Optimal Performance State

The Optimal Performance State OPS – Now We’re Talking Mindset!

At the core, my mission is to help people recover from excess stress, live in balance with vibrant health and peace of mind while achieving even their most ambitious goals.

I was inspired to create Performance Lifestyle “PL,” because I wanted to learn how myself, having suffered from tiredness, fatigue, and poor lifestyle habits on the road to succeeding, and of course all of the consequences; all despite being extremely knowledgeable in nutrition and fitness, which are not enough to thrive today.

I myself struggled to maintain my own quality of life in a relentlessly demanding world, that’s always on, which if you get caught up in, can easily wear you down. As an entrepreneur, this happened to me and it nearly killed me.

So the development of a “performance lifestyle” wasn’t about just living “healthy” anymore; that was the given not the goal. It was about learning how to live in such a way that fulfilled the above mission.

We hear so much about fatigue today, about poor sleep habits, eating habits, exercise habits for sure, but this relentless focus on the most popular and monetize-able aspects of lifestyle such as nutrition and fitness alone, usually for vanity reason and not for reasons that excel human performance, does not reveal why people are struggling so much to eat healthily and move more in the first place and ultimately achieve their goals.

There is a syndrome,

condition, complex, disorder, or affliction, a characteristic combination of opinions, emotions, or behavior.

particularly in western civilizations that is sweeping the world. It is at once admired and rewarded, and at the same time it can ruin your life and impact those around you. It’s called performance addiction and it arises out of the need to constantly be better, bigger, richer, more beautiful, more productive etc. It starts when your younger, there is usually a lack of empathy involved on the path of one’s development, and it arises as the need to prove, seek love and respect.

And that affliction in the mind drives you, hard.

Achievement and excellence are wonderful, but when life is lived in comparison with others on the competitive plain drives us to accomplish and achieve for the wrong reasons, namely looking good, we set ourselves up for an inner tumult. turmoil, or even failure, as this can lead our lives awry and seriously off course.

It can also burn us out and leave one depressed, as we simply can’t keep up with not only the inauthenticity but the energy and requirement of will that it all takes to keep going and be resilient.

So it is this afffliction that prompts an inquiry into the Optimal Performance State. Now we’re really talking mindset, or better said, getting your “head” “set” right.

Authenticity: Getting Grounded in the Self (the big Self) with a Capital S. 

Which is why, in all of Performance Lifestyle training, the greatest and most important change one will make and can ever make is to get in touch with “what” we are in the universe, before who and how we are; which, is often just a description of our self, our personality, our values and beliefs, rules, preferences and the like that are constantly being informed and changing.

To be really authentic, (and this might sound a little far out at first) we need to get grounded in what we really are, the intelligent energy of the universe, and in right relationship with our brain and body, or our “person.” Now, who we become can be created, changed and adapted with greater ease as we live more in the zone and in a state of flow.

Being the Self and seeing the personal self for what it is, is an essential factor that will influence your lifestyle in an extraordinary way because it aligns you with your true intention, first and foremost, before fears, concerns, and worries of the mind.

Don’t get me wrong, we certainly need to pay attention to what’s happening in our world if we are to be sustainable, directed, achieve and maintain well being. Spiritually bypassing what’s happening in our lives never works, unless your ambition is to live in a state of meditation on a rock in Nepal.

But if you are up to becoming more conscious and creating culture through what you’re up to in the world, waking around locked in the small self, as what Jeff Carriera refers to as a “thinking thing,” separate from others, is a sure fire way, to drive yourself non stop, as you seek to be one more than you already are.

Our modern day world, based on an economy and markets loves to keep you on this treadmill, working, striving and consuming by appealing to your small self that is often all consumed with seeking, solving and being successful. That is not necessarily a bad thing if you can see it for what it is without getting too psychologically caught up in it. As it is practical and necessary if you want to fully thrive in society.

We need to continuously develop personally indeed, emotionally, mentally or intellectually and physically, but this is all enhanced if we are foremost developed in what is often referred to as “spiritually.”

It doesn’t even need to be called “spirituality” it can also and simply be called becoming aware of your authentic or higher Self.

  • Are you able to just be and be free from the cultural ego, this “age of better” that we are living in that can drive you a little bit crazy?
  • Are you able to chart your course and achieve your goals on the creative plain and for the right reasons?
  • Do you have a lifestyle that supports your performance?

The answers to these questions will change your life for the better forever when you are living from your authentic self, especially the last one because it’s inclusive of the previous two. It’s central to resolving virtually any or all challenges, hidden and known, in our lives. And it ultimately starts with the authenticity I’m talking about here.

The thing is, we usually have to take a step prior to this “breakthrough of all breakthroughs” and that is, we need to address the renewability of our own energy as this primary shift in identity takes a lot of energy. It’s a big shift, amidst the flurry of relentless busyness that is always just a click, a phone call, a work or family activity away.

Renewability – That Which Your Personal Power Depends On. 

Plus, living in the “zone” and in the “flow” the authentic Self-makes possible, a growing majority of the time, also requires you have a lot of energy. One thing is certain, the psychological self, is far less discretionary with our energy, than the authentic Self, which will grow and create ceaselessly if it can.

Our primary intention in the world is to expand, to create and grow. It could be said that we all wake up to be successful, to accomplish and achieve. No one naturally wakes up to be balanced and healthy, though we do need to live in balance with vibrant health and peace of mind if we are going to achieve our goals at the higher levels. To do that and not collapse under the weight of stress we need to take care of our brain/body in regularly and systematically.

Unfortunately, while our body-brain is at once a boon, the ultimate creation, and a creative tool for being and becoming all that we want in life, it’s is also a limitation. Yes, a limitation. It can’t keep up with non-stop evolution and activity that is our true nature. It tires, gets exhausted and ultimately fatigued if it’s not regularly and systematically renewed and regenerated. This is known as renewability.

The lack of which can cause anyone, even the most motivated to descend into a trend, of vicious cycles and ultimately a premature downward spiral that can be hard to get out of.

I am suggesting that most of us are caught up in this trend to some degree. Especially, those who are driven, achievement-oriented and ambitious and prone to overspending their energy; the consequence is which are very uncomfortable and lead to a lot of bad, compensating habits.

In a world that promotes medicating in a whole slew of ways from prescriptions to drugs, medical and social, to food and other obsessions, including exercise, and addictions of every kind, deep down we are wanting to feel better from fatigue, and the natural depression that results. And this fatigue gets exacerbated by poor thinking which can crush our resilience.

So I can’t emphasize the fact enough, we need to know all that’s involved in renewing our energy, learn how to live with optimal energy levels and manage our energy ongoing if we want to have a healthy lifestyle that supports our human performance and success.

Everything depends on it, including our resilience, which is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; aka toughness or personal power.

On a firm foundation of authenticity and renewability, we become naturally resilient.

Resilience; The Power to Bounce Back, and Move Forward from a Position of Strength. 

To date, resilience has been taught largely in psychological terms with constant emphasis on motivational philosophies, mindsets, timeless quotes, the inspiration of others and the like, all of which are useful, but if divorced from our renewability dooms us to struggle. Nothing is more powerful than knowing what, who and how you are, powered by lots of naturally occurring energy, with emphasis on the naturally occurring energy.

Then, with performance, lifestyle mindset and skills set, you can manage that energy you have. But in rounding out the optimal performance state, a central tenant is “do not give rise to, or buy into stories (thinking) you can’t live well with,” we have a third pillar that is essential to experiencing the energy you do have in full force.

It’s our thought!

Nothing can thwart the stimulation of your energy more than pessimistic, pervasive and or permanent thinking that is not real and optimistically leaning. Unsupportive thoughts yield negative emotions and will just stamp out forward-moving progress. It will also leave you tired and be languishing even if you are well tested.

Just think about a time when you lost your way, chances are you were preoccupied, distracted and held back by some hidden or known challenge, that tired you out and created an unwieldy psychological environment you got caught up in or some combination of this all too common cocktail for feeling stuck.

Isn’t that true?

You give up or lose your power, operate from fear or desperation, tire yourself out even more and your thinking follows suit.

Well, the way out of that now and forever is to restore yourself to the Optimal Performance State. It’s the interaction of authenticity, renewability, and resilience, the combination of which will bring you back to full function at the core.

It’s the rudder for your lifestyle, any lifestyle and certainly, a performance lifestyle that is balanced and healthy to support you and what you are up to in the world as a parent, professional, or performer.

We all face challenges, but the way to deal with them that’s dependable is to steer clear as best as possible, as quick as possible of those lifestyle habits that respond to stress in ways that create more stress. We need to avoid making more out of things than they need to be; something that inevitably happens when we go through life personally, lost in our psychology, feeling separate and small, tired and fatigued and drowning in dramatizations that you may think are real, but only if you say so.

In addition to authentic grounding in what you really are and lots of naturally occurring energy that you renew regularly and systematically, you’ve got to direct that energy towards what you want, in the future if you want to experience the optimal performance state on a regular basis.

We all lose our way from time to time, but how long will you stay lost?
With OPS, not long.

The Optimal Performance State. 

Authenticity – enlightenment, awareness, consciousness.

When you get to know what you really are behind who you think you are before thought, before the mind, brain/body and personality, everything changes. You get in right relationship with your head, you stop taking things so deeply personal and establish the objectivity you need to change with greater ease. Zone and flow states become your new normal.

