What does Peak Performance mean to you?

May 22, 2013 | Posted in: Blog

What does it mean to you to be a Peak Performer?

  • Is it about being your best or better than the rest?
  • Is it about being perfect?
  • Is it about achieving a specific state or feeling, results or outcomes?

What you are seeking in terms of peak performance will determine how you go about achieving it. It will influence what you are measuring as success and how you feel about your achievements. For me, peak performance is about getting the best out of myself so that I can have a more positive impact on others and the world. It certainly isn’t about achieving perfection because that is an ever moving target, but it most certainly is about striving to improve!

Some people will talk of peak performance being a strategy to ‘peak’ at the right time. Often this is the case for athletes but it is now also being considered as a critical way to go for high flying executives in order to avoid burn out. This strategy can be a bit like putting all your eggs into one basket though and in doing so we also have to be strong enough to pick up the pieces when our peak moments don’t get us the results we want.

Another approach is to say that peak performance is about operating at your optimum at all times. This is about a consistent approach to getting the best out of ourselves, rather than peaking for key moments. The result is that peak performance and all that it entails becomes a lifestyle choice rather than one off push. It is about getting the right balance – mental, emotional and physical. It is about striving for consistency in what you put into your life in order to elevate your performance, and therefore your results, to the highest level for all situations. Some of the results of becoming a peak performer are:

  • Healthier relationships – appropriate boundaries, balanced emotional responses, open effective communication, better able to handle conflict and deal with rejection, better able to work with diversity and higher levels of personal confidence.
  • Becoming a leader – becoming inspirational to others, living by example, feeling congruent and consistent in what you do and why you do it.
  • Greater success – consistent inputs result in consistent outputs, which also means if you aren’t getting the results you want it is easy to work out what you need to change in order to improve your results!

Peak performance is a fun way to live life because it brings us into the present moment, calms the mind and puts us back in control of our lives. If you would like to find out more simply get in touch.

Fairness: Illusion of Expectation

Dec 17, 2012 | Posted in: Blog

Who said that one person should have the same as, or equivalent to another? Whether that is in terms of what they receive, the skills and abilities they have, the experiences in their lives or any other measure we might think of. Does it matter?

When we are young we are taught about fairness, especially if we have siblings, we are taught to share and to balance things out amongst those around us in our families. Yet, as we become more and more exposed to the outside world we realise that others don’t operate by the same fairness rules as us and learn to feel a sense of unfairness very quickly. Very often we only look at one side of fairness – which is unfairness and especially when it is applied to us! We may be right in our judgment of unfairness, but it may also just be the way things are.

How do we respond to our sense (perception) of unfairness? Sometimes we may join a good cause in order to exercise fairness, sometimes we will fight for fairness and sometimes we will simply resort to being the victim of circumstances as we adopt the ‘life isn’t fair’ mentality. There are of course other options, such as our acceptance that fairness doesn’t exist in an absolute sense, which would result in us busting the illusion that fairness should exist. In our acceptance we can live life through the mentality of abundance, and who knows, maybe we will be more open to receiving as a result – thus balancing our perceived unfairness.

Fairness is not justice, but justice may result in balancing the situation so making it ‘fair’ in our minds. There is no fairness when a child is killed – even the death of the killer is not fairness, it is justice being exercised. Seeking justice is a part of the social system we live in – rules are broken and justice is applied to the offender. That is different.

Fairness is of our own perception, and whilst there will be some agreement as to what is fair among us (because we live by similar rules), fairness is still an illusion of our expectation that ‘what we put in we must equal get back out’. After all, that’s only fair, right?

Are We Who We Were?

Dec 14, 2012 | Posted in: Blog

We often think of who we are in a particular way. We have certain characteristics, traits, beliefs, values, skills, emotional responses and a body and brain within which it all resides. But is anything about us actually the same from one year to the next, from one day to the next? We may think a great deal in terms of stability and certainty – holding on to those characteristics that we like as if they are permanent and wanting to shift those things about us that we don’t like – perhaps without realising that all aspects are inter-related anyway and a change in one aspect of us will impact another! We become attached to ourselves and others – in a particular form of being. But this is not who we are in so far as WE are not permanent in form.

Yes, we are in a permanent state all right, the permanent state of transformation – we are neither the same nor different from what we were before! As we look at a picture of ourselves as a child that is not who we are now, but it is not entirely not who we are either. We are not that child now, but that child is still of us – we are a continuation of that child. Transformation is our journey here. When we ask about where we started life, we weren’t in human form, we were a bunch of cells full of the potential for human life. Before that we were in two separate bodies (those of our parents). As we continue our transformation in life we change – it’s called ageing and our transformation influences past generations as well as future. That process of transformation leads us to the end of this physical life at some point in time, but even then we can talk of our continuation – just in another form, as we were before we were conceived.

