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Drooling Dogs and Peak Performance

Most people are familiar with Pavlov’s famous experiment with drooling dogs.

I’ll skip the gruesome details, but the main takeaway from his experiment is that you can condition dogs (and people) to respond in a predictable way to some arbitrary trigger.

In this case, he conditioned the dogs to drool in anticipation of food every time they heard a bell ring.

He did this by ringing a bell, and then giving them food.


Until, eventually, the ringing of the bell, all by itself, was enough to bring about all the physical and emotional responses associated with eating.

In NLP we call this anchoring, because you are anchoring a predictable physical, emotional, or mental state to some sort of trigger that you can use to recall that state on command.

And, as you can probably imagine, this technique can be used for far more interesting things than making dogs drool.

Getting โ€œin the zoneโ€ is a difficult state to achieve, for example.

No matter what you do for a living, there’s a state you need to be in where you operate at peak performance physically, mentally and emotionally.

A state where you’re so focused, effective, and productive that you can accomplish more in an hour than you normally would in a day.

A state where everything just flows so naturally that you don’t even notice the passage of time and, before you know it, you’ve demolished your to-do list with such ease that it didn’t even feel like work.

But, most of use never learn to reach that state intentionally.

We just work hard, and count ourselves lucky whenever we reach that state…

And never really figure out how to get there on command.

Well, here’s how:

First, decide on the trigger you want to use to put yourself in a state of peak performance.

It can be anything you like: snapping your fingers three times, clapping your hands above your head, shouting a war cry, whatever you want.

All that matters is that it’s something you don’t normally do, because the only purpose this trigger will have is to get you into peak performance.

For this example we’ll just use snapping your fingers three times.

Then, the next time you find yourself operating at your best and most productive, really let yourself feel the state you’re in. What are you thinking about? How do you feel physically? What emotions are you experiencing?

When you’re fully immersed in that state of peak performance…

Snap your fingers three times.

Repeat this every time process every time you find yourself in a state of peak performance.

Keep reminding yourself to anchor that state to your trigger action and, soon enough, you’ll be able to get back into that state just by snapping your fingers three times.

However, if your peak performance experiences are few an far between, and you don’t feel like waiting forever for the next one, my Mental Focus & Productivity session can speed up the process.

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