At what point do we become aware of the impact we had on someone? The truth is we often have no idea about the effect we have on people until much later – if ever!
Having been in the fields of orthopedic rehabilitation and conditioning athletes for over 17 years, and having taught seminars on these and related topics since 1988, I have had numerous experiences which reinforced the importance of being in a peak state. For example, several years ago I was a lecturer at Los Angeles Chiropractic College, teaching assessment and correction of abdominal wall dysfunction for back pain treatment and prevention. On several occasions in past years, I have had chiropractors that were first year chiropractic students when I lectured to them, who were now in their own practices, approach me and tell me how influenced they were by the lectures and that they frequently use the techniques I taught them.
At the time I gave those lectures, all I saw were a bunch of young chiropractic students who were fidgety and seemed uninterested in what I was lecturing about! I had NO idea how much of an impact I was having on these ‘future chiropractors’. I was unaware that what I was teaching these students would eventually impact every patient they would treat for years to come!
There have also been a number of occasions in the past where my patients were so influenced by their experience as my client that they decide to quit their job and become either a physical therapist, physical therapist assistant, massage therapist or personal trainer. It is rewarding to see people who were bumbling along in life and not feeling fulfilled, become excited about something new and decided to make a radical career change. In addition to their career change, many of these people have made radical changes in their health and appearance as well!
Once I expanded into the seminar business, I began getting letters stating that before my seminar(s), people were burned out and thinking of quitting the profession. After my seminars, having learned new and interesting techniques, many people reported a renewed interest in their career and clients.
At no point was I aware that this transformation was taking place with people while I was lecturing or giving workshops. However, having learned about people’s experiences based on learnings from my lectures I have become intimately aware of the influence we can ALL have on other human beings. Knowing the influence we have on others, I believe it is of the utmost importance to be in peak state !
In this installment of the Success Series articles, I would like to share several of the methods I have used to stay in a peak state during my career. However before going on, I want to be very clear about one thing. Much of what I know and do today is the result of making many mistakes in the past! Even today, I am still continuing to learn, grow, and refine what it takes for me to achieve a peak state and stay there!
With that in mind, lets take a look at some of the things I have learned that may help you.
MASTER LIVING AND UTILIZING THE FOUNDATION PRINCIPLES
In the last article (Part II), I discussed the importance of applying the Foundation Principles to your clients before venturing too deeply into the realm of specific assessments and treatment approaches. Those foundation principles, or basics, were:
- Circadian Stress
In order to stay turned on, be in a peak state, and to set a good example for your clients, you must master the foundation principles in your own life!
Drink Right to Think Right!
Achieving and maintaining a peak state is not something you can buy in a can, a powder or even a cup of coffee. To keep your mind working at its best, it is very important to make sure you are getting adequate clean water intake to prevent the nervous system from dehydration. As I mentioned in Part II, a drop in hydration such that the brain loses only 1% of it’s ideal fluid level will produce noticeable changes in neurological performance (1). You can’t be in a peak state with a headache!
Dr. Batmanghelidj suggests drinking half your body weight (lbs) in ounces of water each day. For example, a 200-pound (91kg) man would need to drink a minimum of 100 ounces of clean water a day. Although many people find water to be bland and have a hard time drinking that much water, I have applied Dr. Batmanghelidj’s teachings on salt balance in the body and found that his suggestion of adding a pinch of salt to each liter of water makes it taste much better. However, taste is a matter of preference and this may not work for everyone. But, adding salt to your water does more than change it’s taste.
Adding salt to your water will help keep the water in your cells, according to Dr. Batmanghelidj. As he explains in his book, there are two oceans in your body, the intracellular fluid and the extracellular fluid. The extracellular fluid has a salt concentration similar to seawater. If you drink a lot of water, but you don’t have adequate salt in it, the body shuttles the water out of the cells and into the extracellular space to maintain a specific salt balance. From this perspective water can be considered a diuretic and helps explain why people drinking large amounts of water have to run to the toilet every half an hour.
