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Brad Stulberg @BStulberg
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New program: Monday to Friday every morning between 9-12 I'll share a single word integral to *sustainable* peak performance along with a few thoughts on that word (I'll retweet between 9-12PM). Please share with those who you think may want to follow along. Today's word...
DRIVE is about relentless pursuit. Often born out of insecurity; at its best it's fueled by love. Drive must be channeled. It's productive and beautiful and enlarging when pointed toward growth and development. It's diminishing and destructive when pointed at external validation.
PROGRESS is rarely linear and often deceptive. Sometimes peaks hit when you least expect them. Same goes for valleys. Progress demands both patience *and* a willingness to change—and the wisdom to know which to choose when. Progress runs on action. Progress also requires rest.
TOUGHNESS is about doing the hard thing because it’s the right thing. Sometimes this means putting your head down and grinding it out. Other times this means backing off and asking for help. Toughness lives on the inside. People who don’t act tough may be toughest of all.
PATIENCE is letting things happen instead of making them happen. Not to be confused with passivity, patience is about persistence. Gentle persistence. About partially surrendering to a process and being present as it unfolds. Lasting progress in any endeavor requires patience.
RYTHM is about settling into a groove. When one action seamlessly leads to the next. When you’re so engaged in what you’re doing you become a part of it. Rythm occurs in moments but also over hours, days, even a lifetime. Rythm is a beautiful byproduct of patience and practice.
ROUTINE helps situate you amidst chaos—the chaos of a big event or the chaos of daily life. It yields a sense of predictability, control, and comfort to what are, almost always, unpredictable circumstances. Routine fosters consistency. And consistent effort compounds over time.
COMPETITION involves others but at the end of the day it’s always about yourself. At its best, a fair playing field lifts everyone up; you compete together to get the most out of yourself. Over time your objective baramoter of success may change. But you can always give your all.
AUTHENTICITY is critical to lasting performance. If you don’t create space to get to know yourself, and if you don’t live in alignment w/that self, you’re almost certain to flame out.
-Playing a role you aren't = massive physical and psychic costs.
-Being who you are = freeing.
ACCEPTANCE is about being honest—and okay—with yourself. Acceptance does not mean doing nothing but starting where you are. Not where you think you should be. Not where you want to be. Where you are. Because if you don’t start where you are, you’ll never really get anywhere.
STRESS, in a scientific sense, is stimulus for growth. Without stress living organisms don't adapt, don't change. So you need stress. But stress is only beneficial in the right dose; when you have the capacity, resources, and support to absorb it; and when it's followed by REST.
REST. The space during which growth occurs. Without it, we stand no chance at absorbing and growing from challenges we face.

Stress + REST = growth.

If you want to develop your body, mind, or soul you must understand that rest—that simply "being"—is just as important as doing.
CONSISTENCY means showing up, even when you don’t want to. It makes you better at not only your craft—via compounding gains—but also the skill of exerting effort itself. Sustainable peak performance isn’t about being consistently great. It’s about being great at being consistent.
COMMUNITY shapes you. Research shows PEOPLE WITH WHOM YOU SURROUND YOURSELF INFLUENCE YOUR PERFORMANCE BY UP TO 30 PERCENT. When things are going well: community pushes you and celebrates you and keeps you grounded. When things aren't going well: a tribe of support is everything.
COACHING. There to see what you don't see and point you in the direction of growth. The best coaching relationships are rooted in shared humility and caring. A good coach doesn't just show or tell. They *walk with* with you on your path—sometimes leading and sometimes following.
PRESENCE is, in many ways, synonymous with peak performance. When you are fully there—completely immersed in your pursuit with concentrated attention—you are almost always at your best.

A better body of work and a richer, more textured life. Presence in the process.
HUMILITY is integral to growth. Once you think you know you cease to keep knowing. Once you think you're good you cease to keep getting better. But there is always more to know. Always space to get better. The neverending path of mastery is paved by neverending humility.
HEALTH—physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social—is integral to *lasting* progress. It's true you can burn bright for a while without a foundation of health, but eventually you'll burnout. Sacrificing health is myopic. The long-game requires health. It is a first principle.
PRACTICE is everything. It's training and competition and learning and eating and sleeping and resting and laughing and time w/family and friends too. The more expansive your definition of practice the more integrated your life and the better you'll be at whatever it is you do.
VULNERABILITY starts with being honest with yourself. Why are you doing what you're doing? What are you seeking? What could you be doing better? Are you open to receiving help?

Answering these questions—being vulnerable—is uncomfortable. But being uncomfortable leads to growth.
CONFIDENCE is a first cousin to humility. It's knowing, based on a body of evidence, what you can (and can't) do—and then moving forward accordingly; with freedom and persistence and uplift. Confidence isn't something that you have or you don't. It's something you build.
SLEEP is one of the most productive, performance (and life) enhancing things you can do. Period. It's when your brain and body recharge and grow. Anyone looking to cutting edge science to "optimize" their performance who isn't sleeping 7-9 hours a night should start there.
FAITH is confidence born from realizing the fruits of practice. It's as simple and as hard as that.
A FRAUD is something that *just about everyone* feels like at some point. There are two primary ways to shed this feeling:

1) If you aren't acting authentically, start acting authentically.
2) Remind yourself no one has all their shit together—that’s just part of being human.
FEAR is an evolutionary response to threat. Short-term: heightened perception and arousal may be channeled for good, to improve. Long-term: much better to do whatever it is you do out of love and joy rather than fear. Best way to get over fear? Move THROUGH it, with SUPPORT.
CARE moves the world forward. If you really care about what you do you'll put your all into it. If you really care about w/whom you interact you'll put your all into them. Care is the cutting edge of performance, personal, and social evolution. Caring is Quality. Caring is love.
GROWTH results from taking on just-manageable challenges. Not stuff that is massively angst provoking. But not stuff that is routine either. How do you know what a just-manageable challenge is? Think the next logical step, something you give yourself a 7 out of 10 chance at.
TRUST opens you up to the best of yourself and the best of others. Trust—whether self-trust or trusting others—is, perhaps more than anything, efficient. Without trust so much time is spent managing and questioning and doubting. With trust comes swiftness, lightness, and freedom.
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