the three million dollar lesson
Overexertion, for me, started early
I began working as an entrepreneur at the age of 9. I grew up in a modest, middle-income family, and my parents were pretty frugal. So, I enjoyed the freedom of having my own money. I never thought I would be anything but an entrepreneur and a business owner.
By age 19, while going to college, I had not only been running a small business for a decade while going to school, playing three sports, and “growing up,” I had already bought my first gym (open 19 hours per day) and then, by 21, co-founded what would become a chain of gyms.
I was a driven achiever type and applauded for it, but while my friends were just starting after college, I faced my first stint of tiredness and fatigue.
I couldn’t wrap my head around what “it” was that was driving me so hard. I thought something was wrong with me.
Fatigue was considered an excuse in the ’80s and ’90s, but it wasn’t.
When I turned to personal development to sort out what was happening, all I heard was to push through fatigue with “mental toughness” in one form or another. Then the Internet hit, and before I knew it, I had access to more information and opportunity than ever before in my history, but I faced a dilemma—the busier I got, I had even less time to take care of myself, my body, and my life.
I started living with persistent performance (energy) anxiety because I was always engaged in learning, working, socializing, etc., but in retrospect, I never stopped to regenerate. My sleep was limited, and I was afraid to stop, let alone rest. I had to keep up and keep going.
Meanwhile, my energy debt persisted and compounded. I was crushing it on the outside, but on the inside, I was getting crushed by excess stress and fatigue.
With so much going on, I was barely hanging on, and it started affecting my health, success, relationships, and well-being.
By 31, when the 2000 market crashed, I was crashing, signaling I had to correct course. So I started thinking about a new way to achieve my goals without burning out or trading my health for success.
I started thinking about a new approach to achieving my goals
This was not just about living “healthy” for me. I was already pretty adept at healthy living—nutrition, and fitness.
Being healthy was the given, not my goal, but if I was living out balance—overexerted, under-recuperated, and fatigued; how healthy was I really living?
This was about a new approach to achieving my business and life goals so that I didn’t feel so tired all the time like I was in this picture on the left. I wanted to make even better lifestyle and business decisions, achieve my higher-level goals, and have a better quality of life.
And that’s when it hit me that your lifestyle is how you achieve your goals. If I wanted things to change, I would need to know the fundamentals of energy, how to manage my energy better, health, and, ultimately, performance if I were going to bridge the gap between staying energetic and healthy and being successful at higher levels.
And that’s when I started studying the lifestyles of healthy, high-achieving people who were thriving.
Discovering Performance Lifestyle
I set out to solve the real problem and find the whole solution; to leave behind the old ways of achieving my goals that were tiring, burning me out, and leaving me feeling worn out and learn new ways.
And that’s when it all began to change. I was searching the Internet for insights into human performance, and I discovered an idea in elite athletics called “Performance Lifestyle,” a support service that enabled athletes to sustain their training and win in their sport by getting free of the distractions holding them back. It wasn’t yet defined, and I immediately knew this was the concept I was looking for.
Around the same time, I discovered a book called “performance addiction,” the dangerous new syndrome, and how to stop it from ruining your life. If I was going to improve my performance, it sounded like something I needed to know about.
When I read it, I realized I had finally figured out what “it” was that had been driving me so hard for so many years and why. “Performance addiction” is the only addiction you’ll ever be rewarded for, yet it can still ruin your life.
I called the author, a Harvard Psychologist, and ultimately co-authored a book on the subject with him and a Superbowl MVP who wrote the forward, as part of my recovery, called The Curse of the Capable, the Hidden Challenges to a Balanced and Healthy High Achieving Life.
That I was “driven or ambitious” was never the problem. I still am today. The problem was that I was not yet spirit-driven; I was psychologically driven (some might say ego) and achieving my goals for the wrong reasons. I did not understand the fundamentals of human performance; I wasn’t managing my energy and didn’t have the lifestyle or support for success without distress. And all of that needed to change.
The Antithesis of the Performance Addicted Life.
It would take another ten years and nearly $3,000,000 in accountable costs overall to get free of performance addiction and its consequences, define and learn how to proactively manage my energy, as the pros do in a “performance lifestyle” I could call my own.
I stopped endlessly striving, and overachieving eliminated my ambivalence about my situation and started learning the mindsets and lifestyle skill sets of healthy high achievers who thrive, including the #1 habit that sets successful people apart from everyone else. It’s not the willingness to push past limits; it’s their ability to proactive recover.
And as I shared my story and the discoveries that were helping me, more and more men and leading women started showing up. Men, for example, who were driven at the highest levels started to raise their hands. They wanted to overcome their mounting fatigue and were done numbing themselves.
They didn’t want to go solo through all the male default inertia, the path of least resistance, never complaining or explaining while going through all the physical and psychological pain that debits their joy and longevity and more.
They felt, precisely like I did, wanted to learn the new way and didn’t want it to take decades!
Become a Healthy, High Achieving Person Who Thrives
Today my company, Performance Lifestyle Inc., is dedicated to training and coaching Men and leading women entrepreneurs, business owners, and professionals to go beyond being grinders, overachievers, and high achievers who are prone to tiring out, burning out, and feeling worn out and become Healthy High Achievers Who Thrive.
We help our clients live their true potential by regenerating, restoring their bodies, and learning to manage their energy like the pros do at the core of developing a Performance Lifestyle they can call their own.
Our experience as the founders of REGENUS CENTERS enables us to help our clients unlock their bodies’ resilience to bounce back from stress, pain, and fatigue with proactive retail, on-site, and at-home recovery solutions that dramatically improve health and performance.