• Energize your life with the Gain-to-Drain Ratio

    February 6, 2017 | curtrosengren
  • Would you like to feel more energized? Are you tired of dragging butt, and wish you felt more engaged and alive?

    In this post, I want to share a straightforward approach to consciously, intentionally shaping your life to feel more energized more of the time. I call it “maximizing the Gain-to-Drain Ratio.”

    Conceptually, it couldn’t get much simpler. All you do is:

    • Bring as much as possible of what gives you energy (the Gain part of the equation)
    • Do whatever you can to minimize the things that drain your energy.
    The Gain-to-Drain Ratio is essentially a fraction. Visually, the idea looks like this:

    The more you can incorporate the kinds of things that energize you into your life, the more Gain you have. And the more you can reduce or even eliminate the things that suck your energy away, the smaller your Drain will be.

    You can use the Gain-to-Drain Ratio idea to do an “energy audit” (Where’s the Gain? Where’s the Drain?) on one specific aspect of your life, like your work. Alternatively, you can also use the Gain-to-Drain Ratio to examine your life in 360 degrees (which acknowledges that nothing in your life happens in an isolated silo – it’s all an interconnected, holistic system).

    Some different areas you can examine include:

    • Attitudes & Beliefs
    • Finances
    • Health & Wellness
    • Hobbies & Activities
    • Home Environment
    • Meaning & Making a Difference
    • RelationshipsRomantic
      • Friends
      • Family
      • Professional
      • Community
    • Sex & Sexuality
    • Spirituality
    • Work

    Here are some questions to explore as you dive in to the energy audit. You can ask them about life in general, or one of the areas above.


    • What gives me energy?
    • What leaves me feeling engaged?
    • What do I love?
    • What feels rewarding?
    • What is there that I feel drawn to experiencing more of?
    • What leaves me feeling confident?
    • When do I feel a sense of flow?
    • What facilitates or enhances that sense of flow?


    • What drains my energy?
    • What do I dislike?
    • What is challenging to deal with?
    • What leaves me feeling tired and flat?
    • What leaves me questioning my abilities?
    • When do I feel blocked and constricted?
    • What contributes to that blockage and constriction?

    Once you identify your Gains and Drains, you can ask questions to help you start increasing the Gains and reducing the Drains, like:

    • What can I easily bring more of into the picture?
    • What can I easily change?
    • Which changes would make the most impact?
    • Which changes do I want to prioritize?

    While I’m at it, I need to give my ever-present caveat that this isn’t a magic wand. It’s not, for example, going to take a crap job and make the angels suddenly sing. But it does create an opportunity to start taking control of what you can and change things for the better.

    I encourage you to make it a regular habit to stop and ask yourself, “Where’s the Gain here? Where’s the Drain?” It’s a simple way to shine a light regularly on what impacts your energy so you can manage it as you go, rather than trusting to chance or taking action when the Drain gets too strong to tolerate.

    As with so many things, much of maximizing the Gain-to-Drain Ratio is about awareness. You can’t change what you aren’t aware of. Examining the Gain and Drain breaks it down into specific, tangible things to work on.

    [Want to do a deeper dive into maximizing your Gain-to-Drain Ratio? My Aliveness CODE coaching can help.]

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