On Form
On Form

On Form

We celebrate breadth rather than depth, quick reaction more than considered reflection. We skim across the surface, alighting for brief moments at dozens of destinations but rarely remaining for long at any one. We race through our lives without pausing to consider who we really want to be or where we really want to go. (Location 120)

Tags: depth

Energy, not time, is the fundamental currency of high performance. (Location 138)

Tags: energy

Without the right quantity, quality, focus and force of energy, we are compromised in any activity we undertake. (Location 142)

Tags: energy

Every one of our thoughts, emotions and behaviors has an energy consequence, for better or for worse. The ultimate measure of our lives is not how much time we spend on the planet, but rather how much energy we invest in the time that we have. (Location 143)

Tags: energy

Performance, health and happiness are grounded in the skillful management of energy. (Location 146)

Tags: health, happiness

The number of hours in a day is fixed, but the quantity and quality of energy available to us is not. It is our most precious resource. The more we take responsibility for the energy we bring to the world, the more empowered and productive we become. The more we blame others or external circumstances, the more negative and compromised our energy is likely to be. (Location 148)

Tags: favorite, time management, energy

Note: Energy is our most important resource. We must take responsibility for the energy we bring to the world

To be fully engaged, we must be physically energized, emotionally connected, mentally focused and spiritually aligned with a purpose beyond our immediate self-interest. Full engagement begins with feeling eager to get to work in the morning, equally happy to return home in the evening and capable of setting clear boundaries between the two. (Location 157)

Tags: engagement

Professional athletes typically spend about 90 percent of their time training, in order to be able to perform 10 percent of the time. Their entire lives are designed around expanding, sustaining and renewing the energy they need to compete for short, focused periods of time. (Location 209)

Tags: energy, training

The challenge of great performance is to manage your energy more effectively in all dimensions to achieve your goals. Four key energy management principles drive this process. (Location 222)

Tags: energy

PRINCIPLE 1: Full engagement requires drawing on four separate but related sources of energy: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. (Location 225)

Tags: engagement

Energy is the common denominator in all dimensions of our lives. Physical energy capacity is measured in terms of quantity (low to high) and emotional capacity in quality (negative to positive). (Location 231)

Tags: energy

PRINCIPLE 2: Because energy capacity diminishes both with overuse and with underuse, we must balance energy expenditure with intermittent energy renewal. (Location 244)

Tags: energy

Note: If we over work or under work we diminish energy levels.

The primary markers of physical capacity are:

- strength

- endurance

- flexibility

- resilience (Location 250)

Tags: favorite, energy, strength

The same is true emotionally. Emotional flexibility reflects the capacity to move freely and appropriately along a wide spectrum of emotions rather than responding rigidly or defensively. Emotional resilience is the ability to bounce back from experiences of disappointment, frustration and even loss. (Location 253)

Tags: emotions

In short, to be fully engaged requires strength, endurance, flexibility and resilience in all dimensions. (Location 259)

Tags: engagement

The richest, happiest and most productive lives are characterized by the ability to fully engage in the challenge at hand, but also to disengage periodically and seek renewal. (Location 265)

Tags: favorite, renewal, engagement

We, too, must learn to live our own lives as a series of sprints—fully engaging for periods of time, and then fully disengaging and seeking renewal before jumping back into the fray to face whatever challenges confront (Location 272)

Tags: renewal, engagement

PRINCIPLE 3: To build capacity, we must push beyond our normal limits, training in the same systematic way that elite athletes do. (Location 273)

Tags: push limits

Stress is not the enemy in our lives. Paradoxically, it is the key to growth. (Location 275)

Tags: stress, push limits

We build emotional, mental and spiritual capacity in precisely the same way that we build physical capacity. (Location 282)

Tags: push limits

Any form of stress that prompts discomfort has the potential to expand our capacity—physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually—so long as it is followed by adequate recovery. (Location 286)

Tags: stress

PRINCIPLE 4: Positive energy rituals—highly specific routines for managing energy—are the key to full engagement and sustained high performance. (Location 289)

Tags: rituals

In contrast to will and discipline, which require pushing yourself to a particular behavior, a ritual pulls at you. (Location 297)

Tags: rituals

The power of rituals is that they insure that we use as little conscious energy as possible where it is not absolutely necessary, leaving us free to strategically focus the energy available to us in creative, enriching ways. (Location 300)

Tags: energy, rituals

Creating positive rituals is the most powerful means we have found to effectively manage energy in the service of full engagement. (Location 308)

Tags: energy, rituals

Making changes that endure, we have found, is a three-step process that we call Purpose-Truth-Action. All three are necessary and none is sufficient by itself. (Location 311)

