4 Essentials for High Performance
By: Orson P. Wells
I believe we all have gifts, talents and skills to share with the world. If you just look out into the current challenges our societies face, we have put ourselves in quite a challenging position. There are so many ways to begin to address all of those challenges and one of them is for each of us to begin to tap into what’s inside of us and share it with the world around us. Whatever your specific gifts, talents or skills. It is important that you learn how to use them and perfrom to the best of your ability.
If your reading this then I know you have a strong desire to achieve your goals and be the best version of yourself as possible. I think we all do! We can’t help it, we’re wired that way! We set personal and career goals each year that will help us get to where we want to go. We work hard and aspire to do something great. It’s ingrained into our nature to want to do and be our best at everything we attempt to accomplish.
The only issue we run into is that we often lack the tools to really get us where we want to be. We have goals or objectives that we set for our business, life or career and we really want to make it happen, but sometimes we fall short. I don’t think anyone sets out to accomplish a goal to only be satisfied with failure… so how can we improve our ability to be successful in accomplishing our goals?
If you have ever felt the sting of failure you know you’ve asked yourself a similar question. I have too…many times! …too many times.. But I think there is a better question that will not only improve our ability to be successful in our long-term goals, but also help us to be successful on a daily basis.
The question: How can we/I consistently perform at a high level? (how can I be a high performer?)
I think of high performance as “your ability to consistently give your best resulting in long-term higher levels of success (well above the norm)” In other words; when you are able to show-up to your daily and long-term challenges, give your best effort and then over the long term be successful, you are a High Performer.
Many companies classify their employees as those that are high performers, average and low performers. (If you didn’t know that…believe me they do, even if its not an official process, they do.) Why? So they know who they can count on to produce results when it counts, who they can depend on, who is ready for that next level of promotion or responsibility.
High performance matters! When you are talking about being successful in your life, business or career how you perform matters. If you are a leader, high performance is also crucial to your success. (More content on High Performance Leadership coming soon!) If high performance is important for a company how much more is important for you, an individual? If you’re reading this I know you want to be able to produce the results you set out to accomplish, I know you want to be able to be your best on a consistent basis, I know you want to be a high performer.
High performance does not have to be a mystery. Over the last 15 years I’ve had to privilege to work with some very high performers as mentors, colleagues and clients. From each of them I observed and learned so many lessons on high performance. There are things that you can do now to improve your ability to perform consistently at a high level over a longer period of time.
If you are tired of the up and down in your performance, there are four essentials that I see are common among those that consistently perform and live at a high level. These four essentials are a foundation for your consistent high performance.
The first essential to high performance is your will. To become a consistent high performer you first have to want to. In other words you need to be clear on what you want and make a conscious decision of you will. When we talk about will its talking about desire, what do you desire?
The next essential is motivation or your “why.” What is the reason you are going after this goal? What at your core will keep you going even when things get tough? Answer that question and you will find your motivation.
If you notice the first two essentials are internal decisions that describe what you want and why you want it. Your will and source of motivation will give you focus in your life and business, but the next two essentials will define how you get there and stay there.
The final two essentials we will discuss is effort, and habits. I’ve learned that anything that you truly desire usually comes through effort or the amount of work that you put in. You gotta work!! All the effort in the world is nullified if you can’t sustain your results, so your habits are what will keep you where you want to be and cause you to be more consistent in all that you do.
In part two, we’ll go into each one of the essentials; Will, Motivation, Effort and Habits in more detail.
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Now that you have an understanding of what high performance is let’s jump right into more on each essential.
Will- You have to decide you will accomplish your goal before you ever start. Anything worth having will not come easy, if it does…then sign me up for your program…not really it doesn’t exist. Your “will to win” or accomplish what you set out to do will determine your success. You’ve most likely read the famous quote by Henry Ford, I believe it says it best; “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t you’re right” What ever you set your mind to do you will accomplish. Your mind can be set on success or it can be set on failure. Always ask yourself “what do I want?” Knowing what you want will give you the courage and staying power to go after it.
We all get thoughts of doubt and failure, but let those pass through just as quickly as they come. Don’t shrink at the slightest bit of opposition or give up after a big disappointment; continue pursuing your goal, and you will also grow along the way. When you get discouraged or experience a set-back is when your will comes into play.
Will, as I’ll define it, refers to your ability to do what is necessary in life or business to achieve your goals. It’s your intended desire or decree that something will happen. Your will is usually seen when you take action to accomplish something. Action is the best indicator of your will if you believe you will accomplish something, you will begin to move in the direction of success.
