There is a difference, and it’s big, between ambitious goals and extreme circumstances. To understand the difference, never let a good crisis go to waste.
I recently experienced such a crisis, and it’s one of the reasons I had to pull back from other activities during this time to manage my energy as best as possible; like, publishing INSIGHTS, which I love to share with my subscribers.
First some definitions:
Being ambitious is about having a strong desire for success or achievement. It necessitates extraordinary effort, capacity, ability, exceptional levels of authenticity, and naturally occurring energy, as well as a level of health you can depend on; all of which rely on foundational lifestyle skills (the skills that I teach in the High-Performance Lifestyle Blueprint) underlying all personal and professional development so you can function well.
Extreme circumstances are when you are in a situation where you need to function and perform well, only, without the time and space, energy, and or resources you need; anything from money to personnel to accomplish the tasks at hand or achieve those ambitious goals, without it taking a severe toll on you.
As a Performance Lifestyle Coach, I work with high-achieving clients who find themselves treading that line between ambitious and extreme circumstances, probably often, who no longer want to pay that toll as often as they do.They want to leverage proactive recovery (biohacking) and lifestyle optimization strategies because they want more energy and vibrant health to crush it in their business without the “crush” of excess stress. And they want to have a positive impact but don’t want to trade their health for that success.
That said, I hold the philosophy of “never letting a good crisis go to waste!” These are great learning opportunities when you go into them with the right mindset. And if you suck the nectar out of them, stay out of the victim, take ownership, and do the best you can; you will, as an associate of mine recently said, “get welcomed to the next level.”
I started 2022 out this way; when prompted to move our Regenus Center due to a water leak in our original location on top of other complicating issues that forced us to move ahead of schedule. We had to secure a new site and be up and running in that new location, in a 30-day window; not the ninety days it would have taken, “ambitiously speaking.”
During that time, I didn’t have access to the accelerated recovery modalities our Center provides, and I would typically rely on in such a situation, because they were wrapped up for moving and set up in a yet-to-be-completed Center. So, my team and I found ourselves in the land of extreme circumstances without the added recovery support we depend on. And, we knew the demands would inevitably outpace our ability to take care of ourselves at the level we are accustomed to, even under our regularly ambitious conditions.
Time was short, and to meet the goal in the face of financial consequences we were unwilling to endure if we didn’t; we just did what we had to do and figured we would fall back on the reserves we had built up.
Insight: Energy reserves don’t last long in the face of extreme circumstances.
So let’s step into my living lab.
As a Lifestyle Coach, I always pay attention to situations, circumstances, and consequences because they are at the root of whether a person will get caught up in vicious cycles and experience a downward spiral or engaged in virtuous cycles and experience an upward spiral.
In our case, while I was committed to “never let a good crisis go to waste” we were not going to have much recovery time or rejuvenation periods as this was going to be a seven-days-a-week deal until complete, managing contractors, etc.
Here’s what happened.
Of course, I for one was over-exerting, because we had to accomplish more in a much shorter period of time and deal with all the strains that go with that. Ever so slightly, not quite vicious cycles, but precursors like still eating healthy (though not at the level I am used to), but too late at night, started to creep in.
- Inflammation increased.
- Weight increased, despite eating healthy foods but eating more to cope with the stress.
- Aches and pains increased significantly.
- My back started hurting some,
- I had no interest in exercising or training, only walking, and not much at that.
- My temper got short, very short.
- My standard of thinking and communication diminished, and more.
I’m sure you can relate to particularly stressful periods you’ve experienced. It would have been highly detrimental and lead to lifestyle-induced diseases if I continued at that pace; so you can be sure I’ve since taken needed steps to recharge, restore and manage my energy.
What made this period so tough, what that I was not able to manage my energy anywhere close to optimal. After one 7-day period of 15 hours days, I was seeing “purple people.” I was paying that dreaded toll.
After years of the endless extreme, as a startup entrepreneur, I can spot the toll extreme circumstances can take on a person a mile away especially when they don’t go into it, with the “never let a good crisis go to waste” mindset.
The reason is simple; when you don’t have the “never let a good crisis go to waste” mindset you will respond to extreme stressors in ways that create extreme stress.
I have a lot of first-hand experience with that and have since dedicated my career to learning and teaching others how to unlock their body’s resilience and develop balanced, high performance lifestyles, so they can become healthy high achievers who thrive amidst the demands of ambitious goals, and despite periods of extreme circumstances.
I do so by helping my clients make the greatest and most important lifestyle change they will ever make, which is getting grounded in their higher, authentic Self, incorporating proactive recovery (think biohacking), and developing the balance of performance lifestyle skills they need so they can respond to stress in ways that create more energy, not more stress.
And while sometimes you’ve just got to do what you’ve just got to do; if you are experiencing any of those symptoms I mentioned above yourself, you are likely being subjected to more stress than your body can recover from regularly, and that needs to change.
Extreme circumstances could be endless days of end-to-end meetings that repeat, on top of excessive travel, the need to pivot your business (many went through this during the pandemic), overly ambitious goals in too short a period, and the like.
You don’t want “never let a good crisis go to waste” to be a daily, weekly, or monthly event.
Extreme circumstances cause you to respond to stress in ways that create more stress.
You’ve probably read previous articles where you’ve heard me talk about achieving even your most ambitious goals while living in balance with vibrant health and peace of mind. My commitment and belief in that premise have never been more solid.
Everywhere you look, in the media, in the publishing world, etc., people are struggling with over-exertion and burnout, to keep up and stay healthy amidst the breakneck pressures of the performance culture we now find ourselves living, which is, no doubt, taking its toll.