Tags: change

In the purpose stage, our goal is to help clients to surface and articulate the most important values in their lives and to define a vision for themselves, both personally and professionally. Connecting to a deep set of values and creating a compelling vision fuels a uniquely highoctane source of energy for change. It also serves as a compass for navigating the storms that inevitably arise in our lives. (Location 317)

Tags: change

Face the Truth, the first question we ask clients is “How are you spending your energy now?” (Location 321)

Tags: change

We regularly underestimate the consequences of our energy management choices, failing to honestly acknowledge the foods we are eating; how much alcohol we are consuming; what quality of energy we are investing in our relationships with our bosses, colleagues, spouses and children; and how focused and passionate we really are at work. (Location 322)

Tags: energy

The third step in your change process is to Take Action to close the gap between who you are and who you want to be—between how you manage your energy now and how you want to manage your energy to achieve whatever mission you are on. (Location 335)

Tags: change

As Aristotle said: “We are what we repeatedly do.” Or as the Dalai Lama put it more recently: “There isn’t anything that isn’t made easier through constant familiarity and training. Through training we can change; we can transform ourselves.” (Location 344)

Tags: quotes, change

BEAR IN MIND • Managing energy, not time, is the fundamental currency of high performance. Performance is grounded in the skillful management of energy. • Great leaders are stewards of organizational energy. They begin by effectively managing their own energy. As leaders, they must mobilize, focus, invest, channel, renew and expand the energy of others. • Full engagement is the energy state that best serves performance. • Principle 1: Full engagement requires drawing on four separate but related sources of energy: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. • Principle 2: Because energy diminishes both with overuse and with underuse, we must balance energy expenditure with intermittent energy renewal. • Principle 3: To build capacity we must push beyond our normal limits, training in the same systematic way that elite athletes do. • Principle 4: Positive energy rituals—highly specific routines for managing energy—are the key to full engagement and sustained high performance. • Making change that lasts requires a three-step process: Define Purpose, Face the Truth and Take Action. (Location 351)

Tags: favorite, push limits, engagement, energy

Energy is highly infectious, and negativity feeds on itself. Leaders have a disproportionate impact on the energy of others. (Location 439)

Tags: leadership, energy

Relationships are one of the most powerful potential sources of emotional renewal. (Location 441)

Tags: relationships

Today, “work-rest” ratios lie at the heart of periodization, a training method used by elite athletes throughout the world. (Location 507)

Tags: recovery

Following a period of activity, the body must replenish fundamental biochemical sources of energy. This is called “compensation” and when it occurs, energy expended is recovered. Increase the intensity of the training or the performance demand, and it is necessary to commensurately increase the amount of energy renewal. (Location 509)

Tags: recovery

Full engagement requires cultivating a dynamic balance between the expenditure of energy (stress) and the renewal of energy (recovery) in all dimensions. (Location 528)

Tags: recovery

THE PULSE OF LIFE Nature itself has a pulse, a rhythmic, wavelike movement between activity and rest. Think about the ebb and flow of the tides, the movement between seasons, and the daily rising and setting of the sun. Likewise, all organisms follow life-sustaining rhythms—birds migrating, bears hibernating, squirrels gathering nuts, and fish spawning, all of them at predictable intervals. (Location 536)

Tags: intervals, recovery

To live like a sprinter is to break life down into a series of manageable intervals consistent with our own physiological needs and with the periodic rhythms of nature. (Location 566)

Tags: intervals, recovery

dawned on Jim that these players were instinctively using the time between points to maximize their recovery. (Location 573)

Tags: recovery

The best competitors were using rituals to recover more efficiently and to better prepare for each upcoming point. (Location 579)

Tags: rituals, recovery

I’ve developed a regimen that allows me to move from peaks of concentration into valleys of relaxation and back again as necessary. (Location 595)

Tags: intervals, recovery

Carisa Bianchi, president and CEO of the advertising company TBWA/Chiat/Day in San Francisco, builds recovery into her frequent travel. “I never work on airplanes—no computer, no phone, nothing,” she said. “I read books and magazines and I listen to music—things that I don’t usually have the time to do. (Location 618)

Tags: recovery

It is not the intensity of energy expenditure that produces burnout, impaired performance and physical breakdown, but rather the duration of expenditure without recovery. (Location 716)

Tags: recovery, burnout

To build capacity, we must systematically expose ourselves to more stress—followed by adequate recovery. Challenging a muscle past its current limits prompts a phenomenon known as supercompensation. Faced with a demand that exceeds the muscle’s current capacity, the body responds by building more muscle fibers in anticipation of the next stimulus. (Location 759)

Tags: muscle, push limits

We grow at all levels by expending energy beyond our normal limits, and then recovering. (Location 762)

