interviews & case studies

Why energy is everything with Simon Alexander Ong

Award-winning life coach Simon Alexander Ong introduces you to the art and science of energy management and creative ways to be more productive and focused.

Simon Alexander Ong is a personal development entrepreneur, coach and public speaker. His clients are from all walks of life but they share one trait; they all believe that the greatest investment you can make is in yourself.

His work has seen him invited onto Sky News, BBC Radio London and LBC Radio to be interviewed. While in 2018, Barclays UK featured him in a nationwide campaign asking him questions on how families could embrace better lifestyle habits. His insights have seen him featured in HuffPost, Forbes, Virgin and the Guardian.

He also regularly speaks at organisations and keynotes public events and conferences. Some of these have included the likes of Microsoft, Salesforce and Unilever. 

Simon is of Chinese origin and lives in the UK with his wife, Laurie, and daughter, Sienna. 

Understanding energy management 

Energy is a form of power that we need to live and to thrive. When feeling energised, you become the chief architect of your future and there’s nothing that you feel you can’t overcome.

If you lack energy however, you make poor decisions. You easily get frustrated over the smallest of things and operate significantly below our potential.

When it comes to productivity therefore, energy really is everything.

And energy management is all about your ability to master this most precious of resources we have within the areas of your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. Energy is a powerful force. The better you are at managing it, the greater the impact on the way you live and work. 

Many focus exclusively on managing their physical energy. Getting sufficient sleep and rest, working out and eating a balanced diet. However, we forget that our mental, emotional and spiritual energy are also important to feeling energised.

When we do work that is meaningful and brings us joy for example, our spiritual energy is high. 

To manage your energies through the day, schedule in periods for rest and renewal in the same way that you do for your work meetings, social events and holiday itinerary. Unless scheduled and prioritised, there will always be something else to take its place. In fact, that will inevitably lead you towards feeling exhausted. 

Start using not-to-do lists

With a to-do list, you have a series of tasks that you aim to tick off. For many of us, the length of this can be never-ending. 

With a not-to-do list however, you write down a series of activities. No more than around eight to ten so that they are easy to recall that you commit to not doing. Very often, the fastest way to make progress is more about stopping the behaviours that are holding you back. 

Create a gratitude photo album

I love taking photos and for me a gratitude photo album is a fantastic visual way to capture all the things that I can be grateful for each day.

Examples could be the wonderful Thank You card received from a client. Or the stranger you became friends with while sitting next to each other on public transport. At the end of each month or when you’re feeling low on energy, you can then go through this album to remind yourself of all the good that there is in your life.

Despite life’s inevitable challenges, there is always something to be grateful for, however small. 

​​Something I unlearned in recent years

That busyness was essential to being successful. I have since learned that you can be very busy but be going nowhere in life. Slowing down in a world that is getting faster and faster is a superpower.

In fact, the gateway drug to wisdom is silence and stillness. 

It is time well spent because it opens the pathway to your personal evolution and growth, as well as deepening your level of self-awareness; and you can’t have self-development without self-awareness.

When was the last time that you intentionally disconnected from living each day on autopilot to just be and engage with your surroundings? 

I stopped saying Yes to things I really wanted to say No to, so that I could protect my energy for what mattered most. 

I stopped trying to please everyone. It’s impossible and you will simply become someone you were not meant to be – and instead, live a life true to myself.

I stopped comparing my life to others, which is an unhealthy practice and instead, focus my energy on simply being better than who I was yesterday.  

My power song

These are the three tracks that I would currently listen to for this: Run Boy Run by Woodkid, Life by Ludovico Einaudi and Jungle by X Ambassadors.

How we can become a CEO (Chief Energy Officer)

We become a better Chief Energy Officer when we work with our body rather than against it. After all, our body is always speaking to us; the question is whether we are listening to it. 

By deepening our awareness about our energetic state throughout the day, we are able to plan our periods of deep work and intentional rest more effectively, as well as understanding how best to recharge our bodies and minds. 

If I could be remembered for one thing…

The impact that I have had on the lives of others and how I made them feel in the interactions that we had together. 

This is because I am of the belief that our value is determined by how much more we have given to the world than we have taken from it. It is a belief that was born out of the shift I made from focusing my energy away from career virtues and towards legacy virtues.

The debut book from Simon Alexander Ong, Energize, is out now by Penguin and is available here.

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