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.