How Tuckman’s Four Stages of Team Development Apply to YOU

This past week, I was listening to our Pastor share a sequence of insights about Tuckman’s 4 Stages of Team Development that were downright revealing. In the context of taking “extreme ownership” of our lives, which is a concept I am quite familiar with; he was talking about commitment in our relationships.

It didn’t matter what kind of relationship— to your body, your life, your spouse, your work…

As the founder of a lifestyle company that is helping people bridge the wide gap that exists between living healthy and being a success with Performance Lifestyle training, I am always on the lookout for complementary ideas that are process oriented.

By that, I mean ideas that explain natural processes the can help people gauge the phase of development they are in.

Well, in making his point about commitment and why a commitment to anything can be challenging, our pastor introduced us to Tuckman’s 4 stages of team development model. It applies to a team and is experienced personally as you interact with others.

We’re going through these stages right now with the development of Performance Lifestyle Inc, internally in terms of manage and operations, and in working with customers and clients who are taking our new training, utilizing our coaching and consumables to optimize the way they live.

It’s our primary aim to help you live with optimal energy levels, health and performanceand finally getting free of the hidden lifestyle challenges, using the approach we’ve been developing for more than 20 years.

When I heard the stages I thought how complimentary they were for people going through The 3 Levels of Lifestyle Transformation. 

The 3 Stages of Lifestyle Transformation

Here are Tuckman’s 4 stages. How might these apply to your life? 

  1. Forming High dependence on leader for guidance and direction.
  2. Storming— Decisions don’t come easily within the group.  
  3. Norming— Agreement, and consensus largely forms among the team,
  4. Performing— The team is more strategically aware; the team knows clearly why it is doing what it is doing.

Now think about how Tuckman’s four stages apply to you personally and professionally in your living proficiency (lifestyle) in how you work? Do you know what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and how, so you do it, which would be the performing stage? 

Or, are you in a forming stage where you are following someone else, storming where you are struggling with something new like making a lifestyle change (up-leveling some aspect of how you live) or in the norming phase where you are not quite as quick on the uptake as you know you care capable of but you understand your situation well enough to arrive at a good decision?

Well, as I was listening I realized that as a company we are at the tail end of the forming stage, well into the storming stage and just starting to see like on the norming stage. Just so you know, and soon, our performing stage will arrive,

How will we know we’ve arrived,

  • it’s when you as a customer or client will be able to come to, sign up for a low cost and high impact 30- day transformation training on some aspect of your lifestyle like learning how to Regenerate Your Life Force Energy, so you can uplevel your life, not once, not twice but up to 12 times in a year in essential ways.

  • it’s when you ‘re really proficient at all the Performance Lifestyle skills, you know what to do, why you’re doing it and how, so you do it; so you have more energy than you’ve experienced for some time, healthier than you’ve ever been, and performing at a level that feels more like an out of body experience than you efforting things.
  • it’s when you’re also able to access coaching when you need it on demand, as needed, from an even bigger team of coaches, based on the training you just got and you’re able to buy the lifestyle accessories like nutrition products, bedding, clothing, wearables and the like all from a community that you are part of.

We are glad to have you on the path with us and we look forward to serving you by helping you or the organization you work for, arrive at that performing stage. We are well on our way.

It’s a beautiful thing when you’re performing!

The Impact of Fatigue on Business Professionals

The names in this case study have been changed for purposes of anonymity.

This is the story of Julie, a driven academic with entrepreneurial capacity and her story of fatigue, how it affected her in real life and what she started to do about it:

“I always really enjoyed setting challenging intellectual and professional goals. Striving to achieve them became the core of my lifestyle and I liked it that way. From time to time, my drive to perform at my best level drove me to exhaustion so my early life was characterized by cycling through long periods of deep engagement and high achievement followed by periods of disengagement and relative solitude.

My preference has always been toward meeting intellectual and organizational challenges which ultimately turned me into a talking head, meaning I could tackle almost any challenge but I was almost completely detached from the needs of my body.

When my mother became chronically ill in 1999, it fell mostly to me to come through for her, financially, emotionally, and physically.  My sister moved home from Boston to help with my mother’s care in our home. It turned out to be an eighteen month, around-the-clock, wouldn’t-have-done it-any-other-way-but-wow-it-was-awful-and-beautiful, time of our lives.  At that time, I had just begun my doctoral studies. I made a quick switch from a full-time job to a management consulting practice so that I could be more available for my mother’s home care.

Within the years of her long illness, midlife changes and challenges made it even more difficult to move forward even just one step at a time.  Even so, I felt I had to keep the three of us afloat financially and with the additional and extraordinary medical bills, I saw no other choice but to sustain a high level of consulting practice, finish my degree, and take care of my mom all on just a few fitful hours of sleep each night.  I was literally running on adrenaline all the while I was performing extremely well in my work, my degree and my family responsibilities; all done by sheer force of will.

I knew I was tired, but what I didn’t realize then was that I was a lot more than just tired; I was deep into energy debt also known as biological or sleep debt) with a body that was breaking down around it.  My thoughts were racing all the time so it took a lot of effort to focus them on doing my work.  Restorative sleep was a distant memory. Taking time away was out of the question. I began withdrawing from personal relationships; I was just too tired.  Any suggestion that I take care of myself or take the time to relax just felt like one more thing I did not have the energy to do. My focus narrowed to what I felt I had to get done. The consequences of my not getting absolutely everything done right, seemed enormous – when only one of my responsibilities (the care of my mother) carried serious consequences if I withdrew from my responsibilities.

I also didn’t realize that the grief over my mother’s approaching death and my refusal to fail in any of my self-imposed responsibilities was masking the fact that I was literally sacrificing my own vitality to sustain performance at this level.  As I look back on it now, I realize that it was my valiant efforts to avoid the reality of my own limitations that ultimately did me in – big time – and for a long time.

On one hand, I felt more alive than ever as I walked these final months with my mother and achieved the highest level of academic and professional success I had to that point of my life. On the other hand, I began to wonder more and more if I was going to survive my mother’s terminal illness.

What I now realize is that the first nail in my energy-coffin was that I did not even have the energy it took to disengage from the life-and-death drama that was unfolding right in front of me long enough for me to correct course.  I suffered panic attacks during that time. Thankfully I knew enough about panic attacks (I’m also trained as a counselor) to interpret this frightening event as a wake-up call from my neglected body. The message was loud and clear: either I make the choice to stop placing these heavy energy demands on myself and my body or my body-mind and brain would make it impossible for me to move forward in my life and work.

Just after this happened in 2002, I made the decision to start studying both eastern and western systems of energy management in earnest. I selected it as my dissertation topic which enabled me to give this study sustained attention with the writing of my Ph.D. dissertation 

In the dissertation, I dove deeply into the workings of our personal energy systems as they relate to work performance.  I made it my goal to understand exactly how we bring our energies fully present into our work and into our whole lives and to understand it from as many different perspectives as my mind could grasp. This itself took a great deal of energy.

I decided to use my own worn-down energy system to test the methods and approaches I was learning about in my research and that I was hearing about in the field of energy management.   I wanted to viscerally feel the changes and challenges of the energy management systems I was exploring. I entered five years of training in eastern energy practices.  I grew in appreciation for our western approaches to health and wellness.  I continue to practice the skills I learned from all these systems of energy management daily and often on a moment-by-moment basis using quick check-ins and small, easy adjustments throughout the day. I also continue my research in the areas of personal energy and human performance particularly in the workplace and in leadership.

