High Performance - A Different Approach
High performance is becoming a much more commonplace idea - in a world where results, numbers, and profit are the priority.
If we think about what it takes to produce the numbers we desire and the returns that fit the bill, once we have looked at our systems and operations and made sure they are effective, we then come back to the next important cog in the machine – our people.
Peak performance isn’t just for athletes, people in suits, behind desks and in all manner of work environments are being closely watched.
I have a slight misgiving about the use of the term ‘high performance’ when discussing people working on their own or another’s company – alluding almost that they are more machine like than human beings. And yet, it is a term we all understand, and in some way, desperately want to instill its effects in our lives and establishments - after all, we all want bigger, better and more; right? Bigger dividends, better results, and higher numbers.
My experience of high performance is that actually, perhaps we can see ourselves as kind of machine like, but instead of mechanical and or computerized in the way they are usually engineered.
We are more a fusion that combines together the mind, the physical body and the soul – enveloped by the emotional and energetic system; all integral moving parts in the bigger picture.
For anyone to consistently live, work and operate at their peak, there must be a deep understanding of each of the elements that make up us human beings - and that goes way deeper than a few success principles, psychology theories or superfood ingredients. There is absolutely no doubt as far as I am concerned that real, sustainable and leverage-able high performance must have as it’s the foundation a completely holistic approach.
Every day, there is more and more pressure to produce, perform and yield – often causing stagnancy, mistakes, burnout and at worst ill health both physical and mental. Not to mention the impact it is having on our society including family health. All these aforementioned situations lead to outcomes that nobody is proud to have actively facilitated, even if it has been unintentional.
In the bid for peak performance, the misguided scramble for radical results and the continuous honing of often superhuman abilities, we are garnering the exact opposite outcomes it seems.
With a new, bespoke and holistic approach, one where we support, educate, coach and retrain ourselves, the individuals representing the numbers on the graphs and charts, that form the ecosystem of a company - we can not only phase out work-related stress, better manage mental and emotional troubles and improve employee retention, we can begin to create thriving situations made up of thriving individuals who are connected, tuned in, healthy, well, self-motivated and more committed to their work than ever before.
Starting at the beginning – again.
As we age, we develop habits, some good and some not so great.
For anything to have the optimal performance it must indeed be in tip-top shape. It’s a fact that we take our health for granted quite often and forget just how much our bodies are coping with on a daily basis to keep up with the constant demands we put on them.
If peak performance is to even be a ‘thing’ that is hoped for, let alone expected, we must pause and take time to go back to basics – back to fundamentals of life. Sleep, nutrition, and exercise cannot be overlooked and yet it does not have to be fancy or over complicated.
Simplify your systems
Start with two or three small changes and commit to them for thirty days. The improvements you make will very much depend on you and your lifestyle – the habits and weaknesses that you know you can switch up.
Once you have assimilated your first set of UpGrades, for example – more water, less coffee and a brisk walk each day, you can then move onto your next set which might be one yoga class per week, less red meat and more fresh fruits and vegetables.
For anything like this to stick though, you have got to get organized across the board and that must apply to the simplest of activities like how you shop for groceries, how your closet is laid out, all the way up to the how you file your tax returns or approach your workload.
For you to be freed up to prepare wholesome food and feel unstressed enough to feel inclined to choose it over the tempting fast food take out or upbeat enough to meditate in the morning instead of scrolling through Facebook – you’ll need to be organized in advance, you’ll need to not be on your knees from the day before or on the brink of burn out after months of self-neglect.
This will indeed take some time at first, but once things are set up it’ll feel effortless. Again, this part is unique to you, but taking yourself though some exploratory questions is the quickest way to get clarity on what changes you can make. How could I simplify, automate or restructure my daily systems at home and at work to free up some of my time? - is a good place to start.
Cull the calendar
Alright, I’m not saying don’t keep any of your personal engagements – that would be a bit extreme. But – I am saying, you need to learn to prioritize.
If you have long standing activities that you partake in, especially social ones, or you have a hard time saying no to invitations or favors, please get honest with yourself about how necessary they are moving forward.
When we become conscious about why we do what we do, we are usually surprised or shocked at what we discover.
If you want high performance, you are going to have to make some tough decisions. High performance is synonymous with saying a guilt free no and putting yourself much higher on the priority list.
A certain state of mind
When you feel energized rather than wiped out, you are more positive natured by default. Having a good day will come naturally and even if the day is not going well, handling whatever comes your way happens more easily.
A high vibrational state is paramount if we are to be pushing our limits regularly – that is what holds it all together at the eleventh hour when you need one last push to complete a task. Mental and emotional maintenance should feature high on your priority list too. By tending to your inner state of being, showing up bigger, better and stronger for your outer world becomes second nature.
Don’t hesitate to recalibrate
One thing that may not feel aligned with high performance is rest and listening to your body. But they are both important skills you must master.
I guarantee there will be guilt to deal with as high achievers have a close relationship with this emotion – I speak from experience – but you must learn to get used to it yet not succumb. I am not telling you binge watch Netflix every time you don’t feel like going in to work, rather I’m inviting you to become so adept to recognizing what state you are in, what you need in any given moment and how best to proceed to utilize your day, afternoon or weekend.
Yes – tapping out, easing off or going down a gear is also classed, in my opinion, as a utilization of time. Much like resting an overheated car engine and giving it an extra drink of water or oil top up. By slowing down, you are taking your performance to the very next level by reducing the risk of long term burn out.
Innovate your way up
We have some of our most outstanding ideas, insights and inspirations during our ‘down time’ – and for anything to continue to progress, rise or improve we need to be creative and inventive.
As well as replenishment of energy, with stillness and silence, also comes an opportunity to reconnect with the self and our own source of innovation – an act that leads to self-awareness.
This is one of your primary keys to high performance. Our intuition always has our back and yet so many times we don’t see or feel its presence through all the noise and busyness. As contradictory as it might seem, people who are making radical things happen, are great at going within and assessing both themselves and the situation at hand from a deeper less rigid perspective.
A better everything
Developing this ability of ‘knowing thyself’ through mindfulness practices, will not only help you to discern how to restructure your life so that you can create the most optimal health, lifestyle, familial and relationship benefits, it will also sky rocket you into a general better frame of mind.
Life will seem less of a struggle and you will notice small things that had not been visible to you due to stress, strain or busyness – perhaps the birds singing from the trees on the sidewalk, or the wide grinned gentleman selling newspapers on the corner you pass each day.
Having a moment and the presence in our day to pause to listen to the birdsong, smile at an elder or take a few conscious breaths, is the realm in which high performers exist in.
With a new, bespoke and holistic approach we can we can begin to thrive in situations made up of us, the thriving individuals who are connected, tuned in, healthy, well, self-motivated and more committed to not only our work but also our lives, than ever before.