When I was in my mid twenties I started coaching, training and advising leaders that were twice my age and had considerable more experience. To say I was intimidated would be putting it mildly. As I started I decided that I would be the best that I could be and that belief and desire drove me to be sure that I was equipped to give good coaching, training and counsel. So I studied, I asked questions of my colleagues and I learned how to coach, train, and advise leaders in a way that added real value to their work and life. I made a conscious decision of my will to be my best; but I also took the time to prepare myself to be at my best. Your will, is an essential factor in your success. It will help you be mindful of your daily actions that move you toward your goals. You just have to decide everyday to be your best.
Motivation- Motivation comes form within. If you are feeling unmotivated it rarely has anything to do with your outer circumstances, but it is determined by what is going on inside of you. We all lose sight of our motivation from time to time, but it is important to acknowledge and reflect on what motivates us as we pursue our goals. You can think of motivation as the “why” or the reason you are pursuing a goal. Your motivation is what caused you to set out on the journey in the first place. Often people will reference their family as their “why” to staring a business, they want to provide a better life than what they had growing up.
Sometimes the source of motivation is rooted in a deep personal desire or fueled by creating something better for someone else. One of the common denominators I’ve found in successful people is that their motivation often has more to do with helping others rather than just having a focus on themselves. The key question to ask yourself is “Why?” Why do you want to accomplish this goal? Who will it make an impact for?
The source of your motivation is what will push your forward when things are difficult or even taking quite longer than you planned. Your motivation will give you a sense of purpose and fulfillment that you are not just working for yourself but to help someone else. Knowing your “why” will help t to keep you going. When it comes to high performance your motivation is what helps you show up as your best on a daily basis and helps you to focus on what you want.
Will and motivation are powerful foundations for high performance. Its all about your want to and your why! Take some time to meditate and on what you really want to accomplish and what motivates you. Only you know the answer to those questions.
Effort- “Do or do not there is no try” -Yoda You have to do it! Effort is so important when it comes to high performance. Part of effort is about taking action…doing something!
Let’s be honest, if you are not doing anything toward your goals, it can be safe to assume that you are not committed to your goals. It can be tough, I know,… I know what it is to feel paralyzed by circumstances, but remember your why, remember your motivation and get going!!!
Another element of effort is giving your best. Think about your current level of performance and ask yourself an honest question…”Am I doing/giving my best?” This not a question to find every fault and failure, but a question of true self reflection on your effort. Are you showing up and doing your best everyday? Are you connected to your source of motivation that pushes you to do so? I’ll never forget,
As I mentioned, when I was early on in my career, I read everything I can get my hands on in relation to human psychology and high performance. (I still do this now!!) I was putting in the work to be the absolute best I could be.
The lesson we can learn from this is that the effort you put in to achieving your goals will translate into that same level of performance in accomplishing your goals. Always ask yourself…Am I doing my best? Am I being my best? These two questions can act like a quick self-assessment to gauge your level of effort and engagement. If you find that your level of effort is low, just ask yourself “what is the one thing that I need to do next?” Then get going!! Wherever you at in your progression just get busy doing thr right things and giving your best.
Habits-Your daily habits will predict your future. Habits are the foundation that your results are based on. Healthy habits will help you to be consistent in every area of life. Unhealthy habits are a slow death to your success. Unhealthy habits have a way singing you a slow lullaby to a mediocre life.
Healthy habits build you up give you a sense of accomplishment and purpose. A quick way to discover if you have healthy habits or unhealthy habits is to track what you do everyday for at least 7 consecutive days. What were/are you doing everyday? Do you have a morning routine that prepares you and energizes you for your day? Are giving consistent focus and attention to your goals? Do you spend time with loved ones and make them feel special? Do have a healthy diet and exercise routine? Do your current habits move you forward, keep you stagnant or move you backward?
What you do today will determine your outcomes tomorrow. Habits are the seed to your future!!! Habits that you plant today (healthy or unhealthy) will be the harvest that you reap tomorrow. After you’ve assessed your habits and routines take time to reflect on them to determine if they are moving you forward. If they are not, its time to develop healthy habits.
Finally healthy habits breed consistency. If you ever struggled with being consistent in your life, check your habits. You can’t live by just managing whatever life throws at you. You must be intentional about your life, and business to be successful. Developing new habits can be challenging at first, but over time the discipline will pay off.
The 4 Essential to High Performance will put you on the path to higher performance in every area of you life. If you build a strong foundation you will get the results you desire. Higher performance does not have to be a mystery. You don’t have to go through life just trying to be your best, you can actually be your best. I challenge you to start building your foundation of high performance today.