The Pillar of Peak Performance

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If you’re reading this, you are on a quest to find your peak performance. You know that the only way to get what you want out of yourself is through how you perform.

Doesn’t matter if you’re an athlete, business executive, parent, family member or anything else, how well you do whatever you’re doing matters most.

The question is, then, how do you drive performance? It takes a foundation, a pillar, building blocks for peak performance in any craft or aspect of life that is important to you.

The Peak Performance Pillar is your physical body, emotional state, mental attitude, spiritual connection. When all four of those building blocks are aligned and strong, you’ll be able to achieve your peak performance.

Physical body

Our physical body creates the condition for performance. It gives us our physical energy, strength, and stamina to do our best.

To optimize, we must feed it, exercise it & rest it…. i.e. nutrition, exercise, sleep.

Athletes get this because their performance is physical in nature. Swinging, throwing, running, catching… all physical. The strongest or most agile depending on the specific movements has the upper hand. They dial in all aspects of nutrition, working out and sleep.

Business leaders, though, don’t see this as crucial as an athlete. After all, no client has ever chosen to work with someone based on who can run the 40 yard dash the fastest.

If your nutrition, exercise & sleep is dialed in, you’ll have more physical energy to power you through the day – making you as fresh at 3pm as you are at 9am, which allows for greater capacity of work.

Emotional State

We are emotional creatures. I don’t mean “emotional” with quotes around it, meaning we’re moody or wrapped up in negative emotions (though we maybe from time-to-time).

At all periods of the day, we have emotions that influence and are influenced by our minds and guides our body to respond based on those emotions.

The question is are the emotions you experience helpful or harmful to you performing at your best? Is it easy to perform when there’s nothing at stake, yet when it becomes important your emotions change, you tighten up and don’t perform as well?

I was working with someone who said there were great compartmentalizers and that their home life didn’t affect their work. I asked how much headwind they felt to start their workday and they said “a lot.”  They were having to use all their energy to get to an equilibrium which tapped them out.

What you want is PEAM State or your Peak Emotional And Mental state. Find out what emotional states spark your best performance… joy, determination, fun, confidence, curiosity, etc. and find ways to get into those when desired.

Mental Attitude

We are also creatures of judgment and interpretation. To make sense of the world, we judge & interpret events based on our patterns.

Meaning, our attitude is made up of beliefs and mindsets around the situation at hand.

What’s the difference between the practice golf tees and the first hole? You tee it up the same way, use the same club, have virtually the same conditions, and yet it can feel different. Why is that? It’s because we put more mental emphasis on the course than we do the range. We make it mean something different, with greater risk than we were bombing it just minutes prior on the range.

What if you approached the game with how you approached practice? Or better, what if you put MORE mental emphasis on practice and just played the actual round with lightness? See how just thinking about your mental approach can shift the experience and your performance.

Spiritual Connection

“We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

If French Jesuit priest & scientist Teilhard de Chardin is correct, then we’re connected to something bigger than just us.

Your purpose, your values, potentially your mission and vision all put you as a person in support of something bigger.

That connection also transcends who you are as a person who wears all the many hats that you do. I’m a husband (hat), father (hat), coach (hat), leader (hat), son (hat), etc. I’m something bigger than all those hats, too. So, if you took away hats I would still be that something bigger.

The connection to a spiritual component bigger than you creates the sensation of grounding as well as a north star for you. It keeps us balanced in the face of uncertainty and resolved in the face of challenges. It allows your performance to be free because your performance doesn’t define you.

With this Peak Performance Pillar, you can create a framework to actually do your best so the results will be more wins in all the games you play.

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