Personal productivity has been of interest to me for decades. When NVL Sateesh began walking me through peak performance a few years back, I watched my years of reading distil down to the principles of mindfulness and intentional living. Sateesh helped me identify and make changes to my frequently self-defeating and wasteful way of living and working, changes that improved the quality of my life significantly. We are thrilled to have him join our small but growing community of mindfulness practitioners.
|Peak Performance Coach, NVL Sateesh|
There is a widespread belief we use only 10% of our brain power and that we can learn to tap into the other 90% if we train the brain. This is scientifically incorrect. The brain is always performing at its 100% capacity. What this 10% usage perhaps refers to is the power used to work on the current task. Think of times when you were driving on a highway and many kilometers pass before you realize you were not even focusing on the road? Times when you are in a conversation and suddenly figured out you missed the last few minutes even though you were physically hearing? This is what the 10% is perhaps referring to - that only 10% of attention is present on the task at hand.
If you have not watched the movie Limitless starring Bradley Cooper, I would recommend it as a good movie. The movie narrates the story of a struggling writer, who accidentally gets a drug that enables him to access 100% of his brain abilities which turns him into a financial wizard (but brings other kinds of trouble). The drug does not actually enhance his brain capacity, but just makes all the information available in the brain accessible without lapses and fallacies. The concept is interesting to ponder upon. What if we could remember all the information we gather across years? What if we could connect the dots across years of experiences?
Well, peak performance is not that kind of stuff. But the idea is that we can perform at our optimal level if we could access the most relevant information from our brain faculties without forgetting, getting distracted, or getting lost in unnecessary noise. The key to success is to differentiate between signal and noise and building the skill to sustain attention on the signal.
We all know children’s attention spans are shorter than that of adults. However, if you reckon, children learn and develop radically fast, very fast. The time from a child is born till she learns to speak well, the rate of growth - both in physical and mental terms - is enormous. How do they learn so fast with such a short attention span? Simple; they are engrossed in everything they do. They are not worried about the environment, failure, or the outcome itself. They just focus on the task at hand. They are able to give their full attention without any background noise even if it is for a short period of time. Moreover they just enjoy what they are doing. Children don’t get fatigued by play nor do they get frustrated with learning. It is sometimes amusing to see children doing a very seemingly simple thing again and again with sparking eyes and awe filled enthusiasm. If we can perform like that with a specific goal in mind, that’s peak performance.
In today’s world where instant gratification is sabotaging great potential and stimulus bombardment is rampaging excellence, I believe learning to perform at your best is a critical skill. Peak Performance coaching aims at helping gain a solid scientific understanding the skills required to perform optimally. Skills that help you execute as planned, transform patterns of behaviour towards desired directions, sustain short- and long-term focus based on your priorities and importantly enabling a state of mind most conducive for excellence.
You can use these skills at work to make your job satisfactory, meaningful and rewarding, or use it in sports and literally put your best foot forward. You can use it in any and all areas of your life. You can make it a discipline and live life optimally. Performing at your best gives you a sense of meaning and pride. If you are ready to leave your signature on the work you have done, then, you know you did your best.
To leave a signature is to truly find meaning in life because the purpose of life is to create one. If you liked the idea of peak performance, and would like to get a feel for how to leave your signature on all that you do, drop into one of our workshops. The next one is scheduled for June 13 at Begumpet, Hyderabad. Call 8008004320 to register, or visit our Cultivating Focus event page.