High Performance is a lifestyle that so many of us are taught to seek from an early age, but it took years for me to realize the role that it would play in my life. In the past when I would see the words “High Performance”, I would envision in my mind’s eye, a powerful leader (usually male) forcefully climbing up a rocky path to attain a supernatural goal at the top of a mountain. Now when I see the words “High Performance”, I envision a leader that allows the supernatural to flow through her to move mountains.
My high performance journey started working in a corporate job as a senior manager for a high tech company, based in Silicon Valley. While I was quickly promoted up the ranks, the actions that I was taking and the life that I was living were extremely misaligned from my own inner nature. My daily life was an echo of the calls of what I thought I should do and who I thought I should be, rather than the expression of the voice of my own soul.
I watched “top performers” in the industry spend days on the road, away from family and friends, working to make the next big deal happen. The reason? Bragging rights and the hope that they could purchase the next life adventure or object of their desire, in order to somehow buy happiness and be worthy of love. These truly beautiful people were looking outside of themselves, trying to find the secret to happiness. The most “successful” top performers that I knew during that time, were some of the most unhappy people I knew.
On New Year’s Eve 1998, I wrote out my bucket list and I decided to schedule one bucket list item per month that year. It was an epic year of adventure and, many would agree, a year of “high performance” for me. I traveled Europe, became a licensed skydiver, got scuba certified, ran a marathon, went hang gliding, … , “check, check, check, …”. So many of my personal goals were attained that year.
By New Year’s Eve 1999, my bucket list was almost completely checked off. I remember looking at my nearly empty bucket list and thinking to myself, “Well, now what?”.
You see, I had been doing the high tech job, to make enough money so that someday I could do the things listed on that bucket list. Now, with the list almost done, I didn’t feel any more fulfilled than I did before I mentally created it. “So, now what?” I remember feeling, deeply disillusioned and lost in a world that didn’t make sense. I had been set up to believe that this corporate life that I was living was the path to leading a fulfilling life and I was not feeling fulfilled.
Have you ever followed all of the “right” steps and arrived at the destination that you thought would lead to your fulfillment, only to be greeted by a feeling of emptiness and the question of “Now What?”? That was what I found at the end of my “high performance” career in corporate high tech.
So, I did what you do when posed with a question and I tried to answer it. I thought to myself, maybe the answer to “Now what?” is to contribute more to the world? My grandma used to always say “If you are feeling low, go and do something for someone else who needs your help, and you’ll feel better.”.
I ended up walking away from my corporate job and walking into a job as a Results Coach for a leader in the coaching industry, in hopes of contributing more to life. Just getting hired by the coaching company was a month-long interview process and a big accomplishment that took a great deal high performance in coaching to attain. And, while the contribution aspect of coaching was fulfilling, something was still missing for me.
There was so much more inside of me that wanted to express. I just didn’t know what it was. So, I eventually left that company and I started out on the entrepreneurial journey with my own private coaching practice.
For years after I started out on my own, I was still echoing the call of what I thought I should do and trying to be who I thought that I should be, in order to create “success”. I kept seeking that external target of High Performance that I had been conditioned to seek my whole life and falling short.
I tried a lot of different activities, strategies, and training, thinking that if I found something new, the one thing that was “it”, that I might reach that ever-elusive fulfillment in high performance and goal attainment. So, in addition to coaching, I wrote a kid’s book called “What Feelings Do You Feel?” for highly sensitive children to help them to recognize their own feelings. I put out an original musical single “Higher Ground” because I love music. I taught yoga. I did a vision quest and I traveled.
I was seeking that, which I didn’t realize at the time, was already within me all along. It was the voice of my soul, waiting for me to align my day-to-day life with my authentic self, not the woman that I thought I should be.
While it has taken me many years, I have come to realize that true high performance is created by aligning our daily actions, intentions, and self-expression with the guidance of our soul. Whenever I allow my life to be inner-directed by that voice, the results of my actions are magnified tenfold by a force greater than myself and the experience of creation is so deeply fulfilling. I have not found any other practical strategies, tactics, or tips that can surpass the high performance, creation, and fulfillment that comes from that kind of alignment.
Today, I host the Spiritual Entrepreneur Podcast and I now have online courses and service offerings for Spiritual Entrepreneurs, Creatives, and Thought Leaders, who desire to create and experience a life and business that is an expression of the voice of their own soul. My journey has come full circle.
Through all of this, I have learned that the path to high performance is not found in career advancement, external creative success, extreme physical feats, or in increasing our bank account balance. The path to high performance lives within each one of us. It takes us to the fullest self-expression of our own soul’s voice in service to humanity.
High performance comes from truly being who we were born to be. And, the most beautiful part of being who we were born to be is that in doing so, we naturally experience deep love and happiness, as we perform at our highest.