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:

  1. Stretch – you’re reaching high. Reaching low is boring.
  2. Effort – easy is empty of real reward. Difficult work is the opportunity to find fulfillment.
  3. Meaning – difficult just for the sake of difficult is frustrating, not fulfilling. Work must be worthwhile to bring joy.
  4. Choice – you voluntarily choose to engage.
  5. Experience – novices don’t experience flow. They’re too aware of themselves and the basics of their skill and performance.
  6. Concentration – interruption ends flow.
  7. 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?