Brad Stulberg Profile picture
Tweet on sustainable success & well-being. Write: PEAK PERFORMANCE, PASSION PARADOX, shorter stuff Coach: executives, entrepreneurs Co-creator:
Ragan Profile picture mike norrie Profile picture Brian Branagan Profile picture Sandra Jo Streeter Profile picture Andy Cohen Profile picture 8 added to My Authors
19 Mar
Attachment to external validation. At best, a distraction. At worst, an emotional roller coaster that controls your life.

Everyone is susceptible. Three qualities prevent it:

When these are firmly in place, external stuff matters less.

Big three qualities:

1. Autonomy: some sense of control over how you spend your time and energy.

2. Mastery: tangible progress in meaningful work that can be traced back to oneself.

3. Belonging: a strong sense of connection to other people, places, or traditions.
When these three qualities are not firmly in place, we tend to substitute chasing external validation in a frantic attempt to fulfill us.

(Spoiler alert: it never does.)

Yet we still spend time obsessing about reputation, checking notifications, comparing ourselves to others.
Read 7 tweets
7 Mar
This is about as good and honest of an essay as you'll read on navigating the emotional swings, self-judgement, hope, despair, and ruts of the pandemic.

I am so glad that, of all things, this here twitter feed provided some help for @lindsaycrouse.…
"You don’t need to feel good to get going. You need to get going to give yourself a chance to feel good."

This insight—the basis of acceptance and commitment therapy—changed my life.

It is so counter to the cult of positive thinking and wellness. But it's what actually works.
The stuff Lindsay writes about—judging herself for feeling good some days and then judging herself for not feeling good on other days—is a common refrain during COVID-19.

This pandemic has been challenging for so many people in so many ways. EVERYONE is going through something.
Read 7 tweets
22 Feb
THREAD on hardiness.

A psychological trait that motivates you to respond to stressful circumstances in ways that produce resiliency.

A key to cultivating the existential courage that facilitates the ongoing search for meaning in life.

Here are three ways to develop it 👇👇

Accept situation you are in and move forward anyway. Resist temptation to turn away from obstacles; lean into them instead.

Research: "Rather than sink into isolation and alienation, do hard work of staying involved with the people and events going on around you."

Figure out what you can do to productively influence a situation, and then take action.

Research: “Struggling to have an influence on the outcomes going on around you, even if this may seem difficult in certain circumstances, is key to hardiness.”
Read 7 tweets
21 Feb
The indisputable and measurable benefits of a consistent physical practice include enhanced:
-Physical health
-Mental health
-Emotional control

Regular physical practice isn’t just for elite athletes. It’s for everyone.

I am a professional writer and physical activity is an integral part of my job. I’m hard-pressed to come up with a job for which it shouldn’t be, whether you are a lawyer, physician, founder, or parent.

It’s not about getting fit for Instagram. It’s about getting fit for life.
Consistency beats intensity.

There is no need to be heroic. It is far better to take five thirty-minute walks per week than to crush yourself in a single CrossFit workout once every two weeks.
Read 7 tweets
16 Feb
THREAD: Monitoring technology, performance, and the four levels of competence:

1. Unconscious incompetence
2. Conscious incompetence
3. Conscious competence
4. Unconscious competence

Quick summary based on 10 yrs of research and working with high-performers across disciplines. Image
Unconscious incompetence.

No amount of technology is going to help you. All it will do is further confuse you.

What you need here is simple:
-Learning the fundamentals
Conscious incompetence.

Technology can help, especially when paired with coaching. The feedback you get from a wearable or a measurement and tracking scheme (so long as it's accurate) is beneficial to learning your mind-body system, as well as teaching persistence and restraint.
Read 7 tweets
16 Feb
The problem with so much of what passes for self-care or wellness is that they are products (generally expensive) that you need to buy. So you have to work harder to afford them which cannibalizes time for community, movement, sleep, nature—the stuff that actually makes you well.
Yesterday I pointed out that self-care is not skin products, face lotions, or supplements.

I got some pushback, all in good faith.

My bone to pick is this: when health and well-being get tied to consumerism, you almost always lose.
1) The consumer cycle relies on you feeling like you are not enough. This is the fuel that pushes you to buy more. That feeling is generally not a healthy or particularly well one.

2) You cannot "buy" health and wellness. These are not luxury products. They are things you do.
Read 5 tweets
15 Feb
Something I see all the time in my research and writing and talk about frequently in my coaching practice is the need to marry fierce self-discipline with fierce self-compassion.

On sustainable success, peak performance, and career advice.

Self-discipline: Pursuing what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it; focus on task hand; showing up consistently, even when you don't want to.

Self-compassion: Being kind to yourself in the midst of struggle; creating space to hold softly what you are feeling.
Research shows clearly that both self-discipline and self-compassion are associated with sustainable peak performance.

Self-discipline is your fuel as you move forward on your respective path. Self-compassion is your guard-rail: it keeps you on course when you go astray.
Read 10 tweets
12 Feb
THREAD: 7 mental habits that work great until they get in your way.

