The indisputable and measurable benefits of a consistent physical practice include enhanced:
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.
Quick summary based on 10 yrs of research and working with high-performers across disciplines.
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
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.
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.
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
Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart
Full Catastrophe Living
Crossing the Unknown Sea
The Wisdom of Insecurity
The True Believer
The Hero with a Thousand Faces
A Liberated Mind
After the Ecstasy, the Laundry
Almost Everything: Notes on Hope
The Craving Mind
The Inner Game of Tennis
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.
Of all the analogies for getting through COVID-19, an endurance event seems to work best.
-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." —@BlairBravermannytimes.com/2020/09/23/spo…
"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." outsideonline.com/2420136/covid-…
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.
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.
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.
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.
Secret is there is no secret:
Move your body.
Eat whole foods.
Hold pain tenderly.
Stay on path.
Fall off path.
Get back on path.
Accept what is—and keep going anyways.
Sleep when tired.
Secret is there is no secret. 13 rules. Modern science and ancient wisdom.
Eat whole foods.
Hold pain tenderly.
Stay on path.
Fall off path.
Get back on path.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.