There are four lessons I bring forward with me from these experiences.

  1. First, I learned to observe my energy status frequently and to notice energy-debt in myself and take quick action to restore myself back to my energy system’s natural set-point. If that means creating space in my calendar, that’s what it means. If that means just giving myself some time to restore from excess stress, that’s what it means.
  2. Second, I learned and remain committed to practicing the skill of strategic disengagement. This skill is essential to our ability to cultivate insight, creativity, and innovation in our personal, social and organizational lives, as well as to renewing the body, mind and our spirit.  Because this topic is so expansive, John Allen goes in depth into energy debt in part one of Performance Living 101.
  3. Third, the lesson that led me to see our body as an energy system is that whole-life performance and quality of life are dependent on my having accurate information about my personal energy; and knowing that I have access to an abundance of energy from which to live and work is paramount.
  4. Fourth, but not final, my research and practice have taught me that information and energy, in fact, form the central core of all that lives.  From our genes to our cells, to our organizational systems, to the universe, we find the basic structural formula of I + E = L information and energy equals Life.

It was only after I finished my Ph.D., and met John Allen Mollenhauer that the lessons I had learned from my ten-year study of personal energy management crystallized into one idea ie. Performance Lifestyle.  

In the meantime, my academic schedule as a professor has continued to elevate, and as you can imagine I’ve learned not to push it too hard. So, I share this all to let you know how important it is to know how to live a performance lifestyle because essential defines what living in balance… is all about.

Your body is a Powerhouse, even if you don’t feel like it right now. It generates and regenerates energy extremely well under the right conditions and this is the balance point you must master. You need to know about this else all other definitions of balance fail. It’s vital for you to understand how you can harness, maintain and manage your energy.

If you are interested in energy, health and performance and a driven business professional, learn from my hard-earned insights. With what you’ll learn here at Performance Lifestyle, you will soon have that roadmap to start and gauge your success.

John Allen Mollenhauer and a slew of highly credentialed Advisors I’m aware of has in fact put brought together the never-before-assembled formula for optimal energy and performance, lifestyle management. I hope you will take it to heart and put it in play. Not only will it help you avoid the premature downward spiral that starts with exhaustion and fatigue and can get much worse; it will save you decades of time and give rise to a new lifestyle so you can achieve your goals in a way that does not compromise your life, health, and wellbeing.

Good luck.




3 Hidden Challenges That Stress, Distract and Hold You Back

In Performance Lifestyle® Training, we talk about the stress of hidden lifestyle challenges frequently. They are the shadow side of the fundamentals of successful living: essentials skills (or habits) we all need to know if we’re going perform, look, and feel like a pro. That is someone who is proficient and skillful at navigating life so they can achieve even their most ambitious goals while living in balance with vibrant health and peace of mind.

A hidden lifestyle challenge is an underlying dynamic or stress in your life that causes compounding distress and distraction and takes your attention away from what is most important.

You know something is wrong, but you can’t quite put your finger on the cause or solve the problem, even though you are doing what all the popular books and usual authorities tell you to do, like eat less, exercise regularly, and get more sleep. You are suffering from a hidden lifestyle challenge.

Most of the challenges people suffer from are hidden, particularly for those of us who have a lot of responsibility and put out a great deal of personal energy. It is common for driven people to cope with stress in ways that create more stress, cover up the original causes of the stress, and struggle with performance addiction.

These challenges aren’t usually solved with popular tactics that focus on the symptoms. For example, the symptoms of fatigue, weight gain, and atrophy (deconditioning) are not solved by simply getting you to boost energy, lose weight, and build muscle. There are several lifestyle factors at play in each of these conditions, and it takes a lifestyle change to sustain improvements.

It’s no surprise that the health and fitness fields typically focus on specific issues; in particular, low energy, increased weight, and lack of muscle tone. These are easy to target symptoms of a lifestyle gone awry because you can see that there’s a problem when there are too little energy and muscle and too much weight. Yet, the root cause of the problem is hidden and almost always the result of a series of unresolved lifestyle challenges that conspire to produce undesired consequences.

Despite how much discussion surrounds eating, exercising, and sleeping, the source of such challenges is typically well hidden and confusing to untangle, especially if you or the person you are taking advice from is only competent in one or more of these common aspects of lifestyle.

We’ll focus on these three popular aspects of lifestyle for the purposes of helping you understand what it takes to resolve a hidden lifestyle challenge.

Hidden Lifestyle Challenge #1: The Stress of Fatigue

In our modern, fast-paced world, fatigue is a persistent challenge. You have so many demands on your time and energy that the busier you get, the less space you have, to take care of yourself, your body, and your life. This will no doubt result in fatigue.

Fatigue is caused by living over your edge. For starters, it’s spending more energy than your body is recuperating.

You work hard to squeeze in the latest health tips, you nap or meditate occasionally, and you strive to get to bed earlier. But you still aren’t waking up fresh each day and you are constantly tired.

This is no small matter. In fact, this is probably the biggest challenge you’ll face because everything else you do in life depends on having enough energy to do it well and sustain it. This includes living healthfully.

There are 3 types of stress.

  1. The biology of stress—think circadian rhythms, light, hormones, stress…
  2. The stress created by reacting to stressors in ways that create more stress—think lifestyle.
  3. The stressors we experience in our external world that we don’t control and or don’t know how to handle—think family, professional, social life etc.

The hidden lifestyle challenge resulting in increased stress is fatigue. In Performance Lifestyle training, it’s essential that you learn how to overcome fatigue and it’s misinterpretation by learning the biology of energy, how to stop coping with stress in ways that create more stress for sure, and optimize your lifestyle skills so that you can better handle stressors.

The primary solution for overcoming this hidden lifestyle challenge is learning how to regenerate your life force energy as an essential lifestyle skill.

Hidden Lifestyle Challenge #2: The Stress of Eating Nutrient-Poor Food

With the way food is marketed today, even a product that is rich in just one nutrient will often be branded as a healthy food. Many of us are eating up to 50% of foodstuffs that are man-made, with ingredients that are considered healthy or acceptable in food (culturally or economically). But they aren’t healthy.

On top of that, almost 40% of the “natural” foods we eat, we consume at levels that are too high (think animal products). These are natural foods that are rich in some nutrients but still nutrient poor.

If you have spent much of your life thinking you are eating healthy when you aren’t, the substandard nutrition in your diet could be causing issues with cravings, addictions, and overeating.

The hidden lifestyle challenge causing stress is eating a nutrient-poor diet. In Performance Lifestyle training, it is critical that you learn how to nourish your body so it can provide you with the energy you need to move through the day.

The primary solution for overcoming this hidden lifestyle challenge is learning how to eat nutrient-rich whole foods.

Hidden Lifestyle Challenge #3: The Stress of Being Busy but Physically Inactive

Your body manifests the stress you are enduring in your life in either a constructive way or a destructive way. This depends on the kind of stress you experience and how ready your body/brain is to adapt to the stress. But you can’t know your true condition until you apply stress to your physical body in a conditioning capacity.

In a performance lifestyle, there are few activities more important than being physically active. It is only when you are in a physical performance situation that you can understand your true condition and get accurate feedback.

