race and burnout syndrome that many
in corporate America experience. More
important, I felt my creativity, enthusiasm and productivity were greatly
diminished and almost non-existent.
I wondered how I could maximize
peak performance throughout the day. I
read countless blogs that offer “fixes,”
with titles such as “ 5 Steps to Boost
Your Charisma and Achieve Outstanding Results.” Sure, many of these articles are excellent sources of
information, but the common thread
focused on treating symptoms, not the
root cause of the issue.
Is charisma important? Yes, but it is
not necessary to generate peak performance. Is being a good communicator
important? Sure, but again, it’s not necessary to generate peak performance. Is
being consistent important? Yes, in fact,
it is very important, but some of the
most successful entrepreneurs are very
inconsistent—look at Tim Ferris, author
of The 4-Hour Workweek.
To extract peak performance, you need
to understand your core being. Your
core encompasses conditions within
your central programming—your CPU
or your brain. Anything that affects the
make-up of your brain has a direct
impact on the way you behave, react
For example, a very minor shift in
my morning behavior generated
immense results for me. Instead of
checking my email upon waking, I now
hydrate my body with a large glass of
water and meditate. Sounds simple, but
how does it generate big results?
I’ll explain. Your natural state upon
waking is that of relaxation and disengagement.
That is, you are relaxed and disengaged because you have not had any
external inputs during your sleep time.
You should allow yourself to remain in
the Disengagement state for as long as
you possibly can. Why? Because your
brain has the highest level of creativity
during this phase. It is your opportunity
to harness that power to develop creative solutions for your business. In contrast, by checking email, I was
accelerating my brain from a state of
relaxation to a state of stress. I was
bypassing any creative thoughts, thereby
doing my business a great disservice.
After all, an entrepreneur’s claim to
fame really boils down to creativity.
How can you extract maximum performance from your brain amid your
constantly shifting states of mind? First,
let’s review a basic primer on how the
Tara Swart, CEO of the Unlimited
Mind, offers the following idealistic
summary of the brain. She says we’ve
been trained to think of our brains as
hardwired with complex circuits that
run from one part of the brain to
another, constantly making logical decisions immaterial of external factors.
This is not so; the brain is composed of
a group of spongy tissues governed by
fluid concoctions that determine
moods, motivations and behaviors.
To get a bit more technical, there are
two major chemical systems that control
behavior and well-being. One predominates in the brain, and just like gasoline
in an engine, requires electricity to make
it work. It is the neurochemistry of the
brain. The other, more like oil, predominates in the rest of the body, circulates in
the blood, and is called the endocrine
system. The two systems interact
together during times of ordinary
demand and under unusual load.
For purposes of this article, the main
chemicals that control our behaviors
are either neurotransmitters or hormones. Neurotransmitters either stimulate or calm us. The brain uses
neurotransmitters to trigger hormones
to tell your body to carry out functions
of necessity such as breathing and
digestion, but also mood and concentration. The main neurotransmitters
are: dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and
noradrenalin. The main hormones are:
cortisol, adrenalin, testosterone and
The performance curve, also known
as the Yerkes-Dodson Law (below),
shows that your brain typically operates
in one of three states of arousal:
disengagement, flow and frazzle. The states