I returned from a recent trip and was inundated with a stuffed mailbox including a note from the delivery person that even more mail was waiting for me at the front desk. A notice from my auto dealership indicated my lease was expiring and I had to select another car. There were far too many emails that I ignored while away and of course there were several phone messages. This morning was going to be a “Get Back on Track ” day so I got up early and made my way to the car with my list in hand. I no sooner started up the engine and there appeared an ominous warning light on my dashboard: “Service Engine Soon” it threatened. UGH, “Not now, not today–I have so much to do!”, I said out loud to no one.
While my first reaction was, “Poor me!”, I must admit, I was grateful for the dashboard reminder. In all of my rushing, I may not have noticed any unusual sound coming from the engine. Frankly, with the pace I had set for myself, I hardly think I would have noticed a smoking engine!!! The dashboard reminder is persistent and there is no way to shut it off other than to take the car to the dealer for service. If I want the warning sign to stop blinking and more important, if I want my car to operate at maximum performance and safety, then I have to do something and pay attention to the warning sign.
Hmmm…Sometimes I think I need a dashboard reminder to keep myself at maximum performance! Because sometimes, I am a few steps short of a good power walk, or I procrastinate on something that should be done by moving it to the next day, and then even to the day after that. I might spend far too many hours playing Words with Friends on my iPad, daydream about someone new in my life, or consume far too much sugar in a given day. I may have a tone in my voice that reflects the impatience I am feeling, I may have not tended to someone in need. Without a dashboard reminder, I may go too far into the day before I realize I am out of alignment and need an adjustment.
I have all sorts of “dashboard reminders” for my physical appearance and respond to them quickly. My grey roots are an indicator that I need my hair colored, my wirey eyebrows that it is time for waxing, and a bulge here or there tells me my frequent dining out is out of control.
But what are the dashboard reminders for my behavior? What are the reminders that I have gossiped, wasted a day, discounted someone’s viewpoint, or acted impatiently for one who needs a bit more time? I do not have dashboard reminder for my behavior, but I do have a process in place at the end of every day where I review my behavior. I am tough on myself, I have to be tough in order to live at my maximum performance.
Just as I want my car to function at its maximum performance, I want to be at my personal best as well, every day. I have defined my personal best to mean I am productive and focused, smiling and moving quickly, and often singing a favorite song. I workout early in the morning and schedule time later in the day for my water workout. I say or do something(s) that contributes to the lives of others. I work on my blogs and keep in contact with the kids and grandkids by email, phone or Instagram. I tend to my clients so they can reach their maximum performance. If I designed the day to be a relaxing one, I am at my best when I hang out, write, read, or catch up with friends, and feel good about it. That’s how it is when I am at my maximum performance.
How have you defined maximum performance for yourself and what are your “dashboard reminders?”