Mastering Optimal Performance in High-Pressure Environments

Dr. Andrew Huberman and Rich Diviney
by Flow Research Collective
August 1, 2023
Very few people practice the powerful technique of actively introducing positive thoughts.
Dr. Andrew Huberman and Rich Diviney

About the episode

In today’s episode, we discuss optimal performance in high pressure environments.

We are joined by Dr. Andrew Huberman and Rich Diviney. Dr. Andrew Huberman is a neuroscientist at Stanford. Rich Diviney draws upon more than 20 years of experience as a Navy SEAL Officer. 

Both of them are widely experienced in training optimal performance.

Here is the thing, stress and the fight, flight or freeze response are part of our everyday life. 

Understanding stress and leveraging stress to your advantage can crucially impact your overall quality of life.

We tap into the expertise and experience of our guests as we discuss how performance is related to fear, anxiety, struggle and pressure. 

You will learn how you can influence your nervous system as Dr. Huberman highlights the science behind stress responses. 

We also study the difference between peak states and optimal performance - as well as the habits that you can implement to improve your daily performance.

In this episode, you will learn about:

  • Why entering flow requires understanding stress (7:00)
  • Fear as a gateway to flow (9:00)
  • Why navy seals train to be optimal performers and not peak performers (11:00)
  • Fear is designed to get is moving and we can use it (12:40)
  • Controlling the autonomic nervous system (13:20)
  • Why the stress response was really designed (13:50)
  • The difference between peak states and optimal performance (17:20)
  • Tips to improve performance in moments of stress (19:30)
  • Separating uncertainty and anxiety (23:00)
  • How understanding certainty decreases anxiety (24:00)
  • Why forward motion calms you down (32:30)
  • Tools to use in moments of stress (47:30)
  • Tools to build resilience (51:30)
  • Distraction recovery and interruption recovery: How to get back into flow? (57:50)
  • The hormones in the flow cycle (1:02:00)
  • How do we keep teams calm (1:1100)

About the guests

Andrew D. Huberman (born in 1975 in Palo Alto, California) is an American neuroscientist and tenured associate professor in the Department of Neurobiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. 

He has made numerous important contributions to the fields of brain development, brain plasticity, and neural regeneration and repair. 

A large amount of that work focused on the visual system, including the mechanisms that control light-mediated activation of the circadian and autonomic arousal centers in the brain, as well as the brain control over conscious vision or sight.

Rich Diviney lives to discover, inspire, and accelerate the potential of human beings.

Rich draws upon 20+ years of experience as a Navy SEAL Officer to give participants the foundational understanding and tools to unlock their greatest potential.

Since his retirement from the military in 2016, Rich has worked with Simon and his team to help leaders and organizations create environments where people feel valued and free to explore their potential. He speaks about the qualities of high performing teams and how to build them, as well as the important relationship between trust and performance.


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