In my last post, I talked about how I shared in the night life at a recent conference on a Monday night following a presentation I did on The Curse of the Capable and “changing your story”, so that you can live in better balance with vibrant health and peace of mind while achieving even your most ambitious life goals.
Here I am with my good friend Cindy McCormick who introduced me to the organization I spoke at.
Ironically, after just giving a talk on “story” and how your stories affect your lifestyle just hours before, I strangely, and highly unusually, did the opposite of what I know would have worked allot better in the night ahead. Maybe it was the beautiful women at the table . Here’s what I do know, when it was time to make the decision about how I was going to handle Monday night, I let other people’s stories over rule my own and here it is on Wednesday and I’m still paying the price.
As I got up to catch my plane back to Jersey Tuesday morning, on 2.5 hours of sleep, I was grateful that I had prepared for a social night, but the truth is, and while I’m not beating myself up much at all, I am also not thrilled with the decision I made to extend my night out.
Here’s how the experience unfolded.
After a well planned and delivered day, I knew I had a few hours to socialize before I had to get to sleep Monday night because a) it was a Monday night (normally, I speak later in the week with time to recover if I stay out) b) I had to get up at 4:00 am to catch a plane back to Jersey, and c) it was the start of the peak performance period of my week which is Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and d) I had a 12:00 pm meeting on Tuesday to start, an hour after I got off the plane with the leader of a national organization I am part of called The Mankind Project.
So, I went out until about 9, and was ready to go back to my hotel room, when the group I was with, asked if I would like to go to dinner and out for a few drinks. Right there was where I needed to make some key lifestyle decisions in line with my objectives and goals.
Sure, it was one of the few times I was in New Orleans recently, and I had GREAT company to hang with, but going was not a good decision and one that I knew I would pay for big time.
First, I had a great time in downtown New Orleans that included a fine dinner at the famous Arnauds’ Restaurant, where at least 5 Presidents have eaten along with a who’s who list of celebrities, and a few rounds with new friends around the Carousel Bar at The Hotel Monteleone.
But looking back would I have stayed out for the second half of the night knowing I had to leave the Hotel at 4:00 for a 7 o’clock flight? HECK NO! I would have been grateful for the time I had with my new friends and carried on, and probably thought about how I could have planned for such an event better; but because of the way things were already set up, staying out wasn’t in the cards that night.
That’s not how things played as I made a lifestyle 101 error.
I listened to the people around me, who said basically “your only in New Orleans once, c’mon…”. As if I am only going to be in New Orleans once. Now I love that they wanted me to come, love and do not fault them. That’s not the point here, they did exactly what I would have wanted which was to ask me to join them and I am grateful for that. But, this was my responsibility, they don’t know my situation only I do, and they certainly they would have understood.
In a Performance Lifestyle, if I was going to have that experience on a Monday night without the negative consequences, then I would have needed to plan for it, so that there was enough recovery time, and I hadn’t planned for that. It’s one thing when you’re 20 with little responsibility and seemingly unlimited stored vitality, but I fit in neither of those categories so this was careless spontaneity.
I can already hear the spontaneity worshipers saying “He’s a stiff“, but nothing could be further from the truth.
So here I am today, reconciling my experience.
Unlike any other lifestyle skill, the skill to keep your story straight and supportive is invaluable, especially when we face circumstances that are not “usual” for us, and outside our normal lifestyle routines, that require we make all kinds of adjustments in order to compensate. This requires some resiliency and emotional fortitude as does all change and that can only be gained when you ground your new story in experience.
That I know how to control my internal story teller from generating stories about “how I shouldn’t have done that“, “I’m going to hit the wall“, “I fell off my diet“, “here we go again” etc, the types of stories you hear from someone who doesn’t know “the lifestyle”, is reinforcing my peace of mind, despite feeling really lousy today.
That I have a blog like PerformanceLifestyle.com to metabolize my experience and get clear helps me move forward in a position of strength. This was all a great experience and now, what I am grounding in experience is how I handle the aftermath and prepare for when I face that situation again. That too, is “Performance Lifestyle”.
Staying out cost me most of Tuesday, and still on Wednesday I am feeling the loss of performance and that balanced and healthy function I’m used to. As I said, if it had been a Thursday or Friday night and not the eve of the peak of my week, I would have let the night play on, and maybe even still if I could have slept in until at least 9:00, but in retrospect, it was not a good decision to stay out the second half of the night.
I had a great time, and because it’s past, I wouldn’t change a thing; but it is a reminder to me, why 90% of the time, “the lifestyle” mindset and skill set serves me incredibly well. I’m glad that I have other aspects of my lifestyle that are helping me through this experience by minimizing the consequences. Yeah, there are some trade offs when making smart lifestyle decisions, and I like to have fun like the best of them, but I don’t think I made the right decision here, now that I am grounded in the experience of nearly two peak performance days lost due to being tired and the fun that would have come with them to boot. Being tired when you need to perform is not fun in my book.
Today, I feel great inside (a hallmark of a Performance Lifestyle, regardless of how you feel on the outside) knowing my experience in New Orleans was time well spent with good people. It was intense peak performance period that I had prepared for and enjoyed. But like any major event, a period of recovery follows; in this case an unusually long one.
Lifestyle training really pays off during times like these.
What decision would you have made?
Share your thoughts.