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. 
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.