This is how you achieve PEAK Performance

Amar Pandit , CFA , CFP

Amar Pandit

A respected entrepreneur with 25+ years of Experience, Amar Pandit is the Founder of several companies that are making a Happy difference in the lives of people. He is currently the Founder of Happyness Factory, a world-class online investment & goal-based financial planning platform through which he aims to help every Indian family save and invest wisely. He is very passionate about spreading financial literacy and is the author of 4 bestselling books (+ 2 more to release in 2020), 8 Sketch Books, Board Game and 700 + columns.

The first thing that comes to our mind when we see a world class professional in any field is how effortlessly things seem to happen. It is the same whether it is Rohit Sharma hitting a Cover Drive or a Singer Singing or an Artist Performing. We then think of things such as “This person is a born genius, or she has what it takes to perform at this level and many other such reasons.” At the same time, there is this little voice in our head that says, “I can never do this.”

The same is true for our profession. I have seen many of you have this little voice inside your head “I can’t do this.” Even if you do not say it aloud or admit to yourself, the little voice in your head is the key reason for many of the problems you face. “I can’t get 100% wallet share, or I can’t get meetings or I can’t get this High Net-worth Family as a client or I can’t get referrals” are some of the voices in your head. They have now become a part of your belief system and many of you have convinced yourself that nothing can be done about this. The reality is entirely different and my hope through this is to inspire you to kill your limiting beliefs and create the masterpiece version of your life.

I read a wonderful book called the “PEAK” by Anders Ericssson and Robert Pool. The authors say “We all have the same gift. That gift is A = Adaptability. The people who have achieved the most have tapped into the ability to adapt their brains and body in extraordinary ways. They do this with Practice. There is no innate talent. No one is born with that ability or talent. We just need to create an awareness of this adaptability. This means Practice.” I have clubbed some of the key points in this paragraph, but they are so brilliant that you should indeed re-read them a couple of times and let these points sink in.

This is exactly how ordinary people become extraordinary world class professionals. The word is Practice, but seldom do we get to see the kind of Practice these masters go through. However, Practice as a Concept has been rarely understood and the line Practice makes Perfect makes this worse. I used to repeat earlier, Practice does not make Perfect, Perfect Practice Makes Perfect.  I was wrong. There is nothing called as Perfect. Though the right word to replace “Perfect” was right in front of me, I could not see it.  I found it in this book where it was given as Purposeful Practice.

The authors say that there are 3 types of Practice:

1. Naive Practice – This is all about just put in the time and you will get better. This is how most of the people in our industry practice.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How many of you see problems with the way you conduct your first meetings?
  • How many of you know that your process must change to deliver a world class experience?

I can bet very few because we all have blind spots like the rear-view mirror ones while driving. We cannot see them. We feel we are doing something. The question to ask, “Are we doing this in a world class way?

This type of practice is a recipe of mediocrity.

2. Purposeful Practice – This is the type of Practice that outstanding professionals do.

The four steps of Purposeful Practice are:

  1. Have a Goal
  2. Focus as this will improve adaptability in your brain and body
  3. Feedback
  4. Leave your Comfort Zone

I am not sure how many do even the first 2 steps, but I can confidently say that a handful of people must be doing steps 3. and 4.

Getting Feedback on your approach or the way you conduct your meeting is very critical.

Do this as an Exercise: Video record your meeting and then watch it. This step alone will give you so many insights and will blow you away. World class professionals watch their recorded performances to look out for minute areas of improvement. You can too. We have given real feedback to many financial professionals and they have seen remarkable improvement in every area of their performance.

I will give you an interesting example of American comedian Jerry Seinfeld. Popularly known for his sitcom Seinfeld (if you have not watched it, I strongly recommend), Jerry is known to practice one line with pauses at different points in the line. Some pauses make the joke boring but the pause at the right space in the line makes the same joke funny. This is how the best of the best practice. They never forget their basics and they focus diligently on them.

The last step of Purposeful Practice is to leave your comfort zone. I had written a post about going beyond your comfort zone. Do it if you are not comfortable and continue doing it till it becomes second nature. If you just play in your comfort zone, you are never going to experience adaptation of your brain and body. After all the purpose of purposeful practice is to let that adaptation of the brain and the body happen.

3. Deliberate PracticeThis is the Gold standard of Practice used by athletes, sportsmen, and performing art professionals. This is a very structured way of doing things from the things you eat, to how well you sleep, to how you learn, practice, rest, and countless other things. After all, Personal Finance is our Art and I strongly believe that one can deliberately practice and truly become an Artist in the Personal Finance space.


P.S. Reach out for guidance to become a PEAK Performer.

P.S.P.S. My updated 4th book has now hit the stores. Many financial professionals are gifting this book to their prospects and clients. I have received many appreciation emails and calls from professionals like you. To order copies for you and your clients,