Aligning with your authentic Self is the greatest lifestyle change one can ever make and will ever make, and it opens you up to a whole new view of everything. It also gives you the power to create like never before.

Renewability – regeneration, increase your energy, personal power, reactivation, recovery. When you have the power to create like never before, aligned with your Authentic Self,
you will wake up to two realities; you are naturally motivated to grow and evolve, and if you don’t know how to take care of your brain and body, you will burn them out.

Renewing your energy must be done in a certain way, without falling for the stimulant-delusion. You must establish a whole new relationship with fatigue, stop misinterpreting it and always be prepared to live at optimal energy levels even when you think you should be performing at higher levels. It’s the single most important insight in Performance Lifestyle® Training.

Resilience – bounce back, flexible, perseverance.

The ability to bounce back, be flexible and persevere in the face of obstacles and challenges is never a from-the-neck-up only capacity. To date, resilience has largely been both taught and learned as a function of psychology, mental toughness and the like and it’s short-sighted. You need energy, lots of it to be dependably resilient, and the ability to change your story–the conversation in your mind that is preceding and dictating all future actions.

When you combine authenticity with renewability and now your full capacity to change, resilience is the natural outcome. You will live, free of what’s known as the curse of the capable and move forward from a position of strength.

 

Best Performance Lifestyle Insights of 2017

The Top 10 Performance Lifestyle insights from 2017

Every New Year, we layout the Top 10 Performance Lifestyle Insights of the past year.

These are ideas that were transformational and filled an essential gap in what it means to live a Performance Lifestyle—the mindset and skill set for living in balance with vibrant health and peace of mind while achieving even your most ambitious goals or made it more possible to live an essential aspect of performance lifestyle better.

Remember, a performance lifestyle is not one aspect of living, it’s learning all the essential skills that enable one to live in balance, not simply to experience “balance,” which is not a goal, but rather a by-product of knowing how to manage your energy like a pro, stay healthy and perform at higher levels to be more successful. And by being more successful we mean achieving your goals with your health and wellbeing intact.

To say the least, to live a lifestyle that supports you across all essential aspects of living, and what you are up to in the world; one needs to start with a correct context and Performance Lifestyle is that context.

See this post to learn more and see Performance Lifestyle in context so you can develop a mental image.

Ok here were our top 10 Performance Lifestyle insights from 2017. They may have been discovered earlier, but this year we got them into play.

  1. Sleep is the foundation of a performance lifestyle. The reason is simple, it’s 1/3 of your life and the other two-thirds depends on how optimal your sleep is. It does not matter what form of additional performance training or supports you gain, how driven you are, how healthy you eat or how much you exercise. It does not matter how smart you are, or what your values are… if you are not getting enough quality, the quantity, and consistency of sleep you need, you risk getting caught up in vicious cycles, and a downward spiral that can be hard to get out of.
  2.  Getting grounded in who you really are through meditation for starters is the greatest lifestyle change you will ever make, or even can make. It gives rise to a whole new orientation to life that changes everything. Everything! But if you are not well rested, starting with sleep, you will likely lose your grounded and objective posture or relationship to the world. Tiredness has a way of making us all a little bit crazy.
  3. Understanding your biology is key to making great lifestyle decisions but intelligence about your biology alone does not mean you will make great life decisions. That takes practice. And with exceptions, the sources of stress and causes of afflictions are not aspects of your biology, they are usually inputs and influences from life bearing down on your body, at which point things start going wrong if they’re the wrong kinds of stress. Pointing to “clogged arteries” as the cause of death is not actually true. What killed the person is what and ultimately who clogged the arteries.At the end of the day, all insight regarding your biology will inform and then require lifestyle changes for things to change and when you provide the right conditions, lifestyle changes alone can restore a body to homeostasis often time without any treatment.  That said, you want to learn about your biology because you need to know the boundaries of your biology. It’s a hand in hand relationship.
  4. One must gain an understanding of fatigue and personal energy management if they want to steer clear of a premature downwards spiral in their lives. This is the key to human performance and performance is a lifestyle. That’s why we teach performance lifestyle and talk about energy as much as we do.See  Why do we talk so much about fatigue?
  5. Human performance is the primary context for all aspects of living. Healthy living is not necessarily an effective context for becoming skillful and having the right balance of skills that result in “balance”. Health is a given not a goal, as people naturally wake up to accomplish and achieve things. We live in balance and in ways that are health-promoting so that we can achieve our goals in life, business, creative pursuits or sport. Lifestyle skills learned in this context are far more empowering.
  6. Energy needs to be understood, at a scientific, evidence-based level, not simply as an eastern philosophies like “Qi,” “Prana” or spiral “Kundalini” or even a natural hygiene “nerve energy level, let alone in slang terms like mojo, vibe, or juice which are all non-scientific, unverified concepts. These terms are all useful, but they don’t really offer a practical understanding of what’s really at play on a daily basis in your life.
  7.  More influential on every human function and capacity, besides sleep, is learning how to live at optimal energy levels, especially if you want to live at the “next level.” We’re pretty sure 95% of the population when asked (are you getting 8 hours of sleep a night?), would likely say yes, but we know they are usually not given subjective answers and total time in bed does not mean you slept that long.And if asked what it means to live optimal energy levels, people will almost all say at “peak performance.” Which, pretty many guarantees they are not living or working at peak. Optimal energy levels have a very different implication.
  8. Fatigue manifest in many forms, from a bad attitude to poor temperament, to slower metabolism to increase consumption of food (particularly stimulating and refined carbohydrates), to depression, anxiety, and countless more afflictions. It is arguably the true basis of disease as poor sleep (the root of fatigue) holds this same distinction and is tied to just about every major cause of death in the literature.Fatigue is also the #1 distraction that will hold you back from realizing your full potential in anything.
  9. The answer to how do you live in balance with vibrant health and peace of mind while achieving even your most ambitious goals requires an understanding of several key concept and skills of which nutrition and fitness are less than 10%. There is no one answer to that equation and the market for answers is so fragmented, the chances of a person putting it all together on their own are small. Very small. “This is why Performance Lifestyle was assembled, to save you up to 20 years or more of your life trying to bring it all together.
  10. Living in balance is not about work/life, or about the balance of energy expenditure and recuperation though both are useful and important balance concepts, but not definitions in and of themselves. Living in balance is having a wide spectrum of skills that enable you to assess a situation, and know what to, why, when and how to do it, so you do it at the right level, intensity, and consistency. In other words, balance is situational.

And those are just a few reasons why it’s taken 20 years to develop Performance Lifestyle.

There were many more discoveries in 2017, but these were macro insights that influenced us and many others in training, and we are all, always in training. If you want to learn more, be sure to join us for PL365 in starting in February.

John Allen Mollenhauer ~ JAM

5 Steps to the miraculous

The 5 Steps to the Miraculous

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

From all of us here at Performance Lifestyle Inc, (PLi) we want to wish you the happiest of holidays and an amazing New Year ahead.

In this holiday message, I want to briefly share with you what our Pastor shared with us on Christmas Eve.

It’s The 5 Steps to the Miraculous.

You don’t need to be Christian for them to work for you in your life. It’s a non-denominational message and I hope you will take every one of these steps in your life, always.

  1. Here what God is telling you
    In prayer, meditation, contemplation, amidst the busyness of your day; what is trying to surface in your life?
  2. Listen.
    Grab a hold of it, let it crowd out all the clutter, and surface into your conscious awareness so that you can clarify it, define it, write it down and consider it fully.
  3. Say Yes. 
    If it’s there, and continues to be there, and is not a passing whim, it challenges you, requires you to being your full being, and if achieved will be a miracle for you, say YES.
  4. Be willing to be pregnant with this new idea, action, realization in your life. 
    To step into the miraculous be ready for the fullness, the weight, and the intensity of being on the court and in the game of what’s purposeful in your life.
  5. Conceive it. 
    Metaphorically, giving birth is no easy task. It’s painful, it takes courage, guts, and strength.

Over this holiday season, pay attention to the:

  • The energy and health you need to restore.
  • That situation you want to resolve,
  • The quality you want and need to develop,
  • The new baby you want to have.(My Wife and I had a new baby this year, and her name is Grace. It was a very challenging process, and the miracle that is her is here!
    Meet Baby Grace.
  • The new business you want to create
  • That big idea you need to clarify
  • The people you need to serve
  • The goal you want to achieve
  • What would feel like a miracle in your life if it was conceived?

Take the 5 steps all the way. It’s often the pregnancy and conception phases of any idea where most of us lose our away and get distracted by what’s easier.

It takes a willingness to endure hardship, inconvenience and more to create a miracle in your life.

It takes supernatural powers – hearing, listening, acknowledging, carrying the burden (even if it’s beautiful) and following through on the conception to make a miracle come true.

I hope these 5 steps to the miraculous are as impactful to you as they have been and continue to be for us.

We wish you Grace and Blessings.

Why do we talk about fatigue so much?

Why We Talk About Fatigue So Much When Talking About Living Performance Lifestyle

So why do we talk so much about fatigue when talking about living a Performance Lifestyle?  

Simply put, there is nothing that will distract and hold you back more than fatigue even when you don’t realize it and or think you are free from it.

