I often find I get the best ideas while running, or in the shower (both places I can’t conveniently stash a pen and paper, natch). Here’s my latest.

Everything is an energy exchange. In order to GET what you want, you have to be willing to GIVE.

(Click to tweet!)

Now I know this sounds painfully simple in theory. I’ve actually heard other people make similar testaments many times. But for some reason, when I really sat and marinated on this one, it was like the clouds parted and a beam of insight smacked me right in the head.

I’m not gonna lie: Growing up labeled a “gifted” child didn’t do much in the way of teaching me that sometimes life requires hard work. I thought I was innately talented, and “smart” and therefore, exempt from the struggles those other “non-gifted” humans had to undertake.

Mostly, it was true. I didn’t struggle with math or reading or science quizzes. But as I got older and real life things – like, you know, the slowing of my metabolism and (gasp!) TAXES – started to become important, things shifted.

I started to struggle just like everybody else.
And because I had been sheltered from it for so long, it hurt like fucking hell.

Alas, I still rode around on my high horse. I thought, “I have TALENT! I’m SMART! Everything in life is going to work out perfectly for me and I’m not going to have to lift a finger.”

But then weeks, months and years started to fly by. And then my 25th birthday hit. I wasn’t a national best selling author. I wasn’t running a successful, six figure blog. I wasn’t hobnobbing with the best dressed in my city and riding around in a (preferably, silver) BMW. I didn’t have an uber-hot, wildly rich boyfriend who worked some high-profile job and who handed me cash like candy (actually, I was dating a guy who handed me dollar bills, but let’s just say he didn’t make them wearing a suit. If you catch my drift.)

And you know why?

Sure, I was working. I do have bills, you know. (Yet another thing I’m definitely NOT exempt from.) But I wasn’t WORKING. I wasn’t throwing my all into it. In fact, I was half-assing a lot of things.

I mean, I loved my job as a celebrity gossip blogger (who wouldn’t?), but I wasn’t obsessed with it the way I felt I should be. (And seriously, what kind of contribution was I making to the world bashing Kim Kardashian’s 72-day marriage over and over?) I’d skip out on extra work in favor of one of those cute little umbrella drinks and/or a fat, stuffed taco on Tuesdays. I was drinking a lot, and therefore not waking up on time to crank out my stories. I was also not doing pretty much anything in the way of building my so-called business. I was dabbling in holding a few different clients at a time, but I wasn’t giving it my all.

And looking for a suitable man?

Yet I still had this weird belief that one day it would all just happen.
I’d just wake up and suddenly be a totally different person with a totally different life.

Oh, what a difference a year makes!

I realize now that it’s all about taking the little steps. And more than that, it’s about BEING WILLING TO GIVE OF YOURSELF IN ORDER TO GET THE LIFE YOU WANT.

As I learned in my senior capstone class in undergrad on science fiction: There aint no such thing as a free lunch, baby.

So next time you’re facing a challenge, I challenge you to ask yourself:

How much am I willing to give to get this?

‘This’ could be anything – the nice abs, the cushy job in the corner office, the love of your life.

Think of it as an energy exchange and it should feel better when you make sacrifices to get the things you want. In fact, scrap the word “sacrifice” from your vocab.

Nothing is a sacrifice if you want it bad enough.

(And as we all know, energy likes like energy. If you’re putting out positive stuff, you WILL get it back. It’s, like, science, man.)

Here’s a process to go through next time you’re faced with a situation that feels like it requires you to make a sacrifice:

// 1. Ask yourself, “How bad do I want this?” If the answer’s not “really fucking bad,” move on. Or come to terms with the fact that you might not get whatever it is you’re after.

// 2. Then, ask yourself, “What am I willing to GIVE of myself to GET this result?” Are you willing to GIVE an hour of your time to the universe, in order to prepare yourself a fresh, nutritious meal? Are you willing to GIVE all your energy to this workout, so you can feel accomplished, strong and be that much healthier? Are you willing to GIVE $100 for a hot new pair of heels? Am I willing to GIVE hours of my time to several different clients to help them reach their dreams, so that I can GET the freedom and lifestyle I want? (Oops – slipped into first person there. But I think you catch my drift.)

// 3. Decide. Do you want it bad enough? And do you realize that, unless you’re willing to GIVE, it won’t come to you ANY OTHER WAY? That, my dears, is the question.

Your Turn!

Let’s talk sacrifices. Er, um, energy exchanges. When was the last time you GAVE of yourself to GET what you wanted? Does thinking of it as energy rather than sacrifice help you make decisions? Spill, jill!