What is High Function?
At Manifest, we define someone with high function as a person who achieves both their internal goals (being your best self) and external goals (living your best life) by maintaining a healthy state of mind and employing the right mental skills.
Okay, even as we write this, it sounds like a lot to manage. “Why not ask us to juggle ten plates while playing the harmonica and solving world peace?” you ask. “While also being a dad, son, co-worker, boss, husband, spouse, friend…who are these high functioning freaks? Superheroes?”
We get it. It’s not easy. So, we’ll break it down into what high function is, what it isn’t, and how to achieve it.
What High Function Is
People who function highly are winning at life. Think of Bruce Wayne – the house, money, girls (or guys), the Batmobile — It seems like they can achieve anything while taking care of everyone around them, no matter what the evil underworld throws at them. Behind the cape, people who function highly do so because they can contemplate their actions. They can look at their behaviour, understand it impacts their lives and the lives of those around them, and change course when necessary.
What High Function Isn’t
People in a low state of function constantly find themselves losing out. They’re convinced if only the world would give them a break that they’d start winning too. They blame others, jump to conclusions, overreact, panic, spin their wheels, exert a lot of energy but get nowhere, often at the expense of others. Left to its own devices, this state may even lead to dysfunction – we’re talking a full Joker meltdown.
DISCLAIMER – we’re using popular examples here for fun, but it is in no way meant to ridicule or demonize people who live in a state of low- or dys-function. Not everyone, even Bruce Wayne, can operate at high function 100% of the time (all great superheroes have flaws) and in fact, most of the population lives in low function. We can speak from experience; it often takes hitting rock bottom, a full dysfunctional state, before people realize that something (themselves) needs to change.
How Do You Get to High Function?
If you’re ready for change, that means you’ve accepted that ignorance is not bliss. What will separate you from the pack is the ability to self-reflect. Looking at how your actions impact yourself and others is the first step. From there, operating in a high function state is being in the right state of mind and having the appropriate mental skills to get there.
- Being in a high function state of mind means you’re someone who has a higher consciousness about the world around you. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to chant, find a guru, spend time alone in a cave, or learn martial arts in a monastery. It does mean you have to evolve beyond the reptilian brain, stop reacting to threats, and start using your developed brain to push your ego and biases aside; think about the bigger picture and what role you can play there.
- To function highly, you also need the mental skills to get shit done. But we’re not just talking about having high energy or high outputs. We’re talking about a specific set of skills that allows you to pay attention to yourself and the world around you that includes being strategic and intentional. You can set goals; plan and organize; stay focused and complete tasks; be flexible and open to other points of view; regulate emotions; effectively manage stress and uncertainty; and self-monitor (keep track and reflect on how you’re doing, what’s working, and what isn’t).