7 Essentials for Peak Performance Even During Christmas
Chasing the next urgency might make you feel important, but it’s shallow. A rich life requires doing meaningful hard things.
Drifting is dissatisfying:
“Contrary to what we usually believe, … the best moments in our lives, are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times—although such experiences can also be enjoyable, if we have worked hard to attain them.” (Finding Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi)
An easy life is boring and meaningless.
Challenge enriches life. Ease is destructive. Yes, we all need rest but unearned rest destroys us.
The pursuit of ease is chasing emptiness.
“The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile. Optimal experience is thus something that we make happen.” (Finding Flow)
7 Essentials for Peak Performance:
- Stretch – you’re reaching high. Reaching low is boring.
- Effort – easy is empty of real reward. Difficult work is the opportunity to find fulfillment.
- Meaning – difficult just for the sake of difficult is frustrating, not fulfilling. Work must be worthwhile to bring joy.
- Choice – you voluntarily choose to engage.
- Experience – novices don’t experience flow. They’re too aware of themselves and the basics of their skill and performance.
- Concentration – interruption ends flow.
- Control – flow requires you to control your own performance. Micro-managers block peak performance.
Put yourself and others in situations that require effort and concentration.
Christmas and flow:
“For a child, it could be placing with trembling fingers the last block on a tower she has built, higher than any she has built so far…” (Finding Flow)
Fun experiences are most enjoyable when we get lost in the moment – flow. I wish you times of flow with your friends and family over the holidays.
What might you add to the list of essentials for peak performance?
Which item on the list seems most important to you?
Being a child of the Space age was a great help – seeing astronauts regularly stretched to do – things up to then – thought impossible, like working outside a Space Capsule, or Walking on the Moon.. And so it was with personal goals and not just bigger things but more worthy things, things that make a difference in others lives.Crossing the bridge to realize our talents/gifts are largely for the benefit of others (not self) helps me as I seek Peak Performance. Thanks for encouraging my “outward facing leader.” Enjoy a Great Holiday Season
Thanks Ken. The space race was a big part of my life too. I build models of the all the space craft and watched the lift offs. It was a great thing for a kid. It gave me something to read about and to admire.
You remind me of the power of example. enjoy!!
Dan great end of year post. A friend once gave me a plaque with a Chinese quote that a Master in Living does not distinguish between work and play or labor or leisure but pursues them all with a vision for Excellence. Happy Holidays.
Thanks Brad. The pursuit of excellence gives meaning to hard work. 🙂 cheers!!
Practice Patience; for without it the struggles and challenges and people will get to you. Experience, concentration and self control will help lead to patience. I’ve found that patience is the most difficult to manage cause sometimes i just want to reach out and ……
I’m on board with Roger with “patience”, I preach to my children “Patience ” and I do the same with workers.
Mastering patience has made my life much simpler over the years, as compared to a “Bull in a china closet”. Step back and think before we get into motion without thinking first!
It’s still difficult Tim and I admit sometimes I slip up in the control of patience but not as much as I did 30 years ago or 20 or 15 or 10 or even 5 years ago. It gets better the older I get so by the time I die I will have all the patience I need and maybe that’s how it is intended to be.
Great post Dan! I would add passion to the list. Passion and peak performance go hand-in-hand!