What it takes to be a peak performer               

peak
Victor Ochieng'

We all have what it takes to reach peak performance. We also all have our good and bad days in life.

Life is just a mixture of good and bad, gain and pain, better and bitter, fame and shame, miracles and obstacles.

In the whole scheme of things, we should press the pause button and ask the question: What is the sign of a person wired to win? The sign is that on a good or bad day, the person remains the same.

On a good day, it comes easy. Then, on a bad day, the tide of misfortune takes a lot from us.

People who take pride in performance just perform to the level of excellence; come rain, come shine. The audience fails to draw a dichotomy between the two instances or see the difference in performance.

For people who take pride in performance, their self-esteem does not let them falter, fail and fall flat. They understand there is a close connection between positive mental attitude and peak performance.

Peak performers go for excellence, not perfection. Perfection is far-fetched and invariably remains out of reach. Perfection is an illusion, a pipe dream. However, in the passionate and purposeful pursuit of perfection, people eventually find excellence.

Excellence is becoming the better version of oneself. It is saying no to mediocrity, which is being on top of the bottom. Excellence cannot be achieved without taking pride in peak performance. Excellent people do the right thing out of passion, not compulsion. People who are habitually quality-conscious hardly produce mediocre results.

People who take pride in performance stand for quality. Excellence becomes their hallmark and benchmark. They set high standards for themselves. They hold themselves accountable for results. They always give more than what is expected of them.

They commit themselves to life-long learning, subscribing to the principle of continuous improvement. These are self-motivated people who endeavour to do the right things first time and every time.

People who take pride in peak performance know that only quality people deliver quality output. Only when we consistently deliver quality do we gain credibility, dignity, reverence and respect. Most of the time, life gives us four choices – poor, fair, good and excellent. How high we climb the lofty ladder of life will depend on what we choose.

Every job is a self-portrait of the person who does it. Therefore, autograph your work with great grace, elegance and excellence. That goes beyond intelligence and competence. People who take pride in peak performance approach life like the Danish sculptor who was once asked, “What do you consider your best statue?” Without a second thought, he replied, “It is yet to come.”

People who take pride in peak performance behave like the elite athlete who was impressively poised for a certain championship. He seemed rather nervous to the core. Somebody asked him, “Why are you so nervous?” His answer was, “To compete with others I have to put in 100%, but to stay at the peak it behooves me to put in 150%.”

Men and women who take pride in peak performance behave like artists. They put their hands, hearts and heads in what they do. They do not just work for recognition, but they commit themselves to do the work which is worthy of recognition. They understand that professional qualifications do not necessarily make a professional — one needs more than professional qualifications to be professional.

People who take pride in peak performance are cognizant of the fact that only whole-hearted effort gives results. The key word here is ‘whole-hearted’. Half-hearted efforts do not give half-hearted results; they give negative, damaging results.

You might have heard someone saying, “I will give it a shot” or “I will give it a trial.” What they are saying is that they will attempt it. If it works, fine. If it does not, they will quit quickly.

In fact, in their subconscious mind, they have decided to quit even before they begin it. They are starting from a non-committal mindset, which manifests in behaviour.

This is a guarantee to failure.

By Victor Ochieng’

The writer is an editor, author and trainer.

vochieng.90@gmail.com. 0704420232

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