What Does It Take To Outperform The Norm?
by Scott Welle, Founder
Why do some people thrive where others struggle? What are the defining characteristics of those who are happy, productive, successful and satisfied? Unfortunately, high achievement and fulfillment rarely go hand in hand. But when they do, it is a game changer. This is what it means to Outperform the Norm.
You have a norm that exists inside of you. An internal governor, if you will. It keeps you in that comfortable sweet spot of security where great mistakes are never made. Every time you want to slam the gas pedal and kick it into high gear, it brings you back to steady. Great successes don’t happen here either.
Forget outperforming the societal norm – if you’re reading this, you’re probably already above that curve. I’m talking about outperforming YOUR norm. Living an above average life.
Life is complex. In school, we’re not taught how to be successful. We’re taught subjects, statistics and information, but no one has ever told us how to achieve great things…AND be happy. These philosophies and values are usually left up to role models at home…with varying degrees of success.
Somewhere along the way we were taught to work harder. More hours, more energy expended and less work/life balance would equal greater achievement. This formula works…for many people. Still, you can work as hard as you want to, but if you’re running west looking for a sunrise, you’re never going to find it. Nor will you find happiness. You need to choose a different path.
Outperform the Norm breaks the mold of traditional “success systems” through a comprehensive, balanced integration of the Brain (how we think), Body (how we work), Behaviors (what we do), Beliefs (what we value) and Beyond (why it matters). You’ll not only be living YOUR best life – you’ll wake up knowing you’re making the most of your precious days here on earth.
BRAIN - How We Think
The power of the human mind is incredible. The brain can either be our greatest asset, or our largest liability. It solely depends on how we use it. Those who outperform the norm have mastered the six inches between their ears.
First, their attitude is realistically optimistic. They see the glass as half full (when it is, indeed, half full), they see opportunities where others see obstacles and they are more concerned with generating solutions than dwelling on problems. When something negative happens to them, they employ attributional styles that act as a “buffer” and allow them to move on quickly. Examples of these attributional styles are:
- Permanence – Singular vs. Global (if something negative happens, it will not happen in other areas).
- Pervasiveness – Localized vs. Pervasive (if something negative happens, it will not continue to happen).
- Personalization – Personal vs. External (if something negative happens, you were in control of it. You can control your outcomes).
Second, they are able to control the width and direction of their concentration style based on situational circumstances. They can broadly “scan” their environment and synthesize high amounts of information. They are also able to create a narrow, laser focus when something specific needs to be accomplished. Switching these concentration styles allows them to think swiftly on their feet, yet concentrate deeply when the situation calls for it.
Third, outperforming the norm requires supreme confidence and self-efficacy. Confidence is a term related more to your global capabilities, whereas self-efficacy is geared more towards your ability to perform a given task successfully. You believe you’re the right person for the job. High achievers bolster these traits through effective self-talk patterns, which is the internal dialogue that governs your thoughts, feelings and actions.
To Outperform the Norm, ask yourself: what is my current level of personal confidence and conviction? Do I develop solutions or dwell on problems? Am I able to focus on the things that need to be accomplished and see them through? Am I easily distracted?
BODY - How We Work
The physiology of our body determines our stress, energy, tension, mental clarity and recovery. Those who outperform the norm know that strengthening your body also strengthens your mind…and it strengthens your character. It makes you better in ALL aspects of your life.
To strengthen your body, we must exercise. There is no other way. The difference in those who outperform the norm is that they are efficient and effective with their exercise by manipulating the variables of consistency, intensity and duration. Efficiency means they don’t waste time and effectiveness means they are doing exactly what they SHOULD be doing to achieve their goals. In other words, they get the maximum return on their investment in exercise.
Second, outperforming the norm is mastering your metabolism through improved hydration, nutrition and supplementation. Sustained peak performance requires all systems be turned on simultaneously. Your “machine” should be firing on all cylinders by giving it the “fuel” it needs to perform at the optimal times, in the optimal combinations and with the optimal quantities. When this happens, your energy levels are high (and consistent) and you feel charged, with enhanced mental clarity.
Third, top performers know that stress + rest = adaptation. Outperforming the norm requires a constant level of stress (a good thing)…which will lead to higher performance and higher adaptation, but ONLY if it is combined with rest. Stress with lack of rest leads to staleness, lack of productivity and burnout. Rest, in this case, can be used synonomously with rejuvenation and recovery. We need to recharge our bodies by enhancing the quality and quantity of sleep, and engaging in rituals/activities that we find intrinsically enjoyable. Some high performers are hesitant to take time to rest because there’s SO much work to do, but when our bodies are properly recharged, our productivity, mental clarity and engagement dramatically increases.
To Outperform the Norm, ask yourself: on a scale of 1 to 10, how does my body feel on a daily basis? Energetic or sluggish? Dull or vibrant? Strong or weak? Soft or sculpted? Am I full of energy when I wake up in the morning?
BEHAVIORS - What We Do
Our behaviors are our day-to-day daily rituals, habits and routines that we perform…sometimes without even knowing it. Our actions, and our motivations (or rewards) to perform these actions, determine our productivity and what gets done throughout the course of a day. To outperform the norm, nothing else matters if you cannot get yourself to take the appropriate actions.
