Being at your best

Everyone likes to feel on top of the world - but all of us require different conditions and situations to get that way, writes Jeff Hasenfratz

You're feeling great about yourself - it's a wonderful day to be alive! You're feeling at your best. How often does this feeling come? Does this happen once a month, once a year or once a decade? Never mind, you probably like feeling this way, so ask yourself - what caused it? How can I feel this way more often?

Personally, when I'm at my best, I feel really energetic and am often doing something (or even just talking about something) that really interests me. This may well catch my wife's attention and even prompt the question, "Are you being paid to do that?"

By changing the mix of what, when, where and with whom - in short, by acting on the answers to the questions below, - you can be "at your best" more often ... guaranteed.

So, let's ask ourselves, "When I'm at my best ...

1. What do I feel like?
Many people feel energised, yet somehow relaxed - feeling a bit like having enjoyed a good night's sleep. They often feel more confident, more satisfied and more "in the groove". By the way, when you're feeling at your best, are you engaging the world more with your head or with your heart?

2. When do I feel this way?
Do you feel like this in the morning or at other times? Does the season or the weather make a difference?

3. Where am I? In a bar?
Hmm ... OK, when you're not in a bar, are you indoors or out? Are you at home or at the office? Are you in a high-energy or a more tranquil place? Are you in Hong Kong or somewhere else?

4. What do I look like?
Are you smiling, standing taller or ...? What are you wearing? (Not that fuchsia shirt, again, I hope ...) Which colours are your clothes? Are you wearing any jewellery or good luck charms?

5. What am I doing?
Are you listening to your favourite music, eating your favourite food, reading, talking to friends, using a particular talent, closing a deal, enjoying recognition for a task well done or helping someone?

6. Who am I with, if anyone?
According to Myers and Briggs, the designers of a well-known personality assessment tool, one of the key "preferences" that people have is to draw their energy either from interaction with others or from within themselves.
Where do you most often draw your energy? If it's from interacting with others, who are they? Do certain kinds of people bring out the best in you?

7. How am I communicating?
Excuse me, could you please stop complaining about all these questions? Now then, when you're feeling your best, are you speaking? What are you speaking about? Are you listening and nodding? Or dancing? Or playing an instrument?

Here's wishing you all the best at being your best!

Jeff Hasenfratz, the founder of the Trusted Advisors Network, is the managing director of Mindsight, a career management services consultancy offering outplacement and retention consulting to organisations and career coaching to motivated individuals in Asia.

Taken from Career Times 24 October 2003
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