Wisdom is knowing when a helpful quality no longer serves you, and being able to release from it at that point. This is the stuff of next-level performance and sustainable paths to success.

Sometimes we over-glorify perseverance, sticking with something simply for the sake of sticking with it when it would be more skillful to move on.

In doing so, we forfeit opportunity to try other approaches that might be a better fit. (For more: see RANGE, @DavidEpstein.)
Trying Really Hard

To reach a state of flow—the experience of being in the zone, completely absorbed in what you are doing—is to release yourself from trying.

Flow is an absence of conscious effort; as you approach potential peak moments, trying too hard can lead to choking.
Read 8 tweets
9 Feb
THREAD: Research shows if you go for broke you often end up broke. If you swing for home-runs you often end up striking out.

But if you just put the ball in play—over and over again—good things tend to happen.

6 tips on consistency, peak performance, and career advice.

Heroic efforts tend not to end well.

Pulling all-nighters, working out till you vomit, going on extreme diets, etc., may be fun to talk about and even feel good for a bit, but usually end in illness, injury, burnout.

Ignore people's social media posts on this stuff. It's dumb.
If you are addicted to visible progress you will not last long in what you do.

This is why so many people burnout after a big success. Because it's not forever.

-Frame the work as an ongoing practice
-Measure and judge the process
-Let progress be a byproduct of that
Read 8 tweets
6 Feb
As promised from my recent thread on deep reading, here are my 50 favorite nonfiction books. These books have had the most influence on how I think, write, coach, and live. They are wonderful teachers. I am grateful they exist.

In no particular order 👇👇
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
To Have or To Be
Escape From Freedom
The Sane Society
Mastery (Leonard)
Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart
Full Catastrophe Living
The Recovering
Crossing the Unknown Sea
The Wisdom of Insecurity
Suicide (Durkheim)
Radical Acceptance
The True Believer
The Hero with a Thousand Faces
A Liberated Mind
After the Ecstasy, the Laundry
Almost Everything: Notes on Hope
Deep Work
Digital Minimalism
The Craving Mind
The Inner Game of Tennis
Rising Strong
Read 6 tweets
5 Feb
THREAD: deep reading is an absolute joy—good for mind and soul. It is also a competitive advantage for knowledge workers.

Here are 7 insights on nonfiction deep reading. All are based on the latest research and real-world practice.

On how to read more and read better.

Use a hardcopy book 📚

Research shows you comprehend and connect information best when you read physical pages.

Two reasons:
1. No distractions, which e-reading and audiobooks invite (nothing wrong with them, but not the same as deep reading)
2. Brain likes tactile experience
No digital devices nearby.

Even if your phone is facedown on silent, or your laptop is closed and asleep, the mere sight of these devices and everything they represent—not to mention the willpower it takes not to check them—is a huge distraction.

Keep them in a separate room.
Read 10 tweets
3 Feb
Of all the analogies for getting through COVID-19, an endurance event seems to work best.

Emphasizes qualities:
-Expectation setting
-Fierce discipline
-Big compassion
-Playing long game
-Balancing future goals with present moment
"Planning for forever is essentially impossible, which can actually be freeing: It brings you back into the present...What matters is eating a nourishing meal, telling someone you love them, walking your dog, getting enough sleep." —@BlairBraverman…
"The brutal paradox in a marathon is that right when you can sniff the finish line, usually between mile 20 and mile 22, the race invariably feels the longest. It is utterly critical not to lose focus here. Restraint pays off. Just keep going."…
Read 4 tweets
31 Jan
THREAD: Here are 8 principles to successfully navigate disorder (this is hard to do!) that I've observed over the last few years coaching executives, entrepreneurs, and athletes.

On sustainable success, performance, mental health, and career advice:

Stop Resisting What Is Happening

Resisting change and disorder may feel good in the short-term but invariably leads to distress in the long-term. To work through a challenge you've got to engage with it. Not what you want. Not what you wish. But what is actually happening.
Focus On What You Can Control, Don't Worry About What You Can't

There's a difference between worrying about a situation and taking productive action to influence it. Whenever you catch yourself doing the former, use it as a cue to do the latter. Helps both you and the situation.
Read 10 tweets
25 Jan
THREAD: Here are 10 insights I've learned over the last 5 years coaching executives, entrepreneurs, and athletes.

On sustainable success, peak performance, and career advice:

You've got to put yourself out there. You can't be the person who comes off as too cool to care but is actually just afraid.

Caring deeply makes you vulnerable. Why? Because there's a good chance things don't go exactly your way. But caring deeply is also the key to a rich life.
Trying to be "balanced" does not work.

When you care deeply about something it draws you in. That's the point. You don't need to force some kind of proportionate allocation of your life.

