As an athlete, coach / trainer, and entrepreneur, I’ve been immersed in the world of the high-performance achiever my entire life. I am, and continue to be, both student and mentor of the high-performance process. And what I’ve found is this: successful methods are wide-ranging, but patterns, mindset and common traits are few.
In writing this, I’m reminded of the story of the rabbi and Talmudic scholar Hillel. A man, in an attempt to trip-up the Rabbi Hillel, asked him to teach him the entire Torah, the five books of Moses, while standing on one foot. And Hillel did just that; he said simply:
What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That’s the whole Torah. All the rest is commentary. Now go and study.
A more contemporary version of this, and one that relates more to the high-performing achiever crowd, comes from the iconoclast Friedrich Nietzsche, who said:
He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.
Patterns, mindset and common traits. There are a few constants I’ve found to be true among those who are both successful, and genuinely fulfilled: those who ultimately succeed in mastering their whys aren’t necessarily the most well-read, the most technically savvy, the most scientifically astute or charismatic. They don’t necessarily have a greater reservoir of willpower or focus than the next guy, nor are they repositories of Rain-Man-like facts and figures. No, these people (and I unabashedly place myself in this group) quite simply, live their whys, and are non-dogmatic masters of synthesis.
And this is true whether we’re talking fitness, entrepreneurship… any and all high-performing arts.
So while information (books, videos, etc.) is ubiquitous, “owning the why” and synthesis (or, navigation) is extremely rare. It is exactly those qualities, though, that precisely define my wheelhouse. As is my ability to navigate achievement vs. fulfilment.
So by all means, devour all you can on the subject of high-level performance. Concentrate on the mindset and “whys” of these performers, and not necessarily the “hows”, which are environmentally influenced. Your environment will be different than those whom you study, and you’ll have to navigate that new terrain accordingly. The sextant and North Star of that navigation will be the mindset and why.
This blog is a great place to start, but it is by no means the one definitive, exhaustive source. If you still find yourself lost or muddled — or you just want a deeper dive, or another perspective — then think about scheduling some time with me. My rate is $200/hour, either in-person or via Skype.
I only carry a handful of clients in this way, and the cost is more so to ensure the client is serious — has skin in the game, so to speak — than me making bank. And really, I’d charge a hell of a lot more if this were simply a money-for-time exchange. But it’s not. I get a hell of a lot out of the process as well. In true epistemocratic form, I too, am still learning.
So if you’re interested in connecting in this way, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to discussing options with you.
Heal thyself, harden thyself, change the world –