Expanding capacity requires a willingness to endure short-term discomfort in the service of long-term reward. (Location 768)

BEAR IN MIND • Our most fundamental need as human beings is to spend and recover energy. We call this oscillation. • The opposite of oscillation is linearity: too much energy expenditure without recovery or too much recovery without sufficient energy expenditure. • Balancing stress and recovery is critical to high performance both individually and organizationally. • We must sustain healthy oscillatory rhythms at all four levels of what we term the “performance pyramid”: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. • We build emotional, mental and spiritual capacity in precisely the same way that we build physical capacity. We must systematically expose ourselves to stress beyond our normal limits, followed by adequate recovery. • Expanding capacity requires a willingness to endure short-term discomfort in the service of long-term reward. (Location 807)

Tags: energy, favorite, intervals, recovery

The breath is a powerful tool for self-regulation—a means both to summon energy and to relax deeply. Extending the exhalation, for example, prompts a powerful wave of recovery. Breathing in to a count of three and out to a count of six, lowers arousal and quiets not just the body but also the mind and the emotions. Deep, smooth and rhythmic breathing is simultaneously a source of energy, alertness and focus as well as of relaxation, stillness and quiet—the ultimate healthy pulse. (Location 837)

Tags: relaxation, breathing

It is equally important to eat foods that are low on the glycemic index, which measures the speed with which sugar from specific foods is released into the bloodstream. (Location 851)

Tags: food

The lowglycemic breakfast foods that provide the highest octane and longest lasting source of energy, for example, include whole grains, proteins and low-glycemic fruits such as strawberries, pears, grapefruit and apples. By contrast, high-glycemic foods such as muffins or sugary cereals spike energy for short periods but prompt a crash in as few as thirty minutes. Even a breakfast traditionally viewed as healthy—an unbuttered bagel and a glass of orange juice—is very high on the glycemic index and therefore a poor source of sustaining energy. (Location 852)

Because our energy requirements tend to diminish as evening approaches and our metabolism slows, it makes sense to eat more calories earlier in the day and fewer in the evening. (Location 867)

Tags: health, food

Drinking water, we have found, is perhaps the most undervalued source of physical energy renewal. (Location 881)

Tags: recovery, water

Dehydrate a muscle by as little as 3 percent, for example, and it will lose 10 percent of its strength and 8 percent of its speed. Inadequate hydration also compromises concentration and coordination. (Location 884)

Tags: exercise, water, muscle

Note: Always stay hydrated!

Even small amounts of sleep debt—insufficient recovery in our terms—have a significant impact on strength, cardiovascular capacity, mood and overall energy levels. Some fifty studies have shown that mental performance—reaction time, concentration, memory and logical/analytical reasoning—all decline steadily as sleep debt increases. (Location 943)

Tags: sleep

The only caveat was that the naps had to be timed to insure that the subjects didn’t fall into deeper stages of sleep. After more than thirty to forty minutes of sleep, many of them emerged feeling groggy and even more fatigued than if they hadn’t napped at all. (Location 984)

Tags: sleep

Note: Power naps should not last longer than 40mins

The second part of Jody’s ritual centered on waking up. We urged her to begin by moving her alarm clock far enough away from her bed that turning it off would require getting up. We also urged her to immediately turn on all of the lights in the room, in order to stimulate her body to wake up. Next, Jody put on exercise clothes and immediately took a brisk ten-to fifteen-minute walk outside, once again to expose herself to natural light and increase her alertness. (High fitness makes it possible to perform on less sleep. If time is an issue, substituting a half hour of cardiovascular exercise or strength training for a half hour of sleep is a great trade.) Finally, Jody committed to eating a very light breakfast. Like most night owls, she simply didn’t feel hungry in the morning, but eating, even lightly, was critical to jump-starting her metabolism. (Location 1003)

Tags: rituals, waking up

In the absence of any artificial interventions, our energy stores naturally ebb and flow at different times of the day. Somewhere around 3:00 or 4:00 P.M. we reach the lowest phase of both our ultradian and our circadian rhythms. (Location 1031)

Tags: energy, body

Winston Churchill was among the world leaders who clearly understood the strategic value of naps: You must sleep some time between lunch and dinner and no halfway measures. (Location 1039)

Tags: sleep

Full engagement requires the capacity to respond quickly and flexibly to whatever demands we face in our lives, but also to shut down and restore equilibrium quickly and efficiently. (Location 1126)

