The goal for a human being is not to succeed; it is survival. This is why we tend to constantly seek stability, that is why people relax when things are going well. It seems that we are predetermined to save and spend energy when things go wrong, not to use it and make things go better.
If we do the proportion and the planet Earth lasts 1 year, we would not have been there for a day, so, although we always think we are the smartest, we do not know everything, nor have we been here that long. We have the ability to adapt, but we continue to seek to survive the same as those who arrived a while ago, simply with a different reality and context.
The problem with high performance environment, or with trying to offer high performance in general, is that this constant stability pattern does not help. If you do not improve, you end up getting worse; If you do not do it, someone else will take your place; If you relax yourself, you are out.
So, is high performance, unnatural?
The answer is not as simple as yes or no. But it is important to be clear that in addition to our ability to adapt, we have tools to go in the opposite direction to that trend. Having a purpose, having determination and defining specific goals that motivate us, pushes us not to sit around waiting, but to make things happen, and to live, instead of trying to survive. It is not that high performance is unnatural, however, for many people, all of these tools are asleep or rusty. In other words, we can offer high performance in a task or activity but it does not mean that we are going to do it.
The best athletes in history have something in common: ambition, determination and a purpose (although some may not be aware). Many people get things, but while some settle when they achieve something, others decide to go for more. It is the difference between arrive, to stay and overcome.
It may be that during a part of their learning, an athlete or any other person needs that push from the outside so as not to relax and tend towards mediocrity, simply because among all the stimuli that they have in their improvement process, we will help them to recognize the most important and those that will take him/her further. But there comes a day, when it is that person who awakens or not, the ambition, the determination and the purpose.
We could bring a thousand examples. Let’s use a classic: When you win 2 games and relax, when you were trying hard and things were going well or better for you, and still you lower the level, as if everything were going to remain the same, you are not appreciating what you had done to get there. So you have two ways not to lower the bar:
Do they push you from the outside or do you push yourself from the inside?
If you only perform when you are pushed from the outside, perhaps high performance is not your place, and what is certain is that you will not reach your maximum level, because many days you will be alone and nobody will be watching you, and then, who is going to push you? Those days are what make the difference.
If we do nothing, we tend to be mediocre. But we have the ability to change direction, as well as the opportunity to get and improve, the resources and tools that we are missing. The more things you achieve, the further you move away from being lucky.