There is a big difference between a stressed workaholic and a 21st century hyper-executive, or someone who gets things done without stress!

It’s valuable to have methods to assess where you are and then make some changes if you’re motivated. Here’s a short quiz to see if you’re a hyper-performer:

YES/NO I need less than 8 hours of sleep per night.

YES/NO When I eat alone, read or work.

YES/NO My job is the most satisfying part of my life

YES/NO I tend to be energetic.

YES/NO I would work as hard as I do now even if I were independently wealthy.

YES/NO I can work at any time.

YES/NO I can work anywhere.

YES/NO I consider that my work is my recreation.

YES/NO I work more than 50 hours a week.

YES/NO I have a daily “to do” list.

YES/NO I consider retirement to be 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 the distinctions between work and free time vague.

YES/NO I am in control of my life.

YES/NO My participation in work causes problems for my family/friends.

YES/NO I can easily move on to a new project before completing the current one.

YES/NO I am optimistic about my life.

SCORE: 16 + YES You are a hyper-performer

12-15 You are a borderline hyper-executor

11 or less You are not currently a hyper-performer

Do what you love – Live a long life!

For hyperrealists, job satisfaction: the feeling of achievement is a form of happiness. As Theobald is finding in his study of 60 CEOs, most are happy, alert, and without the symptoms and health problems that stress and overwork are supposed to cause.

For many, working too hard is perceived as harmful and certainly not healthy. That notion is wrong. The Duke University Longitudinal Study of Aging found that job satisfaction and joy at work are the strongest predictors of longevity.

control is the key

A Georgetown University study found that most C-suite executives don’t collapse from overwork; in fact, they live longer than most people.

What kills in not working. That kills me not having control; when you are doing what you want to do you are in control.

Control over one’s life direction in work life appears to be a critical factor separating unhealthy and less effective people who suffer from the damaging effects of excessive stress and overwork, from hyper-performance. Control is essential to avoid diseases.

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 they have felt in years. Deep relaxation is the opposite of the fight or flight response, the opposite of stress!

Here is a brief summary of that process for you to try:

1. Sit in a comfortable position and find an object, place or any visual focus in front of you and fix your concentration on that spot.

2. Inhale comfortably for a slow count of 5, hold for a count of 5, then slowly release for a count of 8.

3. Systematically gather tension in every major part of your body and then deliberately release it:

  • Begin by directing the tension to the feet/toes
  • Next, Your calves/thighs
  • Groin and abdominal muscles
  • Muscles of the chest and back
  • Lungs: Imagine inhaling black smoke, hold it, and then inhale it completely, squeezing out all the air.
  • Clench your fists, hold them, and then exhale 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 contract and tense, imagine your face as a mask that can be removed.
  • Take a few deep breaths as you turn your head from side to side and roll your shoulders a bit.

Notice any differences in your mood or thoughts. Watch out for tingling in your hands and feet. As you repeat this process, you will find that it takes less and less time to reach the same level of relaxation. The essential thing is that you practice it daily.

To learn a complete routine and program for becoming a healthy hyper-performer, visit

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