This week I thought I’d take a few minutes to explain where the idea for The Natural Edge came from and what our philosophy is.
The Natural Edge was born from the belief that we have all the potential for great health and exceptional performance within us. It is wired into our DNA and when we tap into it we thrive. Unfortunately factors such as busy lives, confusion with conflicting advice and easy access to nutrient poor food mean this can be far from easy to achieve.
My deep interest in how we can perform at our very best began whilst serving in the elite world of UK Special Forces (UKSF). Working in a job that placed huge demands on the body and mind, and where second place could result in serious injury or death fueled a desire to find the best combination of training and nutrition for optimum health.
Passing UKSF selection after several years service in the Royal Marines was the highlight of my career. It propelled me into a fast paced world which was as demanding as it was exciting and allowed me to have some unique and incredible experiences.
Conducting military operations in high-pressure and hostile environments where you have to respond to rapidly evolving situations requires you must be as physically and mentally prepared as possible. And that starts with a foundation of great health.
BUT I don’t believe this only applies to high pressure environments such as the battlefield, the sports arena or the boardroom. It is equally relevant to the parent working a busy job and raising a family, or the amateur athlete who wants a new personal best in the gym, at the pool or on the track.
When TNE was starting to take shape we based it on the foundation ideas of health, performance and adventure. Each one feeds the next, but it is fueled in the beginning with a cornerstone of great health.
It has been said that the only true currency in this world are time and health. They are the most precious assets that we possess, but all too often we don’t recognise and appreciate until they have been depleted. Every single area of your life is powered by your personal health, and if you want to get the best out of life for you and those around you then it must become a priority.
When it comes to how we achieve this we use the following guiding principles:
Everything you do is affected by or enabled by health, and putting it first gives you the best chance of living the most fulfilling life you possibly can.
It’s in our DNA to run, to play, to hunt & forage, to be active. Combining modern life with lessons from the past can make us fitter and healthier.
Broad Principles / Specific Actions
There is no ‘one size fits all’. Certain principles can benefit everyone, but your personality, circumstances, genetics, etc. will dictate how this process will look.
Body & Mind
Success comes from your daily process, not willpower. Forming habits through small, consistent actions are the key to achieving your goals.
An evidence based approach of rational and flexible thinking combined with skepticism moves us away from emotional speculation and closer to science.
Once you start building a foundation of great health (through simple but powerful actions around sleep, nutrition, movement & mindset) it boosts your performance in every area of life.
I saw the benefit of this first hand during my time in the military. Throughout my career the better physical condition I was in directly translated to how good my decision making and actions were. But it is a trait which has also transferred across to civilian life with me.
They say that fatigue makes cowards of us all, and this applies equally to the frontline of daily life as a theatre of war. After leaving the military I spent two years working for a management consultancy in London. During this time one of the biggest advantages I possessed was the energy and mental clarity to produce quality work which in turn opened up several new opportunities.
When you feel good and are full of energy it puts everything in a positive flow; you’re productive at work, stress is lowered, time with family & friends is enjoyable, and you feel in control. Health really is the superpower we can all use to maximise our lives.
And by optimising health and in turn your performance it allows you to live your life to the fullest.
Adventure is not always about going away to some exotic destination, but about finding excitement in both the new and the old. It is about going out of your comfort zone to open yourself up to the experiences and beauty that life gives you, no matter what path you choose to go on.
It can mean something different to all of us but at the end of the day adventure is about seizing opportunities and taking on life with nothing but passion, enthusiasm and excitement. And when we are healthy, full of energy and performing at our best we are far more likely to seize those opportunities rather than watching them pass us by.
I truly believe that everyone has their own natural edge, it’s just a case of finding the key to unlocking that power! And ultimately this is why TNE was started, to help as many people as possible.