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Understanding Peak Performance And Human Potential

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If we want to find the answers to this, we need to look at what performance is.  performance

What is Performance?

Our society is obsessed with improving performance. However, until we actually understand what performance is, we will only end up with frustration and some confusion.

“Simple,” some people say. “Performance is getting the job done. Producing the result that you aimed at. Nothing else matters. There are no prizes for coming second.”

We know that there are actually prizes, but we can look past that. It’s important to understand that the only acceptable performance, is when you achieve results. If you haven’t met the objectives and have fallen short of your own peak performance, you haven’t performed well at all.

This way of thinking can be very seductive. It sounds practical and tough. If you haven’t managed to achieve the results of what you are looking for, what have you actually accomplished? In today’s macho business environment, being tough seems to be important to some, even if the reality of the situation is vastly different.

As we begin to look at things closer, we understand that performance is very simplistic and this can cause some trouble. No one can always ensure that a favorable outcome can be had. After all, there are too many chance events that could intervene between what happens and the results.

As the Scottish poet Robert Burns remarked more than two centuries ago: “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley.” That’s Scots for “often go awry.” All of our futures are full of unexpected events.

There will be chances that impact us all the time. While you can do everything in your power to plan for things as part of your daily routine or when boosting your performance, things still can happen. What happens when other people intervene in your life, the stock market crashes, or a war occurs. These things can happen and you have no control over them.

Because of variables such as these, basing your performance as the result of an event you have no control over, isn’t reasonable or fair. This means you shouldn’t monitor your performance by objectives that help you to determine your peak performance.

This approach is important to also take through the rest of your life also. Having your heart set on a specific event and having that be the only acceptable outcome is a game that can leave you depressed when another outcome is had. Performance goes beyond what is expected and you need to accept that sometimes it will be negative.

Real performance goes beyond just what is expected, it sets the highest standards for peak performance and pushes you to surpass the demands of others.

It is a full expression of your own demands and taking responsibility and ownership for what you do.

How do we set up our own standards, so we perform to our best performance potential?

For most of us, it is determined by our mental resistance. I’ve touched on this before, that our mental resistance is a place where we are very uncomfortable. It is determine based on our belief system, our values, emotions and the past experiences that we have had.

Our perceived potential is nothing more than an illusion. We are capable of more than that and this is where our peak performance can be found.

As soon as you have established the threshold for your peak performance, burst through the mental resistance, like pain, doubt and fear, you can get the true potential you have.

From here, we can continue to repeat our peak performance, which is now our optimum performance. That allows us to push boundaries and discover our inner true potential.

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Illusions And Beliefs And How They Are Connected

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“People, like all forms of life, only change when something so disturbs them that they are forced to let go of their present beliefs. Nothing illusionschanges until we interpret things differently. Change occurs only when we let go of our certainty.” – Dee Hock

Illusions are False Beliefs

They are notions and ideas that we have inherited from our culture, our families, and almost every institution with which we’ve been associated. Illusions take up residence in our minds because we receive them, for the most part, when we are young, impressionable, trusting, and open to the ideas being handed down to us. They are part of our social conditioning, but they do not serve us.

Illusions are, in fact, the only cause of our unhappiness. To be a Thought Warrior in any arena, we need to be free and original thinkers, capable of focusing on how we are thinking as well as what we are thinking.

The Indian philosopher Sri Aurobindo said, “In order to see, you have to stop being in the middle of the picture.” This means we have to step outside of ourselves, put some distance between ourselves and our thoughts, so we can assess their heritage and test them for authenticity.

Because the consciousness of a Thought Warrior has a tremendous impact on the consciousness of the organization, every Thought Warrior must do the deep and personal work of clarifying their own thoughts, so that when we speak, every word has a ring of clarity, every statement has a purpose and air of authenticity.

This requires a looking inward that both grounds and balances our outward actions. When we look within and mine our own experience for feelings that not only mesh with our message, but are actually the source of the message, then the delivery itself carries an integrity of authorship that is convincing, compassionate, and compelling.

When we manage to rid ourselves of inherited voices and speak from the heart, our very speaking is a force that can change minds, lives, and the direction of any community to which we belong.

 Freeing ourselves from illusion may seem like an esoteric concept that has nothing to do with personal success, leadership and being a warrior, but that’s because one of the biggest illusions we suffer from is the notion that what goes on inside us has little to do with who we are on the outside.

We’ve become so good at compartmentalizing our lives that we think our corporate selves are distinct from our private selves, that who we are on the golf course has nothing to do with who we are at home, or that the persona we project in the board room ought to be different from the persona we project in the family room.

