107: Peak Performance

This week I’m excited to welcome Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness to The Psychology Podcast. Brad writes for Outside, Runner’s World, NPR and has a column in the Huffington Post about health and the science of human performance. Steve Magness coaches Olympians and marathoners, lectures at St. Mary’s University on Exercise Science, and writes for numerous publications including Wired, Sports Illustrated and NY Magazine on the science of performance. Together they are partners in peak performance, in research, and in writing their latest book Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success. In this conversation, Brad and Steve teach us: Why the word “performance” can be deceiving and how those of us focused on creative endeavors, who may not think of “performance” as an end goal, can benefit from their research, Why both physical and cognitive rest are crucial for world-class performance in our pursuits, in what’s known as the Paradox of Rest (some of you probably know how much I love a good paradox!), How harmonious passion maps onto their ideas about burnout, and how to identify whether a pursuit is rooted in harmonious or obsessive passion, Why Brad and Steve limit themselves to 24-48 hours of celebration or wallowing after identity-validating or identity-challenging events, How to optimize our routines to achieve peak performance, Why transcendence is one of the most underrated characteristics of peak performance.

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