Tags: engagement

BEAR IN MIND • Physical energy is the fundamental source of fuel in life. • Physical energy is derived from the interaction between oxygen and glucose. • The two most important regulators of physical energy are breathing and eating. • Eating five to six low-calorie, highly nutritious meals a day ensures a steady resupply of glucose and essential nutrients. • Drinking sixty-four ounces of water daily is a key factor in the effective management of physical energy. • Most human beings require seven to eight hours of sleep per night to function optimally. • Going to bed early and waking up early help to optimize performance. • Interval training is more effective than steady-state exercise in building physical capacity and in teaching people how to recover more efficiently. • To sustain full engagement, we must take a recovery break every 90 to 120 minutes. (Location 1209)

Tags: favorite, sleep, energy

the key “muscles” or competencies that fuel positive emotion are self-confidence, self-control (self-regulation), social skills (interpersonal effectiveness) and empathy. Smaller, supportive “muscles” include patience, openness, trust and enjoyment. (Location 1224)

Tags: emotion

Gallup found that the key drivers of productivity for employees include whether they feel cared for by a supervisor or someone at work; whether they have received recognition or praise during the past seven days; and whether someone at work regularly encourages their development. (Location 1278)

Tags: management, productivity

Put another way, the ability to communicate consistently positive energy lies at the heart of effective management. (Location 1280)

Tags: management, positivity

The depth or quality of emotional renewal is something else again. That depends on how absorbing, enriching and enlivening the activity turns out to be. Television, for example, is one of the primary means by which most people relax and recover. For the most part, however, watching television is the mental and emotional equivalent of eating junk food. It may provide a temporary form of recovery, but it is rarely nutritious and it is easy to consume too much. Researchers such as Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi have found that prolonged television watching is actually correlated with increased anxiety and low-level depression. (Location 1299)

Tags: emotion, tv, recovery

Gallup found that one of the key factors in sustained performance is having at least one good friend at work. (Location 1373)

Tags: performance, friendship

The best way to build an emotional muscle, much like a physical muscle, is to push past your current comfort zone and then recover. (Location 1420)

Tags: comfort zone, emotion

Note: Build an emotional muscle by pushing past your comfort zone and then recovering.

BEAR IN MIND • In order to perform at our best, we must access pleasant and positive emotions: the experience of enjoyment, challenge, adventure and opportunity. • The key muscles fueling positive emotional energy are self-confidence, self-control, interpersonal effectiveness and empathy. • Negative emotions serve survival but they are very costly and energy inefficient in the context of performance. • The ability to summon positive emotions during periods of intense stress lies at the heart of effective leadership. • Access to the emotional muscles that serve performance depends on creating a balance between exercising them regularly and intermittently seeking recovery. • Any activity that is enjoyable, fulfilling and affirming serves as a source of emotional renewal and recovery. • Emotional muscles such as patience, empathy and confidence can be strengthened in the same way that we strengthen a bicep or a tricep: pushing past our current limits followed by recovery. (Location 1558)

Tags: emotion, positivity

The key supportive muscles that fuel optimal mental energy include mental preparation, visualization, positive self-talk, effective time management, and creativity. (Location 1574)

The problem is that thinking uses up a great deal of energy. The brain represents just 2 percent of the body’s weight, but requires almost 25 percent of its oxygen. The consequences of insufficient mental recovery range from increased mistakes of judgment and execution to lower creativity and a failure to take reasonable account of risks. The key to mental recovery is to give the conscious, thinking mind intermittent rest. (Location 1604)

Tags: recovery, energy, brain

In his provocative book, How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci, author Michael Gelb poses a wonderfully revealing question: “Where are you when you get your best ideas?” Gelb has asked this question to thousands of people over the years, and the most common answers he gets include “in the shower,” “resting in bed,” “walking in nature” and “listening to music.” We ask our own clients a similar question and their answers have ranged from taking a jog to meditating to dreaming to sitting on the beach. “Almost no one,” Gelb writes, “claims to get their best ideas at work.” (Location 1607)

Tags: idea generation

“The greatest geniuses,” da Vinci told his patron, “sometimes accomplish more when they work less.” (Location 1615)

Tags: quotes, work

it’s never too late to change your brain for the better. That’s because the brain is different from every other organ in our body. While the liver and the lungs and the kidneys wear out after a certain number of years, the brain gets sharper the more it’s used. Indeed it improves with use.” (Location 1689)

Tags: brain

Because the mind and body are so inextricably connected, even moderate physical exercise can increase cognitive capacity. It does so most simply by driving more blood and oxygen to the brain. (Location 1691)

Tags: health, exercise

Loss of memory is the most common complaint that people over the age of forty bring to neurologists. Far more often than not, the explanation is not disease, but rather the failure to actively keep the mind engaged, and the resulting atrophy of the “muscles” of memory. (Location 1710)

