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411: New Project Energy

What current project are you excited about?

Show notes and links:
Wall Street Journal
Wikipedia


Full episode script

Around the 1990s, the phrase “new relationship energy” was coined in the polyamorous community, and is still in heavy use. It’s a phrase that describes the particularly energetic, emotional, and focused state of mind that seems to happen around the beginning of new relationships. It’s a heady mix of chemicals in the brain, and a high that many describe as unlike anything else.

I don’t know if this is the case at all for anyone else — I haven’t been able to find any sources online other than me that use this phrase — but “new project energy” certainly comes very, very close to that heavy mix of NRE. And the more I talk to people, the more I find out that New Project Energy is as much of a reality as New Relationship Energy.

While there’s about a million articles and pieces of research out there talking about how relationships shouldn’t be your projects (something I completely agree with) — there’s not much out there talking about the inverse.

Projects are kind of like relationships, after all. They take your time, your emotional and physical energy, they’re something that take brain space, and, hopefully, they’re fulfilling in some way (and if not, why are you taking on the project?)

So it would stand to reason that New Project Energy would come with a new project. And that feeling of excitement can help spur us into action. One article in the Wall Street Journal estimated that a physical state of excitement is an experience that lasts only about 20 minutes, but it seems to me that a physical initial burst of energy and long-term excitement would be two very different things. So…

This script may vary from the actual episode transcript.