Saturday, January 25, 2014

Optimal Performance Fundamentals

What separates optimal or peak performance from mediocre results? When you learn to embody the essential mindset and behaviors of individuals who repeatedly generate optimal results, you’ll find that average results tend to disappear.

1.      Focus on what personally matters. As much as we might like to think that we can do everything, when it comes to optimal performance, we need to make choices regarding where and how we focus our intellectual, physical and psychological energy. It continuously amazes and amuses me how a values-based focus serves to shift our approach and outcomes. Steven Jobs is an incredible role model for this one. His choice to intensely focus on a compelling marriage between vision, form, function and fun profoundly changed what we do and how we do it.

2.      Embody a “growth mindset.” This approach is detailed by Carol Dweck in her research-based book Mindset. A growth, versus a fixed, mindset recognizes that success is a process involving continual expansion of one’s comfort and competence zones. This type of mindset empowers individuals to move beyond barriers in a manner that builds upon success as well as short-term failures. If you want to engage in optimal performance, embrace learning, growth and the gift of expansion that comes from ongoing “fine-tuning.”   

3.      Release attachment to the outcome and embrace the mindset of “it’s not personal.” This does not mean that you are not invested in your both your actions and results. Embrace the elegant dance of doing whatever it takes to achieve optimal performance and then letting go. This way of being in the world is comprised of the dynamic blending of vision, commitment, focus and non-attachment. Ironically, when we learn to let go of attachment, the more we wind up accomplishing.  

4.      Know what is in and out of your control. Focus on what you can impact. This seemingly simple recognition is quite powerful. How much energy have you spent in the past on things that were out of your control? Where else could you have focused that energy? An addendum to this approach is to be clear about the requisite resources you need – both internal and external – and actively seek out external support.

5.      Simultaneously focus on your desired future and your present actions. This requires a blend of short- and long-term awareness. When you are clear about your outcome, you can utilize your vision as a centering force to evaluate your choices. This approach ensures that your current actions will consistently be in service of your long-term goals.

When we choose to focus on what we are passionate about and intentionally utilize the above wisdom, next level results will be our constant companion. I invite you to enjoy the journey and your results!

See related post: Are You Smart Goals Smart Enough?


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