If you don’t add a pinch or two of salt to your water (about ¼ teaspoon per quarter gallon or to taste), the incoming water dilutes the salt in the extracellular fluid space to the point that there is more salt inside the cells than outside the cells. This requires that the cell begin shuttling salt outside the cell to keep the cells from drawing in too much water via increased osmotic pressure. The problem in this situation is that once in this state, it is possible to be both dehydrated and electrolyte deficient, even though you are drinking an adequate amount of water!
When the cells start shuttling salt into the extra cellular space to keep adequate water outside the cell, the intracellular environment can potentially become dehydrated. This is indicated by the fact that in chronic dehydration, 66% of water loss is from water held within cells, 26% is taken from extra cellular spaces and the remainder is taken from the vascular beds (1). An interesting side effect of dehydration and electrolyte insufficiency is poor mental function and reduced energy levels - not exactly the way to stay in a peak state!
Another benefit of being properly hydrated is that our ability to detoxify becomes much more efficient. In fact, many of my clients have reported that after properly hydrating themselves and getting adequate salt intake, their skin has become much healthier and better looking. This is not at all surprising since the skin is major detoxification organ.
Though there are many companies that sell sea salt, I personally use Celtra Salt from Ultra Life/Synergistics (618-594-7711). It is an extremely high-quality, unprocessed salt from France and is loaded with over 80 trace minerals. The first thing I noticed once I began adding salt to my water, aside from the water tasting better, was that I didn’t need to go to the toilet nearly as often as I had in the past. After about a week of drinking three liters a day, my energy levels became noticeably better, too. I also found, as Batmanghelidj suggested in his book and tapes, that many of the hunger pangs I was having started to disappear.
I carry Celtra salt with me everywhere I go because I believe it to be superior to the average, bleached table salt most people use on their food. If you cannot obtain Celtra Salt, an unprocessed sea salt by a reputable company will likely suffice. One thing to be mindful with sea salt is the potentially high level of mercury it can contain.
Eat Right To Think Right!
Have you ever had a client who consumed a poor diet and suffered from frequent headaches? In my experience, it has been rare to find someone suffering from headaches who eats a sound diet. More often than not, when we eat correctly our head feels better and our thinking becomes more clear. This will happen in part because the liver will not be as overloaded and will be more efficient at keeping the blood clean.
Our brain is largely made of fat, approximately 50-60%. If the consumption of omega-6 fats is too high, we may experience a loss of ideal brain function as demonstrated in a recent study. In a study performed on rats, one group was raised on a safflower oil diet (omega-6 dominant), while the other was raised on a diet high in alpha-linolenic acid (LNA), which is part of the omega-3 family. When tested in a simple maze, the rats raised on safflower oil made the right choice only about 60% of the time, while the rats fed a diet containing large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids boasted a 90% success rate in the maze (2).
Another negative side effect of omega-6 over consumption is a facilitation of the body’s inflammatory pathways. In “The Omega Diet” by Artemis P. Simopolos, M.D. and Jo Robinson (2), Simopolos suggests that for optimal health, we should eat a diet containing a 1-4:1 ratio omega-6 to omega-3 fats. She states that primal man may have been closer to a 1:1 ratio yet today the average person is as high as a 24:1 ratio! Looking at these numbers, it’s easy to understand why so many people are acting like the rats eating the safflower oil! As an experiment, next time you are in your local grocery store, grab a few boxes of crackers, cereal, or just about any other processed food and take a look at the ingredients – you’re likely to find that many of them contain safflower oil and worse!
In the book “Nutrition and Your Mind – The Psychochemical Response” George Watson Ph.D. outlines a number of interesting cases where simple vitamin deficiencies resulted in depression and lack of motivation (3). If you read this book and then look at the current trends of food consumption, it may offer an explanation why the average US home has a TV on for over 7 hours a day! It seems that many people (some trainers and health care professionals included) have lost some of their cognitive functions and are now merely existing!
If you are living off processed foods, you are basically living off of dead foods. In fact it’s been said that the cardboard box many of these foods come in offers more nutrition than the so-called food inside the box! A tip off that the food may be of little value is if the word “fortified” is written on the label or box. Anytime a manufacturer has added vitamins and minerals to processed food, it means they killed anything of value that once existed in the food and are now trying to replace it with synthetic vitamins. If you or someone you know are eating such processed foods you are actually eating a non-food – something that could be considered a de-vitalizing agent. People that spend most of their day eating this way will find it very difficult, if not impossible, to achieve and maintain a peak state!