If you are living a physically inactive life, you are not alone. Many people struggle to get enough exercise or overestimate how active they are. When you start conditioning your body, you’ll really begin up leveling your lifestyle.

The hidden lifestyle challenge causing stress is a lack of physical conditioning. In Performance Lifestyle training, it is important that you learn how to give your body the strength and power it needs to perform.

The primary solution for overcoming this hidden lifestyle challenge is learning how to activate and strengthen your body.

Keep in mind that physical activity is not solely responsible for strengthening your body. Without resolving Hidden Lifestyle Challenges #1 and #2, you’ll be exercising a fatigued body that isn’t fueled properly, and you won’t see the results you want. So this is why we’re giving rise to a whole new lifestyle, corner stoned by the understanding that regeneration and fueling an activated and strengthened body are fundamental skills for living in today’s performance culture.

Getting Started

There are twelve hidden lifestyle challenges that compound stress in our lives and prevent us from handling difficulties in an authentic, resilient, and renewable way. We offer corresponding lifestyle solutions to each challenge.

In Performance Lifestyle training, we address each essential solution in a lifestyle context and in a way that’s relevant, meaningful, and actionable. We also use the inspiration of athletics so you can relate to a segment of the population where lifestyle is directly linked to performance and success.

Start developing your performance lifestyle today by signing up for Module #1: Regenerate Your Life Force Energy

Start Thinking Like an Athlete, It Will Transform Your Life In 4 Ways

Here’s an excerpt from The Rise of a New Lifestyle. It has to do with you waking up to the fact that “if you have a body, you are an athlete.”

That’s a quote from Bill Bowerman, founder of Nike.

You’re wearing the clothes, now just imagine if you had the lifestyle that goes with it!

In beholds the proactive seed, the spark, and the identity of those people who optimize the way they live for energy, health, and performance. When you starting thinking like an “enlightened” athlete, whether you are into sports or not at present or ever, you’ll be amazed what happens, especially when you know how

This is the essential insight for driven business professionals, entrepreneurs, small business owners, executives, and managers, people like you who typically have families and potentially athletic or creative pursuits to boot, that will enable you to begin living balanced and healthy, performance lifestyles.

You see, we’re not just stepping up our game here as we hear so often, we’re leveling up our style of play so we can: 

  • Get free of hidden lifestyle challenges like excess stress and energy deficits too and begin living with optimal energy levels,
  • Heal the painful disconnect between energy, health, and performance, and
  • Better achieve even our most ambitious goals with the endurance and quality of life we need and want in the process.

Personal and professional performance starts with learning how to live with optimal energy levels so that high-level health and sustained function is possible. 

This energy-rich performance we’re pointing to is not the result of a new series of motivating thoughts, or simply something you swallow, eat or drink… or for that matter, just getting a little extra sleep here and there; as if, your lifestyle where something operating in parallel to how you achieve your goals. It’s not.

It’s the result of:

  1. Understanding Energy: the secret science of harnessing optimal energy so that you understand where “vitality” comes from and how to avoid prolonged periods of fatigue.Too many of us have gotten soft and fragile because we’ve been working against what our evolved biology requires for strength. When you learn this energy blueprint, you will finally begin to understand how you really need to operate as a human being if you want abundant energy.
  2. The Core Lifestyle Routines: everyone (97% or more) either doesn’t know or lives out of alignment with the cycles that give rise to life force (energy) leaving them with at least a low-grade fatigue that is distracting and holding them back.Fatigue is an example of a hidden lifestyle challenge and to get out of it, requires an understanding of what we call Performance Living 101, the secrets of living with optimal energy levels.
  3. Living Balanced and Healthy Successfully: These are no longer fluffy words the wellness world can throw around.Balanced, means you have a wide enough array of lifestyle skills to approach life by taking the right steps, at the right level, with the right level of intensity and consistently so that you reach your goals without burning out.  Like links in a chain, every essential link is strong, and power is the result.

    Healthy means your lifestyle does not directly promote disease, like the way so many people do with the way they eat (for example) … every day. To live balanced and healthy successfully you’ve got to optimize your lifestyle and nutrition is only 8.3% of the lifestyle equation.

  4. Focusing on Performance: People wake up to be successful every day, not balanced and healthy. That’s the given, and we must be skillful at achieving our goals—what we are up to in our lives, with our families, in our career’s and businesses and potentially a challenge or sport, creative pursuit or cause—without trading our health and wellbeing for it.All of these layers of development will form your lifestyle and your lifestyle all about how you achieve your goals.

Subscribe to Get an Early, Abridged Version of Our Upcoming Book Called “The Rise of a New LifestyleWhy Thinking Like an Enlightened Athlete is Essential to Having the Energy, Health and Performance You Want For FREE And Receive An Introductory Email Training Series On How To Live With Optimal Energy Levels.

To learn how to live with optimal energy levels start with learning how to Regenerate Your Life Force.

6 Things You Need to Recover From Every Day.

Let’s get to the heart of of living a fully optimized life.

Achieving your life, business or career goals with the potential inspiration of endurance or fitness challenges requires, demands and necessitates in a natural kind of way that you live with optimal energy levels, and both live and work in as balanced and healthy a way, a possible. This is the foundation of performance and it’s all dependent on your lifestyle.

In this post, you will learn what one performance lifestyler has to to say about how recovery. No, not from alchohol or the usual cast of characters, but from a different kind of drug few people even realize until it’s too late. Today, that is the addiction to performance, always being on and engaged. It doesn’t end well, and undermines your life as the life gets sucked right out of you in an unnatural way.

These are the 6 things you need to recover from every day. This is all a big, bold piece of the puzzle many people are trying to solve, so they are not so tired all the time in today’s fast-paced performance culture.

Benjamin Hardy says that less than 1% of people are living according to the principles/science described herein. However, he’s confident that if you apply these recovery principles to your life, you’ll live a more engaged, meaningful, and productive life. We agree and here at Performance Lifestyle, we will help you make it happen.

Being busy and being productive are far from the same thing. Most people are trying to do too much. The desire to “keep up” has them doing more, living less, and deceiving themselves into believing they’ve actually made progress.

True growth and success are always sustainable. It’s not a short sprint with an inevitable physical, mental, and emotional crash. All goals are means, not ends. Each succeeding stage of your progression should clearly build one-upon-another, leaving you stronger and more able, not weaker and permanently damaged.

In order to do this, you must properly “recover” from the following things on a daily basis:

  1. Work
  2. Technology
  3. People
  4. Food
  5. Fitness
  6. Being awake

Unless you adequately recover in these areas, your life is a mess. Moreover, by adequately recovering, you’ll be empowered to more fully engage in these activities. Recovery is essential to success in all areas of life.

For the rest of this article, I’ll detail the scientific findings and applications related to proper recovery.

1. Recover From Work

“Overcommitment” is a heavily studied concept in psychology. It happens when you have inflated perceptions of work demands, and when you see your own ability to handle those demands as far superior to your “less involved” colleagues.

For most, this perception is a “distortion” which prevents you from accurately making a cost-benefit analysis of work behaviors.

The following questions come from a psychological measure assessing overcommitment. On a scale from 1 (low commitment) to 4 (high overcommitment), how would you rate yourself on the following questions?

