After many years of research with high performers, we have uncovered that high performers have control of two levers of power that separate them from the herd.
The first is their personal vision
The vision was typically the story that high performers told themselves about their task. In all cases high performers were able to connect the task to, a higher purpose, one that was not self serving but was for the betterment of all.
In other words high performers had a vision, an ideal picture of themselves in the world. What was even more startling was, the more detail in the vision and the degree of noble intent, the more successful they were.
Now before this sounds like another sermon on positive thinking, take stock, this is about attachment to the end state. Not just any end state, an end state that is in the highest good of all and therefore inclusive of others rather than being divisive. A vision with a higher purpose is the vision of leadership that enlists others.
Curiouser and curiouser, this vision was often held privately, and not explicitly expressed, and yet it didn’t appear to have an impact on its potency. It also gave them the energy of deep passion, palpable and infectous to all those around them.
Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi nailed this in is seminal work: Flow, the psychology of optimal experience
Check out http://www.pursuit-of-happiness.org/history-of-happiness/mihaly-csikszentmihalyi/
The second is to self regulate
The second driver of high performance was their ability to manage their internal state, rather than be a reaction to the world around them. This means the ability to regulate emotions when triggered and being able to bring it back to a desired state.
People try and manage their feelings through their thinking and Cognitive Based Therapy certainly promises it is possible, but in effect we need to look at how the emotion is trapped in our body, before we can arrest and correct our thinking.
It is a mind-body connection …any wonder massage, yoga and exercise are so stress relieving. Typically people who can regulate their thinking and positively respond to stressful situations, are people who invest some time to knowing and nourishing their body.
Peter Levine, a world authority on somatic experiencing and a Berkley University Professor, studied wild animals to uncover how we can move through a stressful state back into the moment.
Get to know Peter Levine better at http://www.traumahealing.com/somatic-experiencing/waking-tiger.html
So connect to a higher purpose as your guide and love your body to get into the zone of high performance.
Hearts and Minds