Every aspect of your lifestyle is affected by fatigue and fatigue, obviously affects your energy levels, which, in a cyclical sort of way,  in turn, affects your lifestyle. It’s why we talk about vicious cycles and downward spirals so often in our messaging. Fatigue is often and ultimately the culprit for when your life starts to go awry. It may not be the original cause, but it is the primary mechanism by which human function and performance wane. 
Fatigue is a low level of energy, whether chronic or acute, ongoing or short-term and it shuts you down.

That’s why we talk about it and because most people don’t realize how tired they really are, yet they want to look, feel and perform better. Turning to eating better, and exercising more alone don’t feel like such compelling answers when you’re always tired.

Personally speaking, I was a sufferer of fatigue for nearly 40 years.

So, how old are you John Allen?

Well, I’m 49, so that tells you a bit about how much I suffered from what started as simply teenage exhaustion and turned into a full-blown emotional, pyschological and eventually career-crushing condition, all while I put on a convincing game face that “everything was just fine.”

But down deep, I knew something was wrong, but I just couldn’t put my finger on it. I got into performance lifestyle training and coaching and actually developed this paradigm for living as a result of trying to find a solution to being constantly tired while living a hard-charging life. I even co-authored a book on the psychological aspects of what gives rise to this condition, called The Curse of the Capable.  You can learn more about my story there. 
But as I found, there was never a complete solution, at least in terms of it being “one thing.” So I learned, and perhaps you have too, when it comes to energy and how it affects your health and performance, you heard it from here; it’s never one thing. 
Balance 
The answer to beating fatigue, increasing energy and living with optimal energy levels (all of which are directly related but still distinct concepts) so that you have the power to maintain your health, and do while and so you can achieve your goals, requires a whole new understanding of the word “balance.” The reason for this is that the term “balance” does not refer to “one thing” the way it so often implies; as if it were a noun. It’s not, it’s a verb. And with any verb usually, several skills are usually required to be effective at experiencing the outcome. 
In the case of living in “balance,” you guessed it, several skills are in fact required.
Basically, balance is not simply the balance between energy expenditure and recuperation, though that is at the heart of the matter, let alone work/life balance, which is a useful concept for part of the conversation, though a definition for balance it is NOT.  
The real definition of balance is far bigger than that and the reason why Performance Lifestyle training and coaching exists in the first place. It’s a layering of 12 fundamental skills that you have mastery in performing in your life for both navigating biological needs and external circumstances on the path of achieving your goals.
And when you know these skills, inside and out, the benefits are transformational, not only in terms of your energy, health, and resiliency but your performance as well. Your performance as a parent, business or career professional, creative performer and or athlete will skyrocket in a sustainable way when you get a handle on fatigue, and understand the full performance lifestyle strategy.  
When you know what to do, how to do it, and why you’re doing it, you will do it and at the level and consistency you need, based on your present situation and circumstances for the results you want.  

Now we’re having a real conversation about balance; not some watered down, conceptual, non-real-life, popular-terminology conversation about the balance that leaves so many people still with no idea of how to grasp this idea and actually living out of balance. Those days are over with inception of Performance Lifestyle training.

People today, like me, need real solutions. They don’t need it to happen in a mere 12 or 21 days. They’ve fallen for all the marketing ploys minimizing reality, and I know they will invest the time to do it right and set themselves up for both health and success for years to come.

We didn’t create Performance Lifestyle for those people are looking for shortcuts to health, success, and sustainability. That said, the way we’ve structured our programming over 20 years, is a close to a shortcut, a direct path to success as you will ever find for getting from where you are to where you want to be.

The development of what we’re offering here at Performance Lifestyle Inc, / .com required a whole new language, a whole new view of what “lifestyle” means so we could take a giant leap over impotent solutions that are great for business but terrible for you. This required us to think about the underpinnings of why people struggle, including ourselves. It required an understanding of the science, the principles and practices and lifestyle strategy that healthy high achieving people employ to achieve their goals. It required a boatload of experience and an understanding of a new context, to illuminate the “next level or second tier,” not just talk about it as marketing hyperbole.

Most of all it required an understanding of fatigue, what gives rise to this all-too-common condition that has made coffee a huge multi-billion dollar industry as stated here in this USA Today article Coffee Grinds Fuel For the Nation. We assure you, coffee grinds are not fueling the nation. Those grinds notwithstanding the occasional warm cup of joe for purposes of enjoyment are keeping us living like chronically fatigued, performance addicts; and a performance lifestyle is the antithesis of the performance-addicted life.

That’s why we talk about fatigue as much as we do.  If you want to get a handle on fatigue with a real life solution, one that will change your life in so many positive ways you won’t believe me now until you experience it, then keep reading and soon join us in PL365® which is Performance Lifestyle Training, all year round.

Don’t worry, if you want to start by experiencing a transformational change in just 30 days you can do that too and build on your success. 

 

Where to focus for both health and success

Where to Put the Emphasis in Your Life to Stay Healthy and be More Successful.

In the graphic above we illustrate where you want to put the emphasis on your life if you want to stay both energetic and healthy and be more successful; it’s your “performance.” To give you some perspective on that, at the end of this article, I’m going to reveal the dominant paradigms when it comes to taking care ourselves, our bodies and our lives, and why living performance lifestyle is the key to healing the painful disconnect between your energy, health, and performance.

Human function and performance, which includes both how you function biologically, but also how you function in the world in terms of what you have the capacity to accomplish and achieve, is best predicted by your lifestyle and your lifestyle is the best predictor of your performance.

They go hand in hand. Performance is a lifestyle, nothing less.

It’s that fact that makes it a given that the way you live is “healthy.” Just think about you seeking higher performance in life, but living out of balance (a definition I’m sure you don’t understand yet) with limited skills to manage your energy, for starters. Now, think about how resulting fatigue will negatively affect your eating and exercise habits for example). And on that poor, weak foundation, how well will you function and perform and for how long? Not very. Miss one night of enough quantity and quality of sleep for example, and you render even the most skilled performers relatively useless.

Now we say that with a caveat; human beings have the capacity to reach deep, generate energy, and perform at again relatively high levels even when tired, fueled improperly, and deconditioned, but that is analogous to a heavy wind blowing on a structurally defective building. It will break down. It’s just a matter of time. We see this all the time with increase weight, acute, and chronic health issues that develop in human beings with hidden lifestyle challenges, that cause performance issues over time.

Like a building, a series of storms pound away and eventually take the building out. And if not in today’s storm it’s coming as dysfunction accumulates; from the lack of sleep or regeneration to poor eating, to the lack exercise to a whole lot more.

It might be enough to say, “your lifestyle,” is the centralized, or master mechanism of all mechanisms that determine your energy levels, health, performance, and ultimately your success. Not all life mechanisms, of course, are lifestyle-centric, as you have to factor in natural talents and timing amongst other situational factors that will also affect your success. Though it goes without saying that your quality of life as a whole is determined by your lifestyle.

Your “lifestyle” in terms of what and where you can afford, to wear, live, travel, etc, is the result of your success in life, your career or business, the success of your creative pursuits or even sports if you are a professional athlete. But when we refer to your lifestyle here at PLI (Performance Lifestyle Inc) we are not primarily talking about the results of your success; we are, at the core, talking about how you spend, manage and recuperate your energy, including the quality of the food you eat and your activities to achieve that success.

Essentially, we are talking about what, how and why you do what you do, the way you do it, at the level and with what consistency you do it, so that you have the energy to stay healthy, function and perform well.

We are also talking a much bigger, wider and more fundamental definition of lifestyle, and it’s always affecting your results. As it stands, most people achieve their goals to live a better lifestyle and what we are saying is that we must live a better lifestyle to achieve our goals.

Now if human performance is a lifestyle, then you would agree that your lifestyle is not limited to nutrition and fitness, and sleep alone, which, though a popular topic in the media today is rarely fully understood in the context of lifestyle.

Your Lifestyle is made up of a variety of human performance skills, of which how you eat, exercise and sleep, albeit essential at the core, are about 10% of the lifestyle equation. It’s why in Performance Lifestyle training, we don’t start or stop, by teaching eating and exercising.

In the orange circle above you see what may be a new term for you. It’s Performance Lifestyle. It represents your lifestyle optimized for human function and performance, resulting in health and greater success. The emphasis on performance is what bridges that gap between these two life qualities.  Think “athlete” for a second. They optimize all aspects of the way they live so that they can achieve their goals without being distracted or held back by the hidden challenges caused by an unhealthy, out-of-balance lifestyle.

A performance lifestyle is “balanced,” by it’s definition and comprehensive skill sets. It’s why this new term emerged. a “healthy” lifestyle as it is traditionally defined is not complete.

For example, can you imagine how an athlete would perform if they slept less than 6 hours (the average amount of sleep for professionals, working parents, executives and managers, small business owners and entrepreneurs? They would publically fall flat, lose contracts and the like. It’s why, athletes are the only subset of the population that directly links their lifestyle routines, all or most of them 🙂 with their performance, their results and their success.

You need to do the same and the skills required include and go beyond eating heathy, exercising and getting more sleep,

The Next Level: Getting the Second Tier. 

When you focus on personal and professional performance, and you make it a lifestyle, you effectively live life at that “next level,” so many people are talking about but so few actually understand. And believe us when we say, life is challenging, but better and easier at this level because you are now competent in both lifestyle mindset and skillset. This “next level” is where your life is supported, more fluid, and more graceful. It’s life working for you, it’s where you experience momentum not struggle because you are not coping with stress in ways that create more stress anymore.