  1. I get easily overwhelmed by time pressures at work.
  2. As soon as I get up in the morning I start thinking about work problems.
  3. When I get home, I can easily relax and ‘switch off’ work. (reverse coded)
  4. People close to me say I sacrifice too much for my job.
  5. Work rarely lets me go, it is still on my mind when I go to bed.
  6. If I postpone something that I was supposed to do today I’ll have trouble sleeping at night.

Although most people are finding it difficult to “unplug” from work, recent science in the field of “Occupational Health Psychology” is showing how essential it is to unplug, daily.

This article is about setting proper and healthy boundaries/constraints upon yourself. Unless you do, you are not living a sustainable lifestyle. Unless you create healthy boundaries — your work, health, and relationships are being compromised.

For instance, research in several fields has found that recovery from work is a necessity for staying energetic, engaged, and healthy when facing job demands.

“Recovery” is the process of reducing or eliminating physical and psychological strain/stress caused by work.

One particular recovery strategy that is getting lots of attention in recent research is called “psychological detachment from work.” True psychological detachment occurs when you completely refrain from work-related activities and thoughts during non-work time.

Without question, work in a global environment is highly competitive, and thus highly stressful and demanding. Consequently, the stresses of today’s work — which create negative emotions, negative physical symptoms, and psychological impairments — are often fully-consuming, which make it very difficult to psychologically detach.

Proper detachment/recovery from work is essential for physical and psychological health, in addition to engaged and productive work. Yet, few people do it. Most people are always “available” to their email and work. Millennials are the worst, often wearing the openness to work “whenever” as a badge of honor. It’s not a badge of honor.

Research has found that people who psychologically detach from work experience:

Interestingly, other research shows that when a parent has irregular work hours, there can be devastating effects on the development and well-being of their children. These problems are compounded when the parent has depressive symptoms, low-quality parenting, reduced child-parent interaction and closeness, and a less supportive home environment.

Again, the likelihood of experiencing some forms of depression are dramatically increased if you don’t properly detach from work. Furthermore, if you don’t properly “unplug,” you’ll lack engagement while at home. Put more directly, you’ll be distracted and burned-out. As a result, you probably won’t have quality interactions or closeness with your kids, spouse, or friends. It’s a vicious cycle.

In his book, Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts — Becoming the Person You Want to Be, Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, explains that people who are successful in their work are often content being “unsuccessful” in the other areas of their lives — particularly their relationships. In other words, most people are okay with being mediocre spouses, parents, and friends, but are not okay with being mediocre in their jobs.

Huge disconnect.

When you’re at work, be fully absorbed. When it’s time to call it a day, completely detach yourself from work and become absorbed in the other areas of your life.

If you don’t detach, you’ll never fully be present or engaged at work or at home. You’ll be under constant strain, even if minimally. Your sleep will suffer. Your relationships will be shallow. Your life will not be happy.

The belief that you must work 8+ hours a day reflects an outdated mental model. The 9–5 work schedule was developed during the industrial revolution for factory workers, whose work was mostly physical labor. Yet, most of todays work is mental, not physical. According to psychologist Ron Friedman, “Typically, we have a window of about three hours where we’re really, really focused. We’re able to have some strong contributions in terms of planning, in terms of thinking, in terms of speaking well.”

Rather than spending 8–10 hours in low-focused and high-distracted work, spend 3–5 hours in engaged and absorbed flow. You’ll get more done in one day than most people get done in a week. You’ll also be able to more fully engage in the other essential areas of your life.

In order to do this, you must set clear boundaries and expectations with yourself and others. If you set things up clearly, people at work will respect that when you’re away, you’re not available except in a case of emergency.

2. Recover From Technology

In our technology-overwhelmed world, the only way to properly recover from work is to set healthy boundaries on your technology.

For instance, a recent study found that constant smartphone use stops people from properly recovering from work (and life). In a sense, people are always “on” to distraction and connection. They never disconnect. Most people keep their smartphones on them constantly and admit to experiencing withdrawals if they don’t have their smartphone for more than a few hours.

In the study, the experimental group, who became more conscious of their smartphone use, and took adequate breaks from it, were able to experience psychological detachment from work, relaxation, and mastery.

Smartphone addiction is reflected in impulsive behavior, withdrawals, and impaired functioning.

(laugh out loud)

Impaired functioning? (think driving, being with people, working, and… life).

One study found that the average person checks their smartphone over 85 times per day, and spends more than five hours browsing the web and using apps. Hilariously, people check their phones more than twice as much as they think they do. Thus, more often than not, people are unconsciously triggered to check their smartphones.

This lack of consciousness if reflected in all other areas of most people’s lives — as we are holistic systems. No one component of your life can be viewed in isolation. If you spend several hours unconsciously using technology, how could you expect to be fully engaged in your work and relationships?

Here are some of the outcomes of unhealthy smartphone use:

One study found negative effects of using laptops and cell phones within 1–2 hours of going to sleep. Specifically, the study found that individuals who stopped staring at screens 1–2 hours before sleep:

  • Experienced substantially higher sleep quality and less sleep “disturbances”
  • Increased ability to maintain enthusiasm to get things done while working

The authors/researchers of the study concluded simply by saying “We should restrict the use of mobiles and laptops before sleep for a sound mind and good health.”

According to Michael Kerr, an international business speaker and author of, You Can’t Be Serious! Putting Humor to Work, highly successful people such as former US President Barack Obama and Bill Gates are known to read for at least a half hour before bed. According to Kerr, the last thing most successful people do before bed is work (often displayed by checking email).

Interestingly, other research has found that if you associate your bed with work, it’ll be harder to relax there. In order to sleep well, keep your bedroom as a place for sleep.

The triggers in your environment directly influence your behavior. If you have a TV in your bedroom, your sleep will suffer. If you use your smartphone before bed, your sleep will suffer. If you check your smartphone immediately upon waking up, your engagement in the rest of your day will suffer.

Like work, proper boundaries must be set on technology, particularly smartphones if you want to live an optimal life. You need to recover from your technology and smartphones.

Rather than checking your smartphone, do something productive with your morning, which for most people is the best time for creative output and learning.

Many of the world’s most successful people avoid checking their cellphone, email, or social media for several hours after they’ve woken up. Instead, they engage in creative work, physical exercise, strategic planning, and goal setting, and spending time with loved ones.

Furthermore, boundaries on technology should happen after work as well. If you have your smartphone on your person, you’ll unconsciously check it, even if you have the best of intentions. The unhealthy triggers are too strong.

Instead, recover from your technology. Set a time at night when you’re done with your smartphone, social media, and email. Create other boundaries on technology so you can more deeply engage in your relationships and other areas of life in the real world.

Here are some solid benchmarks which you can use to adjust your usage:

  • Best practice to avoid technology for the first 30–60 minutes of waking
  • Best practice to avoid mindless internet use as well as email and social media (i.e., inputs) for first 2–4 hours of waking
  • Best practice to avoid smartphone use and internet for 1–2 hours before sleep
  • Best practice to keep your smartphone away from your person when you’re with other people (leave it in your car, at home, or in a different room)

Get in the habit of not always having your cell phone with you, especially while you’re at home with your family. Very few people experience the gift of your full and uninhibited attention. Give them that gift. Keep your smartphone away from yourself as much as you possibly can. Your whole life will get better.

3. Recover From People

“Time alone is really essential, to get away and contemplate, think, and wonder.” Jim Rohn

Just as you need recovery from work and technology, you also need some healthy recovery from people. Even if it’s just 20–60 minutes per day, you need some time to think, reflect, ponder, and plan.