Tags: old age, memory

Too often, we devote our time to activities that don’t advance our mission, depleting our energy reserves in the process. Stephen Covey captures this deftly in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People when he describes how often the urgent in our lives—what seems most demanding in the moment—crowds out the important—priorities that are ultimately more consequential, but don’t necessarily require immediate attention. The same is true of many corporate cultures, where a constant sense of emergency makes it difficult for anyone to step back and make more thoughtful choices. (Location 1772)

Tags: priotitise, focus

BEAR IN MIND • Mental capacity is what we use to organize our lives and focus our attention. • The mental energy that best serves full engagement is realistic optimism—seeing the world as it is, but always working positively towards a desired outcome or solution. • The key supportive mental muscles include mental preparation, visualization, positive self-talk, effective time management and creativity. • Changing channels mentally permits different parts of the brain to be activated and facilitates creativity. • Physical exercise stimulates cognitive capacity. • Maximum mental capacity is derived from a balance between expending and recovering mental energy. • When we lack the mental muscles we need to perform at our best, we must systematically build capacity by pushing past our comfort zone and then recovering. • Continuing to challenge the brain serves as a protection against age-related mental decline. (Location 1819)

The quantity of energy we have to spend at any given moment is a reflection of our physical capacity. Our motivation to spend what we have is largely a spiritual issue. (Location 1830)

Tags: energy, motivation

We define “spiritual” not in the religious sense, but rather in more simple and elemental terms: the connection to a deeply held set of values and to a purpose beyond our self-interest. (Location 1833)

We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life—hourly and daily. Our answer must consist not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. (Location 1955)

From our work with athletes we learned that visualizing a performance challenge in advance is a very effective way to allay anxiety and to perform without awkwardness or self-consciousness. (Location 2005)

Tags: anxiety, visualisation

Note: Visual the event in advance

We define integrity—a key ingredient in character and a primary spiritual muscle—as doing what you say you are going to do when you say you are going to do it. (Location 2026)

Tags: integrity

BEAR IN MIND • Spiritual energy provides the force for action in all dimensions of our lives. It fuels passion, perseverance and commitment. • Spiritual energy is derived from a connection to deeply held values and a purpose beyond our self-interest. • Character—the courage and conviction to live by our deepest values—is the key muscle that serves spiritual energy. • The key supportive spiritual muscles are passion, commitment, integrity and honesty. • Spiritual energy expenditure and energy renewal are deeply interconnected. • Spiritual energy is sustained by balancing a commitment to a purpose beyond ourselves with adequate self-care. • Spiritual work can be demanding and renewing at the same time. • Expanding spiritual capacity involves pushing past our comfort zone in precisely the same way that expanding physical capacity does. • The energy of the human spirit can override even severe limitations of physical energy. (Location 2108)

Tags: spiritual

We become fully engaged only when we care deeply, when we feel that what we are doing really matters. Purpose is what lights us up, floats our boats, feeds our souls. (Location 2124)

The philosopher and mythologist Joseph Campbell described the search for meaning and purpose as “The Hero’s Journey.” The basic elements of the path, he argued, recur across cultures and throughout history. Self-transformation, Campbell said, is our greatest challenge as human beings. The hero’s journey begins when something awakens us to the need for change—illumination, discomfort, pain. Campbell described this as the “Call to Adventure.” Once we accept the call, he said, we push forward into the unknown. Along the way we face doubt, uncertainty, fear and hardship. At some point, we realize that we cannot make the journey alone, and we seek help from a “mentor.” (Location 2131)

Tags: heros journey

A series of tests push us to the brink of giving up, but in the “Supreme Ordeal” we finally slay the dragon—facing down the darkness within ourselves, calling on previously untapped potentials and creating meaning where it did not previously exist. We celebrate and acknowledge this accomplishment, but the process does not end there. Living out our purpose is a lifelong challenge. The journey continues and the true hero is always awaiting the next call to adventure. (Location 2136)

Tags: heros journey

Defining what mattered to him most created a breakthrough for Andy. He settled on five key values—persistence, integrity, excellence, creativity and commitment. They became his touchstone—and the source of his motivation for change. (Location 2180)

Tags: life principles

Extrinsic motivation reflects the desire to get more of something that we don’t feel we have enough of: money, approval, social standing, power or even love. “Intrinsic” motivation grows out of the desire to engage in (Location 2224)

We humans need food, rest, warmth and social contact,” writes David Myers, author of The Pursuit of Happiness. “For starving Sudanese and homeless Iraqis money would buy more happiness. But having more than enough provides little additional boost to well being. … Once we’re comfortable, more money therefore provides diminishing returns. … The correlation between income and happiness is modest, and in both the U.S. and Canada [it] has now dropped to near zero. … Income also doesn’t noticeably influence satisfaction with marriage, family, friendship or ourselves—all of which do predict a sense of well being.” Happiness, in turn, has been clearly associated with higher productivity. In short, money may not buy happiness, but happiness may help you get rich. (Location 2235)