Are we who we were?

We are not who we were, and we are not not who we were either!

How different are we, really?

Dec 10, 2012 | Posted in: Blog

With so much of our time spent ‘prooving’ our differences whilst at the same time feeling a strong need to fit in, is there any wonder that we live most of our life in some form of inner conflict and turmoil. There we are on the one hand wanting to stand out from the rest – albeit perhaps not too far, just in case we get slammed – and on the other hand we have this desperate need to feel connected and loved. Yes, we all have different strengths, weaknesses (if you want to label them that way), we have different desires, habits and styles – but how different are we really, underneath it all.

From my studies in psychology and my observations of children growing up, it is clear that all children go through the same stages of development. Maybe the timescales are different and the degree of competence achieved is different, but the underlying process they all go through are the same. From recent experience and further studies I have discovered that we all die the same way too – again we go through the same processes in order to exit life. Time is a key factor in the speed through which we transition the stages of death, of course.

If we go through the same processes during our early years and as we die, then is it not possible that all aspects of our development happen through the same processes? If that is the case then of course we have to ask the question, why don’t we all develop the same way? The answer is down to our genetic makeup, our conditioning and how we respond to the experiences of life. The processes through which we develop may be the same but how we transition those processes is determined by us, individually. Maybe we are more similar than we think – especially when we consider that fear (whilst great for our survival) is the greatest developmental inhibitor – for all of us!

To thwart or support our evolution – that is the question?

The Miracle of Life that You Are

Dec 6, 2012 | Posted in: Blog

When we consider all that needs to happen for us to even be born into this life, let alone survive it is easy to see that life is in fact a miracle we are here at all. We are not born from nothing, quite the opposite. Many, many things need to come together at a single point in time for us to be conceived. Then the conditions need to be right inside the womb for us to develop appropriately in order to survive in the outside world. Then when we eventually arrive here, our journey through life will take many directions. We are transformed along this journey.

Not only are we impacted by our own decisions, but we are inextricably linked to the decisions and actions of others and the conditions in our environment – whether we like it or not. This inter-connectedness and co-creating of our live begs the question how much control we really have over what happens on our journey, whilst at the same time how we interact in our world absolutely determines our journey’s direction. To think of ourselves as separate from others is just an illusion – we are in fact intimately connected on many levels.

Maybe our thoughts of separation help us to feel different, unique and special, or even protected in some way but they are technically inaccurate. Even the food we eat has an impact on us – our moods, our energy levels and our health. We interact every day with the air that we breathe, sometimes that might be clean air, but mostly it is polluted in some way. Our bodies are amazing toxin busting machines, but even our organs have limits of tolerance, beyond which we can become sick. This is our physical reality and journey here. This is the miracle of life and when we begin to see things this clearly there is no place for isolation and loneliness.

Anger is Addictive

Dec 3, 2012 | Posted in: Blog

I don’t know if you have noticed the nature of anger. If we suppress it, of course, then it is not released and becomes a stuck energy within our system. It becomes that boiling pot just waiting to explode. As the pressure builds, it has to be directed somewhere inside and the result is depression. Because we experience anger we are effectively acknowledging that our rules have been broken but, we are in the energy of resistance and fear. There is no doubt that our rules must be broken in order for us to see who ‘we’ really are, and when we experience them breaking in the energy of love, learning and acceptance there is no anger to be found. Only in the energy of resistance and fear do we experience anger.

Expressed anger has an addictive quality to it. In the releasing of anger the rush of chemicals through our system feels akin to an adrenalin rush that we might get leaping off a mountain on a rope. Following this rush there is a deep sense of satisfaction (until guilt kicks in), a sense of justice being done. This seductive cycle keeps us attached to our anger and gives us the impression that anger is both natural and necessary, yet anger is still based in our fears. Yes, of course it has a function for our survival. It provides the energy for us to act. But fundamentally, anger is about our rules being broken – our boundaries feeling threatened – and there has to be a better way to react to that event than projecting anger (whether in its expressed or repressed form). Anger causes us to want to fight and either we take that fight to others or we take it out on ourselves. Neither is helpful to the fulfilment of our higher purpose, health and happiness, let alone our impact on the world and the legacy we leave.

Who am I?

