Our current paradigm for human performance is wrong. It focuses on our bodies, relies heavily on diet, exercise, and recovery, and essentially equates the term "human performance" with "physical fitness."
But what makes us the dominant species on Earth isn’t our anatomy. It's our minds. This is where true human performance resides.
Sure we've become more tech savvy in the recent years with the advent of various bio-trackers and wearables. And a trend of mindfulness and meditation has emerged as an adjunct to this traditional view, as shown above. But this simply isn't enough. Despite being a great practice, meditation is only one of several components that make up overall mind fitness.
After all, absolutely everything we experience is ultimately a mental construct. Whatever you are doing to build your body is controlled by your mind. If we are going to take human performance seriously (and we should), we must view it with an attitude of “mind first” and find ways to be mentally fit as a primacy.
We must adopt a new paradigm.
Physical fitness is important. But it's actually a result of mental fitness. And the path to genuinely optimized human performance sees the old factors of diet, exercise, and recovery as supportive of physical health via mental health. By taking the existing paradigm and flipping it on its head (both literally and figuratively), we can shift the focus of our fitness regimens to our minds. And by adding the components of mental orientation and development, we can round out the model and achieve a holistic approach for mind fitness and ultimately, human performance.
The beauty of this construct is that it also reinforces itself. It’s cyclical. Better mind fitness improves the behavior that created it in the first place. This new paradigm is broken into three modules, each of which contains three parts:
Orient (Breathe, Focus, Notice)
Develop (Learn, Create, Solve)
Maintain (Nourish, Move, Recover)
The final piece of the puzzle is Environment, which overlays the entire construct. We are always in some kind of physical setting. To the greatest extent possible, we want to make it something healthy. Natural if possible. Things like sunlight and fresh air are not only good for you, but they’re also crucial. And you can expose yourself to them during any of the above. Get outside.
To learn more about the RARE SENSE methodology, please read the RARE SENSE Manifesto and subscribe to the RARE SENSE blog on Substack.