BEAR IN MIND • The search for meaning is among the most powerful and enduring themes in every culture since the origin of recorded history. • The “hero’s journey” is grounded in mobilizing, nurturing and regularly renewing our most precious resource—energy—in the service of what matters most. • When we lack a strong sense of purpose we are easily buffeted by life’s inevitable storms. • Purpose becomes a more powerful and enduring source of energy when its source moves from negative to positive, external to internal and self to others. • A negative source of purpose is defensive and deficit-based. • Intrinsic motivation grows out of the desire to engage in an activity because we value it for the inherent satisfaction it provides. • Values fuel the energy on which purpose is built. They hold us to a different standard for managing our energy. • A virtue is a value in action. • A vision statement, grounded in values that are meaningful and compelling, creates a blueprint for how to invest our energy. (Location 2375)

In previous chapters we have argued that full engagement and optimal performance depend on the capacity to marshal high positive energy. (Location 2393)

There are times—not just in emergencies—when consciously choosing not to pay attention to real information serves a useful purpose. An athlete can be successful competing, for example, only when she focuses her attention fully on the task at hand. Doing so may require temporarily shutting out genuine worries about her family, or a nagging pain in her knee, or even a lack of confidence in her skills. The same capacity to set aside potential distractions is necessary to be successful in our own work lives. Setting aside our anxieties and preoccupations is healthy when it represents a choice rather than a compulsion, a means of more fully engaging in the task at hand rather than an unconscious strategy to avoid discomfort. Selective inattention - doesn’t necessarily mean denying or avoiding troubling issues. Instead it may be a strategy for putting them on hold in order to deal with them at a more appropriate time. (Location 2420)

“Know Thyself” is the most celebrated. The second translates roughly as “Know All of Thyself”—a recognition that we must look beneath the surface to find the truth. Other (Location 2471)

Now take this inquiry one step further, and make it more open-ended. If energy is your most precious resource, let’s look at how well you manage it relative to what you say matters most. • How do your habits of sleeping, eating and exercising affect your available energy? • How much negative energy do you invest in defense spending—frustration, anger, fear, resentment, envy—as opposed to positive energy utilized in the service of growth and productivity? • How much energy do you invest in yourself, and how much in others, and how comfortable are you with that balance? How do those closest to you feel about the balance you’ve struck? • How much energy do you spend worrying about, feeling frustrated by and trying to influence events beyond your control? • Finally, how wisely and productively are you investing your energy? (Location 2509)

To focus more specifically on how your energy management choices are affecting your performance, the chart that follows lists the most common performance barriers that we encounter with our clients. (Location 2517)

Another way that we deceive ourselves is by assuming that our view represents the truth when it is really just an interpretation, a lens through which we choose to view the world. Without realizing it, we often create stories around a set of facts and then take our stories to be the truth. Just because something feels real to us doesn’t make it so. The facts in a given situation may be incontrovertible, but the meaning that we ascribe to them is often far more subjective. (Location 2528)

Tags: stories

Much as we must keep returning to the gym and pushing weight against resistance in order to sustain or increase our physical strength, so we must persistently shed light on those aspects of ourselves that we prefer not to see in order to build our mental, emotional and spiritual capacity. (Location 2601)

The Serenity Prayer is a perfect primer on ideal energy management: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.” We spend vast quantities of energy worrying about people and situations over which we have no control. Far better to concentrate our energy on that which we can influence. Facing the truth helps us to make the distinction. (Location 2609)

BEAR IN MIND • Facing the truth frees up energy and is the second stage, after defining purpose, in becoming more fully engaged. • Avoiding the truth consumes great effort and energy. • At the most basic level, we deceive ourselves in order to protect our self-esteem. • Some truths are too unbearable to be absorbed all at once. Emotions such as grief are best metabolized in waves. • Truth without compassion is cruelty—to others and to ourselves. • What we fail to acknowledge about ourselves we often continue to act out unconsciously. • A common form of self-deception is assuming that our view represents the truth, when it is really just a lens through which we choose to view the world. • Facing the truth requires that we retain an ongoing openness to the possibility that we may not be seeing ourselves—or others—accurately. • It is both a danger and a delusion when we become too identified with any singular view of ourselves. We are all a blend of light and shadow, virtues and vices. • Accepting our limitations reduces our defensiveness and increases the amount of positive energy available to us. Ten (Location 2618)

