New Book Summary: The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz

Published 3 months ago • 1 min read

My latest summary is for The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal (2003) by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz. Admittedly, the full title is a bit of a mouthful, but it was what initially drew me to the book. Because, after I started time-blocking, I found my energy levels to be the main bottleneck.

As usual, the key takeaways are below, and you can find the full summary by clicking the link above.


  • Energy, not time, is our most precious resource. Skilfully managing energy allows us to unlock full engagement.
  • We have four related but separate sources of energy or capacity:
    • Physical. Our quantity of energy (high or low).
    • Emotional. Our quality of energy (positive or negative).
    • Mental. Our focus of energy (broad or narrow, internal or external).
    • Spiritual. Our force of energy (self or others, internal or external, and positive or negative).
  • High performance involves balancing stress and recovery.
    • We tend to lead linear lives, when we should be leading rhythmic ones. Oscillation is natural — our bodies follow natural rhythms.
    • To grow stronger, we need to stress our physical muscles and then allow them to recover. The same is true for our emotional, mental and spiritual muscles.
    • Too much stress without recovery leads to breakdown. Too much recovery without stress leads to atrophy.
    • Most of us are overtrained mentally and emotionally but undertrained physically and spiritually.
  • How to unlock full engagement:
    • Define purpose. Change is driven by the top down. A spiritual source of purpose gives us direction and helps us withstand the storms of everyday life.
    • Face the truth. We need to face up to the gap between how we live now and how we want to live, letting go of any self-deception.
    • Take action. Positive energy rituals conserve our limited willpower and energy, and act as anchors that help us live by our values.

As usual, you can find the full detailed summary on the website. If you found this summary useful, consider forwarding to a friend you think it could help.

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