#311 Ideal Performance State

Emotional Consistency and Peak Performance

Jim Loehr is one of the world’s leading authorities on peak performance.

He and Tony Schwartz wrote The Power of Full Engagement and he’s written a number of books on mental toughness in which he draws on his decades of experience studying and coaching the world’s top performers.

Loehr tells us that “performance consistency is the trademark of all peak performers. Day in and day out, these men and women are able to extend themselves to the upper ranges of talent and skill.”

It’s easy to show up at your best on occasion — when the stars align and you’re feeling good and all that. It’s an entirely different thing to show up in the upper ranges of your potential day in and day out.

The key to tapping into that level of peak performance?

Well, Loehr tells us that performance consistency is all about EMOTIONAL consistency. In fact: “A peak performer never rides an emotional rollercoaster.”

How do they achieve THAT?

Well, Loehr tells us that these peak performers have developed a powerful sort of emotional control — something he calls the “Ideal Performance State.” They’re able to flip the switch and enter a calm yet energized state in which they focus on what they want and go out and crush it.

He also tells us that our peak performers are superb problem solvers: “The ‘man in the street,’ when confronted by a stubborn situation, tends to get angry, annoyed, irritated, frustrated; he withdraws energy and commitment; he removes ego from the task; he becomes a bystander. The peak performer triggers his Ideal Performance State. He is relaxed, calm, pumped positively, confident, and very much in control. His emotional response is: ‘I love problems. Give me problems.’”

“I love problems. Give me problems.”

Reminds me of Navy SEAL Jocko Willink whose response to everything is “Good.” Something “bad” happen? Jocko’s response is simple: “Good.”

“I love problems. Give me problems.”

That also reminds me of The Tools guys and their first Tool that helps us “reverse our desire” such that we WANT pain. “Bring it on! I love pain. Pain sets me free!” (And, of course the whole idea echoes their wisdom on Emotional Stamina.)

“I love problems. Give me problems.”

It also reminds me of Ray Dalio’s relationship to problems. But we’ll save that for our next +1.

For now: What do YOU think about problems?

If you want to become a peak performer, learn to love them. Flip the switch on your Ideal Performance State, take a deep breath, relax, smile, rub your hands together and go use that challenge as fuel to get better.

Repeat.

With every problem.

And show up in the upper ranges of your potential day in and day out.

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