The Six Attitudes of High Achievers
Peak Performance Principles for High Achievers by John R. Noe
(1) High achievers make no small plans ("Big plans attract big people")
But high achievers also realize that small, everyday choices are the agents that ultimately shape the big decisions of our lives. So, seize control of your little choices - How will you spend today? What will you do first? Second? Next? ... And, finally, what will you do when you don't have anything to do?
(2) High achievers are willing to do what they fear.
"You don't conquer fears with cliches, but with actions." Fears and doubts waste time, energy, initiative and potential. Grieving over past decisions or actions is futile. Moreover, "fear is fraud"; only 8% of our worries are real and legitimate concerns. And the sooner we challenge and act on those that are real, the sooner we resolve them. Noe suggests:"Sit down and make a list of all the things you are afraid to do, within legal, moral, and spiritual limits. Then go out and deliberately make yourself do every one of them. Each time you confront a fear, become sensitive to the atmostphere surrounding it...then fear will no longer control your life."
(3) High achievers are willing to prepare.
"He profiteth, who hustles while he waits," said Thomas Edison. Organizing, planning, preparing for events is something we can all do. "High achievers get more excited about what they are becoming than what they have done." Preparation involves setting progressively higher intermediate goals, mastering technical skills, building endurance and, along the way, gaining much-needed confidence.
(4) High achievers are willing to risk failure.
"Failure is not the enemy of success. It is a teacher - a harsh teacher, but the best...If you are going to be a high achiever, you must learn to "fail" your way to high achievement." Case in point: For three consecutive Olympic Games, beginning in 1952, each decathalon silver medalist went on to win the following Olympic's Gold Medal. We must not expect to win each time out, but let our losses teach and strengthen us. High achievers know the formula for success. "Double your failure rate."
(5) High achievers are teachable.
The high achiever continually pursues new knowledge and insights. Staying teachable demands three activities - reading, observing, and listening. It also demands the recognition that "the higher you go the more help you need." Keep in mind that high-achievement goals can only be attained with the help of others. Take advantage of the many mentors along the way.
(6) High achievers have heart.
Conflict is at the root of the plots of all great literature; the athlete working against almost impossible odds. However, "real life" struggles don't usually announce themselves as great adventures; they are much more likely to appear under the unglamourous guise of Murphy's Law - "If anything can go wrong, it will." But the very weight of these burdensome challenges can impel us toward our highest goals. Heart - as in "courage," "persistence," "perspective," and "purpose" - will help you overcome the urge to quit the fight.
High Achievement: Putting It Into Action
Noe uses the rules of mountain climbing to illustrate his Peak Performance points. He talks of climbing "fully equipped" - prepared beforehand for any eventuality - and of setting your sights on ever higher heights. (A novice climber can't set out to conquer the Matterhorn, but must begin by ascending less rugged mountains or hills.) He also recommends using "goal-climbing momentum" - grabbing on to a goal you have already reached to launch you toward your next intermediate goal.
In mountain climbing it might seem appealing to be able to move from one peak to the next without descending. But this is not only impossible, it is undesirable. Without ever having to come down, at least part way, and begin the next adventure from the bottom of the next peak, we wouldn't be able to savor the difficult climb back up. Life is a series of new adventures, not endings. Changing careers, moving to a new city, or retiring, can be exciting, renewing experiences, depending on your outlook.
The straightforward concepts offered in Peak Performance Principles emphasize individual commitment and faith in God. Noe believes that if we dedicate ourselves over and over again to the goal of climbing from one peak to the next - resisting the urge to become discouraged by the heaviness of the task - everyone of us can become a high achiever.
Michael Bøgebjerg Nielsen
"Each moment reaped through experience is the seed of the next moment"