people is probably the thing that brings me the most joy in life. I’m really affectionate and I love to let people know I love them. Life is short. They should know. 

2) Conversations about vision

I loveeeeeeeeee when people talk to me about their aspirations. Don’t start telling me about something you want to do unless you are ready for me to continue the conversation with how we can make it happen. The thing about vision is that it’s contagious, and my personalty’s immune system is extremely suppressed, because I catch it QUICK.

3) Working with friends

There’s something about the element of comradery that brings out the best parts of me. When I do something for someone that I care about or have a relationship with, it’s rewarding and fulfilling in a way that I really cannot begin to get down in writing. It makes me feel like I’m doing what I was put here to do. Winning with friends is a great feeling, but so is losing because when you’re in it together you come back with a fierceness that is uncompromisable. 

4) Making music

This is the one thing I do entirely for myself. When I get to play an instrument and the only person I’m playing for is myself, it feels like I’m pouring into who I want to become. I don’t play with the intention of being heard, but rather for a cleansing feeling. I’ll do my best to explain it. It feels like I’m washing away or ridding myself of the things swirling around in my head. It takes all those frustrations and sadnesses and makes them real for just enough time to run out of my mind and disintegrate once it’s vibration has receded. 

4) Editing + Writing

I dunno, I just get lost in it. I told myself this would be a short post. Yet here I am. Still writing. If you’ve read this far…’re a real one. 

5) Podcasts

Podcasts literally give me life.They make me feel productive during mindless tasks. For example during chores like dishes and laundry I love me some Ted Radio Hour, Hidden Brain, Invisibla, or Freakonomics. During long car rides it’s all about The Tim Ferris Show. For morning tasks like making the bed, breakfast, or getting my backpack together, I’m getting my head in the game with The MFCEO or HBR Ideacast. There’s a flavor for any part of your day. AND YOU LEARN SO MUCH! 

6) Playing outside

I am the annoying one always trying to “Do-Something”. As I’m growing into myself I’m realizing how hyper-active I actually am. I’ve channeled that into productivity in work but sometimes I just have to move around. I like anything having to do with sports. I’m competitive. Not like I’ll go for the eyeballs competitive, but I love the challenge of it. I love sportsmanship. Recognizing that you’re all pushing yourself to play to your capacity to a shared set of rules. Sports and business have so much in common. 

So yeah, these are things that give me energy. After writing this I feel like I have a lot more clarity on where my energy needs to be flowing. With that being said, thank you Mary. I am so thankful for you and our friendship and everything you have taught me since we have met. You are seriously the friend that I’ve always wanted :’) 


Here are photos from this last week or so. Writing these posts has helped me bring things to perspective. Most of the time I feel like I'm not doing enough or that I'm behind, but looking at things collectively helps me take a breath and say to myself, "you're okay". 

sarah zubair