Seeking Peak Performance

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“Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it.”

Charles R. Swindoll

Seeking Peak Performance.

Pushing for peak performance has always interested me. Not world-record level peak performance per se, more simply just pushing ourselves to new personal and professional bests.

A world in which each of us is constantly striving for all encompassing improvement is a truly remarkable world to be a part of. Create a world like this around yourself.

truth: we are all capable of so much more than we believe ourselves to be.

During 2014 I was lucky enough to give a dozen presentations across Canada, eight of them to a collective audience of 1,402 Mortgage Brokers in particular

The main focus of each presentation was the ‘nuts and bolts’ of file processing. Each presentation began with a real-life illustration of personal peak performance, striving to do better, and remaining optimistic. It was the story of one Meredith Fitzmaurice.

I paraphrase below from various accounts.

On Sunday, Sept 22, 2013, Meredith Fitzmaurice entered a half-marathon in Belle River, Ontario. Nearly 90 minutes into the run she asked an official riding his bike along the course how close she was to the finish line. She learned that she had in fact missed the turnoff to the finish of the half-marathon course and was now on the full marathon course.

With the realisation of this error, Meredith did not simply stop and call it a day, or worse a mistake, or worst of all a failure. Instead, Meredith’s first thought was to run an even 20 miles, her previous furthest distance, calling the day’s run ‘training’. Never having run 26.2 miles previously nor entered a full-marathon this seemed a reasonable compromise. At first.

Key Point: Mindset is vital. In the face of missing out on a potential win of the half-marathon Meredith seamlessly embraced the positive view: this would be a great training run.

Meredith then noticed only nine men ahead, and no women. At this point she asked the official on the bike if she could switch categories mid-run, and her plans shifted once again. This might now count as a qualifier for the Boston Marathon, a goal Meredith was striving for. This ‘mistake’ was proving fruitful.

The race director approved the request to transfer Meredith to the full marathon category mid-race. Without breaking stride, Meredith went from having made a wrong turn, to being on track to win her very first full marathon and to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Although she had concerns about leaving her friend waiting and wondering at the half-marathon finish line, Meredith pressed on. She asked the race official on the bike if he would mind keeping her company.

Key Point: One who asks, receives. One who asks nothing, receives nothing.

Having only ever run 20 miles previously, she was concerned about pushing the extra 6.2 miles, yet Meredith finished with a time of 3:11:48: the fastest woman of the day, and in 10th place overall.

And she qualified for Boston.

Meredith’s first action upon crossing the finish line? A teary eyed hug for the guy on the bike, and making it known that without him she would not have made it.

Key Point: Few of us cross the finish line in anything alone, fewer winners still. An attitude of gratitude established long before stepping up to the start line is crucial when it comes to being first at the finish line.

I feel that this story perfectly embodies elements of life in general. We all take wrong turns, but how we adapt is everything. Learning to adapt quickly and positively to change is a vital skill. And perhaps most crucial of all is having that ‘guy on the bike’ along with us. In whatever form that takes, a support system is vital.

This sentiment will ring true on a daily basis with any Broker as well.

Conclusion: we are all capable of so much more than we believe ourselves to be

Thank you

Dustan Woodhouse, Mortgage Broker, AMP
Dominion Lending Centre
Author of ‘Be The Better Broker’

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