There is a big difference between a stressed out workaholic and a 21st century hyper-performer - or someone who gets things done without stress!
It is valuable to have methods to evaluate where you are, and then make some changes if you are motivated.
Here is a brief questionnaire to see if you are a hyper-performer:
YES/NO I need Less than 8 hours of sleep a night.
YES/NO When I eat alone, I read or work.
YES/NO My work is the most fulfilling part of my life
YES/NO I am usually energetic.
YES/NO I would work as much as I do now even if I were independently wealthy.
YES/NO I can work anytime.
YES/NO I can work anyplace.
YES/NO I consider my work to be my recreation.
YES/NO I work more than 50 hours a week.
YES/NO I have a daily "To Do" list.
YES/NO I find retirement a dirty word.
YES/NO It is not unusual for me to work on holidays.
YES/NO I am healthy
YES/NO I frequently cancel social appointments to get more done.
YES/NO I am basically happy.
YES/NO I find distinctions between work and time off to be vague.
YES/NO I am in control of my life.
YES/NO My work involvement causes problems for my family/friends.
YES/NO I can easily go on to a new project before I complete the present one.
YES/NO I am optimistic about my life.
SCORING: 16 + YES You are a hyper-performer
12-15 You are a borderline Hyper-performer
11 or less You are currently not a hyper-performer
Do What you Love - Live a Long Life!
To hyper performers, job satisfaction - the feeling of accomplishment is one avenue of happiness. As Theobald is finding in his study of 60 CEOs, most are happy, alert, and without the symptoms and ill health that stress and overwork are supposed to cause.
For many, working too much is perceived as injurious, and most certainly not healthy. That notion is incorrect. The Duke University Longitudinal Study of Aging found that job satisfaction and joy in one's work are the strongest predictors of longevity.
Control is the Key
A Georgetown University study found most top-level executives do not keel over from overwork; in fact, they live longer than most people.
What kills is not work. What does kill, is not having control; when you are doing what you want to do, you have control.
Control over ones life: direction of work life seems to be a critical factor that separates unhealthy, less effective people who suffer the damaging effects of excessive stress and overwork, from the hyper-performer. Control is essential to avoid illness.
An Exercise to Gain Control
If you feel out of control - we have found that teaching an active relaxation process has given many of our clients the first semblance of control that they have felt in years! Deep relaxation is the opposite of the fight or flight response - the opposite of stress!
Here is a brief summation of that process for you to try:
1. Sit down in a comfortable position and find an object, a spot, or any visual focus in front of you and fix your concentration on that spot.
2. Breathe in comfortable to a slow count of 5, hold the breath for a count of 5, then slowly release the breath to a count of 8.
3. Systematically gather tension to each major part of your body and then deliberately release it:
- Begin by directing the tension to feet/toes
- Next, Your calves/thighs
- Groin and Abdominal Muscles
- Chest and Back Muscles
- Lungs - Imagine black smoke being drawn in, hold it, then breathe it fully out- squeezing every bit of air out.
- Clench your fists - hold it and then breathe out the tension as you release your fists.
- Stiffen our arms and then let the tension out
- Now your shoulders and neck
- Finally focus on your face and head and as the muscles tight and tense, imagine your face as a mask that you can cast off.
- Take some deep breaths as you turn your head from side to side and rotate your shoulders just a bit.
To learn a whole routine and program for becoming a healthy hyper-performer visit http://www.realstresssolutions.com.
Dr. George Pratt, Ph.D. is co-author of the award-winning bestseller Instant Emotional Healing: Acupressure for the Emotions, and an expert panelist for Real Stress Solutions.com. Dr. Pratt is a licensed clinical psychologist and has served as Chairman of Psychology, Scripps Memorial Hospital, La Jolla for 10 years and has been on staff over 20 years.
He has also been in private practice for 30+ years specializing in mind/body techniques, psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, and performance enhancement. and has helped Superbowl champs, Olympic medalists, professional athletes, executives, Academy Award and Grammy winners, as well as thousands of individuals from all walks of life He is a Fellow and a Certified/Approved Consultant of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, and Past-President of the San Diego Society of Clinical Hypnosis.
Dr. Pratt is a Reiki Master and diplomate of the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology and the American Academy of Pain Management. He is presently adjunct faculty of the University of California, San Diego. Additionally, his other books include Hyper-Performance: Release Your Business Potential, A Clinical Hypnosis Primer and the forthcoming book, The Happiness Code. He has been a repeat guest on Larry King Live and has appeared on MTV. http://www.drgeorge.com
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