I recently spent two days speaking at the Yale School of Management to a group of upper level, international executives.  They were a bright group – as all of my audiences are – but it never fails to surprise me how often brilliant people often overlook one critical thing:  expecting great things from one’s self without a thought to taking care of the body and mind that provide and sustain that excellent performance.

I can’t tell you the number of executives that eat like crap, go for long periods of time without eating anything, overeat, drink too much, and/or try to survive on caffeine or nicotine.  Yet they expect to have the energy to put in productive 10-12 hour days, 5+ days each week.

In addition to this there’s also a huge percentage that are mostly sedentary.  They don’t work out, don’t get their heart rates elevated, their muscles turn to mush and they have a much higher level of body fat than is even close to healthy.  Yet they expect to have the energy to put in 10-12 hour workdays, then come home and meet family and personal obligations.

About 75% of my audiences admit to having issues with sleep.  Yet they expect to hop out of bed fully energized, focused on their top priorities, and to be at the top of their game all morning, all afternoon, and well into the evening.

Does this sound like something a rational, intelligent person should expect? 

I do a lot of consulting for the Human Performance Institute and here is one of their most brilliant tenets:  Energy is the fundamental currency of business and of life – without energy nothing happens.  Where does energy come from?  It’s metabolized in the physical body.

Energy comes from the foods we eat.  It comes from how often we eat.  Energy comes from oxygen – increasing our rate of breathing increases energy to the brain and body.  Moving the body increases oxygen intake.

If you really want to be productive you need to put quality nutrients into the body at regular intervals.  If you want to have energy you need to get off your butt – not only spending less time sitting on it, but also getting it moving.  Cardiovascular exercise improves the oxygen carrying capacity of your body (remember oxygen = energy), boosts energy levels, and makes you more resilient to stress.  Resistance training creates more muscles that in turn generate more energy – speeding up your metabolism.  Regular exercise increases the quality of your sleep.  IT’S ALL CONNECTED.

Today’s workforce is filled with irrational, insane people.  I see it with my own eyes every day:  People expecting great work and performance from empty shells.  Dragging their unhealthy, polluted, shitty body into the office each day, propping it up in a chair for 10-12 hours, dragging it back home again, and then propping it back up on the couch for another 4-5 hours.

Aren’t you tired of it?  Don’t you want more?  MAKE THE CONNECTION.  What you put in your mouth affects your performance – both mentally as well as physically.  How you choose to move your body affects your performance – both mentally as well as physically.

I work with business organizations every week to help them improve their performance and resiliency.  It’s not rocket science or brain surgery – it’s simple, proven strategies that anyone can do regardless of travel schedule, geography, time or status.  If you’re interested in your organization’s performance, productivity and resiliency call me.  …It’s what rational, sane people do.