Thursday, September 05, 2013

Taking the equipment seriously: state-based performance for everyone

When do you need to be at your best? Is it okay for you to be at work and be distracted or impaired? Most of us would say that we need to be consistently clear and competent, and to be at our best for tasks or events that will have a significant impact on us or on our organizations.

Are you at your best when you are stressed or sleep deprived? At home, you probably know the answer is an emphatic "no." You probably know you are at your best when you are clear-headed, well-fed and well-rested. You probably know that regular exercise improves your mood and makes it more likely you will be clear and able to connect with those around you. At home, you know what the experts say is right: human beings rely on their bodies to support their performance and their bodies require predictable things to function optimally.

Too many workplaces function as though an adrenalin rush were the same thing as optimal clear thinking. Too many workplaces think that you function without sleep or exercise and run on coffee and take out food. This is true in public services like policing, in hospitals and in businesses where millions of jobs and lives may be at risk.

The good news is: you can make choices that support your best functioning. You can recognize the importance of your body in supporting your mind, and the importance of your relationships in supporting your ability to make the right connections under stress. You can consider yourself, dispassionately, as the key ingredient in your own well-being and success.

You don't have to be a singer, actor or athlete to recognize and develop high performance states. You just have to be aware of doing what it takes to be at your best when it counts.

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