Let your ideas be your energy – Fiona Tatton, Womanthology Editor

Fiona Tatton - Womanthology Founder and Editor

Fiona Tatton

Borrowing energy from ideas and from each other

So it’s Sunday morning again and I’m feeling more than a little weary. You could say it’s been a long week, although why do people say that when a week is clearly a finite unit of time..? I’m feeling in need of a little energy boost.

As it’s a Womanthology weekend I’m about to fire up the laptop and finish off the editing process, but I’m tired and lacking in energy. So how do I tackle this? Maybe a quick sip of an energy drink or a soluble vitamin C tablet in a glass of water will give me a bit of a boost?

Always. Read. The. Label.

I’ll never forget the time I was staying in a hotel with a friend and there was a packet of those effervescent vitamin C tablets in our goodie basket, so we both decided to try one AT 3AM. I was young and naïve at the time. (I’m now slightly older and arguably slightly less naïve.) Hello being awake until dawn. Goodbye any chance of sleep. Note to self: Always. Read. The. Label.

Or there was the time I worked in a university and there were some energy drink samples left over from Freshers’ Fair. (You know the type of drink – not the brand you’re thinking of, but a wanabee pretender to the energy drink throne.) I was thirsty and they were the closest thing to hand, so I naïvely thought that drinking some would quench my thirst, as happens with most drinks. Sadly I was wrong and drinking two in quick succession was not my wisest decision ever. Never again.

Incredible mutant power

It was like something out of X-Men or the Marvel Avengers where I had this incredible mutant power, although sadly without the outfit. There was a brief moment where cardiac arrest seemed imminent. It was a bit like the way Dr Who must feel having two hearts beating ten to the dozen. Hand on heart(s), these are my only transgressions into chemically induced energy surges, I might add.

Generally I’m a big believer in channelling my energy and enthusiasm. That’s one of the things people say about me when they meet me. You’re so enthusiastic. I know. If you’re going to do something, do something you love. Put your back, heart, soul and whatever else you’ve got, including the kitchen sink, into it. If you stop feeling like that, it’s time to do something else. Why else are we here?

Channelling your energy – the power source for success

The women (and one man) you will hear from in this fortnight’s edition are a reminder for me of why I put Womanthology together. I realised this week that they too are channelling their energies and this has become the power source for their success.

If you’re a regular Womanthology reader, you’ll be familiar with my love of a good quote. I’ve read so many during the process of coming up with the magazine and its content. They help me frame my thinking and try to stay creative when I sometimes feel like a one woman content and editing machine.

Borrowing energy from ideas

So I came across the following quote from the science fiction writer, Ray Bradbury, who’s sadly no longer with us. He said,

“Ideas excite me, and as soon as I get excited, the adrenaline gets going and the next thing I know I’m borrowing energy from the ideas themselves.”

I feel a lot like this when I’m speaking to the women (and men) we feature each edition. There’s nothing more intoxicating than hearing from an incredible person about what they do and why they do it. So they’re lending me their ideas and their energy and I’m passing it on to you. Simple.

People aren’t interested in what you do, they’re interested in why you do what you do

To paraphrase Simon Sinek from his seminal TED talk, How great leaders inspire action, people aren’t interested in what you do, they’re interested in why you do what you do.

That TED talk, filmed in 2009, has now been viewed more than 20 million times. (To be fair, probably 19 million of these are by me, but let’s not do down his achievement. Needless to say, I’m a huge a fan of Mr Sinek’s work to the point where I’d be in danger of being a bit in awe if I was ever to meet him and I might well start to babble inanely, so it’s probably safest for this not to happen…)

It’s like when you have a favourite film you’ve seen several times and you start to know the scenes and the script off by heart. In in this instance I have come to be able to identify the part of the talk where the microphone is about to break. (Bet they would have given him a better microphone if they’d known it was going to get 20 million views…)

As much about the ‘why’ as it is about the doing

Anyway, back to the talk – to a degree it’s true that it’s not necessarily the subject matter itself that is the most important thing. I would still contend that this is relevant, of course it is, but I had the revelation this week that the essence of Womanthology isn’t necessarily the subjects people are speaking about, but the way they feel about them. I think there’s real truth in this.

Whether it’s science or architecture or fashion or dance or whatever we’re discussing, it’s as much about the ‘why’ our contributors do what they do as it is about what they actually do.

There’s nothing more rewarding for me than to hear somebody talk about their life’s work and the way it lights them up. The way is makes them feel inside. And this lights me up too. What better way to spend your time than basking in ‘good’ radiant energy and passing this on?

“Energy can neither be created or destroyed,” so why not pass some on?

This got me thinking about the science of energy. Now I don’t claim to be a scientist myself, but my understanding from my GCSE physics days (only a few short years ago, of course…) is that, “Energy can neither be created or destroyed.” Thank you Mr Einstein. So this means that ‘good’ energy should be shared. I would even go so far as to say it is your moral duty to share it with those around you.

So what are you waiting for? Let your ideas be your energy and pass some on today. You never know whose life you might be able to change forever and for the better.

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