Using our personal strengths can enhance our mindfulness but mindfulness can also help us better use our strengths in life, work or sport. In the mPEAK program, participants become aware of how and when they are using their strengths and the results that they’re getting so that they can understand how to use them to the best effect.
Researchers at UC San Diego School of Medicine who have been working with Olympic BMX cyclists to improve their athletic prowess have documented areas of the brain that appear to respond to mindfulness training.
When asked what gets in the way of consistently performing at their best, most people can easily identify obstacles such as time, energy, scheduling conflicts, and distractions. These can indeed be areas that need focus but what I’ve found in my coaching practice is that most of our real obstacles are internal. Another way to say this is, our greatest obstacle to peak performance is often ourselves.
There are risks of becoming attached and consumed by our goals. In Part 1 of this blog, we considered how striving for results and clinging to outcomes can lead to stress and anxiety, diminishing well-being and eroding performance over time. However, goals don’t need to be eliminated because of this, just approached more mindfully.
“You are perfect the way you are…and you could use a little improvement”
Shunryu Suzuki Roshi
“Performance Enhancement” is a popular goal in my line of work that is typically associated with the supplement industry or return on investment (ROI) business strategies. Images are conjured up of competitive athletes in bright lycra crossing finish lines, a lone climber summiting a mountain with ice picks or people in suits shaking hands on big business deals.
"Leaders who are mindful tend to be more effective in understanding and relating to others, and motivating them towards shared goals. Hence, they become more effective in leadership roles."
~ William W. George, professor of management practice at Harvard Business School, former chairman and chief executive officer of Medtronic, author of four best-selling books.