Our whole culture is rigged to keep you at the first level or what’s called “Tier 1,” where you are a rat on a treadmill, stressed, and responding in ways that do create more stress. A simple example is having a tough day and needing junk food or alcohol to deal with it.

The next level is called Tier 2,  the second tier, or what has recently been referred to as Tier X because you are living at a whole new level. You are living a life that is upleveled, by the fact that you are living with all the essential lifestyle skills in play, at a higher level than you used to.

There is not one essential skill that you will learn in Performance Lifestyle training, that you are not already practicing to some degree right now. That’s what makes them essential, these are THE fundamental lifestyle skills, without which you would deplete, breakdown, and function horribly as a human. And that is what happens to many, many otherwise smart people.

The point isn’t whether the essentials skills are at play, it a question of at what level?

The thing is, what’s affecting how well you live and the skills you seek to master?  

It’s your paradigm. Think of this as a blueprint. We’ve been trained on these blueprints our whole lives in very subtle ways and they are ever-present. Discovering this is the primary reason why I and a team of professionals chose to create a new one.

It’s called Performance Lifestyle, an emerging concept that was originally born in elite athletics that has now crossed offer to the general populace. What makes a performance lifestyle so unique is the following:

  • You resolve all hidden lifestyle challenges that are distracting you and holding you back from living life naturally healthily, and now more successfully.
  • You evolve with a “healthy” lifestyle being the given not the goal. And that becomes your new normal so you can function and perform to achieve your real life, business or career, creative and sporting goals.
  • You achieve those goals at higher levels because you’re now living in balance with vibrant health and peace of mind because you are proficient in the full array of fundamental lifestyle skills required for performance. It’s next level living at it’s finest.

What’s your lifestyle paradigm? 

The value of the graphic in this post is that it emphasizes where to put the emphasis in your life to stay healthy and be more successful.  It’s on your performance, and as you’ve just learned, performance is a lifestyle, yet most of us do not know what that means. And because we don’t have a performance lifestyle that is fully supporting us, we end up getting caught up in other paradigms that are only addressing if only a few of our needs to actually thrive or achieve wellbeing.

Juxtapose the insights above with the following to determine where you are putting your emphasis.

  1. Death and Disability: No one likes to emphasize this, and no one lives to die, but it is the only paradigm that is guaranteed to everyone. It’s important to acknowledge this because in our lives we want to do anything and everything required to stave off death, live a long and healthy life, with full function and focus, free of injury and disease, accomplish and achieve our goals and dreams. Unfortunately, there is a lot of vested interest in death, believe it or not; and as negative as this may sound, our culture promotes death far earlier than it should come. The reason is simple, we don’t understand energy, health, and performance very well and come up short.In this paradigm, you just keep up getting as little sleep as possible, eat the standard American diet and stay sedentary indoors, while working hard, and watching TV until you pass out at night, and then start the day all over again to repeat and you are guaranteed this outcome sooner than later. You are also guaranteed a lot of time, needing paradigm #2.
  2. Traditional Medicine: Great for emergencies, and disease management, not very good for health and performance. Very good to have access to, but you’ve got to start focusing on your lifestyle as drugs and surgery are not health promoting.  How many times have you heard that doctors get very little lifestyle training, with only a few “hours” of nutrition training in total during a doctor’s full medical training? And that’s just nutrition.If you think you are going to eat whatever, exercise whenever, and sleep if ever, while dealing with heaps of unresolved / stress and your doctor will take-care-of-your-every-ill, you have bought into the wrong paradigm.
  3. Alternative Health: It’s Not much different than traditional medicine, often less scientific, more “herbal” but often does break some good ground on living holistically, and focusing on your lifestyle. The intention for this industry is to provide an alternative to drugs and surgery, but often times works on the same premise as traditional medicine, and at times, on wishful claims to sell more “vitamins.”For example, adrenal fatigue as a way of explaining fatigue. It’s not accurate even one bit, but it’s a widespread idea promoted by alternative health practitioners who are not all operating on an evidence-based approach, as reported by Performance Lifestyle advisor Ari Whitten.
  4. Health and Wellness: Is focused mainly on nutrition, fitness and now sleep; less than 10% of the performance lifestyle equation if you don’t factor in psychological services, which is not really seen as part of the health and wellness industry, even though they are. It’s very fragmented, and if you are not careful, as positively influential as this paradigm of self, body and even life care is, you’ll soon be making goals out of eating healthy and getting fit.Let me say, that is not a bad thing, it’s just an inaccurate, out-of-context paradigm that affects people below their level of consciousness and for many is the reason why they don’t take care of their body the way they do. To have “getting healthy” as a goal you have to not be living healthy now, and getting healthy isn’t even a natural goal.So until you “get” that your lifestyle is married to your success in life, business, creative pursuits and or sports; you’ll make goals out of things that are not really goals and miss out on understanding human performance.
  5. Performance Lifestyle: Bridges the gap between health and success training so that you can live in balance with vibrant health and peace of mind while achieving even your most ambitious goals. In a Performance Lifestyle, you master all the fundamentals of health and wellness, only now in a performance context, directly linked to your success, with the express purpose of achieving and maintaining well-being. And that is the motive you will need to stay healthy and be successful.This is the paradigm all balanced and healthy, high achieving people know and live by and it’s THE paradigm, we suggest you buy into. It will save you years of energy, time, effort and a lot of money. It will also keep your focus on your real goals in life without all the distractions that hold us back due to fatigue, poor health, and human performance, and will move you forward from where you are on the right footing; or what we call a “position of strength.”
  6. Success Training and Coaching: People wake up be successful every day, not balanced or healthy; so the effective reason why someone will learn to “live in balance,” like you learn in  performance lifestyle training, with vibrant health and peace of mind (which does not mean the world around you might not still be a little bit or even a lot-a-bit crazy, and only means that you can still have peace of mind) while achieving even your most ambitious goals; is that they want to be more successful.Traditional success training and coaching are about mindset, it’s about motivation and application of skill to be more successful, such as in business or one’s career; but very rarely talks about your lifestyle. The traditional performance and success training industries like to talk about your lifestyle as a result of your success, not as the primary cause of it, and this is probably because too many “successful” people are not very healthy themselves and are confirmed performance addicts.

    Sure they through in a little about sleep, healthy eating, and exercise, largely because they have to, but unlike the highest performing people in the worldathletes—most business people don’t have lifestyle’s that support their performance and they trade their health for success anyway. As stated earlier, what’s the point of optimizing your mindset if the energy powering its function is depleted and the health that enables you to function and perform at high levels is compromised?

So where do you want to put the emphasis on, in your life to stay both healthy and successful? The only effective answer is on your lifestyle. At the end of the day, it all comes back to the way you live.

Human Energy Health and Performance

The Painful Disconnect Between Human Energy, Health and Performance

 

Human Energy, has been a topic, at least in western cultures that is only recently being explored and understood, and likely because fatigue has become so widespread. Due to having access to more information of all kinds and opportunity than at any other time in history due to technology (pc, mobile, social…) and the competitive, and faster-paced culture it has all inspired; all this access is taking its toll in the form of depleted human energy.

Add in the fact that technology is removing the need for human employment, and is increasing the demands on fewer brains to handle the workload; and as a result, of even this cursory review of our present life situation, which could be ever-more detailed; people are tired and stressed. So, understanding how to deal with constant tiredness, fatigue, and vital exhaustion, or worse, burnout and chronic fatigue syndrome has become front and center for millions of people, starting with sleep.

Sleep has become more important than ever before.

In today’s 24/7 world, employees are under pressure —pressure to perform, to handle more and to be “always on” … and that does not even consider home-life demands. As stresses mount, employee fatigue and turnover is rising as well; real-life challenges directly impacting individuals and company alike.

For American employees:

  • 45 percent of Americans sleeping 7 to 8 hours a night reported feeling tired or fatigued up to three times a week, not because 7-8 hours of sleep are not enough (it could be) but because the amount of energy they are spending the rest of their waking hours is outpacing that capacity of the sleep period to full regenerate their energy.
  • Those only managing six hours sleep or less each night is quite unsurprisingly, the most tired. 54 percent of people getting six or fewer hours sleep wake up tired 4 or more days a week*

*Source: Americans Are Tired Most of the Week. Statista / You.gov

Now here is where the real challenge comes in.

While the health and wellness industry has exploded, our understanding of human energy and its impact on health and performance is limited and misguided.

In a marketplace full of generative solutions, all of which attempt to stimulate, incentivize and motivate employees, re-generation (or recuperation) of energy to promote healthy habits and higher levels of performance is sorely missing. Perhaps it’s because, in the context of productivity, the time and space required for regeneration—sleep, rest, recovery, relaxation, meditation, time in the sun, in varying temperatures, and rejuvenation for examples, is an inconvenient truth, to say the least.

Relentless demands on our time and energy leave very little space and time for the regenerative practices that cultures of time past had naturally built into their way of life.
Today, that has changed, and people are more than fully engaged they are over engaged for reasons presented earlier in this article; but the extent to which they are over engaged is usually minimized by everyone.

Who wants to admit they have so much going on their barely hanging on, but that is the truth for far too many people and it compromises our health and performance. 

