Life today can be seen, to a large extent, as a series of “performances”. Our mental state, our happiness, contentment, state of frazzle, success in work, love-life, winning in anything can depend on how we “perform”!

Wow, how’s that for an opening statement?

And here’s another one: Did you know that the first 20-30 seconds of an audition or job interview are crucial to convince a panel or an interviewer that you are really worth further consideration?

Let’s look at a few scenarios from various walks of life.

You have a product, a really great product but you need investors to help fund your development and production launch. It comes down to one meeting, one pitch, one shot at winning the investment. Now, no matter how good the product, and no matter how well you know your stuff, if you freeze, become tongue-tied, forget to include important pieces of information during the presentation, it’s not going to look very promising is it?

A musician, actor or dancer at an audition, or someone at an important job interview has to have the optimal level of competence, confidence, “winningness”, just has to be there right from the get-go. How do you put your best foot forward when the voices of doubt, the “what- ifs? And when the otherwise laser-like focus just isn’t present?

The “Big Game”/or competition:  those seeds of doubt, that failing razor-sharp concentration, those self-created stresses that cause your muscles to tighten up, (even ever so slightly) destroy all of those hours of training. You’ve certainly done all the work, but  how to bring you’re A- game NOW?

Your teenager is going through something, they’re not the same, things are not going well at school. You’re going to have one of those conversations with them but, which version of You is going to show up? The proactive, understanding, loving parent or the provocative “bad cop” who’s attitude just might cause the teen to close up, shut up and shut you out?

The outcomes of these and many more situations depend on which “Me” shows up and how you perform in the moment.

I’ve studied performance from all angles, in numerous situations and differing circumstances, and analyzed the successful and famous, in their performance.

In all situations there are things that we can and things that we can’t directly control.

We cannot directly control “others”. What we can control is the work we have put into our performance, our preparedness and perhaps most importantly, our response to any given situation. Victor Frankl famously said in his book, Man’s Search for Meaning,“Anything can be taken from us, everything can be taken from us, except our one last freedom: the freedom to choose how we respond to any given situation.”

Between stimulus and response, lies that fleeting moment where we are free to choose our response. Choose wisely!

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