Performance is the act of doing something successfully. It’s about execution – getting things done. We all like to get things done. I am yet to meet anyone who doesn’t like being associated with performance. Despite the prevalent affinity for performance, poor performance abounds. Why this is the case and how it can be cured is the focus of this article.
Poor performance is against the law of nature. After creation, the Creator (God) looked at everything he had made and concluded: “…indeed it was very good” (Genesis 1: 31). All creation (living and non-living) except man have not failed to perform the tasks assigned to them. The reason human beings perform poorly is because of the power of choice; we can choose to perform or not to perform!
Human beings are engineered for performance
I have no doubt that we (humans) were created in the image and likeness of God for super performance. We have the most sophisticated brains among the primates. No other life forms have spirit and soul like humans. These qualities make humans the only life form that can reflect and visualize. Other primates and animals are driven by instinct and genetic codification.
Benjamin Disraeli said, “Nothing can withstand the human will that would stake his existence on his purpose.” This is an affirmation of the power of accomplishment inherent in every human decision adequately backed up with action.
Controlled Reflex Action
The human body automatically performs certain actions without any conscious input (thinking) on our part; such actions are called reflex actions. For instance, if you accidentally carried a hot cooking pot, without giving it much thought, you will drop it immediately. That’s your reflex action at work. Reflex actions are some of the numerous adaptations which guarantee the survival of the human race.
However, suppose it’s late in the night and the hot cooking pot contains your dinner. Chances are that when you carry the pot, you’re likely not going to drop it (even though it’s hot) because of the implication of sleeping on an empty stomach! At the point you make up your mind not to drop the pot, your reflex action comes under the control of your mind and thus becomes a controlled reflex. You know it’s hot but you make up your mind not to drop it.
Continuous poor performance is a controlled reflex action
When someone persistently shows a poor performance, it goes without saying that s/he experiences negative life conditions that are meant to spur him or her to action with the aim of correcting the conditions. These negative conditions can be likened to the pain a person carrying a hot cooking pot experiences. Just like the person carrying the cooking pot, someone experiencing negative life conditions is expected to do everything possible to get well!
When the person’s conditions continues to the point of becoming permanent, the conclusion one can draw is that his or her negative conditions have become a controlled reflex action in which case s/he has come to accept his or her condition in his mind. This is what the famed psychologist – Dr. Martin Seligman – called a state of Learned Helplessness.
I love the lyrics of one of the songs the celebrated Gospel Artiste – Ron Kenoly – has in his album: ‘Home Coming’. The lyrics say: “If you catch hell, don’t hold it. If you’re going through hell, don’t stop… Go ahead, Go ahead…”
Poor performance has symptoms that include sadness, low morale and anger, just to mention a few. These are hellish conditions that should naturally make its sufferer never to stop searching until solutions are found.
The Way Out
From my experiences over the years and what I’ve heard / read about other people’s experiences, I’ve come to the conclusion that the main reason for poverty and lack of all kinds is neglect not scarcity of resources. Jim Rohn said, “Everything you need for life change is available.”
The saying, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way” is a valid statement. When sufferers of poor performance are willing and action-oriented, solutions are available. The solutions may be found in books, seminars, lyrics of songs, mentors, or coaches. Stories abound of people who have overcome extremely negative circumstances and made success of their lives.
It all starts with a change of mind. When you’re tired of being sick and broke, you will find a way. As you make up your mind to put poor performance behind you, you’ll be amazed at the opportunities that will literally fall on your laps. You’ll find that the saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears” to be true.
The story of the prodigal son typifies the power of the human mind to change his or her life condition no matter how adverse. The young man’s life changed the moment he became disgusted with his lifestyle of feeding with swine! That momentous change of mind enabled him to consider the option of going back to his father. When he followed up on his decision, he experienced a life change far beyond his imagination.
Now that you have this information, you have no reason to show poor performance henceforth except by choice.