7 Principles of Peak Performance

Purpose

"Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face," has to be one of the more profound and insightful phrases ever put across by the boxer Mike Tyson. When life deals us repeated punches, it is pure heart and passion that keeps us going.

What is your race about? What does it mean to you? Why do you do what you do? Your clarity of purpose gives you meaning and drives inspired action. Living your 'why' gives you the heart to last the distance and sparks inspired actions.

Define your own race and your personal life mission.

Perspective

The lenses through which we see the world determine how we feel, think and act. Often the race is won before it has even begun. We become so constricted to a problem viewpoint that we cannot see the possibilities, even when they are there right under our noses.

What if no one ever said that you could not do it? What mindset will you take with you all the way to the finish line? The biggest challenge comes not from the event but from your self-imposed obstacles. Alter the way you see yourself and what you tell yourself and you will impact your performance. Mindset, not muscles, separates runners at the start line.

Preparation

In an ultra endurance race, everyday is preparation for the next day. How are you getting ready to meet future opportunities and obstacles? What do you need to tune into? Focus on what you have control over and respond to the feedback your body gives you.

Build yourself up through focusing your mind and energy, accumulating small wins, and ensuring rest and recovery. Your daily rituals ready you to race again the next day.

People

You are a unique person on your own work and life journey. But you are not in it alone. You have more resources and support than you think. Too often, people either forget or don't know they can ask for help. How often do you ask for support? Who are your champions?

There are always others who have been in your shoes or have overcome the challenges you are facing. Who are your role models and mentors? Individual success is built around your team of support crew. Surround yourself with your heroes and start making heroes of others.

Pacing

The winner in an endurance race is not the one who runs the fastest, but the one who slows down the least. Going fast does not mean you will last. A broken body that follows a record-breaking time is plainly a poor result. Your willingness and ability to manage your energy and prioritise your attention depends on your bigger purpose and goals.

Deciding when to slow down so that you can get up the next day and do it all over again is the key to operating at an optimum pace. What do you have to let go of? When is it necessary for you to say no? Focus on how far, not how fast you go.

Participation

Life is not a treadmill; it is you who must move yourself forward. Aching muscles is a sure sign that you are using and growing them, just as discomfort and tripping up can be an indication that you are stretching yourself out of your comfort zone.

The journey of ten million steps is run with one step. And another. And another. Until you get there. What are you doing about your goal today? How much are you putting into your race? How many steps are you taking each day? Discover your best self by giving 100% in your race of life.

Practice

Olympian Emil Zatopek once said, "if you want to win something, run 100 metres; if you want to experience something, run a marathon." Each step in an endurance run may seem insignificant in itself, but it is your decisions and actions during those moments of no apparent progress that is your growth.

What habits are you cultivating? What process are you focused on? Joy is found not when our race is finished but while we are racing. The journey is more important than the destination. This journey is our life practice.

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