A Man’s Search For Meaning (Book)

This book is one of the most suggested books to read by high performers. In many ways I think people who perform a lot under stress like this because it provides perspective, but it also provides a solution of how to handle the worst parts of your life and/or career that every person goes through. The author, Viktor Frankl, is a jewish psychologist that survived the Holocaust. He was located in four different concentration camps, including Auschwitz, over a span of four years. In this book Frankl writes about his and other experiences in the concentration camps and the psychological affect it had on the people around him. He aims to describe the scenes in those camps during WWII as objectively as possible to provide further insight on how he got to his philosophy (logo therapy). The books describes the brutal scenarios of not knowing the fate of your loved ones, the horrid living circumstances, the verbal and physical abuse, suffering from malnutrition, dealing with diseases, and more. His conclusion is that people who still find and know their meaning, even in the worst of times, will be resilient and have a more fulfilled life. In the second chapter Frankl talks about logotherapy, Frankl own philosphy which is based off of existential analysis (will to meaning). In this chapter Frankl argues that striving to find a meaning in one’s life is the primary, most powerful motivating and driving force in humans. His experience and that of others around him during WW II provide substance to his claims. 

This is a great book that can serve many lessons for the reader. It’s a quick read and an encapsulating read

Mind Fitness: How Meditation Boosts Your Focus, Resilience, and Brain (Video)

Big Think aims to help you move above and beyond random information, toward real knowledge, offering big ideas from fields outside your own that you can apply toward the questions and challenges in your own life. Have you, like me, heard about meditation a million times? And does it feel like everyone around you is doing it, yet you might not be convinced? This short 8 minute video gives more scientific consequences of meditation. Psychologist Daniel Coleman explains the behavioral, cognitive, and neuroscientific changes long-term meditators go through. Coleman goes further and talks about improving resilience, minimizing mindwandering and more.

Still not convinced? If you’re like me and  want more scientific proof on the benefits of breathing exercises (which is probably the main focus when meditating) then perhaps you like this video. Here Neuroscientist Alan Watkins talks about Heart Rate Variability and how breathing exercises can improve resilience, strengthen your heart, help your digestive system, and more!

Dr Alan Watkins; Being Brilliant Every Single Day (Video)

Ted speakers are specialists in their field and talk about their specific topic. Topics range from psychology, nutrition, science, leadership, etc. Executive coach and neuroscientist, Dr. Watkins, talks about how to perform at your best every single day by training consistent breathing. Watkins brakes down how to understand your consistent performance: to change performance you have to change behavior, which influences your thinking, which is dependent on your feelings, which is a reaction from emotions, and emotions come from your physiology. So you have to become aware and control your physiology which is possible when controlling your heartbeat and thus your breath.

The Science of Breathing: How Slowing It Down Can Make Us Calm and Productive (Article)

Forbes Media is a global media, branding and technology company, with a focus on news and information about business, investing, technology, entrepreneurship, leadership and affluent lifestyles. In this article, contributor Seth Porges simplifies the explanation of how our autonomic nervous system works, it’s ties to stress and anxiety, and how breathing can be used as a solution to get rid of those unpleasant feelings. When stressed and anxious the sympathetic nervous system (the fight or flight part of our nervous system) reacts causing body reactions such as shortage of breath and tensing of your muscles.  Porges writes that slow, consistent, and deep breathing can slow down all bodily functions leaving you in a calmer and more controlled state. Dr. Gerbarg suggests coherent breathing as a daily practice, such as slow and long breaths of about 10 to 12 seconds, can significantly improve your ability to deal with feelings such as stress, depression, and anxiety.

Leo Messi and Larry Ellison Have More In Common Than You Think (Article)

The European Business Review is the leading business intelligence magazine provides readers with indispensable insight, current best practices and breakthrough ideas. This article discusses the Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and how Leo Messi (Barcelona striker) and Larry Ellison (CEO Oracle) both use it though one is for sport and the other for business. Explains HRV’s physical and emotional advantages. Heart Rate Variability is used for recovery, energy efficiency, program/work tailoring, and stress management. 

A Courageous Conversation That Could Make A Difference (Article)

INSEAD Knowledge is the expert opinion on and management insights portal of INSEAD Business School. This article is written by four professors who specialize in coaching, organisational behavior, leadership development, and organisational change. This article touches on the danger of stress on high-performing individuals and how there can be a better system in place on evaluating mental health. The authors created a stress protocol to do just that (Stress APGAR), it looks at appearance, performance, self-development, affect management and relationships. 

The Power of Full Engagement (Book)

This book is written by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz. Jim Loehr is co-founder of the Human Performance Institute, they provide courses and programs for athletes and business people to approach energy differently so that they can sustain a higher performance throughout their days. The Power of full engagement talks about how to manage and maintain your energy (not time). Loehr and Schwartz explain that there are four different but related types of energy: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.  They argue that to achieve high performance and to maintain high level of energy people need get the right balance between stress and recovery, have quality sleep,  finding renewal time, expanding emotional capital, and more. The second part of the book provides an action plan which includes defining a purpose, facing the truth, and taking action through powerful rituals.

How to Overcome Anxiety and Stress; Michael Gervais (Podcast)

Tim Ferriss, best-selling author and investor, deconstructs world-class performers from eclectic areas  in his podcast to extract the tactics, tools, and routines you can use. The well-respected sports psychologist Michael Gervais has worked with Olympians, Super Bowl champions, elite coaches, and more. This podcast Gervais talks about stress and anxiety and the tools he tries to teach to help that are visualization, mindfulness, authenticity, and having strong relationships. Other topics discussed are effective (and less effective) ways to self-talk, behind-the-scenes stories of Michael’s clients, understanding mastery, and much more