In her book, The Creator’s Code: The Six Essential Skills of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs, Amy Wilkinson details her interviews with some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs. She found that many of them purposefully schedule a time to be by themselves. For example, billionaire Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, drives a fake 40-minute commute to work despite living 5 minutes from work. She does this to give herself time to “think.” Other people literally schedule 60-minute “power-hours” in the middle of their day to think creatively and strategically.

This isn’t about being introvert or extrovert. We all need time with people and time alone. If you’re not getting at least 20–30 minutes of non-distracted alone time to think big picture or even specific, you’re not living optimally.

4. Recover From Food

Your body and mind need to recover from food. If not daily, you should be fasting from food for at least 18–24 hours on a weekly basis.

When you fast, or “recover” from food, your body is given the opportunity to repair and rebuild itself, rather than constantly digesting.

As will be shown, there are a ridiculous number of benefits to regular fasting.

Medically, fasting has been found to rapidly dissipate the craving for nicotine, alcohol, caffeine and other drugs. Neuro-chemically, fasting increases levels of catecholamines — such as dopamine — which elevates your happiness and confidence while reducing your anxiety.

Fasting actually increases your number of brain cells. Here is a short list of some of the scientifically backed cognitive benefits of fasting:

  • Short-term fasting induces profound neuronal autophagy (e.g., “self-eating,”), which is how cells recycle waste material, downregulate wasteful processes, and repair themselves. Brain health is dependent on neuronal autophagy. Another study shows that interference of neuronal autophagy prompts neuro-degeneration. Simply put, without the process of autophagy, brains neither develop properly nor function optimally.
  • Fasting increases levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that interacts with neurons in the hippocampus, cortex, and basal forebrain (the parts of the brain that regulate memory, learning, and higher cognitive function — uniquely human stuff). BDNF helps existing neurons survive while stimulating the growth of new neurons and the development of neuro-synaptic connectivity. Low levels of BDNF are linked to Alzheimer’s, memory loss, and cognitive impairment.
  • Evidence suggests that low BDNF is related to depression. Indeed, antidepressants increase BDNF levels. Thus, many doctors believe fasting can reduce depression.
  • Fasting reduces the likelihood of having a stroke.
  • Fasting reduces the oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and cognitive decline that normally results from brain trauma. Research has found that a 24 hour (but not a 48 hour) fast was neuroprotective against trauma to the brain like a concussion.
  • Fasting reduces cognitive stressors that bring about aging, cognitive decline, and chronic diseases.
  • Fasting reduces your risk of cancer.
  • Fasting increases your longevity and lifespan.
  • Fasting enhances learning and memory.
  • Fasting elevates your ability to focus and concentrate.

If you’ve fasted before, you can attest to the radical mental benefits of fasting. If you haven’t, please start a regular practice of fasting. Over a period of time, you’ll be startled by the cognitive results.

Other scientifically backed health benefits of fasting including:

  • Fasting can reverse binge eating disorders, and help those who find it difficult to establish a correct eating pattern due to work and other priorities.
  • Fasting can clear your skin from acne, allowing you to have a healthy vibrant glow.
  • Fasting “reboots” your immune system from free radical damage, regulating inflammatory conditions in the body and killing off cancer cell formation.
  • Fasting improves blood pressure levels.
  • Fasting improves cholesterol levels.
  • Type 2 diabetes has become commonplace in our unhealthy culture. Fasting has been shown to strongly support insulin resistance and lead to an impressive reduction in blood sugar levels.
  • Similarly, blood levels of insulin drop significantly, which facilitates fat burning.
  • The blood levels of growth hormone may increase as much as 5X. Higher levels of growth hormone assist fat burning and muscle gain and have numerous other benefits.

Not only will your body functioning improve as you fast, but your decision-making regarding your health and fitness will improve.

Research has found that age-related declines in cognitive and motor abilities(such as physical balance) can be reduced by fasting.

Research has found that a 16-hour fast can reset your sleep cycle. Other research has found that fasting can improve the overall quality of your sleep.

Interesting, research at Yale has found that being on an empty stomach helps you think and focus better. Hence, many people, such as Malcolm Gladwell, purposefully “skip” breakfast so they can better focus on their creative work. You can do this when you eat a whole food, nutrient rich diet.

Fasting stabilizes your emotions. This happens by detaching from the emotional dependence on food, in addition to removing over-stimulating foods like caffeine, processed sugars, recreational drugs, tobacco and trans-fatty acids — all of which negatively affect our emotions.

Research confirms that being in a fasted state improves focus, memory, and ability to comprehend information. Put most simply, fasting improves brain efficiency and effectiveness.

How to fast?

Try eating an early dinner or late breakfast. It may be difficult at first, as you likely have an emotional, not physical, dependency on food. The idea is to eat within a 6–10-hour window each day, and allow yourself the rest of the day to recover. If you eat meals high in protein (not necessarily animal, and mostly plant) and healthy fats, you’ll be satiated, or full, for several more hours than if you’re eating carbs, particularly sugary carbs.

If daily doesn’t make sense, try a weekly fast where you either go 18–24 hours on a particular day.

5. Recover From Fitness

It may sound strange, but many people exercise too much.

Like the other areas of their lives, most people seem to prefer quantity over quality.

Optimal fitness requires lots of good sleep and recovery. Most professional athletes get way more sleep than you’d expect. They also take many rest days to allow for full recovery, so that when they do train, they can full-engage. To get the best results in your fitness, research has found that shorter but more intensive exercise is more effective than longer drawn-out exercise. The concept is simple: Intensive activity followed by high-quality rest and recovery.

This is true of life, technology, food, and all other areas of life. To quote Dan Sullivan, founder of Strategic Coach, “Wherever you are, make sure you’re there.”

This whole post is about being present and engaged in life. In order to do this, you must focus on quality, not quantity. Additionally, you’ll need to more fully prioritize the essentials in your life.

For instance, entropy is a concept in physics explaining how everything gradually declines into a state of disorder, unless you invoke specific interventions. For example, if you don’t set proper boundaries on your time, there will be a million things creeping in and slowing you down.

If you’re serious about living successfully, you must consider the effects of entropy on your life. All distractions are a reflection of entropy, which will slow you down. If you want your life to be aerodynamic, productive, and purposeful, you’ll need to remove as many forms of entropy as you can. You do this by prioritizing the essentials and removing everything else.

6. Recover From Being Awake

Perhaps even more fundamental than the food you eat is sleep.

Similar to food, without sleep, you will die.

Sleep is essential.

If you are not prioritizing sleep, your life is a mess. 100%. Yet, millions of people do not sleep enough and experience insane problems as a result.

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) conducted surveys revealing that at least 40 million Americans suffer from over 70 different sleep disorders. Not only that, 60 percent of adults, and 69 percent of children, experience one or more sleep problems a few nights or more during a week.

In addition, more than 40 percent of adults experience daytime sleepiness severe enough to interfere with their daily activities at least a few days each month — with 20 percent reporting problem sleepiness a few days a week or more.

On the flipside, getting a healthy amount of sleep is linked to:

  • Increased memory
  • Longer life
  • Decreased inflammation
  • Increased creativity
  • Increased attention and focus
  • Decreased fat and increased muscle mass with exercise
  • Lower stress
  • Decreased dependence on stimulants like caffeine
  • Decreased risk of getting into accidents
  • Decreased risk of depression
  • And tons more… google it.