Merely combine self-care, with family, and career, let alone an extracurricular creative or sporting desire, with the complexity of technology, and the unexpected, and you will have one FULL life.

And only those who have the right structural efficiencies and lifestyle supports will effectively thrive and experience the incline or increase of life.

THr?v/

prosper; flourish.

“education groups thrive on organization”

synonyms:
flourish, prosper, burgeon, bloom, blossom, mushroom, do well, advance, succeed, boom, more

And that means they stay out of the vicious cycles and downward spirals that characterize “non-thriving,” and life on the decline.

What are a vicious cycle and a downward spiral?

  • A vicious cycle is a sequence of reciprocal cause and effects in which two or more elements intensify and aggravate each other, leading inexorably to a worsening of the situation.
  • A downward spiral is series of thoughts or actions or vicious cycles which feeds back into itself, causing a situation to become progressively worse as vicious cycles compound. It is worse than a vicious circle, which is self-sustaining in its current state.

Stress is a natural part of life; it’s only when we are experiencing distress, meaning we know we are headed in the wrong direction and don’t have a strategy for correcting course that we get on its wrong side and you know you are on the wrong side of this equation when you don’t have enough personal energy to take care of your health at the level you need to perform and succeed.

Let’s face the facts: Lack of energy is the #1 cause of health and performance decline, and what’s worse is that most people have not made this connection. They either don’t understand that lack of sleep and rest… is scientifically and comprehensively linked to every major disease out there, or they don’t understand their current condition or the impact that it’s having on their lifestyle and life results.

So, this brings up 7 ways the traditional paradigms for human energy, health and performance are changing and must change if this disconnect is going to get healed.

1.    Nutrition and exercise, albeit core essentials of living, alone do not constitute a lifestyle; they are aspects of lifestyle but are less than 10% of the lifestyle equation. And if you are depending on only these two aspects of living to cope with stress and how it’s affecting you, you are seriously missing the boat and need performance lifestyle training.

2.    Sleep is not an afterthought, expendable and or “optional,” in your life, it’s a core essential and is of equal importance to nutrition if not, easily put, more important and by a large margin. Matter of fact, the biological function of sleep, is regeneration, and there is more too it than sleep alone but without sleep, nothing else in the other two-thirds of life works very well, or for long.

Sleep is what give you that performance edge, each day; the better your sleep, the sharper you are; and lack of sleep underlies every one of the top 10 reasons why people go to the doctor.

3.    We can no longer asses our stress, by looking at the biological alone. We never truly did anyway, but today when people are stressed they go to the doctor, making stress and fatigue one of the top reasons why people visit their doctor, even though they point to all other kinds of problems from joints to back pain to anxiety and depression.

4.    We must get away from thinking we are “one thing” away from resolving our fatigue, weight, health, performance, financial or any other problem for that matter. The answer is never one thing, it’s a stack, a layering, a system of things which, when working together, give us the results we want in life. We need to think like that.

Imagine a coach saying all you need to do is work on dribbling, and you’ll win the game. Dribbling is part of the game of basketball, but not the whole game. We must be systems thinkers in today’s day and age, more than ever before.

5.    We need to break out of the idea that we can outsource our energy, health (wellness, fitness etc.) and performance to others to come in and fix us. Inspiration, education, and support yes, and implementation (especially if medical is involved) but total responsibility, no. No one understands your situation and circumstances like you do and most outsourced professionals will not, and cannot take the time to understand all of what’s giving rise to your problems.

Outsourcing can also get expensive in both dollars and time so you need to use this carefully and make sure you’re optimize your lifestyle for energy, health and performance.

6.   We need to start viewing our lives through the context of human function and performance. For example, you only know how healthy you are when you put yourself in a performance situation and see what your capacity to endure is. This is when you get real feedback.

All limiters of human function, energetically, physically, mentally or intellectually, and emotionally are sure to come to the surface when you are being put to the test.

Viewing health as an end unto its own can keep you chasing your tail and viewing performance without a foundation of health is a sure-fire way to unsustainability. So, our approach to life, business, sport, needs to be inherently healthy at each level of lifestyle transformation.

Even freedom form a dis-ease, from fatigue cancer, is not a goal, it’s a lifestyle objective and must be viewed in that perspective for the best results.

7.    We need fully acknowledge that our lifestyle is central to our success. Before or after the doctor, health, success, and quality of life; it’s how you live every day that counts. Everyday.

80-90% or more of all diseases from fatigue to multiple types of cancer are lifestyle-induced[i] and rooted in poor lifestyle choices negatively affecting health and performance. Rates of these preventable diseases are skyrocketing, and especially for people under chronic stress.

Here’s the bottom line:
As life increases in complexity, becomes faster-paced, more competitive and there are more demands on our time, energy and attention, it is essential that we optimize the way we live, from the bottom up.

We must live fundamentally successful lives.

For an easy example, if you are eating nutrient-poor foods, you will always struggle with food; stuck in vicious cycles of cravings, food addictions and all kinds of coping methods because your nutrient needs are not being bet. You’ll stay stuck at level 1or tier 1 living that way and never get to the next level, fully. 

It’s like wondering why you keep tripping as you step off every curb when you don’t understand the underlying principle of gravity. When it comes to food, you must understand the nutrient density of the food you are eating if you want to eat successfully.

That’s just one of many examples I can give of living out of alignment with what’s essentially true. So, we must learn not just nutrition but all the fundamentals of successful living, else, we’ll stay stuck in all kinds of vicious cycles and the stress of a compounded downward spiral not-so-unique to us (though it sure feels that way) as we go through life and that is no fun.

When we created Performance Lifestyle Training, over 20 years, I had all the above in mind, as I’ve faced the same challenges and still do to some degree, but in practice, life get’s better month to month and year to year and the same can happen for you.

[i] American College of Lifestyle Medicine.

Regeneration, Fatigue and Effectiveness

Regeneration: the Most Important Word You Need to Know for Performance

What is the new most important word in or for your vocabulary? The word is Regeneration.

Everything in your life, actually, your very life depends on it.

One could argue that this is life.

In the dictionary, this is how it’s defined.

re·gen·er·a·tion
re jen r ray SH un/
noun
The action or process of regenerating or being regenerated, in particular, the formation of new animal or plant tissue.

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say.

The thing is, regeneration is not limited to “tissue” like arms and legs; it’s brain tissue, heart tissue, every tissue. Its a process that affects every cell in the human body and therefore every human function and so forth.

But behind regeneration (not to be confused with generation, which is stimulation, not recuperation) is always energy, and a source of energy that is far more vast than the energy we are getting from food (not to diminish the importance of food energy for fuel, which is a core essential of lifestyle). And what’s key to this energy ‘regenerating,” like you experience in sleep, for example, is your lifestyle; the practices you engage in that promote and sustain the health and resiliency of your brain and body.

Which is why in a performance lifestyle, we don’t just talk about nutrition and fitness, we talk about energy, health, and performance and go way beyond the usual cast of characters to reveal the full complement of skills that enable a person to maintain sufficient levels of energy and health, so they can perform. Food and exercise are part of that, but only about 10% of the equation.

There are reasons why people eat poorly and don’t exercise and it usually has a lot to do with stress from two sources.

  1. Biological stress (endogenous)
  2. Life stress (exogenous )

These sources of stress go hand-in-hand, in a symbiotic way, but they are distinct, and you can’t deal with one properly unless you are also dealing with the other. It’s why reductionist health protocols are too limited when it comes to dealing with stress, especially those that do not illuminate a clear understanding of human energy, what it is and how to manage it as the key to healthy function and performance, ie. your success.

Too often today, when it comes to discussions about stress, energy, health, and performance, the focus is only on the biological; making sense of and sorting through all the biological systems and their function in order to deal with stress better, have more energy, better health etc. And this is important. So important indeed, this insight is often a strong guide to your lifestyle rituals, habits, and routines; the practices you engage in—i.e what, how, when, level of intensity, and how consistently.

When discussing the modern-day stress crisis, the plague of a 24/7 lifestyle, there are in fact many surprising sources of “invisible stressors” inside your body and ways to heal your stress response to enjoy a life of peace again, But if you are not also dealing with the exogenous stress in your life that is bearing down on your body, optimizing bodily systems not only doesn’t happen very well, they stay in a chronic state of stress.

I for one, know that whenever I have had serious energy, health, and performance issues, it wasn’t simply about not getting enough sleep or the way I was eating, and moving and thinking. These all played it a major role, but it had at least as much to do with the levels and types of stress that were bearing down on me; my life situation and circumstances. In other words, I wasn’t fatigued, my body was from too much stress, including but not limited to work, financial, coping, social, family etc.

Basically, things were out of whack in my life, and my body was taking the impact. 

You’ll notice that I use the word “coping” above because how we cope with and “handle” exogenous stress, which affects the biological and our capacities, is either efficient or if dysfunctional, ineffecient, and this will consume energy in a significant way, crushing your performance and effectiveness. So understanding the biological function is important to guide your lifestyle decisions, to manage your energy, health, and performance, but dealing with external stress is often not a biological discussion.

Remember above I said there are two sources of stress (each made up of several sub-sources of course) and that they go hand in hand? Well, your lifestyle has to span both, else both your inner biological world (your brain and body) will suffer and your success in the world.

Performance Lifestyle® Training teaches you the full span of both the performance mindset and the lifestyle skillsets needed to do that, as human performance IS a lifestyle and nothing less. But what is the most important idea in that span of skills?

