Winning isn't's the only thing!"
Vince Lombardi
Whether at work or play, some people have the ability to excel, achieving outstanding results. They are often said to be operating at "peak performance." Peak performers typically accomplish predetermined outcomes and motivate others around them to increase their productivity as well. Some people such as, James Lehr, sports psychologist, are not only peak performers, but have learned to teach others the essential aspects involved. However, before that can occur, they need to become aware of how specifically they as teachers each attain levels of peak performance.
Peak performance is a "goal-state." That is, an ability to sustain the on-going behavior necessary to accomplish an outcome; to get things done successfully! Of paramount importance to a peak performer is an awareness of how an individual sorts information. The process of acquiring this awareness may be called, "meta-tuning." Meta-tuning is a kind of self-examination. It involves becoming aware of how you make sense or organize incoming information. In essence, it helps you decide what-- and how much-- is important to you.
"Gee, I'm confused. How does paying attention to my internal experience relate to peak-performance?"
People who fail to perform at peaked efficiency have less control of their behavior which, in effect, means they are less aware of what they do on the inside. To increase your awareness and therefore control of behaviors leading to peak-performance, begin by asking yourself some thought-provoking questions. Be patient. These are not common questions, and the answers may require some consideration.
How do you represent incoming information? For example, when you read or listen to a speaker do you repeat the words, internally? Do you create pictures or feelings from those words? How do you know you still need to gather more information? What in your experience informs you that something is missing? For example, do you see an incomplete internal picture? Does an uncomfortable feeling emerge? How do you know you have enough information?
The answers to these types of questions may help you become aware of your criteria for deciding what actions to take, or even to stop paying attention. Some people report a "full" or satisfied feeling inside; others see a completed internal picture or simply tell themselves its time to move to something else. Another choice is to match one's internal experiences to other times sufficient information was gathered in which to take action.
How do you generate an outcome? Do you create the experience of having already accomplished a task? Do you first need to organize the overall task into small incremental steps before beginning? Are there obstacles that you need to resolve internally before engaging in the outcome behaviors? By meta-tuning, you become more self-aware and thus, acquire more control of your behavior, the essence of a peak-performer.
When you are a peak-performer, you will be able to:

  • 1- Think effectively. Organize your behavior toward a defined set of criteria necessary to achieve an outcome. By understanding how you sort and utilize information, progress toward a goal can be assessed at any time. You become, in effect, your own biofeedback machine.
  • 2- Own your performance. One of the most important shared realities of peak performers is the sense that they-- not external forces-- are in control of their achievements. They are proactive, not reactive. This feeling of responsibility is culled as you better understand how to organize yourself-- make distinctions about the information gathered by your senses. Furthermore, to the extent you own your performance; you are less likely to blame others for potential failures to achieve desired results.
  • 3- Develop and maintain self-motivation. By becoming more aware of how information is classified, you are in a better position to determine differences. How do you distinguish one choice of behavior from another? How do you respond to each class of information? What would you need in order to respond differently?

Operating at peak-performance helps you decide-- then achieve-- what is important, in order to enjoy a richly rewarding life.