One of the common myths about high performance is that it’s some exclusive playground reserved only for those in corporate positions or elite athletes.
And it’s an easy assumption to make. Performance in those domains is pretty evident.
But it’s a bit of a chicken-or-egg scenario.
See, it’s not that those industries are better suited to high performance; it’s that high performers often gravitate towards those industries.
In other words, you can be a high performer in any field or role you choose.
Whether it’s as a creative, a student, a parent, or an employee, playing at your best is simply a matter of choice.
(On the flip side, there are corporates and athletes who are definitely not high performers. We all know the guy or girl who had immense talent but wasted it via poor life decisions.)
Here’s just one example of how to be a high performer in any field:
In my last post, I spoke about the myth of multi-tasking and shared a story about a comedian who I now know as Gary Meikle.
I say “now know” because one of the comments on that post was from Gary himself!
(Side note: this is why I encourage people to share their ideas. You never know where it will lead!)
Anyway, Gary’s comment illustrated my point that high performance isn’t reserved exclusively for certain careers or professions.
Here’s what he said:
“I also agree with the ‘just focus on one thing’. When I’m working on a new bit of comedy, I always get more out of the content when I just focus on the subject at hand. Often, my mind wanders to different and new ideas, but I just quickly write them down and then force myself back onto what I was originally thinking about for a block period.”
And, as if I couldn’t like Gary any more, he ended with this gold:
“I’m no more talented than anyone else, but I’m up earlier and work harder and for longer than most.”
It reminds me of another famous comedian whom I’ve spoken about before, Jerry Seinfeld. Using what is now known as the Seinfeld Strategy, he committed to simply writing a new joke every day, no matter how good or bad he deemed it to be.
Or Chris Rock, who would do small gigs at stand-up comedy clubs the night after performing in front of sold-out audiences in order to practice new content. Not all of it would land with the small crowd, but the parts that did would become the foundation for his big shows.
Most people would look at comedians (or any creatives for that matter), and think that what they did was fun. But make no bones about it, these guys (like all high performers) are out there putting in the sets and reps when the lights go out and everyone else goes home.
From the examples above, it’s clear that high performance isn’t an exclusive domain reserved for a select few, but rather a way in which anyone can choose to perform in their own domain, whatever that may be.
The only question is whether or not you decide to drift along on autopilot or if you commit to becoming the best (your best) at whatever it is that you choose to do.
That, my fellow high performer, is on you.
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