I remember two things in particular from when I started in the business:
- The DJIA was just coming off a low of 776.
- I had taped on my desk by my phone the Calvin Coolidge quote on persistence (more on that in a moment).
Since then, I have had a passion for learning how to maintain peak performance and share the results with the advisors I work with. What I’ve learned is that it is possible to maintain a regular and consistent level of peak performance if you employ the following 4 keys:
Let’s break each of these down:
1) Persistence – We all get knocked down from time to time. These are the times you need to give of yourself and a little more. The marathon runner hits the wall. The boxer hits the mat. Many times, the problems or challenges we face force us to grow and become more capable. Those who persist in spite of the obstacles they encounter usually prevail. They reach ahead to achieve their vision of the future.
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
2) Enthusiasm – I’ve often heard it said, nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is that feel, emotion or power within that drives you to take action. Those with enthusiasm display a special eagerness or zeal to achieve their goals. They throw everything that have into a project, become enthusiastic and set themselves apart.
“There is a real magic in enthusiasm. It spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment.”
-Norman Vincent Peale
3) Attitude – You can quickly identify a peak performer by their attitude. I’ve heard it referred to as the little difference that makes a big difference. People can feel your attitude. Most gravitate towards those that exhibit a positive and uplifting attitude. The beautiful part is, we all have the ability each day to choose a positive attitude.
“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”
– Zig Ziglar
4) Kindness – This is a universal language that connects all people. It may sometimes be unexpected but it is always welcomed.
“Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust and hostility to evaporate.”
– Albert Schweitzer
Kindness actually deserves a second quote.
“It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely help another without helping himself.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
To conclude, the peak performer is a plodder, continuing to learn, continuing to strive and move forward, one day at a time. Their secret is simple. It is what they learn after they know it all that matters. The peak performers I know have learned how to celebrate the past, nurture the future and delight in each moment. – Mike Sciortino