In a world that will keep you doing, training, consuming, working, thinking etc. virtually non-stop…

It’s Regeneration.

Get this side of the equation right in your life and everything else can go right, starting with Sleep. This is the mother load. 
In the coming month, we are going to start up Performance Lifestyle® Training 365 once again. Every month we will be teaching an essential aspect of the lifestyle, and during the year will offer access to the pivotal deep dive training that will make you all the more successful in developing a lifestyle that supports you, your energy, health and performance, and achieving what you’re up in the world. It starts with getting the edge by optimizing your sleep performance so fatigue is no longer distracting and holding your back from being effective.

5 Evening Habits That Mess With Your Sleep

There is one aspect of your lifestyle that is more important than all others. It’s your sleep. And unless our nighttime routine promotes success, we suffer. Yes, not just you but those around you. And it is, to use an old success term, the “key” to human energy, health and performance.

Sleep is the bedrock for restoring your energy, and what we do in the evening impacts it more than anthing else. Your evening/nighttime routine will either mess up your sleep and ultimately deplete the level of energy you so depend on during your relentlessly busy days, shorting your action potential; or, it will make you powerful and give you grace!

Before we dive into the 5 evening habits that are messing up your sleep, first a little background.

Everywhere you look, there are health and success experts, trainers, strategists and thought leaders all focused towards great ends; wanting you to live a disease-free, healthy, higher achieving and fulfilling, quality of life.

That said, almost all overlook the life force energy that makes it all possible. And even fewer are talking about the lifestyle we’re living as a whole these days that results in us being so wiped out tired before the end of the day that we end up responding to stress in ways that create way more stress as we cope with exhaustion, which, crushes (in a bad way) our sleep quality.

That, of course, leads to a vicious cycle that can give way to other vicious cycles such as poor eating… and ultimately a hard-to-get-out-of downward spiral; as poor sleep quality undermines all our other lifestyle habits; and so it goes.

In response, and for a long time, I’ve been inspiring, educating and supporting people, typically the driven among us, on how to live in balance with vibrant health and peace of mind while achieving even our most ambitious goals, as a new kind of coach, a Performance Lifestyle Coach. It’s what gave rise to founding Performance Lifestyle® Inc and growing a team of people who will help you get all aspects of your lifestyle working for you (not just your nutrition and fitness), so you can better achieve what you’re up to in the world.

In other words, we help you get free of the hidden lifestyle challenges that distract and hold so many people back from living that disease-free, healthy, higher achieving and fulfilling, quality of life.

The difference between a Performance Lifestyle coach and any other type of “life coach,” is that we focus on your style of living for whole-life performance; not just obtaining the skills and knowledge needed to achieve specific personal or professional goals. For example, what’s the point of having the skills to achieve a specific goal, if you are suffering from fatigue and are not able to perform well, to begin with? 

Which, is our segue.

If there is one hidden challenge that is more challenge “ing” than all the others; a problem that is so pervasive even those who don’t realize they are suffering from it are likely suffering from it to some degree, affecting every other aspect of their lifestyle, and their capacity to stay healthy and succeed… It’s fatigue

I have known that for some time, particularly as a very driven person who suffered from fatigue for a very long time, but I must admit its taken years for me to appreciate how influential fatigue is and has been in my/our hard-charging lives. It’s also taken our company years not only to prioritize fatigue and energy management over all other aspects of human performance (psychology, nutrition, fitness…) but become knowledgeable in the “motherload metric” of fatigue (the flipside of energy) what and how important optimal sleep (for starters) is in limiting its daily and cumulative impact.

And above all the amazing insights we’ve learned as a company key scientific concepts and findings, understandings, nuances, principles, practicess, strategies including the use of technology to ensure we not only get enough and the right quality of sleep, but also manage our energy throughout our day’s, weeks and month for better results in our lives— none trumps the impact of fatigue more than the evening routine. 

Talk to almost anyone these days and you will discover a sleep problem; if not sleep apnea/like symptoms, there are too many awakenings due to an overactive mind, or simply not enough sleep. And, what should be obvious but is too rarely talked about, is how much energy we are spending these days.Today, more than 70 million people in America are struggling to get enough of the deep and regenerative quality sleep that makes our life work well, but we are also spending more energy each day than at times, 7-9 hours of sleep alone, can actually recover.

So let me be clear when it comes to energy, sleep is not enough, but you must get enough sleep!

Now, there is a much bigger conversation here, though in this journal post we’re identifying 5 common evening habits that are surely messing with your sleep. They are all part of your nighttime routine and your nighttime routine will determine the success of your sleep. So this journal post should inspire you to optimize your nighttime routine—the post-work, pre-bed period—which is critical to your sleep, or what we call “the bedrock of human energy, health, and performance.”

This will start you on the path to living a “performance lifestyle,” you can call your own, where you optimize the way you live as a whole, to support you and what you’re up to in the world.

5 Evening Habits That Are Messing With Your Sleep

Stuck tossing and turning when it’s time to sleep? Here are some surprising ways that you might be shortchanging your shuteye in the hours leading up to bedtime—and how to reverse course.

  1. You eat dinner too late.

We get it, you’re working late and late work hours can lead to late-night dining. But eating like you’re in Europe doesn’t make for quality sleep. That’s because your body does its best digestion when you’re upright—not curled up in bed and when you’re ok with your energy digesting food. On behalf of you, let’s just say, you don’t want to be ok with your body digesting food throughout the night.

Going to bed with a full stomach makes you seven times more likely to suffer from uncomfortable issues like acid reflux, sleep apnea, or heartburn that can keep you awake.

Also, sleep is for energy, and body regeneration, not digestion, which is energy intensive and distracts your energy away from regeneration, leaving you tired and less recovered in the AM. There is a whole cascade of neurotransmitters and hormones that will be blunted if you are eating too late at night. This is a big one.

       2. You watch TV in bed.

Exercise, like sun/light, earlier in the day, is great for your sleep. TV marathons, on the other hand? Not so much. Not only does the availability of endless episodes mean serious temptation to keep watching past your bedtime, and eat, but the blue light that the TV emits can disrupt your body’s natural melatonin production, making it harder to fall asleep when it’s time.

Take your TV out of your bedroom tonight it’s a stimulant that is killing your sleep. Nothing like having a Walking Dead Zombie on your mind as you drift off into not so peaceful sleep, let alone the news.

We like to watch TV, at times, so if you do, be prepared to make changes on certain days that afford this time, so it does not take away from your sleep.

       3. You go to sleep with your smartphone in the room. 

Phones and tablets are just mobile TV’s, they bring the same sleep-evading blue light into your bedroom as TV. But that’s not the only reason they can disrupt sleep. Checking your e-mail or scanning Facebook or other social media sites before bed can be a recipe for getting riled up with work stress or political posts—none of which is conducive to restful sleep. And as we have all learned it’s hard to stop.

Look, here at Performance Lifestyle, we look to live ideally, but we are not idealists. There are times to break every rule, particularly when other rules have been broken and you are in-fact coping. There are worse things you can do than watch America’s Got Talent on your iPhone before bed. I am the head coach of Performance Lifestyle Inc and I do so from time to time. You don’t want to make your iPhone or Android, a major way we interact with the world, the bad buy here. But we do need to work on our relationship with our devices as part of your performance lifestyle.

Do you have a relationship with your iPhone that’s supporting you and what you’re up to in the world? Or, is it distracting you, depleting you, and taking your time and attention away from what’s important to your health and success?

One reason we call this the “performance” lifestyle is that, while no doubt healthy, performance is based on energy first and foremost and to manage your energy, you must learn lifestyle management. Digital devices today are part of that management. You need to use them, they cannot take you over.

    4. Your midnight snack is sugar-central.

First, if you are eating, a whole food, plant-based nutrient-rich diet, you will not be driven for midnight snacks or snacking much at all.

Munching on cookies may seem innocent enough, after a hard day’s work, but all that refined sugar can take a toll on your sleep. The inevitable sugar crash, and worse, body cleansing that is always taking place, especially when you sleep, may leave you feeling ready to turn in, but unable to sleep.

Excess sugar can also cause middle-of-the-night awakenings as your body detoxifies, and you are both craving and uncomfortable. And that sets the stage for bleary-eyed mornings as you didn’t actually recharge during the night as your body dealt not only with the sugar but all the other food “stuff” that the sugar, and salt, and oil, etc came packed with.

If you are experiencing sleep apnea like effects where you breathing gets’s blocked, particularly when sleeping on your back then, first and foremost, look to your food choices and when you are eating.

    5. You are too tired at night and buffer poorly before bed. 

Yes, this is a habit. It’s a macro habit and more indicative of your daily routine. It’s getting too tired.

This can probably be the toughest thing to deal with at night. It’s ironical when you face how tired you really are, not how tired you think you are. When we slow down, this is called a buffering period. It’s the time period between the activity of the day and the inactivity during sleep. Years ago, before the Internet sped up the pace of life 10-fold, when we worked for 8 hours, had “life” for 4-8 hours and then slept for 8-12 hours we had a buffer period to wind down before bed.

