Learn the keys to high performance from the co-hosts of the High Performance podcast.
The experts: Jake Humphrey and Damian Hughes co-host the High Performance podcast. Humphrey directs and co-founded the Whisper Group; Hughes teaches at Manchester Metropolitan University.
The main point: A handful of targeted efforts, attitudes, and habits can boost you to high performance.
Interviews with over 150 high achievers in business, athletics, and the arts have led Humphrey and Hughes to identify specific behaviors and traits that lead to high performance.
They identified the following areas as crucial in accounting for their guests’ high performance:
Self-responsibility — This means knowing what is and is not within your control, with a focus on what you can control, the authors say. It also entails seeing yourself as capable of surmounting any challenge, and seeing challenges as temporary and external versus permanent and personal.
Internal motivation — This isn’t a characteristic a person is born with, Humphrey and Hughes say: High achievers prioritize building their motivation. The authors cite research showing motivation follows from three factors: alignment of actions with your values and purpose, possessing competence to take the actions you’ve chosen, and working within a group where you feel belonging and connected.
Emotional control/impulse control — Humphrey and Hughes refer to the “blue brain”/“red brain” concept from psychiatry. Under pressure, high performers learn to control the red (emotional and panic-prone) brain and keep the blue (rational and ethical) brain functioning. To keep the blue brain at the fore under stress, the authors suggest asking yourself questions that pinpoint the facts of the situation and identify your ability to rise to the task.
A focus on strengths — Everyone has strengths, the authors say, even if they’ve been led to believe otherwise due to their strengths not matching the school system or certain workplaces. To discover your strengths, Humphrey and Hughes suggest reflecting on the things you enjoy doing, are good at, or tend to get you into a state of flow when you do them.
“Stop fixating on what you’re bad at. All…