Peak Performance – How to consistently be at your peak
Posted May 18 2012 12:47am
Have you experienced peak performance - that place called ‘in the zone’ where time is irrelevant, everything is effortless, your brain functions with crystal clarity and you react instantaneously yet feel like you have all the time in the world! Do you know how you got ‘in the zone’ or did it just happen?
What if there is an approach that can show you HOW to get in the zone, you would jump at it right? Ok, so there is and it works by guiding you to re-connect the part of your brain that visualizes and rationalizes all that you do with the part of your brain that feels what you do. As the two converge and become synonymous with one another you are fully present, aware and in the zone.
You probably mostly use the brain that visualizes and rationalizes your actions, the thinking brain, because that is where most of us live full time. We think about how our performance will be or how our performance was, visualizing our ideal performance before we do it and then deconstructing and criticizing it afterward. What did you do during the performance? Did you think about it as you were performing or did it just happen. If it just happened then you were either unconscious or possibly in the zone!
Dame Judi Dench responded to a question on acting by saying ‘I just listen to what the other person is saying and respond to it’. She established the backstory of her character in preparation (like a musician or athlete practicing) and now simply needs to feel how to be present and aware in the moment of the scene. It is a rare gift she naturally does – can others learn it?
Neuroscientist Daniel Wolpert states ‘The brain exists for one reason only – to produce adaptable, complex movements’. Learning occurs through ‘optimal’ movement at any given moment and that is intelligence. As babies we learned to roll over, sit up, stand, walk and run through movement – we also learned to talk, think and much more. Then we started school and began the systematic process of putting to ‘sleep’ learning through movement. Worse we came to view movement and our body as a mechanism that we must manipulate by our thinking will into doing what we want. What other animal does repetitive stretches, isolated muscle building (weightlifting), puts on an ipod or TV to jog or work out at the gym. What better way to become unconscious of what it feels like to move.
Most often we only become aware of our body when we feel pain, stiff, sore or discomfort in an activity. Our response is to either ignore it and cause more pain or, even worse, injury or stop doing it which means our life is more limited.
What if we responded by changing the movement so that it doesn’t hurt but feels easier and lighter. The more attention you give to the quality of a movement – whether you are playing an instrument, singing, performing an athletic activity, cleaning the house, brushing your teeth – the more aware you become in any given moment.
How do you become aware of movement quality? We guide you to transition your awareness using Five Principles of Balance in Movement . Follow the practices and guidelines and you will transform how you perform regardless of the activity.
You will notice as your brain becomes less cluttered with thinking that it is easier to focus on your performance. Imagine learning how to be ‘in the zone’ all the time as you further refine your integration; how it feels in movement at any given moment; how you can make small adjustments to move more optimally; and how fluid and effortless your performance is.
The transition to function through movement is a process – you had it once, you lost it to varying degrees and you can re-learn it again with our guidance. Open up a world of limitless possibilities again, much like you were as a young child, learning through movement.