What is peak performance? How can you achieve a peak performance state? Why is it important and what will being in a peak performance state help you do?
My definition of peak performance is “that state where you are doing exactly what you need to do in that moment to optimize your results”.
Ryan Doyle is a world class petitioner of Parkour . When he is practicing his Parkour maneuvers, I can guarantee you he is in a peak performance state. I know this because anything less than total focus while performing could mean severe injuries for him or even death.
The medical dictionary’s definition of peak performance is “a state in which the person performs to the maximum of their ability, characterized by subjective feelings of confidence, effortlessness and total concentration on the task.”
This means that peak performance isn’t limited to the world of sports. For example, when you are totally focused on what you’re doing in the office or while working on a home project, you are in a peak performance state. You are operating in the zone.
The Importance of Being Able to Achieve a Peak Performance State
When you perform at less than a peak level you are not taking full advantage of your life. There are many people who, as they get older, look back on their life and wonder what they could have accomplished if they’d only been more decisive and committed. By learning how to access a peak performance state, you don’t have to be one of these people. This will allow you to become the best you can be at the activities you want to do. Now you will never have to look back at your life with regrets.
8 Mindful Mind Hacks You Can Use to Achieve a Peak Performance State
The following are 8 Mindful Mind Hacks I regularly teach my clients that you can also use to achieve a peak performance state.
- What Are You Good At?
Peak performance comes about from doing things that utilize your strengths. These strengths can be applied to any endeavor if you take a focused approach.
The first step is to identify these strengths. Answer these questions:
What are you better at than nearly everyone you know?
What activities have always been easy for you?
What do you consider yourself best at?
- What Are You Not So Good At?
Now, repeat the process with your weaknesses. Most people will tell you that weaknesses can, and often should, be strengthened. While that’s true, trying to develop a weakness can take time away from building on your strengths.
Instead of trying to develop traits you are not strong at, recognize what traits you need help with and get someone to help you fill in those gaps.
Knowing your weakness is important so you can avoid putting too much effort into things that you may never be able to perform at a high level.
- What Gets You Going?
While having the right skills is important, peak performance is not just a matter of putting a lot of effort into some skill. It’s about putting in enough time to be good at what you’re doing. This is a lot easier to do when you enjoy what you’re doing.
For example, you might have a naturally great golf swing, but if you can’t stand the game because it’s too slow for you, you’ll never practice. And you can’t be a peak performer at something you don’t put the time and effort to practice at.
More importantly, you wouldn’t want to anyway.
Take a few minutes to think about what you enjoy doing. What activities, when you’re doing them, cause you to lose track of time? These are the activities you want to focus on.
- What Do You Want to Get Done?
Once you’ve figured out your strengths, weaknesses, and likes, you can then decide what you want to do. Without this you will never be able to get accomplish the great things in you have inside of you. This is important to think through carefully.
That’s because all of what you choose to put your time and energy in going forward depends on this decision. This is why I spend so much time looking at this with this with my clients.
Ask yourself, ”How will I measure success?”
Is it when you can do a switch ollie like Helen Schettini on your snowboard? When you write your book? When you earn your black belt in the martial arts? When you earn enough money to support yourself in the lifestyle you desire from your own business?
How will you know you achieved what you really want to get out of your life?
- Avoid the Squirrels of Life
Distractions are the squirrels of life. They are also the enemy to your progress.
Like everyone else, you have things you like to do that gets nothing done other than providing you with temporary amusement. Things that suck your time away from the great things in your life that you want to get done.
To counter your squirrels, make a list of your favorite distractions. Then ask, “What can I do to remove these items from my day?”
The accomplishment of just this one thing can increase your output by at least 10%.
- Get a Coach
No one ever reaches their peak level without a coach, mentor, advisor, or whatever title you want to give them.
A coach can help you measure your strengths and weakness as well as holding you accountable.
They can also help you find ways to go through, around or over obstacles that block your progress. This can shave years off your learning curve and help you to avoid the mistakes you’re destined to make on your own.
Seek out the best coach you can find and make contact. Find a way to hire them.
At the very least, read books on the topic written by the experts in your field. Over the years I’ve read thousands of books that have provided me with invaluable resources.
So can you.
- Commitment to Becoming the Best You Can Be
Mario Andretti once said, “Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”
Like Mario Andretti, anyone who has become good at anything will tell you that mastery requires commitment. To perform at a peak level, make a commitment to making yourself the best you possible.
Make a commitment to putting in the necessary time, effort and practice. Make a commitment to overcome whatever obstacles you encounter. Make a commitment do whatever it takes to accomplish the great things you want to accomplish in your life.
It is your commitment that will “enable you to attain the success you seek.”
- Improve Something Every Day
Kaizen is the Japanese word for “improvement”. It implies that no matter how good you are at something, you can always improve.
For you this means to look for things that you can do to make regular small improvements. That’s because continuous improvement is what peak performance is all about.
Remember, mastering anything can take years, or even decades. Winston Churchill once said, “Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.”
By making a commitment to improve daily you will become a leader in your field.
One last thing here, forget about perfection. If perfection is your daily goal, you’ll be consistently disappointed. Instead, create daily and weekly improvement goals that are attainable, and that you can measure.
A Peak Performance State is Within Your Reach
You, like everyone else on this planet, can learn to achieve a peak performance state. All it takes is a commitment to doing the things you need to do.
Are you willing to make the commitment to figuring out who you are and what you want out of life?
Are you willing to put in the daily work to get to the top of your field?
If you are willing to put in the effort and make the sacrifices, you can master anything. Just remember, you’ll have less time available for other pursuits. However, like most people, you’ll find that it’s worth every minute of it.
You can make your life a masterpiece. Why not begin by following these 8 steps to help you achieve a peak performance state today?
Time to show the world what you’re made of! Get your hands on the ultimate guide to mastering peak performance – Mastering the Mind, Body and Spirit: Secrets of Black Belt Peak Performance. With easy-to-follow strategies, you’ll take your game (and life) to the next level.