Give Yourself a Gift of Energy by Ryan Daugherty

It’s 2:36pm and I am mindlessly clicking through webpages, hoping one of them will deliver the incentive I need to finish this spreadsheet.


15 minutes pass. I rub my eyes and look over towards the coffee pot. Is that where the inspiration is?

It’s a real life “Office Space” moment. I am Peter from Initech. I can hear his words in my head.

“I generally come in at least fifteen minutes late… and…I just sorta space out for about an hour…. I just stare at my desk; but it looks like I’m working. I do that for probably another hour after lunch, too. I’d say in a given week I probably only do about fifteen minutes of real, actual, work.”

Now, for the sake of full disclosure (and the fact that my manager may read this), I am much more productive than 15 minutes a week. I have a sneaking suspicion you are too. But I also suspect that you, like me, have plenty of Peter’s space out moments. And today, at 2:36pm, is one of them.

The first thing to know is that we are not alone. In fact, it’s a global workplace crisis. According to Gallup’s new 142-country study on the State of the Global Workplace, only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged at work, and it’s costing the US economy alone $450-$550 billion per year!

The report also tells us that an overwhelming 63% of employees are “not engaged,” evidenced by their overall lack motivation and a lack of initiative for organizational goals and outcomes. 24% are “actively disengaged”. These people are just plain unhappy and unproductive at work. In other words, the Peter Gibbons’.

That is about 900 million not engaged and 340 million actively disengaged workers around the globe.

These are staggeringly sad statistics that speak to just how few people are able to use the best of what they have to offer at their workplace. The solution is not more coffee. It’s not a shot of 5-hour Energy. It’s not a power nap. The solution is already inside of you. You just have to know how to access it.

Here are a few questions I like to ask people:

  • When was the last time you experienced timelessness?
  • When were you doing something for hours but it just seemed like minutes?
  • When were you engaged, fully engaged, to the point that the rest of the world seemed to fade away, and all that was left was that thing?

These are the things that are never work to concentrate on. In fact, you may feel a shot of adrenaline with just the mention of it. These things are clues to your secret sources of energy.

My friend Jonathan naturally consumes seemingly disparate data and analyzes it into actionable intelligence. So it’s no wonder that he works as a Data Scientist writing code to perform the analysis he sees needs to happen.  But his talent doesn’t just lie in the job. He loves information. Any kind of information. All you have to do is ask him what his assessment is about something, and you’ll seem him light up. “What was your opinion of Anchorman 2?” It’s as if someone threw Superman’s cape on him and yelled, “The building is on fire!”

We are all beautifully different. We all get a charge from different things. The question is, what’s yours? What puts the Superman cape on your back?

Try the Checklist out for yourself.

2014 needs you fully engaged and fully alive.

This holiday season, the best gift you get may be the one you give yourself.


Ryan is a StrengthsFinder trained Coach, specializing in the development and leadership of high performing teams. He currently directs the solution development of strategic technology initiatives for CompuCom Systems.

Passionate about helping others discover their Strengths to do what they do best, he leads volunteer teams and the Strengths-based yelō experience for his Los Angeles faith community MOSAIC.

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