As a result, we need a new lifestyle approach not predicated on body transformation, such as muscle gain and fat loss alone. Instead, we need to learn to live spirit-driven, energy enhanced, and healthy, high-performance lifestyles.
And do so with the express purpose of learning how to live in balance with vibrant health and peace of mind while achieving even our most ambitious goals and part of that is steering clear of the extreme circumstances that will tire, burn, and wear you out.
And by “balance,” I mean knowing what to do and why, how to do it, and when at the right level, intensity, and consistency you need to succeed without trading your health for success.
Everyone, including the pros, is learning how to live a balanced high-performance lifestyle (myself included) and taking it from theory to practice and mastery. When do you that, extreme circumstances get fewer and far between, and when they come unexpectedly, you can apply the never let a good crisis go waste philosophy, as it’s meant to apply; once in a while, not regularly.
In the first month and a half of 2022, I was reminded that extreme circumstances are not just challenging but beyond challenging. They are also not to be confused with ambitious goals. Even if you are as well-trained as I am, the chances are good that the level of energy output in extreme circumstances will soon distract you from your positive impact on the world and negatively impact you.
While I was in the thick of this “extreme period,” I was able to see (like a person who drives a new color car and then notices others driving the same color car) how many of us are not living in the world of “ambitious.” Instead, we’re trying to adapt to the world of a new extreme every day, and it’s tiring people out. It will tire you out and prompt that rise in symptoms. No one is immune to it.
My recent bout intimately re-connected me with the symptoms of what happens when you don’t have enough time to recover and don’t have access to accelerated recovery, which is essential today.
We are all technically subjected to too much stress for far too long and, in many cases, unnecessary stress. For many, it’s almost the status quo.
Never let a good crisis go to waste, yes, but learn from it, and do whatever you can to prevent those extreme circumstances in the future.
Overexertion is the primary cause of lifestyle-induced diseases, which comprise 80-95% of all illnesses.
Overexertion and lack of recovery will distract you from living and achieving your potential and are the “root cause” for lifestyle-induced diseases. The reason is simple. Once you are overwhelmed and tired, you will likely cope with stress and the resulting energy depletion in ways that create more stress, not more energy.
Now factor in that the world is full of impotent solutions to help you cope from coffee to candy, aspirin to alcohol, and more and you can see why people struggle. Actual “solutions” by their very nature typically require “powerful conversations” to face the situation/circumstances and implement them right.
So, while I can simplify energy recovery, biohacking, and lifestyle optimization solutions, they are not necessarily easy to implement without the help of a High-Performance Lifestyle Coach who can guide you and save you time.
How do you navigate extreme circumstances and bring them back to the ambitious realm you can navigate well?
Einstein believed the quality of the solution you generate is directly proportional to your ability to identify the problem you hope to solve.
“If I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions.”
Most people are not used to giving their human performance or lifestyle that level of attention. They wing it and hope disease doesn’t strike them, it will all turn out ok and a second wind is on its way, and that doesn’t work for long.
This is what works if you are wanting things to change for the better.
Step 1. You’ve got to see your present situation and circumstances objectively to implement lifestyle strategies right.
Not doing so is like saying “you will stop using your smartphone at night” before realizing how you want to live so that tactic can stick. You’ve got to see the bigger picture and approach it from a deeper commitment.
Step 2. Sometimes, extreme circumstances will carry on for a bit, but you need to bring them to a definitive end. No matter what they are. No one survives extreme circumstances for long without a high cost. Your body and your life depend on it.
Step 3. You need to accelerate recovery from overexertion and begin making the vital lifestyle changes to improve and optimize the way you live.
I have a lot of experience with this as an entrepreneur, and if you would like to, I’d be happy to sit down with you for a robust, confidential conversation to see what needs to change to improve your own life and style of living it.
It’s all good, world-class training, everything you’ve been through; now, let’s change, improve optimize the way you are living. That includes the way you work. On that path, life can get even better.
We can have that powerful conversation via Zoom or in-person at my office at 325 Columbia TNPK, in Florham Park.
I also have a local REGENUS CENTER where you can accelerate your energy recovery. It’s in East Hanover, and I can meet you there. If you are not local we can figure out a recovery strategy virtually.
If possible, I always build accelerated recovery into my coaching and training services because I have learned that increased energy always precedes effective action.
Watch what happens in your life–your health, your performance, level of achievement, your overall quality of life–when you build the proactive recovery of energy into your life and learn how to manage your energy, like a pro.
Nobody does it perfectly, but you’ll have the confidence of knowing that the effects of extreme circumstances won’t stay around for long and soon you’ll be back to achieving your ambitious goals by living in balance with vibrant health and peace of mind.
As “client zero,” entrepreneur John Allen Mollenhauer, known as Lifestyle Coach “JAM,” was desperate to figure out how to achieve his ambitious goals without burning out, wearing out, and trading his health for success despite being proficient in nutrition and fitness. As a result, over 20 years, he made the most significant lifestyle change one can make, learned how to manage his energy, and step by step, he produced the never-before-assembled formula for living a balanced and healthy high-performance lifestyle. Today, he’s still an in-the-game lifestyle entrepreneur and a pioneering Performance Lifestyle® Coach.
Lifestyle Coach JAM delivers powerful free resources that will inspire you to get started on the path to change, improve and optimize the way you live so, you can achieve your goals at a higher level with an ever-better quality of life.
Discover The 3 Lifestyle Strategies for Performing at Your Body’s Best—WITHOUT BURNING OUT OR TRADING YOUR HEALTH FOR SUCCESS.