Bring Your A Game


 Bring Your A Game

April 30, 2019

After my webinar a couple of weeks ago, several people suggested that one habit, Raise Necessity, could use more explanation. It can seem somewhat amorphous. It is complex. 

As Brendon Burchard explains in “High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way,” (page 130): 

“When you have high necessity, you strongly agree with this statement: ‘I feel a deep emotional drive and commitment to succeeding, and it consistently forces me to work hard, stay disciplined, and push myself.’” 

There are both internal forces, such a commitment to high standards of excellence, as well as external forces, such as a sense of duty and purpose, at play. For myself, two of my early role models played a huge influence in shaping my values. My Dad taught me to always do my very best – in sports and in Life. It was not about winning and money – it was about doing your very best and being true to yourself. My Grandmother taught me about unswerving love and duty to family. 

In the past when people have asked what drove me to pursue a career on Wall Street and to achieve corporate success, I never felt I had a very good answer. It just seemed like a “lot of things.” On reflection, as I come to understand the role and definition of necessity, I believe I have found my answer. Performance necessity is one of the most powerful drivers of human motivation and excellence.   

I like to use an exercise we do in our Certified High Performance Coaching Program to illustrate a common sense example of what it means to Raise Necessity. Ask yourself the following question: “Who needs me on my A game, the most right now?”    

To start, what does being on your A game mean to you? To me, being on your A game means you are doing your very, very best. You are bringing your best focus, energy, effectiveness, and presence to the task or the person at hand. You are all in. You are fully Present. 

When we focus on people who need us and how we may serve others – our drive to do our very best super-charges our commitment – and we bring our A game. This is a great example of Raising Necessity in action. And yes, sometimes we need to be on our A game for ourselves, too.    

From this perspective the habit, Raise Necessity, can be seen to underlie most of the habits of high performance – Clarity, Energy, Productivity, Influence and Courage.   

Are you surprised that I include courage in this list? Let me explain. I chose this quote by Mark Twain, “Necessity is the Mother of taking chances,” because bringing your A game -- your total commitment to the moment, to the person – typically requires courage and risk-taking. When I am “all-in”, I often think of myself as a ski jumper leaning out over the tips of my skis. 

Not surprisingly, research shows that people who report strong agreement with the phrase noted above, score higher on the HPI (High Performance Indicator) self- assessment in almost every category and also report greater confidence and success.   

Towards the end this chapter on Raise Necessity, Brendon goes on to point out (page 155):   

“You have to put yourself in situations that make you good. Fortunately, research has clearly outlined exactly what will help you find those challenging and immersive experiences. This popular concept in positive psychology is known as flow.”

While flow science dates back to the early 1900's, the phrase was coined in 1975 by psychologist, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. His book, “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience," is the definitive book on the subject. It is a scholarly treatise – and to me, a dense read. 

Flow is often referred to as “being in the zone” or as the experience of being fully engaged and awake and alive – a full sensory mind-body experience. This explanation of flow is clearly aligned with our definition of high performance as the ongoing feeling of full engagement, joy, and confidence that comes from consistently living from your best self.   

To learn more about flow with the aid of meditation and some practical exercises, I would call your attention to two resources I have found helpful: 

  • A 4 minute meditation on Insight Timer by Cara Bradley: Empowered and Energized: This guided meditation will help you play with a simple strategy called "Remember the view" and help you feel the experience of the flow state. 
  • An 11 minute podcast on Insight Timer by Cara Bradley: Find Your Flow: In this short talk Cara uses the experience with TED talks and how research shows we lose focus after 10-15 minutes. Cara offers a quick micro-practice strategy to focus on tasks in 15-minute intervals.  

Cara Bradley is a body-mind teacher, author of "On the Verge: Wake Up, Show Up, and Shine," founder of Verge Body-Mind Center in Philadelphia, and hosts a weekly podcast. Cara trains executives in organizations such a Coca-Cola, The World Bank and Goldman Sachs, and partners with Flow Genome Project and Happify. 

To learn more about our Certified High Performance Coaching Program, I invite you to click on this link: 6 Secrets of the World's Most Successful People to view my talk and consider signing up for my next Group Coaching program at CHPC Group Coaching Sign Up  I also invite you to share this link with family and friends who may have an interest and be open to new ideas and opening new doors.   

Please note: the Group Coaching course will be live and interactive.  

  1. I used a power point slide format in my overview presentation because we had a lot of material to cover to provide a picture of the depth and breadth of this framework.
  2. The Group Coaching format is very different. Everyone will know who is on the call.
  3. The Group Coaching will be interactive. Participants will ask questions live. I will answer the questions and other participants may jump in and add-on.
  4. We will always close with a Worksheet and homework assignment, which I will share on the screen and then email to all participants.   


Till next time, 

May you be happy now and always. 



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