The Art of Personal Power Allocation (or How To Get What You Want)

By Seamus Anthony

To be honest, after a few days of ‘go go go’, today I’m just plain stuffed, zonked, tired.

When I am this pooped, I really struggle to be effective – and that got me to thinking about Personal Power Allocation and how it is the key to getting what you want out of life.

personal power allocation

What I mean by Personal Power Allocation is this: you may think that getting what you want from life, doing amazing things, is somehow an esoteric thing – but in reality, it is not. It’s just as simple as:

  • knowing what you want
  • and then throwing all of your resources at getting it.

By ‘resources’ I don’t just mean money, I mean your energy, your effort, your contacts, your possessions, your time, and your focus (and more). These things taken together constitute your Personal Power Supply. Basically the more of your Personal Power you throw at one thing, the more that thing moves in the direction you want it to.

It is so simple that it’s almost laughable. Take me for example. Over the last few years I have thrown my Personal Power in many directions. I have thrown it at drinking and partying (no longer but that is for another post). I have thrown it at multiple music projects. I have thrown it at my marketing consultancy. I have thrown it at parenting. I have also thrown my power at keeping fit. And we also throw units of our Personal Power (PP) at things like holidays, recreation, extended family, entertainment, education, administration, household chores, etc.

Once you start to realise that:

  • every moment you spend
  • every dollar you spend
  • every bit of physical and mental energy you spend
  • every contact you call on
  • every idea you focus on
  • every blog post you read (or write!)
  • every TV show you watch
  • every, single thing you do

… ALL use up units of your PP score – it makes you stop and think!

Your Personal Power Allocation is not unlimited!

Like me today, you eventually get tired and have to slow down. And when you die – that’s more or less it for your PPA – it’s all been allocated! (I suppose leaving a legacy for your loved ones means your PP keeps kickin’ on – but hey, you won’t be around to enjoy that!)

So there’s two things to think about:

1) your PPA is limited
2) and the thinner you spread your power around on different projects and activities, the less power you have to move in any one direction.

An Example of Personal Power Allocation In Action

Two weeks ago I did a support gig with Dave Graney (popular and awesome Aussie musician) and his band. On the night, in front of two or three hundred people at least, I opened up my big mouth and totally promoted my band’s forthcoming CD launch (at the same venue) with confidence and aplomb. I also talked it up to the venue operators and several punters after my set.

But there was, you see, a problem. For various reasons (mostly invalid) me and the band hadn’t done ANYTHING to prepare for the big night!

I mean we had recorded the CD months ago but we hadn’t gotten it mastered (technical for a final, vital and expensive polish of the sound) nor done anything about making CDs or promoting the launch event.

At all.


Just had a gig booked but had done no promo. Total flake job.

And here I was spruiking the event up like P.T. Barnum on a good day!

The morning after the gig, I woke up with a gasp and thought OH MY GOD WHAT HAVE I DONE!?!

I knew there was no backing out of this now so I resolved then and there to throw all of my Personal Power for the next 3 weeks at this gig to make it rock and avoid looking like a total flake.

I quickly wrote an action plan in an email to myself. Here it is, unedited and in full:


Get the recording mastered straight away. Just find the money somehow.
Get the cds pressed straight up. Art too. Fix the lettering first, don’t like it.
Get photos done fast. (Barry)
Posters. Get them up early.
Press release, hit up the local media
Invite the fuck out of everyone.
Rehearse the shit out of the band.
Promote the Tequila Mocking Byrd gang too. (Support band)

Not a very long or complicated plan – but a lot to bite off and chew when you’ve got 3 weeks and a full time career and a family AND most of the work needs to be completed with lead time!

But the most amazing thing happened, by totally committing all of my available Personal Power Allocation during the last 2.5 weeks, working day & night in whatever spare moment I could tear away from work & family, I have managed (with the help of the band and others) to get ALL of these things done, including organise newspaper stories, radio interviews and more.

It hasn’t been technically difficult either. I am not some guru of negotiation or delegation, I simply just pointed all of my power (be it financial, energetic, focus, mental, physical, social, etc) at the one project and suddenly, while everything else in my life has taken somewhat of a back seat (hello darling family, I am sorry, you will have me back soon!) the progress has been substantial in this one area.

It has everything to do with personal power allocation. I think if we truly grok that the key is stop wasting our power left right and center, be it on too many projects, too much recreation time, or whatever, and focus it on as FEW projects as possible, we can do amazing things.

Think of it like this: if we controlled an army and there were 6 cities we could attack. Attacking all six at once might dissipate our forces such that we failed to capture any. But by focussing at one city at a time, we could smash through the gates and overcome. This would give us momentum as our army would double in size allowing us to tackle 2 cities at once next and then the last 3 in one hit.

Enter The Monkey…

This is not the 1st time I have had a sort of ‘cosmic realisation’ about this (far from it) but it is always amazing to me, I find it fascinating.

However the thing to remember is the Monkey Mind, that little part of your brain, the unintelligent lizard brain will ark up. It wants instant gratification and this is not about instant gratification. We all need pleasurable moments, we all need to relax and wind down, however the hard fact is that every time you check your facebook status (I admit I am an addict), you allocate a portion of your personal power away from your goals and towards socialising. It’s not a judgment that one is worse than the other; it’s just a fact, when you are tweeting your mates a “Lol” you are not pushing your goals forward (unless your goal is to lol more!). When you eat a sugary dessert you are allocating a percentage of your personal power towards pleasure in your mouth and away from your weight loss goals. It’s as simple as that.

No I am not advocating you never socialise or enjoy a nice dessert but I am saying that most of us over-allocate towards personal pleasure, instant gratification and under-allocate towards the things we say we want.

Find me a success who made it without massive allocation of personal power away from chillaxing and toward their desired outcome and I will show you a fluke.

So What Do You Want?

You have [X amount] Personal Power Allocation, depending on how much physical, mental, financial, social, etc capital or energy you have at your disposal. You can expend this energy however you like. You can dissipate it in myriad ways, in which case nothing much of note is likely happen or you can do your damnedest to focus this energy down on as few things as possible.

So ask yourself: what do you want? How much can you boil this down to the fewest elements possible? Then how much can you control your allocation of personal power to only be spent on these few things and in the most intelligent manner possible?

When you do this, you will see remarkable results.

Join me on the adventure and tell us all about it in the comments below – what are your goals and dreams?

Hi, I'm Seamus Anthony. I am an author, artist and musician from Australia. Here at Rebel Zen, I document my journey as an creative artist and human and in doing so, hopefully help you in your own progress through your life of creativity. Go get your free E-book by me: "Taming The Monkey Mind".

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