Gasoline vs. Logs – How to build and maintain high energy levels

I have VERY high energy levels. I’ve always been a jittery, talkative, bouncy and positive person bursting with energy and enthusiasm.

Much of this is natural – I’ve always been this way and it’s the disposition I was born with. As a child I was diagnosed with ADHD – key letter in here being the H for Hyperactive.

BUT I also believe that much of it has intentionally been cultivated over time. I’ve learned how to harness this energy in the right directions and use it for my betterment instead of wasting my energy in the wrong places.

People always ask me, “how the hell do you have so much energy?” “How do you get so much done?” “How are you so positive and happy all the time?”

I like to look at it like building a fire – there are certain activities that will get the fire going quickly, and there are other activities that will keep it burning over time. 

I call this the gasoline vs. the logs. 

“Gasoline” are activities that will get the fire going quickly, but aren’t sustainable over time – coffee/caffeine, smoking, drugs, alcohol, etc. 

While these activities will make the fire burn brightly- they can’t keep the fire going on their own. Separated from the other essentials of the fire, they can’t be used to start the fire independently. 

Then on the other hand we have the “logs”. These are the foundation of the fire – the true fuel to start it, and keep it burning – Eating healthy, exercising, meditating, sleeping.

I believe that in order to properly build an internal fire, in order to have sustainably high energy levels and feel our best – we must build our fires with logs instead of gasoline.

The gasolines of life are exciting but temporary. While they might cause an initial flash, on their own they’re unsustainable.

The logs of life are boring, but they are essential to building the fire. They keep the fire going.

I look at this as immediate vs delayed gratification. Gasoline gives us the satisfaction of starting a fire quickly, but it will burn off just as quick. If you rely on it, you’ll get nowhere.

On the other hand, logs are delayed gratification. They are slow to get started and will take time and commitment, but if you stick to it, will slowly build a sustainable fire.

The key to high energy levels is focusing on the logs of life. Habits of delayed gratification that are boring and mundane, but deliver powerful results when used consistently. 

Gasoline IS useful, but only once the fire has been properly built. You CAN use gasoline to set that shit ablaze, but the more logs in place and the more stable the fire, the more effective the gasoline will be. 

For example, I love to smoke marijuana. If I smoke weed everyday though, it’s like trying to keep my fire going with gasoline. I rely on it for energy, it leaves me scatterbrained, and if I do it too much, starts to ripple out into anxiety.

However if I go 1-2 weeks without smoking, focus on a good routine and getting myself healthy, and THEN I smoke weed? 

BOOM! IT’S A FUCKING CREATIVE EXPLOSION!!!!

Same with alcohol. If I have a drink once in a while it’s 1000x better than if I drink Fri-Sun. On the weekends where I drink back to back days, the 2nd day isn’t even fun because I’m drinking just to get back to normal energy levels.

It all comes down to habits. If you habitually use caffeine, drugs or alcohol to build your fire, that’s probably why you struggle to have high energy levels. 

Similarly if you habitually AVOID eating a good diet, exercising, and sleeping well, that’s probably why you struggle to have high energy levels. 

I GUARANTEE that if you spent the next month focusing on adding habits of delayed gratification (logs), in 30 days your energy levels will be entirely different. Likewise if you avoid the gasoline activities, your energy levels will be higher as well.

Lastly – I also believe there are also “Smother” activities – the things that will diminish your fire and make it weaker.

I believe that these are stress, anxiety, frustration, negativity, sadness, depression.

I believe that we should avoid any activities that smother our fire at all costs. If unavoidable, having a solid foundation of logs is all the more important.  

Here are, what I believe to be, the most important logs that you can focus on. 

  1. Sleep – If you’re not sleeping enough, it’s impossible to have high energy. Can’t sleep well? It’s most likely a result of the way you live your day. Maybe it’s too much caffeine, too much screen time, too much stress and anxiety – but if you can’t sleep it’s usually reflective of bad habits in other areas of your life. Sleep is just a reflection of how you spent your day. 
    1. Building on this – NAPS – Why do we have this belief that you can only sleep at night? Why the fuck do we caffeinate ourselves when we’re feeling tired? If you feel tired – GET SOME REST. A 20 minute nap in the middle of the day boosts my energy levels and focus WAY better than a cup of coffee does. Don’t give me that shit that you don’t have the time for it either, if you’re truly focused on treating yourself well, there’s always time for it. 
  2. Eating a healthy diet – If you feed yourself shit, you’re going to feel like shit. Plain and simple. The healthier your diet and the better you take care of yourself, the higher your energy levels will be. 
  3. Exercise – By giving your energy, you get it back tenfold. The more you invest in movement, getting your heart pumping, and sweating, the more energy you will have. 
  4. (Bonus) – Meditation – It amazes me how much meditation helps me in every area of life. Similar to exercise, the more you give
  5. (Bonus) – Wake up early and watch the sunrise – I don’t know what it is about watching the sun rise, but for some reason whenever I watch that baby come into existence and start the day, I’m supercharged for the rest of it. Try it for yourself if you don’t believe me. 

In general I also believe that this methodology applies to creativity, sexuality, focus, etc. If we rely on gasoline for {insert x activity}, then we’re doomed for inconsistency. In all activities we should strive to find the logs that build a sustainable practice, and use gasoline as needed, to get the maximum effect.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for using gasoline in the right moment. It’s a powerful catalyst to get shit done and can really produce explosive results. Just don’t rely on it and be dependent.

In the end it’s simple, just like building a fire, it doesn’t take all that much. Use the boring habits of logs and you will have higher energy levels. That’s it. 

I often believe that this is life in general – we try to overcomplicate things and look for “hacks” but it’s the basic tried and true principles of living a healthy life. Solutions are often the easiest answer that we’ve been avoiding and don’t want to do. 

Try it for yourself and let me know what you think!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.