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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