Peak Performance Episode 60 – The REAL Secret

This week we’re talking about the one, absolute must have, can’t live without it trait that every single high achiever posseses.  This trait is the real difference between elite success and mediocrity. And you can obtain it.

This is an interesting and potentially debate causing topic. People might think we’re over simplifying but we’re not.  A lot of this is our own thoughts, albeit educated thoughts.  This is what we study and this is what we’re passionate about understanding.

On this show, in general, we offer a lot of distinctions.  We discuss distinctions, concepts, ideas, practical things, and even philosophical things that we believe will make people better performers, or as we like to say, “the best version of themselves”.

Today, we’re getting more to the essence of peak performers.  We’re talking about the thing deep inside that inspires someone to be the best.

What one thing must you absolutely posses to be a high achiever? Nothing else we talk about matters if you don’t have this one thing.  It’s a trait that people have in varying degrees.  But all peak performers have it.

We’ve talked before about motivation.  And we’ve distinguished internal motivation from external motivation.  But there is a very specific type of motivation that peak performers have that everyone else doesn’t.  It’s called achievement motivation.

A study from the University of Illinois says achievement motivation can be defined as the striving to increase or to keep as high as possible, one’s own capabilities in all activities in which a standard of excellence is thought to apply and where the execution of such activities can, therefore either succeed or fail.  This simply means that people with achievement motivation believe they have their fate in their own hands.

They have a real need to achieve.  They never need to be prodded, cajoled, or reminded.

We all know those people.  They just achieve.  Almost like magic.  They are relentless.  They work harder than anyone else.  They practice better.

Another definition – a little more simple…individual’s need to meet realistic goals, receive feedback and experience a sense of accomplishment.
They achieve for the sake of achievement.

Although it exists in varying degrees, it seems like it’s one of those things that you either have it or you don’t.  If you don’t have it, forget about being an elite performer.

People with achievement motivation don’t wait around for others.  They just do.  They aren’t seeking approval per se, just feedback that will help them improve.  Being better is what causes their behaviors.
The big question is, can it be learned?

Yes, there are a number of things that can and will increase your achievement motivation.

As it turns out, having a high self worth plays a major role in achievement motivation.

Essentially…feeling worthy of achievement and a good life.

Also, when you feel like you can influence the outcome.  You don’t feel helpless.  Being able to influence the outcome is a key component in acquiring achievement motivation.

Be more concerned about the achievement itself, instead of the rewards of achievement, ie, money.  Money is not the right motivator.  They enjoy monetary success but become more fascinated by winning.  They get a bigger “kick” out of winning or solving a difficult problem than they get from any money or praise they receive.

Money, to achievement-motivated people, is valuable primarily as a measurement of their performance. It provides them with a means of assessing their progress and comparing their achievements with those of other people.
Another way to build your achievement motivation is to habitually spend time thinking about doing things better.  In fact, research has found that wherever people start to think in achievement terms, things start to happen.
Also, find good feedback, a coach or a peer advisory board.  High achievers seek feedback.

If you start to follow these particular steps, you can increase the level of achievement motivation that you have.  It will definitely make a huge difference in your performance.

For full episode click here

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