No, I’m not talking about the vitamin supplement kind; I’m talking about those activities and people that boost our energy level in spite of too much stress and too little sleep. I’m talking about passion—the absence of which leaves us feeling dead inside. As anyone who's viewed a loved-one's corpse and experienced that palpable, chilling absence of animus knows, we are all just empty shells filled with a strange, animating force that makes us who we really are. When we die (physically or emotionally), all that’s left is a discarded cocoon. Why? Because this mysterious gel that enlivens us—call it the soul, spirit, essence—has departed for parts unknown.

That is how I have been feeling the past two days. First, on the professional front, I have been at severe odds with an important client, whose perspectives on a key matter are the polar opposite of mine. And while I recognize how blessed I am to dole out pricey advice for a living (whether or not it is heeded), our repeated head-butting has left me feeling empty and devalued. Meanwhile, I had a vicious argument with my husband two nights ago, and have literally not spoken to the man since. Whereas just a few hours earlier, our relationship was coasting along on cruise control—he my usual, go-to source for humor, sage advice and perspective (particularly where said client is concerned), he is now a fellow zombie clattering around this series of connected boxes we call our home.

Is it any wonder I have been unable to awaken at my typical 3:00 a.m. rising time? Does it come as any surprise that, with one lone Kindle sale this month, my fledgling writing career seems utterly pathetic, or that my previously bustling law practice has temporarily gone bust? What evil forces have conspired to rob me of my vibrancy and ability to attract positive results?

Face it, energy is an elusive thing. I do not profess to understand this humming life force that turns a dry, brown seed into a formidable green stem, thrusts that stem upward through the onerous dirt, and compels its delicate, budding leaves to open in the direction of the sun. And yet, it’s what drives us to run marathons, build monuments, and have babies. Sure, we all need decent nutrition, some measure of sleep, and not too many bad personal habits to keep us going, but at the end of the day, our energy levels don’t seem to have much to do with any of that. Whatever indefinable power opens our eyes each morning and gives us the strength to get out of bed, it’s what upbeat, thriving people have in abundance, and what depressed, draining people have in alarmingly short supply.

So if you do nothing else today, identify at least one natural energy enhancer and give it its due. If it's your spouse or your kid, then give them a hug. But it can just as easily be a sweater you’re knitting, a vacation you’re planning, or a song you love to sing along to. Whatever juice floats your boat, take a moment to drink from your personal, restorative well—no matter how busy your schedule or how silly your actions might seem to anybody else. As for me, I am fairly certain my petty conflicts will resolve themselves eventually. But more importantly, by fulfilling a personal commitment to wake up early and write this blog, I have paid tribute to my passion. And I feel better already.