Years ago, before the Internet sped up the pace of life 10-fold, when we worked for 8 hours, had “life” for 4-8 hours and then slept for 8-12 hours we had a buffer period to wind down before bed. Today we don’t have that buffer. With access to information the way we do, we are working or “spending energy” nearly all the time. Unless you make the time to buffer and change the way you work your days, weeks and months so that you are not so tired by nighttime you need food, tv and a bottle of wine, let alone sleeping pills just to get to sleep, then your sleep will be compromised.

Lack of buffering time is why people struggle with getting to sleep and get to sleep so late. They are simply too tired and it’s too uncomfortable to deal with the deep regeneration that takes place as you initially succumb to sleep. And this also creates an unhealthy association between stress and your bed as you toss and turn dealing with your exhaustion.

Final thoughts for now, 

As stated above, sleep alone is not enough today to maintain the surplus energy over and above the demands of our relentlessly busy days, but it is the bedrock. You must enough quantity
of sleep that is high quality, and consistently and we are going to help make this possible for you in your life.

Stay tuned. Ask the Lifestyle Coach will be starting soon, where you will be able to ask your most important questions and participate in monthly Q&A on all articles, journal posts and realization video’s from that month as you walk the Performance Lifestyle path that will uplevel the way you live and make possible the advancing life.

Author: 
John Allen Mollenhauer, known as John Allen or “JAM”, is the head coach and founder of Performance Lifestyle Inc. and a leading authority in healthy, performance living worldwide. He is Professional Coach who helps driven people live in balance with vibrant health and peace of mind while achieving even their most ambitious goals.

Schedule with JAM today to assess your present situation and determine the best course of action for you and or your company.

 

 

 

Holiday Cancelled Because Work is Your Vacation

Response to Russell Brunson on Why Entrepreneurs Suck at Vacations

Dear Russel Brunson.

This morning I was watching your video, Why Entrepreneurs Suck at Vacations, and I would like to offer some added perspective on this. By the comments, It’s likely that my little doses of truth and reality could catch flak from people who are younger, simply haven’t come to these realizations yet or have never burned out; but ok, I’m going with it.

First, why do entrepreneurs (or any business professional) really suck at vacations?

Here are 7 reasons (I”m sure there are more)

  1. They don’t have enough support to get away.
    Having a high responsibility job, or business can make it tough to get away.

  2. They don’t have the disposable income.
    If you are early in the entrepreneurial process, vacations in the traditional sense can leave you a bit strapped.

  3. They don’t realize the difference between vacations and trips.
    There is a huge difference; one leaves you thrilled and a little dollar poorer, while the other leaves you rejuvenated. (not a shun on trips)

  4. They are simply too tired to plan a trip and stay in the routine they are used to.
    Let’s face it trips, in particular, take a good deal of preparation and energy.
  5. They don’t have a good enough reason to (another business event coming up) so they would rather work because they “enjoy it.”
    This is often what entrepreneurs do, they make vacations around business trips, which usually aren’t vacations, just time out of the office because they rationalize that it’s actually less stress.

  6. They are successful and haven’t “hit the wall” or experienced burnout, “yet” and want to keep on pressing on. 
    I remember this one, the thrill of the business outweighed the thrill of a trip and a vacation.

  7. They don’t understand the power of rejuvenation and the impact it has on their life and business. 
    Maintaining surplus energy has yet to enter into their consciousness.

Now for that added perspective on vacations.

I love you, buddy, my company uses Click Funnels, we read your wisdom-filled books. I’ve been an entrepreneur for a long time. I totally get where you are coming from on this; and even today, older and wiser than my former self; those same thoughts plow through my brain while preparing for and going on vacations like the drive to drink does for an alcoholic.

I agree to a large extent, that this is how we entrepreneurs think but I assure you younger man, you will burn out if you keep that up. This is not about living a balanced life, we entrepreneurs will always be skewed towards what we’re up to in the world, and for the most part, outside of other essential aspects of life (our husband or wife, family, the kids, education to some degree, etc; most things in our life revolve around what we are up to. I get it.

But let’s not confuse a balanced life with a balanced lifestyle that is replete with all the essential skills necessary to manage our lives for health and performance.

The thing is, you DID just take a vacation and you DID get some rest and while you may have been stressed due to the tug and pull of your business while away during a huge momentum period with Expert Secrets, who doesn’t feel that stress? You don’t have to be an entrepreneur to feel some stress while away anyway; you could be any professional today, caught up in a world that doesn’t stop, not just because you need a vacation. Things just always keep going.

That’s why people, including myself, have smart phones to deal with just the critical stuff while away as we carve out space for being with family, rejuvenating, playing and having some fun etc. without having to come home to a storm. I am not one of those people who demonize the cell phone. We need to use it for it can do to benefit our lives. It’s also why we set up our exit long before we go.

Vacation is vital to our performance and our success, let alone our health and well-being.

But again, down deep I see you get that to some degree; you DID go away, your body DID get some rejuvenation and my guess is critical issues were dealt with like a pro. Many people don’t go away and largely because of the story you just put into this video even with a positive intent; but as an influencer, may just have made a creed for those people who desperately need some space and time to rejuvenate, but maybe won’t now.

That’s where “performance addiction” starts and the eventual consequences are not fun.

You went on vacation. So, honor that for all that vacations do do for us. Don’t poo poo it as a distraction. You’re better this week in your role because of that vacation and I bet your had fun too. It sure looked like it in the video.

Frankly, I don’t think you should be sending this message because it reinforces our already performance addicted (people who can’t stop because of stories like this) lifestyles, which (for entrepreneurs) are more accurately rooted in the fact that our businesses are driving us a little crazy (possibility development issues, financial, not enough team, or just trying to keep up with the pace and success of things). It just comes across like one performance addict resonating with the performance addict in us all these days, this entrepreneur included, but not nearly the way it would have in the past.

We may love our companies (our baby’s), we want to see them succeed and our message to change the world, but the tradeoff is that, especially in the early stages, there are constant demands on us.

Simply being away is a stress as things build up, but I don’t know of anyone who truly wants to be working all the time any more than a mother wants to be with her baby ALL the time.

It’s not about burning out on our business or our baby, it’s about burning up our personal energy!.

Yes, simply being away is a stress as things build up, but there are ways to mitigate that as I know you know, and that doesn’t require us holding the perspective that we’re just going away for our loved ones (I’m sure your wife loved that one 😉 because we immortals don’t need vacations. We do!

Look, I get it, it’s not an easy thing to do, I have canceled holidays and vacations. I have gone years at times without one, not because I couldn’t afford one, but it was just never the “right time;” and I maintained that story for years always to my detriment with consequences I still feel today. For the longest time, my only vacations where when I had a conference to go to.

It was “business” with a little extra time for me.

I even still struggle a bit with vacations because I myself “love momentum,” as you say; I don’t like to lose it and understand the challenges and responsibilities of running a company. The business is seemingly always needy and needing me.

But I’ve had to, and “we all need to,” get used to managing momentum and come to the realization that rejuvenation periods do not equate to lost momentum. Maybe a bit in the short term but not in the slightly longer term as rejuvenation periods (what vacations are supposed to be) create surges of energy that are highly valuable to entrepreneurs. Not to mention the clarity of power that usually follows a vacation.

Still, despite all the “lifestyle business,” “work on your business, not in it,” “build systems etc” messages that you hear so many “experts” talk about, where you hear about being peaceful on the beach while your business is kicking ass for weeks on end; the thing is, the promise is real, but it rarely plays out that way until ways down the road.

And as you know, many “I’ve made it” pretenders, are working constantly even while they are on vacation. Which reinforces your point. This is our life, and entrepreneurs generally have more control over their time. So, the trade off is, until that point where we have sheer and utter stability in our companies with lots of human and financial depth to buffer demands, we have to get used to working all the time, and taking time out for periods of rejuvenation, even if we work a bit even during that time.

Everyone thinks they’re looking to have that life where things are on autopilot, where we can have that four-hour work (which even Tim Ferris has openly admitted to not having) and have all the time and space we need to live our lives, travel etc;  “lifestyle” business. But it’s just not that simple, and to your point, Tim’s an entrepreneur and if he only had to work 4 hours, chances are he would fill in the other 76 hours of his work week doing other entrepreneurial things, which he does!

And even with the resources that would make that seemingly idyllic life possible, those wh0 can take all the time they want, away, usually, don’t for reasons just mentioned. People will just keep on keeping on with what’s most important to them, and driven by their true nature, which is to create. And entrepreneurs lead this pack. You and I know that because you’re right… when you’re up to something you are passionate in the world, we want to do it all the time, and leaving it, is like that mother just dropping her baby off to a sitter for a week.

We don’t like to do that!

We mostly like what we do, and slowing down is fraught with the realities from facing our true condition (how tired we really are) to losing that momentum that can be hard to regain. But to maintain it, we DO need to regenerate. To maintain high levels of energy and keep going on the things that matter most to us we need to sleep, rest, recover, relax, meditate and rejuvenate at the core of lifestyle that supports our high performance.

I know, the marketplace and sometimes our own heads, don’t give a shit if we’re tired, it doesn’t pause, it just keeps on steaming ahead but let’s be careful not to confuse our desire for momentum, to avoid the stress of our not keeping up with requests and actions building up, with a story that “our work is our vacation.”

It can seem that way, and I have said that a hundred times over, but it’s completely ridiculous and insidious. I assure you, working is NOT a vacation, even if we love what we do. We’re only saying that because we don’t want the stress of things building up or the fear of losing momentum as you’ve stated.

