We obviously deal a lot with the physical side of performance here at TeamBreakthrough, in terms of your general fitness and nutrition. However, there is another side to your performance when you aren’t here working out, with everyday life and work. Your cognitive performance. For me this isn’t an aspect to be overlooked. This is an area I take great interest in and am constantly reading around the subject and I thought I would share with you some great books to read if you are interested and also I recommend reading to improve your overall human performance which can for sure overlap into your performance in your workouts. 1. The Rise Of The Superman
This book dives into the world of extreme sports and how the people who jump off cliffs or dive head first into 50ft waves think, and why they do what they do and how they are pushing the envelope of limitations on what the human body can do.
Over the past three decades, the bounds of the possible in action and adventure sports have been pushed farther and faster, with new tricks, new records and the like being set on a regular basis. A generation’s worth of iconoclastic misfits have rewritten the rules of the feasible; not just raising the bar, but obliterating it altogether and this book tells the tale of some of the worlds greatest in their respective sports on how they have been doing it. When performing these exploits, they are constantly risking their lives. A great quote to sum it all up:
‘…it is not often that death is told so clearly to fuck off’.
2. Peak Performance
If you are seriously looking to improve your overall performance in every aspect of your life, this book is for you. It combines the inspiring stories of elite performers across a range of capabilities from athletic to intellectual to artistic with the latest scientific insights into the cognitive and neurochemical factors that drive performance in all domains. This book will discuss the science and application of each principle of success and concludes with prescriptive techniques on how you can achieve it too, which is super helpful. Sometimes these types of books can isolate one group in particular but this gives ideas, methodologies and tips that everyone can use in every walk of life and profession.
3. Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the way we live and work.
This book talks about the biggest revolution that you have never heard of. As the information section says: “Over the past decade, Silicon Valley executives like Eric Schmidt and Elon Musk, Special Operators like the Navy SEALs and the Green Berets, and maverick scientists like Sasha Shulgin and Amy Cuddy have turned everything we thought we knew about high performance upside down. Instead of grit, better habits, or 10,000 hours, these trailblazers have found a surprising short cut.”
The book is written by New York Times bestselling author Steven Kotler and high performance expert Jamie Wheal. They spent 4 years investigating this revolution on performance. They go into the home of SEAL Team Six to the Googleplex, the Burning Man festival, Richard Branson’s Necker Island, Red Bull’s training center, Nike’s innovation team, and the United Nations’ Headquarters. They found that in all groups and centres with different adaptations to suit their goals and missions every one of these groups has been quietly seeking the same thing: the boost in information and inspiration that altered states provide. For a more in-depth and deeper dive into this world of improving your performance I would definitely recommend this book.
4. The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck
The description for this book written on Amazon is the best way to describe this book so I will use what was written… this book is written very casually as if being spoken to by the author himself. If you aren’t a fan of some loose language then I wouldn’t recommend it but if you like being told how it is from a guy who doesn’t hold back then this is right up your street.
For decades, we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. “F**k positivity,” Mark Manson says. “Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it.” Mark Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited—”not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault.” Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek.
This book heads straight into the science of human high performance. Every new era and generation has brought with it new troubles, challenges and opportunities requiring us to adapt and grow. This book is written by James Hewitt; Hintsa Performance Head of Science & Innovation, and Dr. Aki Hintsa, legendary Formula 1 doctor and mentor, they reveal stories of improving human performance in their own lives, those of the methodology behind the success Hintsa has had in the world of formula one and the corporate world with leading global companies. With great interviews with very successful people: Two-Time Formula One World Champion, Mika Häkkinen, programmer, teacher and children’s writer, Linda Liukas, Face-Transplant Surgeon, Jyrki Törnwall, President, UBS Wealth Management, Jürg Zeltner, Cancer specialist and sports doctor, Ralph Braun, Olympian and multiple world-champion masters cyclist Geoff Cooke and Alexander Stubb, Former Prime Minister of Finland. This book is a fantastic, and an easy read giving you tonnes of information to process in improving your performance.
Those are just 5 of the books I have read and would recommend, I have plenty more that I will recommend in a future blog article. If you ever want to chat about these books or anything human performance related I am always down!
(Here is a full list of the books if you want to get in on this…)
- The Rise Of Superman by Steven Kotler
- Peak Performance by Brad Stulberg
- Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the way we live and work by Steven Kotler
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson.
- Exponential by James Hewitt.