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  • Writer's pictureRyan Wilson

Creating Your Ritual for Success

Have you ever noticed that some days you just wake up with the feeling that the

1-18-10 Peak performance in Life image

The answer, in my experience, is presence. How present are you in this moment, right here, right now. The question that this then bring up is – how do I stay present and operate in a space of peak performance.

Art of Learning

In The Art of Living Waitzkin talks about “the soft zone”. It’s that space where you are at a heightened, peak level of physical and mental presence. Your senses are clear, your thinking is crisp, and your body is ready to move. So how do you get into that soft zone, that peak performance state?

Waitzkin suggests creating  a routine that will leave you primed and ready to go. Science is on his side with this and it follows good behavioural principles. So how do you do it?

1 – What’s an activity that you are completely present for, every time. Most


* to speed the process up it would be best to pick something that you do everyday (more on that below).

2 – Waitzkin recommends picking 2-3 more activities that incorporate at least one physical activity – going for a run, Tai-Chi, Yoga, a workout, even stretching and some that may promote calming the mind – meditation for instance. None of these are a requirement, but we do know that physical exercise is one of the best tools to create good mental health and peak cognitive performance. Also think of activities that speak to various aspects of your personality. For instance, some sort of music is necessary for me.


I now have an hour long routine that, when I’m done should have me in a space where I am ready to produce inspired work! Doing this daily means that within a couple of months the other activities – in my case sitting meditation and Tai-Chi should also be associated with the optimal performance state. The unconscious mind loves to makes connections so continuously completing the other activities that lead up the big show (the soft zone activity) will train your body and mind to associate that peak performance state with the other activities.

These associations have huge implications for how fast and how often you can get into “the zone”. You can play around with shrinking your ritual when you are in a crunch and don’t have time for the whole ritual (see Waitzkin’s chapter on “Making Smaller Circles”). So, it might be possible, with enough conditioning, to get to that peak state just by doing the meditation?

So, what’s your ritual? Can you do it every day? What have the result been? Let us know!

Leave a message or find us on twitter: @kryanwilson or @DrAdrianaWilson.

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