The Now: One of the single most important factors in elite performance

This article discusses one of the single most important factors in elite performance: the now. Effectively understanding and utilizing the power of the now can dramatically impact your lifestyle and performance, in simple yet life-changing ways. Learn about the now and how you can use it to your advantage.

The when?
Ever find yourself driving down the road feeling care-free and seemingly on autopilot? You tune out the radio and other external sounds, and even your conscious awareness of safely managing the road in front of you seems out of touch. If you’re familiar with this scenario you’ve probably also found yourself amazed by how you were able to steer the car within the lines of the road as your mind was in fact focused elsewhere. Such can be common during road trips, but it illustrates not being in the now.

On the contrary, being in the now is about absolute focus within the present. It’s symmetry of your mind-body, attuned to the infinite and ever-changing cues within and around you. Your senses are heightened to the point where you attain a higher level of self-awareness and confidence. When performers of all endeavors perform in the now they are capable of elite thoughts and behaviors without consciously working towards these.

No Other Way (N.O.W.)
The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. So lets consider this straight line as a metaphorical and efficient path for a performer working toward a goal. For many, the road to goal achievement is traveled across a diverging path of hazards and unpredictable turns. Without a clear and objective approach toward higher performance standards individuals can easily lose the power of being in the now. Their thoughts can become plagued with ‘what ifs’ and other distractors.

The now lends itself as an all-encompassing power directing the mind’s focus to the most critical factor in performance – now. Because, for great performers there is ‘No Other Way’ to successfully execute tasks leading to elite level mastery. When one’s focus includes areas outside of what’s most important and relevant it can lead to a decline in performance. Sound simple? It is. Yet, everyday countless people surge forward in their endeavors with poorly structured plans and objectives. Lacking clear vision they thwart their efforts the moment they begin. Their intentions aren’t clearly defined which can disrupt clear and focused thinking. Bottom line, to excel one must define the vision.

Mirsad Bektic and Team ATT in the N.O.W.

Mirsad Bektic and Team ATT in the N.O.W.

Clarity generates purpose
The underpinnings of the now aren’t fashioned together during the moments of performance. They’re pieced together before performance begins, during planning phases. For example, in preparing for a competitive event you may visualize the setting and other areas of interest. You’re planning for what’s to come, so that you can maximize performance in the moments, worry-free. By seeing your intentions you illuminate a target goal, allowing you to work backwards in your mind to effectively allow for that target goal to emerge.

Great performance truly unfolds much the same way. However, the unfolding of seeing your greatest self performing should not wait until just before the event begins. It must be a reoccurring process, recruiting positive signals for automaticity, comfort and confidence. See and experience your greatest self performing again and again long before the competition.

Giving is better than receiving
The greatest present I’ve ever known is the awareness and embrace of what is occurring for me in the present. The gift of enhanced self-awareness and control is the gift that gives for a lifetime. It allows me to truly enjoy the experience as it happens, a joy for which many have lost perspective. Caught up with fears of what’s ahead or regret over what lay in the past can decimate the value and importance of what’s occurring in the now. I credit some of this with the growing impatience our society demonstrates, furthered by instant gratification and poor impulse control. Adversity in life doesn’t allow for power button reset.

Give to yourself in the present. Embrace what’s occurring for you in the moment. Do this and you’ll learn to pay it forward to yourself eternal.

I have over ten years of performance training through my experiences in coaching, mental conditioning and edutaining of groups and individual clients. My diverse athletic experiences as a college football player, triathlete, mixed martial artist, and coach, have helped intensify my awareness for cultivating elite-level success across various sport, performance, and tactical disciplines. I regularly consult with professional athletes and organizational leadership, including, NFL, UFC, MLB, NBA, NHL, WTA, and PGA, as well as CrossFit, and NCAA competitors and staffs. I served as the Mental Performance Specialist with the US Army Special Forces, Director of Mental Conditioning with the Evert Tennis Academy, and I direct in-house consultation and leadership development with public and private sector organizations. I’m available to provide dynamic and interactive workshops for your organization and large-scale symposiums.

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