I learn by going where I have to go.
-- Theodore Roethke

 

   

The MONTHLY Motivator - July 2005

Achieving optimum performance

Success depends on performance. It’s great to have visionary, compelling goals. Yet for those goals to be realized, effective action is an absolute necessity.

This month we present twenty ways to improve performance, in any area of life. These are designed, not as a step by step course of action, but rather as a smorgasbord of techniques, from which you can pick and choose.

No matter what level at which you’re performing, there is always room for improvement. And often, slight improvements in performance and effectiveness can have a major impact on the fulfillment of your objectives.

Think outside the box

The way you’ve always done things, will get you the results you’ve always had. If that’s not good enough, make a habit of considering off-the-wall ideas, even to the point of absurdity. They probably won’t work, yet they will change your perspective, and that just might bring forth an innovative, workable course of action. Often, absurdity can help you overcome your limiting assumptions, and expose perfectly reasonable possibilities that you never would have considered otherwise.

Challenge yourself

Make challenge a part of your experience every day. Challenge yourself. A big enough challenge will force you to be the best you can be. It will bring out strengths and abilities you never knew you had.

The best teachers are not the ones who simply explain the material, but rather the ones who challenge their students to explain it. The best coaches are the ones who refuse to accept anything less than outstanding performance.

The more challenges we have, the more we learn, and the more we grow. Challenge inspires us to innovation. It forces us to look at things in a different way. It motivates us to get started. It helps us to persevere when the going gets rough. It makes us strong and gives us the confidence to attempt great things.

Life at its best is a series of challenges. The strength to tackle the big challenges comes from success at overcoming the easy ones. Take on challenges and you raise your own level of performance.

Develop a slight edge

You never know when that little something extra might make a big difference in the end. Races are won by hundredths of a second, and there are countless opportunities along the way to gain the slight edge that will make all the difference.

Everyone puts out maximum effort when the finish line is in sight. Only the true winner knows, however, that the race is not won at the end, but rather along the way. In fact, the true winner starts to win long before the race is even begun, by putting a little something extra into each training session.


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—Ralph Marston