This comfort and boredom causes people to stop being curious, learning, growing and pursuing new challenges and achievements. Comfort can never be the primary goal if you want to be a peak performer but it can sneak up on you and sabotage the mind-set needed to be a peak performer.
When you seek comfort and achieve it, the danger is that you'll begin to protect your comfort zone and stop working to change, grow and improve. In fact, you can begin to become defensive and aggressively resisting change.
Albert Einstein defined insanity as, "Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result." My definition is, "Most people choose the easy way or path of least resistance, and then expect exceptional results".
Studies have shown most people will fight to stay in an unhappy situation rather than move into an unfamiliar or unknown situation that could bring them happiness. It's giving in to these natural desires for comfort and familiarity that makes most people produce mediocre results. They are the drivers of average behavior. They are the enemies of peak performance.
A peak performers biggest challenge is to reject the natural human desire to seek comfort and make a habit of pursuing change, growth and improvement. It's really an issue of becoming comfortable with the unfamiliar and staying outside your comfort zone. In the end all great achievements begins with self-discipline and the will to take actions other work to avoid.
Peak performers do the things average people avoid. They wake up each day and do the things they don't want to do because they know everything of value in life is the result of actions they don't want to take. One of life's great truths is that extraordinary achievements are on the other side of obstacles. In reality, the greater the achievements you pursue, the more obstacles you'll encounter.
Average achievers are more motivated by discomfort than by the desire to improve and achieve. Most people seek improvement until they are comfortable and then they resist change with the same energy they pursued comfort.
Coach John Wooden said, "When you think you're through learning, you're through." The most deadly words in the world are, 'I know that', because the next thing someone does after they think or say those words is to stop listening, reading or learning.
When things get tough and change is needed, comfort often motivates people to 'hunker down' and 'wait' until things get better rather than taking actions and looking for alternatives to make things better. Peak performers guard against stopping their forward progress, innovative thinking and advocating change by never seeking comfort.
Peak performers treat comfort as a plateau to be reached and a launching pad to their next achievement. Peak performers keep climbing because they know if they don't they risk falling becasue fighting to maintain your comfort level is a recipe for unhappiness, mediocrity or failure. Average is just not an options to peak performers.
When the time comes that you'd rather be comfortable more than to pursue change, grow and improve, you are at risk of losing what you are so comfortable having. For peak performers, the choice is simple, even though it's not easy. Peak performers change directions and start again with new enthusiasm. Peak performers are energized by change. They view resistance to change as painful, not the change itself.
Peak performers are great competitors and great competitors usually lose the will to prepare before they lose the desire to perform and achieve. When this happens, performance suffers and the end is near.
We are facing unprecedented challenges today and new thinking, attitudes and skills are needed to achieve peak performance. The exciting news is it's an interesting time to live and work.
There really isn't a risk in letting your comfort go because it's almost impossible to maintain it without change, growth and improvement. Holding on to comfort is like holding water in your hands, it will eventually evaporate, won't allow you to use your hands for anything else and it's easier to just find new water when you need it.
To keep your focus and peak performers mind set, set aside a few minutes each day to suspend what you defend. Set aside your beliefs, knowledge and experience while you attempt to learn something that is unfamiliar or unknown. This can even be looking at what you've been resisting, take the other side and try to argue its validity to yourself...Just give yourself a few moments to not be defensive and protect your position to see what else might be possible.
Peak performers re-energize themselves by embracing change and stretching themselves outside their comfort zones. Be careful that the attitude and strategy to 'hunker down' and "'wait' for things to improve doesn't sneak into your thinking.
In the pursuit of peak performance you'll have to stop pursuing comfort, resisting change and holding on to your status quo. Instead, you'll need to challenge yourself to think without limits and become a change agent whose pursuit is achieving all that's possible. Remember your goals are to be plateaus and a launching pad pursuing to achieve all that's possible.
By Mike Moore