There is so much talk of peak performance, how best to achieve it and the riches it brings. My background as a professional athlete, and currently running a busy futures brokerage has taught me much about peak performance. For many years I was guilty of working hard to be my best, but failed to address the elephant in the room – Alcohol.


office-harmony-9Look around any office on a Friday morning and see if your workplace is full of people performing at their peak.

I would guess not. Many are so hungover they can barely speak.Yet we all want to talk BIG about being our best, making the sales and getting the promotion. Perhaps we have read the books, taken the seminars, walked on fire, exercised and meditated. Yet for all this effort the one thing that provides gains above all others is swept under the carpet, because it’s ok, dare I say encouraged the world over to go out and socialize in the name of business, dressed up as getting plastered. This combines a hangover with lack of sleep, another totally overlooked part of of peak performance, and produces someone who is a million miles from their best. But let’s not once again, smooth this over. The knock-on effects are massive. All those good things we were doing to help our performance, are lost in the fog a hangover and regret. Motivation to exercise and mediate evaporates, junk food replaces a healthy diet and lack of sleep leaves us lethargic and anxious.

The city is usually so quick to adopt new ideas when it comes to peak performance. With sport leading the way, these techniques filter down into big business, the city and then the wider communities. Yet we seem to have a blind spot when it comes to alcohol.


male-body-image-and-the-average-athlete-1108244-TwoByOneSport stopped drinking years ago.

Of course you see the odd headline of some star falling over, but take a closer look and you will discover that most athletes drink very little or nothing at all. Don’t be fooled into thinking your idols are out boozing every chance they get. In the ultra competitive world of top level sport, just like business, the difference between success and failure is fractional. Sport worked this out long ago, so why are we so slow to follow?

There is the quick argument to say, as a city professional, I don’t have to run as fast as Blot, or bend it like Beckham. All I need is my brain – not my body. But this is simply not true – mind and body are one. Don’t be fooled into thinking you can operate anywhere near your best, when deprived of sleep and full of hangover.


strong-body-strong-mindPeak performance is not reserved for professional athletes.

It should be our goal, to be our best no matter what occupation. Sir David Brailsford’s ethos of marginal gains has dominated the world of cycling . Tiny percentage improvements that produce a winning advantage. Athletes eat well, train hard, sleep well and on the whole do not drink alcohol anywhere near competition.
Compare this to the city, where we are all in daily competition whether we like it or not. The world is moving at such a fast pace, that leaders must fend off challengers and challengers must outperform the leaders. At an individual level, there is competition for jobs, followed by competition for pay rises and bonuses.


successWhat makes us different from athletes?

We are both aiming for success, facing the best of the best. We are all professionals in our fields yet very often prepare like amateurs.Peak performance requires a thriving body and mind. They are a team, your team. It’s pretty simple, if you really want to perform at your best you need to treat yourself like an office athlete.

Take a look around, you might be surprised that there are now thousands of hugely successful people in your field, who do not drink or drink very little. They have worked it out ahead of the game that in order to perform at their peak, alcohol is simply not an option.

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