In a non-sustainable way, people try to compensate for their unhealthy sleep by using stimulants, such as caffeine.


Your body, mind, work, relationships, and all other areas will suffer if you try to compensate for the lack of healthy sleep.

Research has found that lack of quality sleep relates to a lack of quality of life. It’s really that simple. Your body needs to recover every day. When you’re asleep, your brain and body restore themselves — allowing you to think and function better while you’re awake!


If you want to live an optimal life, you need to RECOVER.

You need to recover from:

  1. Work
  2. Technology
  3. People
  4. Food
  5. Fitness
  6. Being awake

If you’re fine being tired, stressed, and sub-optimal, don’t worry about recovery. Continue to focus on quantity over quality.

Unless your recovery, you will never truly be living. You’ll always be half-living, distracted, stressed, and unhealthy.

Call To Action

Are you proactive? If so, check out my 7-page checklist of the most effective morning activities.

Click here to get the checklist right now. (p.s. — good luck with the cold showers!)

Vintage Performance Lifestyle—Manage Your Energy Like a Pro

If you were to do a search on the Internet about energy, it’s wouldn’t be long before you ran into the near famous saying “Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time.” This is a saying from The Human Performance Institute now owned by Johnson and Johnson. It was a statement created by our predecessors Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz, authors of The Power of Full Engagement.

When I, John Allen Mollenhauer, first read that book it really stepped up my whole concept of lifestyle. Though I had been on the path for some time and realized that optimizing lifestyle was the greatest source of untapped potential to change and improve, this book, was a breakthrough in terms of creating the new concepts that needed to emerge.

When I, John Allen Mollenhauer, first read that book it really stepped up my whole concept of lifestyle. Though I had been on the path for some time and realized that optimizing lifestyle was the greatest source of untapped potential to change and improve, this book, was a breakthrough in terms of creating the new concepts that needed to emerge.

Up until that point, most books were out of context treatises about living one way, usually exhaustively and therefore poorly and then solving the symptoms (weight gain and low energy, by going on a diet or exercise program with maybe a little extra sleep added in. 

This book, in my opinion, changed things in a big way because first; it was talking mostly to professionals who wake up to be successful every day, not healthy, even though they value their health. It also started talking about energy, and how important it was to health and performance and starting planting ideas that would ultimately give rise to the Performance Lifestyle. 

It was a core catalyst to our development of Performance Lifestyle, which put the various aspects of living into a much broader context, including the science, the principles, and the practices so that client and coach alike could troubleshoot, resolve and evolve the way a person lives to perform well, achieve their goals and live a better quality of life—all of which would inspire, a person to live in balance with vibrant health and peace of mind in a much bigger and more fluid way.

Hence, The Rise of a New Lifestyle…

Of course at the time, when I shot this video, leading a transformational event at Ameriprise Financial Services; we were still years away from the full breadth and depth of the curriculum we have today to serve you and help give rise to a new lifestyle you can call your own.

We were still talking about managing your energy.

But what happens if you don’t have enough energy to manage?

Professionals wanting to perform better is not new, but professionals doing so by approaching professional life with the mindset and lifestyle of an athlete is. And in this context, learning how to harness and maintain optimal energy levels is objective numero uno.

That’s why learning how to regenerate your life force is the premier PL Essential‘s training. Learning how to proactively regenerate energy as a method was still evolving in this video with me, John Allen Mollenhauer “JAM”, one of the leading advocates for Performance Lifestyle® training, coaching, and support worldwide.

This video below was 8 years ago and today, our Essential Training’s and the Signature year-round lifestyle training PL365 is tighter than ever.

We are committed to never-ending improvement for sure, and it’s great to see how far we’ve come; nonetheless you will learn some gems from this video ~ JAM.

The Brownout Comes Before the Burnout

BY  of Collective Hub

There are early signs that you building up to a burnout. It’s the mini meltdown before the big breakdown.

Pettina Stanghon’s start-up was still in its honeymoon period when she noticed something happening amongst her employees. “A number of staff members started to have meltdowns,” says Pettina. “They seemed tearful and exhausted. Their relationships were suffering and they were projecting; getting angry and blaming the business for things that were happening to them.”This emotional downturn was particularly interesting given the nature of the business. Pettina is the co-founder of Noosa Confidential, a private rehab program that treats mental health issues. It also runs a corporate program for overworked, overstretched CEOs and leaders. But, ironically, her team were also struggling with their own stress levels.What’s the problem?One morning, Pettina received a letter from a key staff member who was an artist in her spare time, complaining because she no longer had time to paint. “You talk about the importance of self-care and creativity but you’re not giving your staff time to practice it,” the letter read.“As a business owner, my first reaction was frustration and criticism,” admits Pettina. “I am the daughter of two entrepreneurs and have a very strong work ethic. My staff is frequently pushed to the limits but I pay them well and always thought this was a fair exchange.”

Unlike the clients who come to the clinic suffering from burnout, her staff wasn’t at crisis point. They were just demotivated, disengaged and generally unhappy. They weren’t suffering from burnout – they were still able to come to work, to perform well and act efficiently. But, there was a general sense of unhappiness, tiredness, and lethargy.

Is it the “cold” or the “flu?”

And they’re not alone. In fact, this reaction to work is becoming so common that experts have given it a new name – brownout. The term, which is used to describe part of the life stage of a star, describes the stage before burnout. And it’s a condition many people seem to suffer from. If burnout is the flu, think of brownout as a common cold – they both have similar symptoms, but brownout is less crippling. You still go to the office, but your heart isn’t in it. You’d prefer to be hiding at home under your doona.

American coaching firm Corporate Balance Concepts recently surveyed 1000 executives and estimated that 5 per cent of them suffered from burnout, while 40 per cent suffered from ‘Executive Brownout’.

“Brownout is different from burnout because workers afflicted by it are not in obvious crisis,” says Michael E Kibler, CEO of Corporate Balance Concepts. “They seem to be performing fine: putting in massive hours in meetings and calls across time zones, grinding out work while leading or contributing to global teams, and saying all the right things in meetings (though not in side-bar conversations). However, these executives are often operating in a silent state of continual overwhelm, and the predictable consequence is disengagement.”

As an example, he cites the resignation of Mohamed El-Erian, the former CEO of PIMCO, who shocked the tech world by resigning suddenly in 2014 after his 10-year-old daughter wrote him a list of all the milestones he’d missed in her life (from Halloween parades to first soccer matches).

It’s worth noting that Mohamed hasn’t actually been diagnosed with brownout, nor has it yet been labeled an official condition – more a phrase that’s gaining momentum in the corporate and start-up world of high achievers and big goals, where high prices are often paid in return.

Michael says he is seeing the signs in every workplace – workers feeling drained from continuous obligations and physical deterioration from years of sub- optimal sleep. There’s also a diminishing ability to concentrate in non-business conversations. In business meetings, you’re still on your game, but no longer have any interest in making small talk with colleagues.

What to do when it happens to you

Australian business coach Brook McCarthy has suffered from a brownout, although she didn’t call it that at the time. “I describe it as the year I lost my business mojo,” she says. “I lost clients – and no wonder – because I had a stinking bad attitude. It felt like I fell into a funk that I could not get out of.” Her downward spiral was caused by small, everyday challenges that compounded.

