Every week, you’ll get insights and actionable steps to develop yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally
What if I told you there’s a secret to unlocking your potential and operating at your peak performance? And what if I told you it’s not building within you the habits of notable, successful leaders, entrepreneurs, or influencers?
What if I told you that the secret was simple? As simple as knowing yourself.
Sure, there are a few “secrets” to potential and performance but one of the most neglected is this:
That’s right, rhythm.
Did you know that every human being has a unique heartbeat? That you have a distinctive rhythm pounding blood and life throughout your physical being?
And just like the rhythm of your heart you also have unique rhythms that are best suited to your life, which when you discover will put your physical, mental, and emotional states of being in harmony unlocking your peak potential and performance.
Let’s think about these three aspects of rhythms.
How long does your body need to sleep? Some unique individuals operate most efficiently on little sleep, perhaps four to five hours. For most people, we need between seven to eight hours. I know for myself, six and a half to seven and a half is most ideal. Any more than that and I’m groggy all day and any less and I’m not as sharp or creative.
I also know, because I’ve assessed and tested it, that I operate best not only when I get that specific amount of sleep but also when I get to bed between 10:30p to 11:15p and wake up between 6:00a to 6:30a. I can get up as early as 5:30a and as late as 7:00a but any time before or after those and no matter how much sleep I have my body feels out of rhythm and doesn’t perform up to its potential.
There are other items to think about when it comes to our physical rhythms:
• Food: Digestion and Energy (what to eat, when to eat, etc.)
• Activity: Mobility and Strength (stretching, exercising, etc.)
• Rest: Rejuvenation and Recovery (evenings, weekends, vacations, etc.)
These rhythms might be categorized as big (a workout) or small (a five-minute walk around the office after 45 minutes of deep work) but each is important to assess to see if you are operating at your peak performance.
How do you start the day mentally? Do you have daily affirmations you read affirming the person you are working to become? Do you read through a list of your deepest desires, the big goals that will lead you there, and the small goals that you need to accomplish today and this week to keep you on that path? Do you fill your mind with distractions (mindless social media, tv, etc.) or are you intentional with what you are putting in your mind?
How is your day scheduled? Are you giving your most creative and focused time to your biggest projects and to the things that are most important to you or are you saying “yes” to the requests of others that are fulfilling their goals while leaving you drifting or stagnating?
To operate at your peak potential you must assess how your unique mind works and what best feeds it, motivates it, and allows it to thrive and function at its highest performance.
When your physical and mental rhythms are beating to your unique personality and person this should fuel your positive emotions. The right sleep should help you wake without an alarm, refreshed and energized for the day. Rhythms that reinforce peace and happiness, whether that be starting your day with coffee and Wordle or taking an ice bath and spending time in focused meditation, should have you starting your work day in a disposition of internal peace and with intentionality to seize the day.
When our rhythms are out of sorts, we often start our day in a rush and in an emotional state of chaos. This then frames our work and our interactions toward the negative.
You should be mindful of your rhythms at night. Are they intentional about helping you unwind from any stress you encounter in the day or are they rhythms you’ve fallen into and built habits out of that aren’t feeding your physical, mental, or emotional states of being with health and positivity?
Are you dancing yet? Is it to your own beat or someone else’s? Whose soundtrack is playing in the background of the story of your life?
Step #1: Assess
The first action to take to figure out if your rhythms are your own and if they are healthy is to write down as much as possible about your day. Write down what time you woke up, each little activity that you did, and when, just like it’s your bank statement capturing each and every transaction. The problem with many people is that they only assess big blocks of their day. This would be like trying to get a handle on your budget by only looking at expenses over $100.
Step #2: Test
Now that you have your current list of daily rhythms, ask yourself if they’re working. Do you feel like you’re getting enough sleep to function at peak performance throughout the day? If not, adjust your sleep schedule or if it’s not adjustable are you able to add a short nap during your day? Be creative. Be intentional. And even if something is working, if you feel like it might not be empowering your peak performance, try something else for three days and measure the results. Test, test, and test again and find the rhythms that work best for you because only you are living your life with all the other variables that you have to work around (office hours, children, spouse, responsibilities, etc.).
Step #3: Assess Again
Once you feel like you’re dancing to your own beat, excellent! Dance. But make sure you continually assess your rhythms. I do a quick check-in every quarter and then a full assessment every year. I assess the big rhythms of my life (physical, mental, emotional) and then I assess my goals and responsibilities to make sure I’m living with intention and harmony with the entire picture of my life in mind. Things change. A new baby. A new job. A new title and position. A new location. A hundred variables might cause you to need to change your rhythms in order to dance to your peak potential and performance.
Find your rhythm.
And when you find it you’ll know.
Because there’s no feeling like grooving with the beat that you were made to dance to.