First, we need to assess our behavior patterns. What are our current behaviors and, more importantly, what are the consequences and/or rewards from these behaviors? Are our behaviors moving us closer to, or farther away from, our end goals?
Next, we need to identify why these behavior patterns happen. If these patterns have persisted for any period of time, they have probably become ingrained habits. For example, you may crave foods at a certain stressful time or lose focus in an uncomfortable situation. But if you seek to change in any area of your life it is essential to add a new ingredient to the mix. To outperform the norm, we must identify the trigger that precedes the behavior, the routine that carries out the behavior and the results that come from it. Understanding the progressions that comprise our habits will help create the simple solutions for lasting, impactful change.
Lastly, those who outperform the norm have tapped into an ongoing resource of motivation to continue their behavior patterns. How do the top athletes and CEO’s in the world stay on top? Simple – they understand emotions always trump logic when it comes to staying motivated. Our emotions can serve as an endless resource of motivation, but if used impulsively and incongruently with our beliefs, can cause our self-sabotage. Thus, high performers also understand the power of shaping their environment, where they “clear the path,” thus making it easier for success to happen in their targeted areas for growth.
To Outperform the Norm, ask yourself: what are the current behavior patterns I would like to change? Why do I want to change them? Why is it NECESSARY that I change them? What will the rewards and consequences be for doing it…or not doing it?
BELIEFS - What We Value
The most widely used excuse today is “I don’t have enough time.” Yes, you do. You have 24 hours in a day and 168 hours in a week…which is the same exact amount as everyone else who outperforms the norm. Your role is to be an investment manager of this time. High performers invest their time more effectively towards the priorities and values in their lives.
The first Belief step in outperforming the norm is to decide what’s important to you. I mean, what’s REALLY important to you? It could be money, career growth, family, faith, health, relationships, community, sports, hobbies, etc. It is 100% up to you. These things form and define the core identity of who we are. These are your priorities.
The next step is to take back your time. It’s empowering to know that you DO have CONTROL of your time and you have plenty of time for all your priorities. So, how can you schedule your time to make sure your priorities are met? Are there any time wasters in your day that either don’t help your body recover or satisfy one of your values? Those who outperform the norm minimize these time wasters…or omit them altogether. Their time and energy is channeled towards happiness, health productivity and high performance.
The last part of Belief is setting goals, based on your values and priorities. Like most goal setting programs, the goals set are specific, measurable, action oriented, realistic and timed. These goals can also be short-term or long-term and may be performance or outcome oriented. But what makes Outperform the Norm different is the DAILY process and the DAILY specific objectives for attainment of these goals. This is akin to an athlete identifying the fundamentals necessary for peak performance. The best athletes are almost always the most fundamentally sound. Once you have these identified, and you employ the corresponding behaviors, achievement of the goal is almost certain.
To Outperform the Norm, ask yourself: what is my core identity? What are the priorities in my life? Am I repeatedly saying “I don’t have enough time?” What values and priorities am I currently not making time for?
BEYOND - Why it Matters
Have you ever accomplished something in your life that you thought, at the time, was meaningful…but it still didn’t make you happy? For whatever reason you still felt empty and unfulfilled?
This is because your present self is incongruent with your future self. In Beyond, you determine your legacy and the imprint you want to leave on society. What will you contribute? What will you be remembered for? Who do you want to remember you? How do you want to be significant? Why do you, and what you’re doing, matter?
Many people do not have the foresight to think this far ahead. We get stuck in the day-to-day grind of our daily habits and existences, often not stopping to ask whether this is leading us to where we want to go or towards things we deem meaningful.
But those who outperform the norm have a desire to build and sustain something that will last well beyond their time on earth. This level of significance can be broken down into personal (yourself and your family), professional, financial, spiritual and philanthropic. Once you break down the areas where you want to have a lasting contribution, it becomes easier to structure a lifestyle of greater passion and purpose, according to these values. It also allows you to identify gaps between your current behaviors and beliefs, and what you want your lasting contribution to be.
To Outperform the Norm, ask yourself: what are 10 things you want people to say about you at your funeral? Yes, this is a point-blank, awkward question…but you will quickly realize whether the way you’re currently living your life will lead to people saying these things. What do you want to be known for? How do you want to be remembered?
Final Outperforming Thoughts
Outperforming the norm is complex. If it weren’t, “the norm” wouldn’t exist. You can be told how to think, but does it align with your values and priorities? You can be told how to exercise, but do you have the proper routines and rewards ingrained to make this happen? You can be told how to be productive and behave, but does this align with your personal contribution to the world?
High achievement and fulfillment coexist differently for everyone. Bridging this gap depends on an integrated approach where the Brain, Body, Behaviors, Beliefs and Beyond coincide in perfect harmony. Each of these variables is 100% in our control and, if used correctly, can empower you to greater happiness, health, productivity and high performance.
You’re now ready to Outperform The Norm.
In health, happiness and high performance,
Founder, Outperform The Norm