Lendl also practiced a series of daily mental-focus exercises to improve his concentration—and regularly introduced new ones to assure that they remained challenging. At tournaments, he gave clear instructions to friends and family not to burden him with issues that might distract him from his mission. Whatever he did, he was either fully engaged or strategically disengaged. (Location 2636)

A growing body of research suggests that as little as 5 percent of our behaviors are consciously self-directed. We are creatures of habit and as much as 95 percent of what we do occurs automatically or in reaction to a demand or an anxiety. What Lendl understood brilliantly and instinctively was the power of positive rituals—precise, consciously acquired behaviors that become automatic in our lives, fueled by a deep sense of purpose. (Location 2647)

Positive energy rituals are powerful on three levels. They help us to insure that we effectively manage energy in the service of whatever mission we are on. They reduce the need to rely on our limited conscious will and discipline to take action. Finally, rituals are a powerful means by which to translate our values and priorities into action—to embody what matters most to us in our everyday behaviors. (Location 2651)

Rituals serve as anchors, insuring that even in the most difficult circumstances we will continue to use our energy in service of the values that we hold most dear. We are all exposed to storms throughout our lives—sickness and disease; the death of loved ones; betrayal and disappointments; financial setbacks and layoffs from jobs. These are the situations in which our character is truly tested and our choices about how to manage energy are critical. (Location 2668)

The bigger the storm, the more inclined we are to revert to our survival habits, and the more important positive rituals become. (Location 2671)

Far from precluding spontaneity, rituals provide a level of comfort, continuity and security that frees us to improvise and to take risks. Think of a great athlete producing a seemingly impossible shot under fierce pressure; a highly trained surgeon making a critical counterintuitive decision at a life-or-death moment during a delicate operation; or an executive breaking an impasse in a difficult, formal negotiation by suddenly coming up with a novel structure for a deal. Rituals provide a stable framework in which creative breakthroughs often occur. They can also open up time for recovery and renewal, when relationships can be deepened and spiritual reflection becomes possible. (Location 2683)

The limitations of conscious will and discipline are rooted in the fact that every demand on our self-control—from deciding what we eat to managing frustration, from building an exercise regimen to persisting at a difficult task—all draw on the same small easily depleted reservoir of energy. (Location 2688)

Tags: attention

Note: limited willpower

In a series of imaginative experiments, several researchers have demonstrated how this plays out in everyday life. In one study, for example, subjects were deprived of food for several hours and then exposed to a plate of chocolate-chip cookies and other sweets. One group was given permission to indulge themselves. A second group was asked to refrain from eating sweets and to settle for radishes instead. The latter group succeeded in resisting the sweets, but then demonstrated significantly less persistence than the first group in a follow-up test trying to solve insoluble puzzles. In a second experiment, dieters who were presented with tempting food were able to control themselves but became significantly more likely to break the diet when faced with subsequent temptations. In still a third experiment, one group of subjects was asked to hold their hands under ice water for a specified period of time. They performed significantly worse on a series of subsequent proofreading tasks than a group that had not been subjected to the ice-water challenge. (Location 2690)

Note: example of willpower depletiing with reduction in energy levels

Since will and discipline are far more limited and precious resources than most of us realize, they must be called upon very selectively. Because even small acts of self-control use up this limited reservoir, consciously using this energy for one activity means it will be less available for the next one. The sobering truth is that we have the capacity for very few conscious acts of self-control in a day. (Location 2703)

Tags: willpower

Note: We have limited amounts of willpower, which is depleted with each decision

In still a third study, the goal was to increase compliance in an fitness program that was being offered to a group of nonexercising college students. In a first attempt to motivate them, the subjects were given data about how exercise would significantly reduce their vulnerability to coronary heart disease. Participation in the program increased from 29 to 39 percent. When this information was followed by a request that students designate when and where they intended to exercise, compliance went to a remarkable 91 percent. (Location 2805)

Similar results were achieved in trying to help people adopt better eating habits. Participants proved far more likely to eat healthy, low calorie foods when they were asked in advance to specify precisely what they intended to eat for each of their meals during the day, rather than using their energy to resist eating certain foods all day long. (Location 2809)

The specificity and precision of rituals also makes it more likely that we will be able to produce them under pressure. (Location 2816)

Bill Walsh, the brilliant former coach of the San Francisco 49ers, put it simply in describing his approach to football: “At all times the focus must be on doing things properly. Every play. Every practice. Every meeting. Every situation. Every time.” (Location 2817)

Tags: focus

Walsh’s point applies to any performance venue. Practice makes perfect only if the practice is perfect—or at least aims for perfection. If you cannot perform a particular task effectively when you are feeling relaxed and unpressured, it is unlikely that you will be able to do so when the pressure is high, or when you are in the midst of a crisis. (Location 2819)

