Cultivate These 8 Habits to Achieve Peak Performance in Life and Business
To be successful requires much more than just your intelligence and talent. There are basic needs which have to be met to function at your peak. These basic needs are neglected by most, impairing their capacity to rise to those elusive higher levels of success and happiness in life.
To be in top form, you have to make yourself your most important investment.
1. Get enough sleep.
Sleep deprivation means peak performance deprivation. Without proper sleep you wake up to meet the day feeling scatterbrained, foggy and unfocused. You grab your cup of coffee to get a charge on your brain, which completely depletes your brain function over the course of the day, making your brain even more exhausted.
Good sleep improves your ability to be patient, retain information, think clearly, make good decisions and be present and alert in all your daily interactions. Sleep is your time off from problem solving.
When you get the proper rest your brain becomes awake, alive and ready to generate the cognitive prowess and emotional regulation you need to function at your peak performance.
2. Drink lemon water.
Lemon water is a great substitute for your morning coffee. Although lemons do not contain caffeine, lemon water has excellent pick-me-up properties without negative side effects. It energizes the brain, especially if it is warm, and hydrates your lymph system.
Among the most important benefits of lemon water are its strong antibacterial, antiviral, and immune-boosting power, making sick days from work nearly non-existent. Lemon water cures headache, freshens breath, cleanses the skin, improves digestion, eliminates PMS with its diuretic properties and reduces the acidity in the body.
Most importantly, lemon water increases your cognitive capacity and improves mood with its stimulating properties on the brain, helping you to operate more consistently in your peak performance zone.
3. Get daily exercise.
Exercise is the best way to reduce the stress that impairs your performance stamina. Exercise increases your “happy” mood chemicals through the release of endorphins. Endorphins help rid your mind and body of tension alleviating anxiety helping you to calm down.
The brain needs physical activity to stay flexible. Exercise stimulates neurogenesis, or the growth of new brain cells, which improves overall brain function. The development of new brain cells keeps your brain young and in shape, allowing you to be more efficient, pliable and clear in your decision making, higher thinking and learning capacities. Neurogenesis is the catalyst to peak performance.
Further, there is nothing that can bring down self-esteem quicker than not liking how you look. Exercise improves self-confidence and your perception of your attractiveness and self-worth. This confidence contributes greatly to your success, prompting people to respect you and take you seriously.
4. Have emotional support.
Having healthy, loving relationships increases your happiness, success and longevity by promoting your capacity to function in life as your best self. Social connectedness and love gives you relationships to be motivated for and people to be inspired by.
A strong social network decreases stress, provides you with a sense of belonging and gives your life the deeper meaning it needs. When you are loved and loving, and carving out quality time to cultivate these relationships, you are exalted, elevated and encouraged to live your dreams fully.
5. Be unapologetically optimistic.
A requirement of peak performance is to look for the best in every situation. Optimism is the commitment to believe, expect and trust that things in life are rigged in your favor. Even when something bad happens, you find the silver lining.
A positive outlook on life strengthens your immune system and the emotional quality of your life experiences, allowing you to be resilient in the face of fear, stress and challenge.
Being an optimist or a pessimist boils down to the way you talk to yourself. When you are optimistic you are fierce in the belief it is your own actions which result in positive things happening. You live by positive affirmation, take responsibility for your own happiness and anticipate more good things will happen for you in the future.
When bad things happen you do not blame yourself, you are simply willing to change yourself.
6. Have time alone.
Time alone is refueling to your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self. This time recharges you, helping to cultivate your peak performance levels again and again. You must give yourself time to recover from the stress of consistently being around others. Being around people continuously wears down your ability to regulate your emotional state, causing self-regulation fatigue. For this reason you must give yourself permission to take the pressure off and disconnect.
Being alone provides the space and time necessary for you to engage in self-reflection and pull your attention to the here-and-now. Being in the moment gives you a sense of inner peace and serenity. Your alone time allows you to think about what is going well in your life, what you want to do more of, and the things you want to change. When you get these insights and apply them, they help you to elevate and improve the quality of your peak performance levels.
7. Learn to receive.
In life, you are surrounded by opportunities to invite and receive love, money and happiness. When you are stuck in thoughts of scarcity you shrink your field of opportunities down to too narrow of a spectrum.
To function at peak performance levels you must believe your dreams are never too big to be fulfilled, that you cannot out-dream this Universe. When this belief is backed by hard work and an open mind to receive the guidance necessary to get to where you want to go, be assured you will get there.
If you think big but believe small, you block your dreams from manifesting. Without deep belief you will not be alert or attuned to the subtle intuitions available at just the right time that you need to move forward. Instead, you may easily become discouraged by challenges and lose your belief.
To receive all that you dream of requires patience, openness, flexibility and hard work. If you think too small, the universe cannot deliver the full package of your desires. When you allow yourself to receive by remaining open to all possibilities, you reduce the blocks attached to your dreams and the flow of abundance in your life quickly increases.
8. Give back.
Giving back increases your quality of life and your perception of what you have. It reminds you to be thankful for your life as you get to see the impact you have on others. When you give back, you feel good. It reminds you of how lucky you are, inspiring you to continue to thrive at your peak performance levels. The harder you work, the more you have to give. The more you have to give, the more motivated you become to work harder to give even more.
Giving back is also relationship building. It is through an involvement in your community that you develop quality relationships, which also give back to you. People want to be linked with others who are giving. People want to work for people and companies that care.
When you give to those you love and respect, whether loved one’s or employees, it encourages the desire of those people to be more productive. Your ability to live life at your peak performance levels becomes contagious, inspiring others to do the same.
Sherrie Campbell is a psychologist in Yorba Linda, Calif., with two decades of clinical training and experience in providing counseling and psychotherapy services. She is the author of Loving Yourself: The Mastery of Being Your Own Person. Her new book, Success Equations: A Path to an Emotionally Wealthy Life, is available for pre-order.