Not a day goes by without one person asking me what this whole peak performance thing is all about. That’s because not a day goes by without someone referring to me as a motivational speaker and I have to quickly correct them. I have tried to answer the question in many ways and this article will be another attempt to bring clarity to the matter.
We have all had that magical moment when you did something beyond what you believed to be our standard. That moment when you surprised yourself and everyone else; you felt fantastic and rightfully so. It is a powerful moment when you felt on top of the world. Not even superman could stop you. The downside of this phenomenon is that, whiles it is impossible to forget, it also seems impossible to repeat. You have thought about it and longed for it to happen again but that has at best, remained an exercise in futility. So you gave up and called it a fluke. Perhaps you have even imagined what a wonderful life you will have if you can repeat it regularly and permanently be this phenomenal person. Won’t it be wonderful?
That is peak performance and here is a piece of comforting news; according to psychologists this moment can be repeated consistently if you could trace all the events that led to it and follow it again to the letter. It is a state of mind that triggers a physical output that has always been there. You just didn’t know. For this reason it can be triggered at will only if you knew how. In most cases one will need the help of an expert – a coach. Someone who understands the mechanism that creates the state in which this peak performance can be experienced and how to create it at will. There are many people who experience it almost by default. Whiles it appears to be natural for some, some have found it by accident. Others are very aware of it and have taken steps to find it. Yet many are they who know nothing about it all (You will not among that lot from today).
Most people do not know that some of the world’s top performers go through certain specific routines before they engage. Many have personal coaches who ensure they are always tuned up to perform at their peak. It doesn’t really matter what it is they are involved in. An entrepreneur needs a performance coach as much as an athlete does.
In sports they refer to it as being in “the zone”. Some refer to it as “flow”. It is when you enjoyed what you are doing so much that you become one with the task you are performing. You are functioning from somewhere deep within. You are so united with the task that you seem to be on autopilot. The feeling is earth shattering. Writers experience this very often: that moment when you are punching away on a keyboard and you do not even know where the information is coming from. You totally ignore all the physiological needs and you continue to type as if that is all there is to life. You do not want to stop! You cannot see a separate you from what you are doing. You and the task are one. You have found beauty and it is worth dying for so you give it the best and you do not even have to try. Actually it is not you trying to do something anymore. It is something using you to manifest itself. It is what I described in my book “the philosophy of peak performance” as occupational orgasm. You can experience this feeling regardless of what you do. The world’s best psychologists have studied it and shared their findings with the world. It is not a secret anymore and you too can learn to be the best that’s possible for you to be in your occupation and in your larger life.
Roger Banister is one person who describes this very clearly. His comment after his four-minuet-mile record is one of my very favorite quotes ever;
“No longer conscious of my movement, I discovered a new unity with nature. I had found a new source of power and beauty, a source I never dreamt existed.”
Please readthe part two here. I noticed long articles are intimidating for some so I broke them into parts for easy reading. That’s because I really want you to get this thing.:)