“I had sleep deprivation and a few bad run-ins with people,” she recalls. “There were the endless go-nowhere coffee dates with the promise of possible work, which didn’t happen. And one memorable three- hour round trip to the outer reaches of Sydney for a meeting with a prospect who didn’t turn up, didn’t answer her phone, and didn’t bother getting in touch again.”

These setbacks weren’t enough to trigger full-blown burnout, but only because she took proactive measures. “I realised that I needed to take responsibility to woo my mojo back. The first step was valuing my time. I overhauled my quoting process and no longer had meetings without clear agendas. I also made time for joy and celebration. I adopted new practices such as taking my laptop out on excursions to cafes or art galleries. I started inviting my smartest girlfriends for spa dates to talk business.”

It might sound like clichéd advice – rest more, laugh more and say ‘no more’ – but the antidote to both burnout and brownout does appear to be making time for both work and your life outside of it. At Noosa Confidential, burnout sufferers are offered a combination of talk therapy combined with mindfulness techniques and are encouraged to ‘rediscover simple pleasures’ like walking on the beach or creating home-cooked meals.

As for the company’s internal culture, Pettina took innovative measures to boost morale. She implemented a four-day workweek (although some people choose to work five days and others work three and a half). The therapy team can also work from home whenever possible. The staff member who wrote the letter now sells her art at a local market and her paintings hang on the clinic walls. “I’m glad I had an open dialogue with my team early before it got worse,” says Pettina. “I don’t think there is a massive leap between brownout and burnout. One minute you’re fine and then you’re not. The tipping point could be something minor – having an argument with your husband or drinking too much one weekend. I didn’t want it to come to that.”

As brownout isn’t (yet) an official condition, good luck getting a sick note. But, if you diagnose yourself you can also cure yourself – with a course of self-care, an injection of self-worth and a daily dose of me-time.

BY  of Collective Hub

The New Goes Live!

The new Performance Lifestyle [PL] website is live!

This is our new virtual space, online training center, and the place of which we’ll be serving you. That is, when we’re not at a live event together. 🙂

For those of you who were subscribers to Nutrient-Rich Superfoods, you’ll see our natural products and education are now all built into Performance Lifestyle® and will be available very soon. We appreciate your patience.

I can’t wait to tell you all about PL.

Here at PerformanceLifestyle, we serve the achiever; primarily goal and success-oriented people (typically driven business professionals, entrepreneurs, business owners, executives and managers of growth organizations who are often women and men with families, who would be drawn to participating in endurance events as inspiration for their lives as whole and to stay in shape.

The reason this idea is so appealing to professionals is simple, because this is the group of people that fills out most of middle America. We are hard working hard charging people who have the balancing act of succeeding while taking care of ourselves, bodies and our lives, including our families. We have aspirations to rise and all of this takes an enormous amount of energy and skills to navigate for an optimal life experience.

Simply put, we need to function and perform as relatively high levels throughout the year in so many capacities that being distracted and held back by hidden lifestyle challenges such as the pandemic feeling of low energy and fatigue is not favorable. It leads to poor health and performance and this can netgatively affect a persons success results.

Of course, Performance Lifestyle’s Essential trainings can benefit anyone, as these are the fundamentals of successful living, which when applied in the macro of a persons life and the micro of day to day living, will change their life for the better forever.

We got inspiration for this idea of Performance Lifestyle Training, Coaching, and Support for people who may not be into sports or even fitness enthusiasts at present, but wants to start living with optimal energy levels, high-level health and performance (look and feel better too) ironically from the world of professional athletics, where the idea of living “performance lifestyle” was born. 

See About PL: The Origins of Performance Lifestyle. Athletes exemplify the mindset and lifestyle that supports performance, even if most have never been performance lifestyle trained. 

Their culture reinforces an approach to life that promotes balance and health to a certain and above-average extent (as a given not the goal) and yields the personal and professional performance so many people admire as we watch them achieve their goals. 

Athletes are also relatable and the most visible subset of the population that directly links their lifestyle with their success.

It does not matter if you were ever into sports or even a health or fitness enthusiast, you can benefit big by developing a performance lifestyle you can call your own. 

As a former competitive athlete turned worn-down tech entrepreneur, when I discovered the idea of living a performance lifestyle, it prompted me to begin applying my previous ways of life as an athlete to my life as a business and family man.

I knew a lot about nutrition, fitness and the need for sleep, but it wasn’t enough. I wanted to improve my energy levels more than anything else, and of course my health and performance, which were all lagging big time at the time.

It was not until I relearned how to approach life with the mindset and lifestyle of an athlete, with emphasis on harnessing, maintaining and managing my personal energy, that things began to correct course and life itself got better across the board.  
But it didn’t stop there…

With a world-class lifestyle science advisory team, we have since taken this approach in life to a whole new tier of understanding and application.

In addition to thinking and living like an athlete, Performance Lifestyle uncovers the science of evolutionary biology, bioenergetics, and seasonal variation… at the core of the lifestyle, to reveal the secrets of optimal energy; also known as Performance Living 101.

You’ll be learning a lot more about all of that and it will enhance your performance in a measurable way, as we reveal the science, the principles and best practices across every aspect of the lifestyle that enables people to live in balance, with vibrant health and peace of mind while achieving even their most ambitious goals.  

Get ready to discover the never-before-assembled lifestyle formula for optimal energy, health, and performance, so that you can start living with optimal energy levels. 

When you first get to the site, click on the play button at the top of the site, or go here and you’ll get a video from me.

I share some of this back story, and my personal experience, first hand, as you begin to peruse the site.  

Why be an active subscriber, student, and client of Performance Lifestyle, Inc?

 In addition to offering you great content with insights that directly link your lifestyle, not only with your energy levels and health but with your whole-life performance and success, we’ll be delivering;

Imagine what would happen in your life if you got trained on all the essential aspects of your lifestyle and optimized how you live.

  • You can, one-by-one, or all-in-one with our year-round lifestyle training called PL365® that is the most inclusive and transformative training you’ll find anywhere. 

We’ll help clarify your imagination in future messages about what’s possible with Performance Lifestyle Training.

So if you want to…

  1. Resolve the hidden lifestyle challenges, such as fatigue, get your energy back and start living with optimal energy levels.
  2. Evolve with a new mindset and skill set so you can begin living in balance with vibrant health and peace of mind, 
  3. Achieve even your most ambitious goals by thinking and living like an athlete in life and at work with the potential inspiration of endurance sport. 

You are in the right place. 

Are Working Under the Influence—at risk of WUI

Another great article by Thea Lee— Field Studies Manager at Whoop, which will enhance your performance lifestyle.

Productivity: the cornerstone of capitalist America.  But how do we achieve that magical state? That optimal flow where deadlines are met, schedules grind forward at ever-increasing pace, and you’re staying on top of the competition?

The answer, most often, seems to require cutting corners on sleep. The average working American spends 9am-5pm at a job site (if not longer), commutes to and from work, and in what little free time remains will sprinkle in social time with friends and family, exercise, or any number of leisure activities of interest. After all, the more we fit into waking hours, the more we get done, right?