One thing I think most of us lose sight of in today’s world of high-power advertising and “food for shelf life, not nutrition,” is that everything we put in our mouth is ultimately being used to replace cells somewhere in your body – sometimes in as little as 24 hours. Therefore, before you take another bite of any processed food, simply ask yourself, “Will what I am about to eat (or drink) aid in achieving my objective as an example for others to follow? Will this help improve my peak state?” These are interesting questions to ask when you consider Anthony Robbins equation for a peak state as “physiology + emotion = peak state”.
If you combine the pieces of the puzzle I have laid down here, it becomes apparent that what you eat and drink throughout the day has a major influence on your physiology (not to mention morphology!). Your physiology can have a large influence on your emotions, and therefore, your ability to achieve your peak state!
Charging Your Battery!
When you are feeling good from living well, your battery will always hold a good charge. This is important when you consider that all of us maintain an electromagnetic field. As we become run down or progressively unhealthy our aura, or energy field, diminishes accordingly. If you allow your energy field to diminish below that of the clients you see each day, you will, by the nature of electrical energy transfer, begin to draw off of them. This is not what they are paying for!
I am sure all of you have heard the expression “drainer”, which describes a client that drains all your energy each time you’re around them. The reality is that this can happen at both a conscious and subconscious level. This is why so many health care professionals are so exhausted at the end of each day. Interestingly enough, L. Ron Hubbard developed what he called a “tone scale” to describe the energy level of an individual, as well as the collective energy level of all the people in a room. The scale ranges from 1-4, with a “1” being an unhappy, disgruntled person and a “4” being a happy, productive person.
If you are a “4” and your client comes in as a “2” after a stressful meeting with their boss, chances are good you will pull them up to a productive “3” on the tone scale. If, on the other hand you are not leading by example, are run down and just putting in the time so you can pay the bills, you may be a “2”. If your clients are coming in as a “3”, you may end up pulling them down. They may not feel it at the time you are training them, but soon enough they will realize that every time the two of you are together, they leave feeling devitalized instead of revitalized. Eventually you may lose the client to a trainer that has half your technical skills, but who comes to work with a full battery and a “4”on the tone scale.
To the Heart of the Matter!
Interestingly, what L. Ron Hubbard never knew because he died long before the institute of HeartMath did their research, is that the electromagnetic activity of one person’s heart is transferred into another persons body as soon as you touch or stand near them! Yes, you read correctly. All you have to do to affect another person with your energy field, particularly that of your heart – the organ of emotion – is to stand close to them. In fact the electromagnetic field of the heart is approximately 5,000 times greater in strength than that of the brain and can be detected several feet away from the body with sensitive instruments (4).
What this means, is that your emotional state, be it one of fear, tension, stress, insecurity, love, compassion, caring, passion or excitement, is picked up by your clients’ body. In a related quote, Beethoven once said, (in paraphrase) “When a person hears a musical piece, they are immediately affected by the emotion of the conductor of that piece – the music can literally carry them away.” We do the same with all whom we come into contact with by either enhancing their state, maintaining it, or degrading it, and it all depends on the state that we are in at the time.
Again, this shows us that Anthony Robbins’ concept of the peak state being “physiology + emotion” is real. What may be the most important thing I can suggest to you in this article is that you, through sheer desire or intent, have the ability to elevate the state, or tone, of any client you work with far beyond the relatively mathematical concept of L. Ron Hubbard’s “tone scale”. All you need do is transmit your energy into someone in whatever form you feel is best for him or her at the moment. For example, if they are feeling tired and run down, send them lifting, motivating energy. If they are feeling depressed, send them happy energy if that is what they need.
The more you practice providing others with the energy they need, the better you will become at it, and the stronger your abilities to produce and convey that energy will become. Combining this practice with simple dietary modifications to help their physiology work better will help to improve their internal environment which can help improve their emotional environment, too. This can ultimately result in the two of you rising on the tone scale every time you are in each other’s presence.
