Avoiding Burnout and Achieving Peak Performance with Bradley Stulberg: PYP 213

Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness know a lot about burnout. They were up-and-comers in their respective fields – consulting and running – and neither managed to live up to their early promise. Both “burned out,” losing interest, passion, and the performance edge they had honed through years of hard work and deliberate practice.

As they rebuilt their lives, they both gravitated to the field of high performance. Wondering what happened, perhaps, and seeking a way to turn things around for themselves and others.

Today their efforts have culminated in the release of a new book, Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success. It's fantastic. It's incredibly useful. It's inspiring. It's fun to read. And best of all, it's 100% evidence-based.

Brad is a repeat guest on the show. I first interviewed him after being blown away by an article he wrote on the psychological benefits of exercise, and he mentioned that this book was in the works. I made him promise to come back on the show to talk about it, and by golly the man kept his word! And it was worth the wait…

In our conversation, we covered:

  • the growth equation
  • strategies for priming peak performance at a moment's (or year's) notice
  • the surprising power of purpose
  • the imperative of avoiding burnout
  • the overwhelming evidence for the importance of rest and recovery
  • a paradigm shift on the role of training and sleep for increasing capacity
  • “the courage to rest” – why it's so hard for top performers to take a break
  • the value of a 3-week vacation
  • “growth comes at the point of resistance”
  • “skills come from struggle” – why getting it wrong is the best teacher
  • why reflecting on our core values makes habit change easier to maintain
  • why a meaningful purpose can elicit superhuman feats
  • Meb's reason for racing the Boston Marathon
  • “performance is contagious” – the power of community
  • the value of a personal mission statement
  • and much more…

Enjoy, add your voice to the conversation via the comment box below, and please share – that's how we spread our message and spread our roots.


Peak Performance


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The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.

It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.

You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website, WillRidenour.com.


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