A top performer is among the best in the world at their craft (Olympians, speakers, chefs, scientists, dog walkers, bricklayers…).
I’m currently the 4th best memory athlete in the US (but I don’t consider myself a top performer…yet). Here are 4 specific secrets to my success that I’ve done to become successful:
1) Do a little bit EVERY day
I used to imagine being successful. I would read stories and listen to podcasts about top performers (Tim Ferriss, Lewis Howes, and Noah Kagan are my favorite podcasters).
But, I never DID anything about it. It was all just in my head.
It wasn’t until I started practicing at least 15-30 minutes (sometimes 5+ hours) every single day that I began to leap ahead.
You cannot be good at anything without consistent action. But, if you do something everyday for a month it will become a habit (and it gets a lot easier at that point).
Do not rely on motivation. It’s unpredictable and unsustainable. You won’t feel like doing it every day, but you must do it anyways.
2) Measure your results
“What gets measured gets managed.”
Always keep detailed notes of your progress/training in any area that you want to improve (workouts, piano lessons, learning foreign languages, golf…).
Write down numbers (reps, times, distances, totals…) if you can.
I always log my results in a Google spreadsheet.
- how many things I memorized
- the errors I had
- how fast I did it
- what went wrong
- what I can do differently next time
- how I felt during the the session
- what happened
When you track results, you will notice patterns and receive insights that you wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.
3) Become comfortable with what’s uncomfortable
Climbing to the top of any field will cause frustration. The frustration comes from pushing beyond your comfort. But this is necessary.
Be honest with yourself…what aspect(s) do you need to work on? What are your current weaknesses? Get comfortable working on the uncomfortable.
When I’m training to improve in memory events, I practice with a metronome that paces me at a speed 10-20% faster than my comfort zone.
At first it’s frustrating to fail at that speed. But soon enough, that 10-20% increase becomes my new normal speed.
4) You need help
I’m pretty stubborn (and shy). I thought I could do it all on my own. But I found myself going in circles.
I talked with best memory athletes in the world and they openly shared their secrets. All I did was ask!
All top performers have mentors…another one of the secrets to success. Mentors can be found through experts, books, classes.
Reach out to someone who is better than you. They can guide you around the pits and walls…they have been there and done that.
Why would you try on your own when the blueprint is out there already?
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