A lot of us out there really don’t know what it takes to get the results that we want. Don’t get me wrong. We know what we want, but we don’t know how much focus, energy and knowledge are required to get it. Am I right?
Sometimes, I think it is all in the way you ask a question. When I ask the question like, “Did you do your best?” The answer I usually get is: “Yes!” But when I follow up with, “What did your best look like?” I get a lot of blank stares. However, when I ask, “On a scale of 1-10 (1 meaning very little effort and 10 meaning maximum effort) where did your effort land?” The answer, oftentimes, is very different.
We, humans, are funny that way. We tend to equate results with intention.
Do you know what I mean?
As a high performance coach, I found that the best results usually come from exceptional clarity. And that clarity doesn’t only come from how I ask a question, but it also comes from identifying unique language patterns.
Identifying what performing at our best means is different for everyone. For some, it’s simply having a lovely family dinner. For others, it’s being an exceptional businessperson. For others, still, it means getting that gold medal. Only you know for sure what “I did my best” means.
When you are able to have the exceptional clarity to recognize your best, you are able to get better results faster.
Back when I was in college, this prof required that in order to pass each of the four exams in an undergrad history course, you needed to get a 70/100 or better. I didn’t know how much studying equated to a 70%. Don’t get me wrong, I was committed to studying … I just didn’t want to do any more work than was required to get the grade I wanted. Have you had the same goal?
So I studied my rear off, because even though I knew a lot of the material cold, I didn’t know it ALL. Finally, the day came to take the test, and again, I didn’t know every answer, but I did know enough to feel confident that I passed the darn thing.
Well, when I got my test back, I was stunned to see the score of a 93! I had done my best, but I was really only shooting for a 70! What I learned in that moment was that the amount of studying I did and the effort I made on test day equaled the score I got on my test.
The magic formula – you need to know it in advance!
Score = ET + ES
ET = Effort on test day
ES = Effort of Studying
I would have saved myself a lot of stress and study time if I had known what my best felt like and looked like before I began preparing for the exam. Next time, I had the clarity to know how much time and attention I wanted to use for a test in this subject. It was an amazing feeling to know I cracked the study code for myself.
So, I’m wondering, what’s your code?
What you evaluate gets addressed. What gets addressed gets you results — A challenger said this
While I had cracked my code, I was unsure that what I had done was applicable to all the goals in my life. What I found was that the three areas that mattered most to performance were the same no matter the goal!
Focus, energy, and knowledge.
Below is my framework to help me to cue my best. Perhaps, it will help you, too.
Four Ways to Evaluate Your Best
- Know Your Outcome – What is the goal you want to achieve? Is it a test score, a deadline, a quality of output? How do you know when it will be achieved?
- Test your focus – how much time and attention is required to achieve that outcome? On a scale of 1 – 10, how much is it? Just like a scientist, track how much effort is required.
- Test your energy – How much energy is required to sustain that kind of focus? On a scale of 1 – 10, how much is it? What does it feel like in your body? Track how much you need.
- Test your knowledge – How do you know how much knowledge you need? On a scale of 1 – 10, how much is it? Track how much you need to get the results you want.
Once you’ve employed this framework, you will get a baseline of what “your best” is and what it means to you. When you have that information, you can train yourself to cue your best when necessary.
You don’t have to take my word for it. Give this framework a try and see if it doesn’t improve your results. And by the way, how great is it to know that you and I don’t have to kill ourselves when going after goals!
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Thanks for reading and until next time, make the most out of the time you have.
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