But would you tell an athlete who loves to train, they won’t burn out by overtraining? No. And I know you are a former athlete and one still at heart. I was a wrestler too. You know that overtraining burns you out. Overwork does the same.

Burnout, as it’s so commonly passed off, is not primarily a loss of passion; it’s the overspending of energy and the buildup of fatigue that results in a loss of passion and sticktoitiveness, as the amperage in our body depletes and your action potential diminishes. This is when we start short cutting the process and the natural cycles of things, including sleep and we downward spiral, even if the business is good.

Overwhelmed, with less and less energy, things then start to go awry, not the least of which is the rest of the lifestyle habits we’ve worked so hard to establish and often paid thousands of dollars to learn. It’s certainly not a lack of calories as so many entrepreneurs eat to stimulate their way through the day. It is a lack of recuperation due to non-stop activity, that gets our ball rolling in the wrong direction.

And that reality is lost on some/younger people. They just don’t get that because they haven’t faced true burn out in their life yet, either due to the momentum or success of their business, and countless other reasons. They have a vested interest in just keeping on keeping on and keeping those around them keeping up and on too. It’s good for business now, and in the near term but in the not so long term it won’t be; for you, me, them, our customers, employees or our businesses bottom line.

Just hit your 40’s and 50’s (or earlier) after years of shorted sleep and vacations, little relaxation and going all the time, and you’ll see what I mean. You’re not there yet. But you run that risk “bigly,”

I’m not being negative, trying to find a chink in your armor, jealous of your success, or anything of the like. I started this off by telling you I love you buddy, and I am amazed by your companies success, but I know a thing or two about this evident but detrimental perspective you’re putting out as some tribal mindset for entrepreneurs; a rallying cry to keep going, as if “this is who we are.”

It’s 1-part passion, 2-parts fear, and 7-parts bullshit (not really scientific on that, but you get the idea) and it’s not who we are or what we are; it’s how we are due to our performance addicted culture. It’s flawed on just so many levels I could go on for hours. It also keeps people performance addictedthe only syndrome that could be ruining your life, and people around you are applauding you for it.

As a long-time tech and nutrition entrepreneur turned lifestyle entrepreneur now teaching people (including my self always) how to live a balanced and healthy “performance lifestyle” after years of maintaining the performance addiction you are currently modeling for people in that video, I had to respond to this. There is a new perspective on what you’re saying that is far more productive. And I know you are wise enough to explore it and even adopt it.

We can stop, be, rest, recover, take breaks, meditate, and rejuvenate on stay/vacations in the flux of our driven goal and success oriented lives if we have a performance lifestyle mindset/skills set and understand that performance is a lifestyle, not an addiction.

And it just so happens that vacations are a HUGE part of a lifestyle that is working for you not against you.

Burning out, and trading our health for success has never worked and won’t anytime soon. And I am not implying that you were in any way suggesting people live unhealthily, but tiring out, covering it up, and eventually burning out by making work is our vacation will do just that; it wears you out.

For many, the lack of enough sleep and poor management of their energy kills their performance. It’s the primary reason why they don’t have business momentum as they just keep tiring out and are afraid to take on the stress of running a company.

It’s a lifestyle thing, and way more than just sleep, exercise and working out.

You must admit, to do what you and I are doing and not burn out, or live unhealthy takes a lot of insight and support, and most people just don’t have it. Nor do they often have business traction at the level they need to afford that space and time. They’re getting there, but it is a major error in judgment to endorse a philosophy of not taking time away because it’s on the way up is when we need true vacations most.

I could keep going, but man, you’re an athlete, start conveying the lifestyle that helped you “peak” for events in sports, to the world of entrepreneurship— the world’s most intense sport. If you need some help, I’d be happy to fill you in, but for god’s sake don’t throw the baby out with the bath water, by taking an already over-stressed community of people and telling them that work is our vacation and we don’t need relaxation… “don’t worry we won’t burn out”…  You will. 

I would love it, if I could work not stop, never tire out, and keep going as far and as high as I want to go. That’s our true nature indeed. But we have body/brains to maintain, and these power tools will eventually force us into a lifestyle that meets our needs and maintains our function and performance.  They need to be recharged, refueled etc. And that’s a primary reason why we take vacations.

In the world, I AM an entrepreneur but I don’t want to be that inevitable burnout without a lifestyle that supports me and what I’m up to in the world. Healthy, high achieving people have performance lifestyle’s, they don’t live as performance addicts, at least not anymore.

Let’s talk. Maybe in your next video, we will put out some real wisdom on performance and lifestyle, in the way you deliver marketing insight. Good Stuff.

I know where you were going with this video and you are 100% right, it’s not a job it’s our life! Bravo! I’m with you. Let’s just make sure we respect what lifestyle is really about, and why we need vacations, to fully power up our lives.

I’ve got your back, Russel.

~ JAM

Sleep is the key to your success.

Why Sleep May Just Be Your Newest Highest Priority

Did you get more sleep in August?
Summer has come to an end, and we hope August was warm and good to you and that you got lots of sleep. August is the most rejuvenating month of the year and this year, it’s more important to our family than ever before.  We have another baby coming into our family in October, so this past month was the second to last month of our present life schedule without a new toddler that will definitely test our sleep skills.

Yes preparing for the family expansion is important, but making sure we are well rested going into this unpredictable period is even more important; in fact, it’s the most important. It’s also the reason why we slowed down big time in August and sleep became our newest highest priority.

Typically, and ironically, the one aspect of lifestyle that is often considered the most expendable is the most important. So important in fact that there isn’t one function in your life or my life that isn’t affected by either the surplus or depletion of energy that comes primarily from our sleep routine.

It’s why the entire Performance Lifestyle curriculum starts with learning how to establish optimal 7-9 hours or more of actual sleep, not total-time-in-bed. These are very different concepts and one depends on the other. 

For years I thought I was getting the “8 hours of sleep” we all hear so much about by going to bed at 10 PM and waking up at 6 AM. Assuming I fell asleep the minute my head touched the pillow (which would not be a good sign), and, that I didn’t wake up not once the entire time, I would have been correct in getting 8 hours of sleep.

But does that sound likely to you?

Hardly! 

And now in retrospect, the answer to “why in the heck was I so tired all the time?” is clear. 

In actuality, I was getting approximately 6.3 hours of sleep or less based on testing. No wonder I felt tired virtually all the time, for decades, despite having relatively optimal nutrition and excellent exercise habits. The only exception to feeling tired all the time, was when I was super stimulated, which was probably why that was my aim near all the time as an entrepreneur and athletic person. The over stimulation of constantly going camouflaged my fatigue to a large extent for a long time, but it only covered it up. When I wasn’t in high gear mode I was exhausted beyond measure. 

That’s the truth.

There may be many ways to explain that feeling of fatigue and low-grade anxiety that persisted within me for years, but one thing I can now tell you with certainty, being short nearly two hours of sleep per night for probably 4 decades was not helping my plight.

2 hours of energy debt, (depletion due to lost sleep) per night compounded over years will take a massive toll on your life (I am no exception) and the worst thing is; virtually nobody will catch it.

Your fatigue, your bodies malfunctions, your desire to over eat and be inactive and that feeling of being a little “cookoo for coco puffs” etc… will be blamed on your psychology, your nutrition, your everything else like a questionable purpose or passion for your job etc and all of these may have some merit; but few if any, will look into your sleep and how much energy you are regenerating each day in contrast to how much you’re spending.

If you’ve ever had the feeling of losing money, you know a little about what that feels like. It’s the same with personal energy only worse as you become more and more a shell of your former self, depleted of the life force you need to function, let alone succeed as a human being.

A few weeks back I wrote up an article called The 6 Core Factors That Affect How Well You Sleep. 
Read it again.
Sleep is that big of a deal, and of all the aspects and key concepts we will help you master here in Performance Lifestyle® training, sleep performance is numero uno. Everything else depends on it. 

At first take, it may seem to you, “ok, sure I need to sleep more but I have so much to take care of I can only get 6 hours of sleep.”

Mrs. Houston, you have a problem and I suggest to reconsider that story as taking care of everything else depends on your getting enough sleep. That’s obvious. Things have to change, and it’s not enough to just say that you’re going to get more sleep; there is way more to it than a passing consideration or resolution that will only ensure your current sleep routine continues selling you and your life short.

No matter what your present situation, you can get more sleep and even realize surplus energy to meet and exceed the demands on your energy, but it requires sleep among other keystone energy management habits.

To experience the surplus energy we aim to maintain in a performance lifestyle of our own making; get ready for a whole new view of sleep and what it takes to have optimal sleep performance that makes the rest of your life a lot more functional.

In the coming couple weeks, we’re going to begin helping you get that performance edge (surplus energy) everyone wants. We’re going to begin helping you beat fatigue and approach your life, your family and your career from a position of strength.

We’re going to help you get out of the red and into the green as you can see by the picture below. It’s not as easy as one may think at face value, as there are very few things that perplex people more than the subjective take they have on their own energy levels, their actual energy levels and what it takes to bridge the gap. There is a lot wrapped up in making sure that 1/3 of your life works so well, that the other 2/3’s are amazing.

Juts wait and see what happens. You’ll soon have a whole new sense of influence or control over your life and god knows success-oriented people love to know that. It’s why sleep may just become your newest, highest priority.