Back when we were kids, someone told us it costs a dime each time you flip a light switch. Of course, me being me, I ran up to the front of the classroom and flipped the light switch as fast and as many times as I could before the teacher could run up and stop me.
Back then, I had no idea what electricity was or where it came from. I knew what a light switch does. I knew there was this thing called electricity. I knew the story about Benjamin Franklin and a kite with a key (or something like that) but I didn’t know much else.
Back then, I thought the light switch was a power source. But a light switch is not the source; it’s just a connection that completes the path so the source can flow. I did not know there were two wires that came up from a fuse box. I didn’t know electricity needed a pathway. I didn’t know any of this because I was just a kid.
I remember when I started working in the summers at The Old Man’s shop. This is when I started to learn about wiring and electricity. I learned there were a neutral and a hot; at least, this is what it was called to me.
In order for electricity to flow, the circuit needs to close, which means the flow of energy is allowed to move through. All a light switch does is one of two things; it either opens or closes the circuit. When the circuit is closed, the light goes on. When the switch is turned off, the circuit opens and the power is interrupted.
If I were to touch one wire of a live circuit, nothing happens and I would not be shocked. However, touch both lines and BAM! I get shocked like I did that time when I learned how to wire a circulating pump with someone named Marco.
Electricity does not have an opinion or concern for direction. It just needs a pathway. In the application of the circulating pump, I accidentally completed the circuit when the wires hit my cheek and went flying off the ladder. Marco laughed, by the way. I did too, although, not at first.
I see us the same way as I see an electrical circuit. We need a source, which we have. This is our heart. This is our drive. This is our source of energy, which is always constant. We need a force to move us. We need to complete our cycle, just like electricity.
We need a pathway. And like a switch, sometimes, life happens to interrupt our circuit, which stops us from flowing freely and completing our cycle.
I recently sat in a required safety course to maintain a standard in my workplace. We discussed falls. Falls are big.
We discussed being trapped in between or being struck by objects, jobsite safety, and safe practices.
We also discussed electricity.
In all honesty, I can’t say this was the most interesting class.
(It wasn’t . . .)
But as I sat in class, I began to think and daydream. I started to think about the reasons why we behave or react.
I began to think of motivation and inspiration and the difference between the two.
Motivation is the incentive to achieve a goal. Inspiration is the internal desire, the emotion, the drive or the gumption—it’s as simple as this; motivation and inspiration is neither positive nor negative. They are just the source looking for a pathway. They are the neutral. Same as an electrical circuit has a neutral and a hot; the two need to be completed in order to allow for a flow of electricity.
The switch in this case that completes the circuit is decision. Our mind is a series of wires and pathways that allow for the flow of energy; our decisions, however, are the junctions which decide the direction of flow.
open this switch and close another and the electricity flows in a new direction
It is not enough to have motivation or feel inspired to create change. The circuit needs to be completed; otherwise, the energy cannot flow. This is when decision comes in. We need drive. We need the hot.
We need to decide. We need to move. We need to allow the flow of energy; otherwise, we stop.
back to the time I heard it costs a dime each time you flip a light switch; I
remember the lesson came when our teacher was trying to teach us how to conserve
I remember being a kid and The Old Man and Mom teaching me to shut the lights when leaving the room.
“You’re wasting electricity!” they said.
I think of my mind and I think of the wiring and the flow of electricity. I think about the rooms where I store my memories and my overly emotional thinking.
I think about the thoughts that act as a disservice and how this wastes my energy. I think of the rooms I have left with the lights on and go back to The Old Man’s yelling, “You’re wasting electricity.”
Energy is neither positive nor negative. It just needs a source and a pathway. Shut the switch and power stops.
Okay, now take this to an imaginary place in our mind. Think of a mansion with countess rooms. Think about the lights which we leave on in rooms we never go in anymore. Call these rooms the past. Call them resentments. Call them fears. Call the rooms shame or guilt.
Now imagine how much energy we would save if we could shut them down. No more thoughts we wish we didn’t have. No more fear. No more worry and click, just like that, the lights are turned off
This is my motivation . . .
the incentive to achieve
This is my inspiration . . .
to use energy freely instead of being consumed by the energy I waste