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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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