Ninja Training Tip #1: In Praise of Filters

(And no, I don’t just mean Brita filters or Instagram filters, but those are also good filters.)


I’m talking about the filters I use to make choices every day. Tara Swiger touched on this last week and I mentioned my favorite filter to use: energy. It’s one of the biggest components to becoming a zen-like emotional ninja.

When I’m asked to do something, to join a program or even faced with what item to cross off my to-do list I have to think, “Is this energizing?” Whether you abide by the spoon theory or not, I think it’s an important question to ask yourself and it’s one I ask my ninjas to use.

Here are some of the questions I consider:

  • Will this/does this bring me physical energy now or after I’m done? This is a great one for when I’m feeling lazy. I know I’ll feel more energized after I’ve done chores that I dislike.
  • Will this make me feel spiritually energized? I may not want to put on pants right now but if I do and I go and see my friends, I’ll feel happier. This has also helped me limit my consumption of crappy television and deal with Internet jealousy.
  • Does this bring mental energy? I really love watching Dr. Phil. I’m really ashamed of how much I love his stupid show. I watch it and end up yelling at the TV because he’s a jackass almost all of the time. By the time the show ends, however, my brain feels bloated and gross. It doesn’t bring me mental energy, in fact, it drains it! So I limit how often I watch his show. If it doesn’t make me feel smarter, give me a better understanding of a subject or spark ideas of my own, I limit to how often I indulge in it.

I’ve become very protective of where and how I spend my energies. I don’t want to be a total shut in but I also don’t want to run myself ragged. By slowly applying this filter, I’ve been able to figure out what the balance looks like for me. Do you have a decision-making filter? How do you use it?

Do you need help figuring out what your filters are or should be? Want some one-on-one training? Get it here!

  1. No probs! I sometimes think, “Can I do this?” well yeah. I can (usually) find room to do stuff but by thinking in this way, I’ve avoided doing things that I really don’t like. I’m still learning to not double or overbook myself.

  2. Thanks! I really needed this reminder to filter!


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