Nov 29, 2012 | Posted in: Blog

If you have already pondered the question for what purpose are you here, then you have most likely also asked the question who am I? I have pondered these questions many times and the more I learn and experience life the more I question. We can just as easily think our life has great purpose as it does have no purpose whatsoever. Of course, where we are at in our thinking on this has a significant impact on how we experience our life in that moment. A sense of purposelessness can lead to hopelessness and into depression. A sense of purpose on the other hand gives us energy, determination and value. How we achieve this sense of purpose changes over time. It can be achieved through our goals and dreams and it can be achieved through a simple sense of interconnectedness to all things, irrespective of what we achieve. But what about who we are in all of this?

How can we separate ourself from all those who have influenced our lives, and without isolating ourselves? WE must be the culmination of our genetic inheritance, our conditioning and our experiences in life and more… Fundamentally, we cannot be separated from that of which we are made and have experienced. What does it mean for us to know who we really are then, when we see qualities in those who have influenced us that we don’t like? What does it mean when we try to avoid being like someone, even if they are our parents?

In giving our energy to avoid those qualities in the people in our life that we don’t like, in order to be who WE really are is to fundamentally reject an aspect of ourselves. Whether we like it or not, we are inseparable from those who have influenced our life. Those same qualities that we don’t like in them are in us – we just cannot see it yet! The way to find ourselves is to be all that we aspire to be rather than getting sucked into those things we don’t want to be. But the energy that sucks us in is seductive – it takes great courage to accept that we are too that which we don’t like and act on ourselves to change.

The Power in Pain and Suffering

Nov 26, 2012 | Posted in: Blog

Is there power in pain and suffering?

It seems the answer to this question maybe yes, there certainly used to be. If we look back over time the idea of human suffering almost seems to be an innate state of being. We even used to value personal sacrifice for the good of humanity. What is is about suffering and pain that is so appealing to us or is it simply a conditioned response?

It has long been the case that suffering is related to our sense of ‘goodness’. The more I suffer the better a person I must be considered to be for it. If I suffer enough then I will be rewarded in some future life or in heaven. But with our increasing scepticism in both the messages of church and the idea of an afterlife, maybe suffering no longer has the power to deliver for us that it used to have. The result? Why should I suffer? I don’t deserve to suffer and there are no benefits to suffering?

Yet, suffering is still one of the major catalysts for change and when we feel we have some influence over that change it can be positively transformational. If we feel powerless in the face of suffering, perhaps because our suffering feels purposeless, then the result can be despair and ongoing pain.

Suffering always has a purpose. Is it necessary for transformational change? It doesn’t have to be. Can it leverage transformational change – yes absolutely.

Apathy – a time for Inner Reflection

Nov 22, 2012 | Posted in: Blog

Ever felt apathetic and tried to force yourself out of it?

Apathy can be a strange emotion to handle. On the one hand we are taught to just get off our ‘butts’ and kick ourselves into gear and on the other hand there is no drive, no vision and no desire with which we can make that shift. Anything we do in the state of apathy is through the energy of force and whilst it may get us going, the question is – does it get is going in the right direction or just doing what lead us into apathy in the first place?

If we take apathy as a call for us to pay attention to what is not working in our life we can learn a great deal. Our sense of apathy may be the result of our diet, our hormonal shifts, or it could be that we have lost our connection, or our love, with what we are doing, thinking, feeling and even with our life’s purpose.

There is no rush. Taking the time to discover the root of your apathetic feelings may lead you to correct your diet, seek medication if required and regenerate your energy and passion in the right direction for you now.

Stubbornness in pursuit of what?

Nov 19, 2012 | Posted in: Blog

Is there a fine line between stubbornness in pursuit of a dream and the cold hard reality?

How do we know if it is time to let go of an idea or a dream and move on?

With so much attention given to the ‘law of attraction’ and our beliefs being the cornerstones for creating success, it is easy for us to become trapped in our mind’s ideas of what is the right thing to do. We may continue in hot pursuit of a goal for years on end, because we believe we can achieve the outcomes promised, when really we are just being blind to the reality?

Aligning with the universe rather than our mind’s idea of what is right involves us achieving internal balance (mental, emotional, physical and spiritual). In our failure to align ourselves in this way we simply strive, through a state of imbalance, to hide from our innate fallibilities, bury ourselves in our addictions and try to satisfy our minds illusions with reasoned evidence to continue on our path (stubborn in our pursuit of something). The result though is a deep seated sense of unhappiness, incompleteness and disconnection. In our striving we can feel isolated and as if the world is against us. Eventually, we may stop our pursuit and change direction, but if that change is undertaken in our state of imbalance it too will result in a repeating cycle of discontent!

When we are in alignment we are always on the right path and we will always choose the right time to move on. We are in flow, with the tide and not against it. You can literally feel the difference.