Aim for the self-awareness to PRIORITIZE and CHOOSE how you spend your time and energy.
Read 12 tweets
14 Jan
7 resilience factors:

1. Strong community
2. Ask for help when you need it
3. Rest when you're tired
4. Get going—mood follows action—when you're stuck
5. Patience—can't force turn-arounds
6. Self-compassion (hard to be human)
7. Tragic optimism (this sucks, but here's hope too)
1. Strong Community

The people around you shape you. We are all mirrors reflecting onto each other. Quality over quantity—think about having a few people who you really trust and know that can keep you grounded when you soar and provide a cushion when you fall.
2. Ask For Help When You Need It

There is this misnomer that resilient people are super strong on their own. But in reality, they are super strong because they understand when they need help and they are not hesitant to ask for it.
Read 8 tweets
30 Nov 20
Sustainable peak performance rests on a foundation of pretty basic principles. Once those are nailed—simple, not easy—there is lots of luck, uncertainty, and changing tides. Most of a coach's job becomes walking the path with the person.

(Short thread on coaching.)
First and foremost, you want to help the person develop both knowing and, more important, CONSISTENT DOING of key skills and principles. The knowing part is easy, the consistent doing part is hard. Coaching is about teaching and then providing gentle nudges to keep executing.
A good coach also helps the person see what they don't otherwise see. Lots of highly driven people are so focused on what is ahead that they can miss important things on the side of the road. A coach points out those things, and then discusses which of them should be addressed.
Read 8 tweets
11 Oct 20
If you benefit from the information and practices I offer please retweet, share, and follow along for more.

I'm doing my best to be a signal amidst the noise.

The secret is there is no secret.
Stress + rest = growth.

(Short thread.)
Secret is there is no secret:

Move your body.
Eat whole foods.
Build community.
Care deeply.
Hold pain tenderly.
Give help.
Get help.
Stay on path.
Fall off path.
Get back on path.
Be patient.
Accept what is—and keep going anyways.
Sleep when tired.…
Stress + rest = growth.

- Too much of former not enough of latter you get illness, injury, burnout.
- Too much of latter not enough of former you get complacency, boredom, stagnation.

Pursue just-manageable challenges. Make sure there is some space in between. Adjust as you go.
Read 7 tweets
30 Sep 20
Secret is there is no secret. 13 rules. Modern science and ancient wisdom.

Eat whole foods.
Build community.
Care deeply.
Hold pain tenderly.
Give help.
Get help.
Stay on path.
Fall off path.
Get back on path.
Be patient.
Accept what is—keep going anyway.
Sleep when tired.
1) Move your body

Aim for at least 30 minutes every day. More is better. Walk. Run. Lift weights. Dance. Garden. If possible, do some of this outdoors. Whatever you do, don’t try to be a hero. Start small. Consistent effort compounds over time. Inertia works in both directions.
2) Eat whole foods

Do what you can to avoid stuff wrapped in plastic. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good. Pick one to three habitual eating patterns that aren’t great and upgrade them. Unless you find one that works for you AND fits the lifestyle you want, ignore diets.
Read 9 tweets
23 Sep 20
8 Principles to Navigate Periods of Disorder.

1. Stop Resisting What's Happening.
2. Focus On What You Can Control
3. Nail Daily Habits
4. Use Routines
5. Stay Connected
6. Think Adaptation
7. Respond Not React
8. Show Up, Get Through, And Make Meaning On Other Side

1. Stop Resisting What Is Happening

Resisting change and disorder may feel good in the short-term, but invariably leads to distress in the long-term. You’ve got to engage with what is in front of you, and wisely—which is what the following principles emphasize.
2. Focus On What You Can Control, Do Not Worry About What You Cannot

There is a difference between worrying about a situation one the one hand and taking productive action on the other. Whenever you catch yourself doing the former, use it as a cue to do the latter.
Read 9 tweets
8 Aug 20
Intermittent fasting (IF) is the latest nutrition, health, and, in some circles, performance—both physical and mental—trend out there.

Here are some thoughts, based on evidence and theory.

(Short thread.)
For most people, intermittent fasting reduces calories. If you don't have the option to eat all day you'll end up eating less calories. Eating less calories is associated with weight loss. Being at a healthy body weight is associated with less disease and enhanced longevity.
Other claims about IF tend focus on health and especially longevity benefits *beyond* the practice's potential positive affect on weight control.

Research has shown IF activates certain pathways in the body, but no study (yet) has gotten to real-world outcomes we care about.
Read 13 tweets
30 Jul 20
Everyone wants to be SUCCESSFUL. But few people take the time and energy to define the success they want. As a result, they spend most, if not all, of their lives chasing what society superimposes on them as success. This makes them unhappy. There's a better way.

(A thread.)
Common examples of socially imposed success include a bigger house; a faster car; a more prestigious position; greater relevance on the internet.

Yet, even if someone finally attains these so-called successes, they are often left wanting. No fun. No lasting fulfillment.
In ancient eastern psychology there is a concept known as the "hungry ghost." The hungry ghost has an endless stomach. He keeps on eating, stuffing himself sick, but he never feels full. It’s a severe disorder.

Lots of people are hungry ghosts. I know I can be one at times.
Read 11 tweets