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I’ve now passed my sixtieth birthday and have met many people from different walks of life. Even more importantly, I’ve witnessed in business and in sports numerous individuals who, otherwise high achievers in their career, have created less than expected results because they were on what could be called “automatic”. It’s a reality of life that we go through our daily routines without really being there. I mean present in mind, mindful of the context, the dynamics, the people, the human tendencies, the cultural differences, the ingrained beliefs, the results at stake.
The fact is that many factors are at play in most circumstances. If we are less than mindful in these circumstances, how many of these factors can escape our awareness and be overlooked in dealing with various situations? “On automatic” can lead to success or failure! Would it help to be aware and be able to adjust as required? Would it increase your chances of getting better results?
In some instances, depending on personal experience, we don’t reach the full potential of our efforts BECAUSE we are on automatic. After all, everything changes constantly. The last time we dealt with an issue will not necessarily repeat itself exactly. And so, we miss on those little extra results that can make a big difference in the long run. Needless to say, applying the principle of Peak Performance = the right stuff, in the right amount, at the right time™ can bring you closer to your desired results .
I’ve chosen “AïM for Life Mastery™” as the title to illustrate the fact that few targets in life are hit without aiming. And aiming for life mastery is no exception. We can choose to be average, to be just like the next person, to have a normal life with its ups and downs, its successes and failures, and accept that, even if we could have done better, the result was “good enough”. The reality is that life is pretty dull, and at times disillusioning if we learn to accept “good enough” without doing our best. The world is full of discontented people who have accepted “good enough” as their lot.
As I see it, if you’re seeking happiness, you must learn to have positive discontent, always seeking to be better than the last time out, giving it all you’ve got. Ask any top performer. They’re happy when they’ve given their all, no matter the result. You see, it’s not about the end of the road, but about how we travel on the road to the end result that creates happiness.
That's why you must “aim” if you are to hit your desired results. This world is not perfect. Everyone encounters failure. But if you aim, you will hit more often, and that is the key to self-satisfaction = happiness.
The other part of the title alludes to the result of practice. With repetition, we usually get better and with time, we gain mastery. Isn’t that the case for most everything we do?
Mastery is more empowering than control. Control supposes constant effort to steer, to keep aligned, to avoid bumps in the road. It is compulsive, obsessive, and constraining.
In contrast, mastery is an automatic. Mastery is knowing how to do so well that it is freewheeling, smooth, propulsive, liberating, and totally by choice. It sure makes life more pleasant on the whole. Witness the peak performers who accomplish unbelievable feats as if they were ordinary events. Mastery does provide the edge that could be called “The Force”.
As you read the book, think of the underlying meaning of the title – happiness through repeated and focused action.
The title is on every page so that you are reminded of the reason why you’re reading this book. Mastery is the force that can propel you to new levels of performance and so… may The Force be with you."
Why Write this Book?
In my coaching profession, I’ve had the privilege of working with a variety of people: students, professionals, ordinary folks, couples, athletes, sports coaches, business executives, technical experts, you name it.
It’s amazing to discover how these people are fully capable of dealing with their situations. They know their stuff and have the capability to create wonderful results. The most remarkable ability they possess is awareness. They have this uncanny ability to recognize the extent of their capabilities, abilities, skills and knowledge to face their challenges, and produce outstanding results at each and every turn.
I have found that the essence of performance lies within each individual. It is not the result of external factors. Oh yes, external factors have an influence, but only if a person lets the external factors affect him or her. The book is therefore directed at enabling you to develop the capability and capacity to deal with external factors in order to minimize their effect on your performance.
Over 30 years ago, I started reading about mental barriers and self-development. Every piece of information was stacked in my memory and tested in my everyday life – family, work, professional, social and community activities, even my finances! The more I became conscious of these barriers, the more my desire rose to help others develop their peak performance.
During my career as an engineer, I was fortunate enough to be able to use barrier awareness to inject perspective in the projects I was involved with, and later as a manager, to guide my team along the same principles. My view was fortunately confirmed by the results I helped my teams achieve.
I became convinced that I could show others how to apply a few key elements of self-direction to produce better results. I have written this book to help people increase their awareness and capability to create peak performance in their daily routine. It’s the result of years of life coaching in business and performance enhancement with athletes at all levels from minor sports to the pros, and with business people at various organizational levels all the way to the top.
Guidance for the Reader
The book will provide the background, the recipe and the proactive actions you can take to ensure peak performance.
In the first section, "Setting Up the Journey", definitions and explanations of terms are given to help the reader gain a point of view which is in line with my intent. I want to make sure that we have a common understanding so that the ideas advanced are considered in the correct context.
The second section, "Building the Foundation", provides clarification of concepts that underpin the recipe for peak performance. the key AïM term is explained in its four parts, emphasizing the need to become aware, and integrate that awareness into a daily routine. Peak performance is defined to help the reader develop a simple model to his or her personal life. Finally, the importance of vision of the future, motivation and values that keep a person on the road to success is explained.
In the third section, "Programming Peak Performance", the recipe of the six steps to install peak performance is described and explained in detail. The reader is left with a clear blueprint to produce a process that creates peak performance as a habit in everything you do.
The fourth section, "Releasing Your Brakes", addresses a few barriers that usually reduce the impact of our efforts to be the best we can be. Changing our way of thinking, being mindful of our self-talk, mastering our emotions, strengthening our decision-making abilities and measuring progress are proactive actions that will increase the potential for success.
As a whole, the book provides a simple recipe to become a peak performer. The key is to remember that nothing happens without action, and that success comes before work ONLY in the dictionary. For those who choose to become peak performers, aiming for excellence through the guidance of "AïM for Life Mastery™ " is a sure bet to bring the desired results.