Anthony De Mello, a Jesuit priest, psychotherapist, and retreat director, taught that all our negative emotions are caused by illusions that we allow to obstruct our thinking. If we’re sad or angry, it’s because there is some underlying illusion preempting our natural state of joy. He says: “When the eye is unobstructed, the result is seeing; when the ear is unobstructed, the result is hearing; when the palate is unobstructed, the result is tasting. When the mind is unobstructed, the result is wisdom and happiness. Drop your attachments and you will be free. Understand your illusions and they will drop.”

It is awareness, not effort, which dissolves the illusions. When we experience an upset, if we look to see what underlying belief or attachment is behind it, we can begin to see what illusions have us in their grip. If I make the mistake of thinking someone else is responsible for my happiness, I’ll discover this when I back up and begin to explore my negative feelings about their behavior.

Why am I upset?

Because they didn’t do so-and-so.

Why should he have done so-and-so?

Because it would have made me happy, and they’re responsible for my happiness.

That is my illusion.

To be a Thought Warrior, an original thinker, we have to move and think and speak from our own personal knowing. Our power comes from our ability to transform what we have felt into what we know. It’s an alchemy of sorts, where we acquire the skill of transforming the lead of our experience into the gold of our wisdom.

Each of us knows what no one else knows because no one else has lived our lives, seen what we’ve seen, felt what we’ve felt. The great Persian poet Rumi writes, “The throbbing vein will take you further than any thinking.” This is a great clue.

Who are the speakers who have really inspired you?

Who are the ones who have changed your thinking, altered the course of your own life?

Are they not the ones who speak and write from the heart?

Are they not the ones who stand before you, not with notes and memorized speeches, but with the courage to be simply who they are, to share their visions, their struggles, their fears?

This is the stuff of being a Thought Warrior – this transparency, this risking, this willingness to say it’s a new frontier here, and not one of us has a map, but with what we know together, we can surely make it.

“As leaders we must help people move into a relationship with uncertainty and chaos.” – Margaret Wheatley

Start to become a Thought Warrior and request your Introductory Consultation today.

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Fear, Worry and Doubt: Warrior Mind Podcast #202

This Warrior Mind Podcast is based on the post “Worries and Fears and Doubt – Oh My!”  
The purpose of this Warrior Mind Podcast is to teach you how to not give in into your programing of worry, fear and doubt.
If you’re like most people, you just want to feel happier with your life. [...]

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Later – The Biggest Lie We Tell Ourselves


 Today we’re going to talk about taking action…. 
“Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired.” Jules Renard
The biggest lie we tell ourselves in the area of action is, “I’ll do it later.” As C. Northcote
Parkinson said, “Delay is the deadliest form of denial.” Read More…

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Reframing Your Past: Warrior Mind Podcast #201

This Warrior Mind Podcast is based on the post “Reframing and How to Change Your Past.”  
The purpose of this Warrior Mind Podcast is to teach you how to alter your perception of past events that drain you mentally and emotionally.
Have you ever wondered how some people always manage to achieve success in life [...]

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Perfectionism, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly


“If I can’t do it perfectly then it’s not worth doing”, right?   
Merriam-Webster defines perfectionism as a disposition to regard anything short of perfection as unacceptable; especially: the setting of unrealistically demanding goals accompanied by a disposition to regard failure to achieve them as unacceptable and a sign of worthlessness. Read More…

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Masterminds: Warrior Mind Podcast #200

This Warrior Mind Podcast on masterminds is based on the post “Mastermind Group to Reach Personal Goals.”  
The purpose of this Warrior Mind Podcast is to persuade you to use the cumulative knowledge and experience of other people, masterminds, in your quest to fulfill your vision of a compelling future.
No one has ever attained [...]

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Discovering Your Core Belief – Part 2

core belief

Since your conscious beliefs determine those unconscious functions that bring about your personal experience, your first step is to enlarge those beliefs. The concepts given in this and previous newsletters should have already helped you do that to some extent.
Within your own subjective reality are traces of all those roads not taken, those abilities [...]

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Discovering Your Beliefs – Part 1


It is true that habitual thoughts of love, optimism and self acceptance are better for you than their opposites; but again, your beliefs about yourself will automatically attract thoughts that are consistent with your ideas.
There is as much natural aggressiveness in love as there is in hate. Hate is a distortion of such a [...]

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Become a Life Strategist: Warrior Mind Podcast #199

This Warrior Mind Podcast is based on the post “Strategic Planning and Personal Success.”   
The purpose of this Warrior Mind Podcast is to persuade you of the importance of becoming your own life strategist. This involves consistently thinking about strategic planning when comes to your dreams, goals and success. Read More…

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