By the application of these basic principles, everyone around your client after they have interacted with you will notice the elevation of their tone, or peak state. This is likely to elevate the people around them, too. The inevitable result is that one of more the people interacting with your clients will notice that after seeing you there is a fantastic transformation of their energy and presence. Soon, they will want to share this experience and you will have a new client!
If you do not protect yourself by taking care of “you” and maintaining your ability to achieve a peak state and provide the subtle energies needed to elevate your clients, you will either maintain some of them at a low tone, or you will pull them down to an even lower tone. The opposite effect will now take place - the people around them will sense the negative trend in their energy and presence and will see the connection between their visits with you and their poor attitude, and will discourage them from continuing. This is not good for you, for them, or for your business!
Be Careful About Your Communications!
One trend that has come about with the Information Age has been the ease with which we can send and receive information. Many people receiving information, be it by cell phone or by e-mail, let it become an addiction. They fear they will miss out on something important if they don’t check it every 10 minutes.
A problem I’ve encountered with exercise and health care professionals is that we often become so comfortable in our role as the initiator, that we forget what it means to be on the receiving end. To the client, this is a special hour, an hour they have devoted to their health, to their body, to their longevity or maybe even to their spirit. Now, imagine a client in this frame of mind, who is just getting in the flow of the session both physically and psychologically, and your cell phone rings. This can easily disrupt their flow and connection with your session. If that’s not bad enough, now imagine how it would feel if you answer the call!
Today, this is becoming commonplace, particularly among trainers. This is a very non-therapeutic habit to develop. When the phone rings in the middle of a session, you are talking on your client’s time. You are also causing a consciousness shift – the client now feels less important than your phone! An additional risk is that you may get a phone call from someone that upsets or aggravates you. When you consider all the information presented above, the numerous ramifications of just one phone call could be disastrous! The simple answer is to turn your phone off and only check messages on YOUR time! It will be best for you and your clientele.
Get Adequate Exercise, Rest and Sunlight!
This sounds simple enough, right? Lets do a little drill. Answer the following questions:
- How much exercise do you need each day to maintain your peak state?
- How much rest do you need each week to maintain your peak state?
- How much sleep each night does it take to afford you the opportunity to wake up ready and willing go to work with a fully charged battery?
- How many days off from exercise and away from people do you need each week to assure that come Monday, you will be in a peak state?
- How often do you need a vacation to stay charged?
- How much sunlight do you need to maintain your peak state?
- How many minutes in a day do you need to be in direct sunlight to feel recharged and ready to give your clients an elevation of their tone?
Now that you have the answers to these questions, look at your daily, weekly, and monthly schedule. Does what you are doing even come close to matching your specific needs? If not, you are far from reaching your potential as a practitioner and as a facilitator of positive change in the lives of other people.
What many of us fail to realize is that our potential to assist others along their journey of life is directly related to how well we are living in our journey of life! To give you an analogy my father once used, “You can’t make chicken salad out of chicken s**t!” Simply stated, if you are feeling down trying to chase money all day long, not allowing time for you, time for rest, exercise and sunlight, what kind of charge are you imparting upon your clients? Maybe if you simply took control of your life and met your needs as a person, you would reach your potential as a professional, which would allow you the financial freedom to control your schedule, meet your needs, and grow as a person!
Many people make the excuse, “I can’t afford to take time off!” My response is, if you can’t afford to take time off, that is the first sign you should be addressing your personal needs! Simply make a list of everything that drains you in your life right now. Include a comparison of your ideal amount of exercise, rest and sunlight with your current amount to get an idea of how far off you are. Next, simply begin to make a plan:
- If you are not getting adequate exercise, how can you shift your schedule to allow it? Where is the fat in your day that you can cut off – where is there wasted time?
- If you are not waking up each day fully rested and excited about your day, determine where the problem is. Is it staying up late at night watching garbage on TV that does nothing to improve you emotionally or physiologically? Are you engaging in habitual, yet relatively unrewarding social engagements, such as hanging out in bars at night? Or are you just so tired that it takes you two hours to do one hours work?
