If you are spending hours and hours working to get better at something, it can be unbelievably frustrating to see no results. This situation is played out millions of times every year after the holidays and wedding season when humans of a certain size try to become humans of a 10% smaller size. You also see it from successful performers trying to move up into the next tier in their profession. If the effort is not equating to improved performance and results, it might be a problem with discipline and/or intensity.

When it comes to improving performance, you need both. Discipline is doing things consistently over time. Intensity is how hard it is in a given period of time. At times, they can be inversely proportional, which makes it very challenging to do on your own.

For example, you may run every day, but if you only go as fast as the day you started running, you won’t see much improvement after your first few sessions. However, if you go so hard and fast every day that you can barely walk for a week after a few sessions, you also will not see improvement because you are injured or keep missing future sessions. This is why planning, preparing and performance all must keep the DI (Discipline/Intensity) Factor in mind. It is a ratio of volume as well as compressed effort.

While there are exceptions to the rule, most performance plateaus are a result of the work to change your current status not being enough to warrant such a change. Sometimes this is very hard to hear when you are spending hours trying to improve. However, are you doing it often enough? Is it challenging enough? Is it a deliberate, progressive program or one that merely reinforces your CURRENT status?

If you are an athlete, lawyer, executive, medical professional or artist, the DI Factor applies to you. And since it is hard to manage your performance completely on your own, you need coaches and teams to push you to that next level at the appropriate pace.

Remember this acronym for what you must do to maintain your current performance abilities as well as continue to progress: MASTER


Want better results? Do the work. Listen to this edition of the HighPer 7 podcast to learn more.