Peak potential

Just like a car that’s not necessarily broken down, but isn’t performing at its peak potential. It's not spewing smoke or refusing to start, so it doesn't command immediate attention like a car with an obvious mechanical issue. But the engine is not as efficient as it could be, the fuel consumption is higher than it should be, and the ride isn't as smooth as it once was. Those "in-between" cars are still on the road, but they're not functioning at their best. They need that fine-tuning, the right fuel and consistent maintenance to truly thrive and give a high-performance ride.

Individuals in the 'in-between' health state need to take preventative action and proactive measures to ensure they move towards optimum health rather than avoiding sickness.

It is clear when we are sick. You see a doctor. You need to take medication. For those of us who have a lifestyle disease, like diabetes, we need to see the doctor, monitor certain markers, and keep taking medicines.

It is clear when we are healthy. Because we feel it. And because we are putting in commensurate effort towards it.

But the in-between zone is the problematic zone. Like a car that's not in peak condition, we know things are not great. But we are nowhere close to breaking down. And so, we do not prioritise our health. We feel we have time. We'll do it later when we need it.

My claim is that we need it NOW!

The effort needed is for the rest of your life. The earlier you start, the better.

Waiting for a storm

Pain is the end signal.

Numbers being bad are the end signal.

We should NOT wait for that.

Like a seasoned sailor can predict a storm by observing subtle changes in the environment, we too should be able to anticipate pain or a downfall before it turns into a catastrophe. We shouldn't wait for the sky to darken, the winds to howl, or the waves to get monstrous to acknowledge the impending storm. Instead, we should pay attention to the gentle breeze that suddenly picks up the pace or the sea birds that start flying inland, much like noticing small changes in our personal or professional circumstances.

From our nice balcony view over the water, I saw this storm coming. I ran outside to quickly take a picture before it burst.
Photo by Frans Ruiter / Unsplash

Pain and negative results, like the storm, are the end signals. However, the symptoms always exist, hiding within the situation's normality, and waiting for detection. We must hone our ability to pick up on these early signals so we can navigate our boat to safety before the storm hits.

What do I watch for?

Your blood work is not that bad.

Your sugar levels do not indicate a problem, yet.

Nothing seems that off.

But your lifestyle and habits are not above the line.

This is where we come to iffy territory. What do we measure? What do we measure? What should our effort be centred around?

Photo by Eran Menashri / Unsplash

A lot of things. Or one core thing around which everything revolves. To list a few things that have come up in conversations with my students:

  • fitness
  • health
  • energy levels
  • productivity
  • work-life balance
  • relationship health
  • freedom
  • fun
  • mood
  • and so on.

Some of these can be made objective. Fitness, for example, in my realm is done this way. For health, we can start with the Waist to Height ratio and go from there. But many others are subjective. They require us to keep an eye on and tweak efforts.


And that's the change I urge you to start off with. That's the change I like to coach and work towards.

Let's keep an eye on things that are important to us. Let's keep an eye on the current effort.

And then make adjustments along the way. We tweak effort as needed. We revise our goals or benchmarks as we grow and evolve.

You need to have a clear idea about the effort to put in. I use the Daily9 system to ensure I take care of my basics. Any custom goal that I have goes on top.

If you are not putting in the effort, be suspicious of the numbers.

Kayakiste en plein entraînement sur la Marne.
Photo by Pascal Bernardon / Unsplash

I don't sleep 7 hours. I drink alcohol daily. I don't care what I eat.

You cannot get away with it.

Sure, genetics play a role. But things will come crashing down someday.

Remember, things do not need to come crashing down before you take action.

A new mentality

We need a new outlook. We need a new mentality.

We are a sample size of 1 and that's okay. We are the universe. Let's focus on ourselves and figure out what we need to do. What's important to us. And figure out the requisite effort to do so.

Let's not stay passive. Let's not be caught in no-man's land.

Let's take control of our own health.