- Are you getting adequate sunlight?
These things can all be changed. All you have to do is want to change! For example, a patient once said to their psychologist, “Dr. how many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb?” The psychologist answered, “It only takes one, but the light bulb has to want to change!” You and I are no different. In fact, famous Australian business educator Brad Sugar states that the formula for change is “the desire for change must be greater than the resistance of change for change to happen”.
If you need to exercise more often, make it happen! It could be as simple as finding a client that is more motivated by having you train with them. If one is not enough, find two or three and you will go home happy because you have had adequate exercise, your hormonal profile will be better, and you will sleep better! If you need more rest, arrange your schedule to allow it! If you need more sunlight, it may be as simple as changing locations to a gym with more windows. You may need to schedule a two-hour break in the middle of the day to allow you to go outside, eat and enjoy a walk. You may need to move! It could be costing you tens of thousands of dollars a year in lost earning potential because you continue to labor through a dull day in London, when you could be living your dream in Southern California or on the Gold Coast of Australia!
It’s up to you to decide. Start by writing a plan. In it, address everything that is necessary to achieve your peak state because when you are in your peak state, you will approach your peak earning potential! Remember, as Brian Tracy states, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there!” I frequently tell my students, “Life is like a restaurant. If you walk in and sit down, the waitress will come over and ask you what you want. At that moment, you have the option of telling her exactly what it is that you would like. This will significantly increase your chances of getting exactly what you want. However, if you say, ‘I don’t know, I’m just hungry, could you bring me something to eat’ you will be 100% at the mercy of her random selection.” If you read the autobiographies of successful people, you will see an underlying theme: the Universe will answer your request in direct proportion to its detail and to a magnitude that is consistent with your level of desire. Weak desire equals a weak response, but a burning desire results in a magnificent response!
Be In Your Own River!
Brian Tracy describes a “River Person” as someone who is totally happy in his or her profession or chosen undertaking. People like Einstein and Edison are river people. When you are in your river, you are like an otter playing in the water or a beaver building a dam, never complaining and always in harmony with the path you have chosen.
Being a river person in the exercise and health care industries today requires a lifetime of study and personal development. Just as the beaver never complains about the hard work of building a dam and the sled dog never complains about pulling the sled, the river person never sees their work as a burden because they love it!
If you come to work excited about your day and are excited about all that there is to learn, and you love the process of learning what you can to reach your potential, you are probably in your river. If you find it a drag to attend educational seminars on the topics that are important to your chosen profession or job in that professional field, you are most likely not in your river!
To save time and energy, I suggest you analyze how you feel about your job or chosen occupation to determine if you truly are doing what you want to do. If you are in your river, staying in your peak state is simple, you are like the otter playing in the stream, or the beaver building the damn.
If you feel you are in your river, but it is not flowing as well as you would like, maybe you need to change the environment. For example, I have a very hard time doing my creative work, such as writing client programs, articles, books, or video scripts while in my office where there are too many distractions. My location of choice is almost always sitting outside where I can get stimulation of the sun and not feel trapped indoors. To find the environment that works for you, all you need is a little introspection and I am sure you will come up with the answer in no time at all.
In this article, we have covered many important topics and concepts that are vital to your happiness as a person and success as a professional. We have looked at current research that clearly indicates that we affect the lives of those who have physical contact with us as well as those around us. I have highlighted the importance of having a plan, finding your river and facilitating the flow by getting in the right environment for you. Achieving and maintaining your peak state is your ticket to financial freedom, spiritual and intellectual expression and long term happiness, which ultimately does far more for the world than anything else we could ever do!
- Batmanghelidj, F. Your Body's Many Cries for Water. Global Health Solutions. Falls Church, VA, 1985.
- Simopolous, A. P. and Jo Robinson. The Omega Diet. HarperCollins, NY, 1999.
- Watson, George. Nutrition and Your Mind: The Psychochemical Response. Harper and Row Publishers, New York, NY, 1972.
- Childre, D., Martin, H. The HeartMath Solution. HarperCollins, New York, 1999.