• Discovering Your Peak Performance State

    Elite athletes have their rituals. Their routines. They have them for gameday and they have them for practice days. Gameday rituals are more rigid. Practice rituals are just as defined and important for having an effective performance on a daily basis.

    Peak Performance stateThe most successful people on the planet have their rituals too.

    • Tony Robbins starts his day with cryotherapy (think: ice bath)
    • Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, wakes at 4:30 AM, sends a few emails and gets in a workout starting at 5 AM.
    • Winston Churchill spent the first hours of his day in bed reading mail and catching up on the newspapers.
    • John Grisham, while he was still practicing law, was at his desk by 5:30 AM. His ritual included writing at least one page before turning to his day job.
    • Andrew Carnegie journaled regularly.
    • A good friend of mine, who is launching an electric car company in China and the US, has a daily ritual of sitting down with his kids to spend time with them while working on their homework.

    What are your rituals?

    What happens every day that results in a great day at work? A productive day? A great presentation? Getting the sale, the raise or the promotion?

    When I finally became an All American wrestler it was because I learned the actions that resulted in my peak performance state. I discovered the rituals that resulted in peak performance. They included rituals for practice, the food I ate, the people I spoke to, the words I wrote in my journal, even the number of jumprope jumps right before I stepped onto the mat to do battle.

    The question is how do you find your peak performance state and begin to ritualize it so that you can attain it every day?

    Here are some of the most common rituals performed by those who are at the top of their game… business, politics, sports… you name it. It’s likely that you will never see them doing it but they are. None of them are sexy or glamorous but these are the rituals of success.

    • Wake up early: This is the single most common daily ritual of successful people. Yeah, I know it sucks but not as bad as living in mediocrity. Get up just 15 minutes earlier tomorrow and do something productive with your new found time. Bang out a few emails. Take out the trash. Go for a walk. Do this for a week. Next week set it for 30 minutes. I think you will enjoy your results.
    • Exercise: Don’t have time? See above. Also, when you exercise you’ll have more energy (not less!). You’ll be more productive and even more confident.
    • Plan your day: When you sit down at your desk and check your email you’re starting your day in reaction mode. Eight or ten hours later you’ll realize you haven’t gotten enough done and will hope that tomorrow is better. You’ll have it on your mind that evening, be tuned out when talking with your spouse, and even lose a little sleep. The most successful people have a plan. I do my planning the day before. I have an alarm that goes off at 4:30 PM everyday that reminds me to set my goals for tomorrow. At 4:30 I’m deep into my work and know what is the priority and what I won’t get to today. Identify three big tasks you want to accomplish tomorrow and write them down (I use Asana App to keep track of my tasks).
    • Meditate: Spend time alone in the quiet. I have a three-minute egg timer on my desk. Start small and increase as you see the benefits.
    • Feed your mind: Instead of listening to the news or sports radio, listen to an audio book or podcast on your drive to work that will make you better, teach you a new skill or spark your motivation. Feed your brain so that you are growing every day.

    Pay attention.

    Pay attention to the days you feel good and the days you feel bad… your most productive time of day and the least. When you feel most confident or like hiding in your office or cubicle. Something is causing these performance states- good or bad.

    Are you working out? Having a healthier than normal breakfast? Are you kissing your wife goodbye in the morning? Getting up early? Prioritizing what you want to achieve?

    Here’s what I do to achieve my ideal competitive state. It starts the day before.

    At 4:30 PM I have an alarm that goes off on my phone to prompt me to write down what I want to achieve the following day by the time I leave the office.

    Get to bed by 10 PM.
    Workout either in the morning or over lunch.
    Eat a healthy breakfast that includes fruit.
    Kiss my wife.
    Say prayers and gratitudes on my drive to work.
    State my mantra (I have a daily mantra that builds me up and puts me in a positive mindset.
    I sit down and don’t check email but rather work on the first priority from the day before first.

    I don’t do all of these everyday but I do most most days. The more I do the closer I am to achieving my peak performance state.

    Identifying your peak performance state starts with getting clarity on where you want to go.

    Download the Free Goal Setting Worksheet Here.