Thursday, October 1, 2009

Rob McNamara - Relaxation & Performance

Nice post from Rob on finding the balance between getting things done and taking care of ourselves. For many men, this can be a hard balance to find.
Many people whom are unconsciously caught in their conditioning make the mistake of pushing harder in the attempt to get more done in their life. While the initial effort may yield some short term benefit, as an enduring strategy for productivity and performance this approach is severely misguided. Getting stuck in this modality of functioning is the equivalent of being in first gear and pressing the peddle down harder and harder to go faster. Sure you’re going to go a little bit faster initially however you’re going to top out at 25 miles an hour and if you keep doing this day in and day out you’re going to do tremendous damage to your engine.

The most efficient and effective way to enhance your performance is to refine your recovery. Wether you are trying to grow a company 7% above and beyond your annual organic growth or make an NFL roster by cutting your 40 time down by two hundredths of a second while refining your understanding of defensive assignments the formula remains the same: Relax!

Any integral approach to performance must include efficient and densely effective forms of accelerated recovery. Relaxation cuts stress levels and its associated biochemicals cortisol, ACTH, lactate and adrenaline. A potent dose of recovery also reduces muscular tension, heart rate and oxygen consumption. Relaxation increases the sensitivity of your brain and nervous system, increases your capacity for memory formation, quickens your reaction times by refining neuro-efficiency and facilitates brain growth and plasticity. When we look at individuals who have a consistent strategy for relaxation and efficient recovery we find individuals who are operating in life with much more adaptive skills and capacities for execution than individuals who fail to relax.

Just as when you go from first to second gear and from second to third, forth and fifth gear you must put the clutch down. Before you can ramp up your productivity to the next level, you must relax, you must put your clutch down and allow your conditioned RPMs to drop. When you set your physiological and psychological faculties to be more responsive, adaptive and refined you’ll start to explore performance from a new perspective and territory.

Performance as you will come to see is dependent not upon more contracted habituated effort to push through, but rather your ability to relax, open and thus generate true force in your life and in the world.

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