5 Pillars for Performance: The key to being a high performer, without sacrificing your happiness.

gratitude mental health productivity Feb 26, 2024

There is a common misconception that to achieve high performance in your career or personal endeavours, you must sacrifice your happiness. However, this couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, prioritising happiness can actually enhance performance and lead to greater success in the long run. 

Here are 5 pillars in helping you succeed whilst optimising your happiness: 

Rethink “success” 

For years we have been told what “success” means. However, it's essential to redefine what “success” means to you. Instead of focusing on what it means to others, focus on what it means to you. One way to do this is by outlining your greatest values and what your intrinsic motivations are. 

Your top values are you at your very core. They are unique and individual to you and were most likely formed by your late teens. Understanding what your greatest values are, makes it much easier to prioritise, make decisions and aspire towards the endeavours that feel most authentic to you. In turn, this leads to far less burn out, anxiety and overwhelm. 

Here are some examples of core values to get you thinking: Authenticity, Adventure, Connection, Courage, Community, Family, Freedom, Growth, Happiness, Health. 

Your intrinsic motivation refers to the deeper reason WHY you are doing something. When someone is intrinsically motivated, they find personal fulfilment in the activity itself, such as experiencing a sense of confidence, autonomy, or enjoyment. 

For example: If one of your biggest values is family, “success” to you may be having the financial freedom to go on two family holidays a year. The reason being that you love spending time with your family and get the most fulfilment from having new experiences in different places with them. Your intrinsic motivation for going on these family holidays each year might be the desire to create lasting memories for your children. 

Prioritise your wellbeing

Your wellbeing is the foundation of your performance. When you feel good mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally, you perform better. It’s that simple. Make self-care a priority in your daily life. This includes getting enough sleep, eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and managing stress effectively. Remember that taking care of yourself isn't selfish—it's necessary for sustained success and happiness to coexist. 

Start small by taking a look at your morning routine. Consider spending some time this week assessing your current routine and morning habits. Adapt and change what is necessary to bring you more joy, calm and clarity into your mornings so that you can carry that forward into your day. When you start your morning mindfully, you are then able to focus, perform and make better decisions throughout the day. 

Embrace work-life balance

Creating a balance between your professional and personal life is crucial for maintaining happiness and preventing burnout. Set boundaries around your work hours and make time for activities that bring you joy outside of work. Whether it's spending time with loved ones, pursuing hobbies, or simply relaxing, prioritise activities that nourish your soul and rejuvenate your spirit.

Ask yourself these questions to help find balance:

  1. What times will I completely switch off from work? 
  2. What brings me joy? How can I do more of that, especially on my days off? 
  3. How can I set boundaries with my phone, social media and email notifications to ensure proper breaks outside of work hours? 

Celebrate progress, not perfection

Instead of striving for perfection, focus on progress. High performers who do not sacrifice their happiness, understand that it’s about the journey and not the destination. Celebrate your accomplishments, your success, no matter how small, and acknowledge the effort and dedication you've invested in your pursuits. Cultivate a mindset of gratitude and resilience, recognising that setbacks and failures are opportunities for growth and learning.

Gratitude journal prompts: 

  1. What are three things I’m thankful for today and why? 
  2. What’s one thing I’m looking forward to in the future? 
  3. Who in my life uplifts me? How can I surround myself with more of those kinds of people? 

In conclusion, the key to high performance without sacrificing your happiness lies in finding what you truly value and how to prioritise it. Remember that true success is not measured by external achievements alone, but by the happiness and fulfilment you experience along the way.

Transform your team's performance without sacrificing their happiness, with Jay Pottenger’s brand new Keynote 5 Pillars for Performance.