“It’s great to know how to recharge your batteries, but it’s even more important that you actually do it,” Vinod Khosla, a partner at the venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caulfield and Byers told Fast Company. “I track how many times I get home in time to have dinner with my family. My assistant reports the exact number to me each month. Your company measures its priorities. People also need to place metrics around their priorities. … My goal is to be home for dinner twenty-five nights a month. Having a target number is key. … Keeping track of your behavior each month means that you don’t slip up, because you know immediately whether your schedule is matching up with your priorities.” (Location 2900)

BEAR IN MIND • Rituals serve as tools through which we effectively manage energy in the service of whatever mission we are on. • Rituals create a means by which to translate our values and priorities into action in all dimensions of our life. • All great performers rely on positive rituals to manage their energy and regulate their behavior. • The limitations of conscious will and discipline are rooted in the fact that every demand on our self-control draws on the same limited resource. • We can offset our limited will and discipline by building rituals that become automatic as quickly as possible, fueled by our deepest values. • The most important role of rituals is to insure effective balance between energy expenditure and energy renewal in the service of full engagement. • The more exacting the challenge and the greater the pressure, the more rigorous our rituals need to be. • Precision and specificity are critical dimensions of building rituals during the thirty-to sixty-day acquisition period. • Trying not to do something rapidly depletes our limited stores of will and discipline. • To make lasting change, we must build serial rituals, focusing on one significant change at a time. (Location 2914)

“Jump ahead to the end of your life: What are the three most important lessons you have learned?” Difficult as his life had become, Roger was not an especially complicated man. These were his answers: 1. Marry someone you love and respect and always make your family your highest priority. Everything else comes and goes, but your closest relationships are forever. 2. Work hard, keep your standards high, and never settle for anything less than you are capable of achieving. 3. Treat other people with respect and kindness. (Location 2957)

Tags: life principles

Summary of the Corporate Athlete Full-Engagement Training System 1. Objective: Perform in the storm. • Build the necessary capacity to sustain high performance in the face of increasing demand. 2. Central conclusion: Energy is the fundamental currency of high performance. • Capacity is a function of one’s ability to expend and recover energy. • Every thought, feeling and action has an energy consequence. • Energy is the most important individual and organizational resource. 3. Full engagement: Optimal energy in the context of high performance. • Physically energized • Emotionally connected • Mentally focused • Spiritually aligned 4. Full engagement is a consequence of the skillful management of energy in all dimensions. 5. Full engagement principles: • Managing energy, not time, is the key to high performance. • Full engagement requires drawing on four separate but related dimensions of energy: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. • Because energy capacity diminishes with both overuse and underuse, we must learn to balance energy expenditure with intermittent energy renewal. • To build capacity, we must push beyond our normal limits, training in the same systematic way that elite athletes do. • Positive energy rituals—highly specific routines for managing energy—are the key to full engagement and sustained high performance. 6. Full engagement requires drawing on four separate but related sources of energy: • Physical capacity is reflected in one’s ability to expend and recover energy at the physical level. • Emotional capacity is reflected in one’s ability to expend and recover energy at the emotional level. • Mental capacity is reflected in one’s ability to expend and recover energy at the mental level. • Spiritual capacity is reflected in one’s ability to expend and recover energy at the spiritual level. • The most fundamental source of energy is physical. The most significant is spiritual. 7. Four sources of energy: • Physical capacity is defined by quantity of energy. • Emotional capacity is defined by quality of energy. • Mental capacity is defined by focus of energy. • Spiritual capacity is defined by force of energy. 8. Measuring energy: • The quantity of available energy is measured in terms of volume (low to high). • The quality of available energy is measured in terms of unpleasant (negative) to pleasant (positive). • The focus of available energy is measured in terms of broad to narrow and external to internal. • The force of available energy is measured in terms of self to others, external to internal and negative to positive. 9. Optimal performance requires: • Greatest quantity of energy • Highest quality of energy • Clearest focus of energy • Maximum force of energy 10. Barriers to full engagement: Negative habits that block, distort, waste, diminish, deplete and contaminate stored energy. 11. The Full-Engagement Training System: Removes barriers by establishing strategic positive energy rituals that insure sufficient… (Location 3121)

Most Important Physical Energy Management Strategies 1. Go to bed early and wake up early 2. Go to sleep and wake up consistently at the same times 3. Eat five to six small meals daily 4. Eat breakfast every day 5. Eat a balanced, healthy diet 6. Minimize simple sugars 7. Drink 48 to 64 ounces of water daily 8. Take breaks every ninety minutes during work 9. Get some physical activity daily 10. Do at least two cardiovascular interval workouts and two strength training workouts a week (Location 3221)