Peak Business Performance
When you are in the flat lands, you are always at a peak. You are also always in a valley. There is no difference. The scenery is the same no matter where you go. You can walk for miles and still be at the same level, still see the same things. There is no change, no hills to climb, no canyons to fall into. The path is easy and safe – and not very exciting.
Now think of a difficult time in your life. What kind of emotions do you experience? You feel that things are not going well for you, no matter what you try your competition beats you to the punch, you get passed up for a promotion even after putting in so many extra hours, projects seem much harder than you expect, expenses increase and income is flat or falling. It is dark. You are in a valley.
A valley is a place that is more deep and more sad than you have experienced before. It is not a happy place. It certainly does not feel safe.
We often find ourselves dwelling in our valleys. We think about how we got in the wrong checkout line at the grocery store, how the neighbor’s dog barks in the middle of the night, how the job market is so tight that you aren’t getting a raise – all seemingly bad luck. Just thinking about having a streak of good luck and being some place different, let alone some place that is your peak, may seem like a distant dream. Dwelling on bad luck brings pain and you may have been in your valley so long that it has become comfortable – even with the pain it brings.
There is a silver lining. It is important to know what being in a valley feels like. Without it, you would never know the joy of performing at your peak.
The Key to Peak Business Performance
Contrast your feeling in a valley with a feeling that is bright and full of opportunity. You are operating at peak business performance. You don’t see road blocks, just tiny pebbles that you can move away or work around with ease. Little things that seemed like bad luck have twinkles of good luck waiting to burst out. You might not have counted all the times that you got in the right line that moved quickly. The neighbor’s barking dog might scare off an intruder. Your company might be doing everything it can to prevent layoffs.
At your peak, you are in a place that allows you to see for miles with complete clarity. You can see all of your efforts paying off. You get recognition for your work. Payments come in from unexpected places. You are at the top of your game. Feel that peak’s emotion. It is wildly optimistic. You feel unencumbered.
You are not so concerned with safety because you know you can navigate whatever comes up. You are able to recognize opportunities, uncovering them at every turn. You don’t want to feel comfortable because you feel that would limit you. You crave challenge. You are full of ideas and are brilliant at figuring out how to execute them. You are unstoppable.
Our lives are a series of peaks and valleys, rarely flat lands. Paying attention while you are at your peak helps you avoid going into a valley again. And if you find yourself feeling low, you can recognize it and change your behavior, which will quickly change your circumstance. Peak performance will follow.