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Nick Ang

Energetic Vs. Hurried

The main thing that occupied my mind today is the difference between hurrying and being energetic.

I realised that even though I’ve been particularly motivated lately (since we got back from a month of travelling in the US), I’m probably not operating at full capacity. Deep down, I know I can perform at an even higher RPM (that is, rigour per minute), and not only get more things done but also give people around me an energy boost.

This idea came to me serendipitously as I was watching one of Casey Neistat’s many vlogs recently. (He’s a filmmaker who’s been making films for a while but only recently shot to fame for a cool idea to use Twentieth Century Fox’s movie promo budget for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty on helping people in the Philippines after it was struck by a typhoon.) Casey embodies an energy, though it’s not of the explosive variety. Rather, its’ something more consistent and nuanced. It emanates from him.

Somehow this reminds of something I’d recently read in Malcolm Gladwell’s book, What The Dog Saw, about ketchup. I think it was chapter 3 or 4 where he explored the (continued) reign of Heinz tomato ketchup. At some point there was a lengthy discussion on food tasters and what constitutes a ‘high amplitutde’ food (food that has a holistically blended texture, flavour and aroma that tastes like one thing rather than its constituent ingredients). Casey (the filmmaker) is like a high-amplitude person.

Anyone with a high resting energy is the high-amplitude human equivalent of foods like Heinz ketchup. They resolve to being consistently performing at their best, as a whole.

Ok, maybe the parallels here aren’t as strong as I make it out to be. You’re smart, decide for yourself!

Anyway, let’s get back to the original topic - being energetic vs being hurried.

Being someone who believes in the power of meditation to stabilise our mind and body (in a secular way), I intuitively judge people who are energetic and move faster (or speak louder) than the average person to be unstable. (Not mentally, spiritually.) I’d jump to the conclusion that the person needs to work on his/her inner strength, to stay composed in every situation. To take time to think, decide and then act.

A good friend of mine has these qualities as his natural disposition. I’ve been admiring him for his composure for years now, since I began regularly meditating. I mean, he usually takes up to 5 seconds before giving an answer to something I ask! That’s something.

But I think I might be mistaken. I now think that you can be at peace inside (spiritually stable) while being a human Heinz being.

I tested it out today, and I think I managed to combine the two quite comfortably.

Being aware of time and what’s happening around me (my wife preparing for her make-up gig later in the day, Brownie patrolling the corridor for scrap food, the kitchen lights staying on when it should be off…), I turned up my energy.

From within me, I mustered something to become energetic. Then I sprang to work, vacuuming and mopping the floor and changing the bedsheets at close to double my usual pace, maintaining a level-headedness the entire time. I remained aware of things around me. I continued to be more-or-less present.

It was an interesting experience to say the least. What’s even more interesting is my new take on moving/talking fast. A person can do things fast and look hurried to an observer, but that person can also be composed and be in the present. For now, it remains hard for me to distinguish someone who’s hurried and unstable from one who’s energetic and composed. I expect it to get easier with practice.

I’ll be practising observing people to see the difference for sure, and I’ll do it in Heinz state. Everything from now in Heinz state!

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