This logic certainly appeals to me. I’m notoriously bad at compromising, and why should I? If I manage my time right, I can balance exercise, socializing, some cooking (it’s a struggle), and reading, all in the non-work time frame.  As long as I’m in bed by midnight I’m getting some good sleep (it only takes one cup of coffee in the morning to get me going so that’s pretty good!). I don’t have kids so what’s my excuse not to optimize my time?

That schedule, however, has chronic partial sleep loss written all over it. And I would not be in the minority. A study conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, published in February 2016, concluded that more than a third of American adults aged 18-60 years do not get enough sleep. The recommendation they cite, determined by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society, calls for at least 7 hours each night for optimal health. Your precise sleep need is much more individual than that (consult this white paper for more information) but the aforementioned 7-hour threshold is a good place to start when evaluating the average American’s schedule.

The reality is: if you’re operating with chronic sleep loss you’re not only functioning sub-optimally, you’re impaired. That may sound dramatic, and before last week I would have agreed with you. But then I read the article “Fatigue, Alcohol, and Performance Impairment” from the journal Nature.  In it, the researchers quantify the impact of fatigue due to sleep loss in terms we can understand: equivalent alcohol intoxication. For the experiment, a group of 40 participants was broken up into two groups: one group was kept awake for 28 hours, simulating pulling an all-nighter, and the other consumed 10-15g of alcohol at 30-minute intervals until their blood alcohol concentration reached 0.10%. Each group was given a performance task that required them to react as quickly as possible to visual cues randomly timed on a computer. The results were fascinating.

As you would imagine, the longer a person was kept awake, the worse they did on the performance task. The same, of course, was true for the subjects getting progressively more intoxicated. The correlation between the two groups, however, is the scary part. The researchers determined that after 17 hours of sustained wakefulness, performance on the task decreased to a level equivalent to a participant whose blood alcohol concentration was 0.05%. Further, after 24 hours of sustained wakefulness, performance on the task was equivalent to those with a BAC of 0.10%. For reference, you’ll get a DUI in every state if your BAC is 0.08%.

Stressed Man Working At Desk In Busy Creative Office; Shutterstock ID 130606217; PO: The Huffington Post; Job: The Huffington Post; Client: The Huffington Post; Other: The Huffington Post

Now you may think, “well those are extreme examples. I never stay up 24 hours straight.” And me neither, at least not since I moved from New Orleans. But consider the example I gave prior. In that scenario, I was waking up at 7 am, doing my work day, going out to see a friend, watching TV at home, and internet trolling until midnight when I’m off to bed. That’s not a day out of the ordinary and right there I’ve been awake for 17 hours. And, as we’ve now learned, without sufficient sleep to catch up, it is highly probable that I will show up to work the next day at the equivalent of tipsy, at the very least, and be bordering on cognitively drunk.

What’s worse, humans are decidedly poor judges of their own levels of fitness, mentally and physically. We may think, after that cup of coffee and a solid meal, you’re not that sleepy. Studies have found, however, that subjective ratings of sleepiness do not correlate with subsequent performance. We aren’t good at assessing our own attentional state or well-being. And, as a result, may often sacrifice sleep without knowing the physical toll that’s actually taking on our bodies. It’s not socially acceptable for me to show up intoxicated to work. Beyond the basic lack of professionalism, I’d be displaying, I’d also be unfit to contribute productively to the team. This begs the question: should it be considered unprofessional to get too little sleep?

As a society, we put a premium on efficiency. We go to great lengths to fit as much activity as possible into waking hours. But maybe we have it all wrong. If our executive functioning is as compromised by sleepiness as it is by alcohol, we ought to put sleep in the forefront of our plans if we truly want to get the most out of ourselves during the day.

When you’re ready to say goodbye to WUI, then get started with Regenerate Your Life Force – 30 Days to that will ensure you never live without enough sleep ever again. For now, have a read of the page and we’ll notify you of the course start date.

Another great article by Thea Lee— Field Studies Manager at Whoop, which will enhance your performance lifestyle.

Tom Brady Goes to Bed at 8:30 PM, Here’s Why.

Here at PerformanceLifestyle we often draw from the inspiration of sports, where the idea of living “performance lifestyle” was born, because athletes often exemplify lifestyle best even if they’ve never been performance lifestyle trained. Their culture reinforces an approach to life that promotes health to a certain extent and yields performance. They are also relatable and the visible subset of the population that directly links their lifestyle with their success.

As a former competitive athlete turned worn down tech entrepreneur when I discovered the idea, it prompted me to begin to apply my previous ways of life as an athlete to my life as a business and family man. I wanted to improve my energy, health, and performance, which were lagging big time at the time. I have since taken the approach to a whole new tier of understanding and application.

In addition to thinking and living like an athlete, Performance Lifestyle draws on the science of evolutionary biology, bioenergetics, biophysics and seasonal variation at the core of the lifestyle, to reveal the secrets of optimal energy. As well, the science, principles and best practices across every aspect of the lifestyle that enables people to live in balance, with vibrant health and peace of mind.

Today I share these insights with driven, goal and success-oriented people or those that want to be, around the world; those who may not be into sports or even fitness enthusiasts but no longer want to be tired all the time, and want to perform, look and feel better too.

Which brings up Tom Brady.

Needless to say, the greatest quarterback of all time, is in the news a lot lately and for good reason. He is the leading player in the greatest comeback in Superbowl history. What an amazing game!

In addition to being the first quarterback to win 5 Superbowl rings and win 4 Superbowl MVP’s, the most of any player, Tom Brady is in the news because of how he stays so strong and at his best, despite being 39. This is an age almost unheard of for an NFL player in peak form; let alone one that wants to keep his starting position for years to come.

Brady isn’t aging as much as he is evolving, and it is not by happenstance as reported by the Breacher Report

As he says it, he see’s so many players on the decline and doesn’t believe that he has to physically decline in the same way. He just doesn’t believe that’s how it needs to be. He talks about it here. Go to minute 10:15 for the start of this segment.

The insight here is that he doesn’t believe in the decline, despite the fact that it will happen. He just doesn’t have to egg it on. It’s the primary reason why he get’s to bed early.

Tom Brady himself says, “I do go to bed very early because I’m up very early. I think that the decisions that I make always center around performance enhancement.”  

The thing is, 8:30 is not early! When you think about sleep, not from the standpoint of our modern day, work-till-you-drop world, but from an evolutionary standpoint, living in alignment with your biology and respecting bioenergetics– how you restore energy, 8:30 may even be late.

So don’t drop your jaw at Tom Brady’s practice; it’s shared by the best performing people in the world both in sport and out of sport

Rest. Win. Repeat. 

He even has his own sleepwear line to enhance his recovery. We love the whole idea of rest, win, repeat. Here at PerformanceLifestyle, even though we did not coin this particular phrase, Under Armour did, it’s at the core of our philosophy no doubt.

Proactive recovery, for people who spend a lot of energy (more than you actually realize), is extremely important. It’s the name of the game if you are playing to win in everyday life, without driving yourself into the ground as so many business professionals, business owners, executives, and managers with families, in particular, do throughout all seasons of the year.

And it works if you want more energy. Matter of fact, it’s the only thing that works short and longer term.

So how much sleep are you getting and do you know why you really need to be building your whole life, around sleep, and not the other way around? 

In the coming month, we’re going to reveal these answers and teach you why Regenerating Your Life Force is the most powerful skill you can practice to enhance your own performance as a person, as a professional as a parent, as an athlete.

You are an athlete.