Don’t you just love it when psychology, biology, and quantum physics make some modern advances to confirm something that the Bible’s been telling us for thousands of years? Such is the case with rest and peak performance.
I’ve been doing some research on a book I’m writing about how to achieve lasting positive change, drawing on the latest positive psychology, sports science, and neuroscience. The people I am hoping to help with this book are people who feel stuck currently, in some area of life, and want to make some positive change, but experience frustration at ‘relapses’, or failing to stay on track. It’s a significant problem for our fitness clients, but also for many of the leaders and business owners I coach. We’ve all experienced it, haven’t we? Starting a new program, or implementing a new tool that should make life easier, more productive, or in some way better, only to lose momentum, and fail to achieve the results.
There’s a lot that has to happen to make change stick, and most of it starts and ends with your mind. You’ve got to have a growth mindset, with the ability to see failure as part of the learning process. Mental toughness allows you to walk through incredible challenges undefeated. Hope and optimism are the fuel – without them you don’t go anywhere. And of course belief! Our beliefs form the framework of our reality.
So right there, you’re probably thinking what I’m thinking, right? We believers have a huge advantage when it comes to making positive change. Simply the fact that we know WE are not the be all and end all, are not expected to be perfect or do things perfectly, and that there’s value and a plan for us even when we fail provides the setting for accomplishing change. Add to that the power that comes when we are in sync with God through prayer and meditation and understand His promises, and how the change we are seeking will honor His will, and we’re so teed up for success it’s not even funny. I could stop here, and still be super excited about all the ways simply walking with Jesus puts us on track to overcome the world.
But…that’s not all (and no, I don’t have any steak knives). What really tickled me, was some research I read about Peak Performance by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness. I highly recommend reading the whole thing, but the part I’m talking about was the value researchers found in rest. That’s right, rest. Whether you’re training athletically or working on a creative project, or anything where performance matters, a critical component is rest. As in doing nothing. This allows your body to perform at it’s best, as well as your mind. Study after study shows that “vigor and performance increase following a rest day, and the more someone actually rests on the weekend, the more effort they expend during the week.”
Hmmm…remind you of anything? (hint…rhymes with Mabbath).
Don’t you just love that we have a God who loves us so much he told us exactly how to think, believe, and behave in order to achieve extraordinary things? I mean, it’s too bad we don’t listen until science ‘proves’ it, but all the same, it’s wonderful reminder to listen to God when developing plans and strategies.
Tell me some of the interesting faith and science intersections that you’ve noticed!
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