The MOTHER of All Obstacles (It’s Not What You Thought it Was!)

* This is an excerpt from the book, “The Three Laws of Performance,” by Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan.  I want to share this with you specifically, because it explains a natural response that happens for many of us in our business, working with teams, and in our personal lives. 

Read on to find out how you can become more aware of how you perceive a problem/challenge in your business or organization so you can bust through your limiting perceptions and beliefs while shifting your situation; creating radically different results.

Whywedo…Pick an area in your business or life that would benefit from a breakthrough in performance.  What you pick may not immediately look to you like a performance challenge – it may look like something else.

Such as complaints you have with your (business)… or just plain conflicts in relationships at work or in life.  It may be something as simple as a commitment that never gets realized, like a New Year’s resolution that you make over and over to no avail…

The hidden obstacle to your ideal performance 

“The First Law of Performance:
How people perform correlates to how situations occur to them.”

The first law answers the question, “Why do people do what they do?” Consider that when we do something it always makes complete sense to us.  On the other hand, when others do something we often question, “Why are they doing that?  It doesn’t make any sense!”

But if we got into the world of the person and looked at how the situation occurred to him, we would experience that the same actions that we were questioning were completely and absolutely the perfect and correct thing for him to do, given how the situation is occurring to the person.

Each person assumes that the way things occur for him or her is how they are occurring for another.  But situations occur differently for each person…

So what exactly does “occur,” mean?  We mean something beyond perception and subjective experience.  We mean the reality that arises within and from your perspective on the situation.  In fact, your perspective is itself part of the way in which the world occurs to you.

“How a situation occurs” includes your view of the past (why things are the way they are) and the future (where all this is going).

Although there certainly are facts about how and why things are the way they are, the facts of the matter are much less important to us than the way those facts occur to us.  The First Law rejects the commonsense view of actions – that people do what they do in a situation because of a common understanding of the facts…

There is a significant difference between objective facts and how those facts occur to us

Given the different positions that well-informed, intelligent people often take on a situation, there is a significant difference between the objective facts of the matter and the way those facts occur to each of us.

reality checkAgain, we are not saying that there isn’t a “real world.”  We are merely pointing out that our actions relate to how the world occurs to us, not to the way that it actually is.

When people relate to each other as if each is dealing with the same set of facts, they have fallen into the reality illusion.

To see the reality illusion at work, think of a person you aren’t happy with at the moment – perhaps someone you’ve been resenting for years.  In your own mind, think of words that describe that person.

You might say, “self-centered,” “doesn’t’ listen,” “opinionated,” and “irrational.”  You might be willing to swear on a stack of bibles that those words are accurate.

But notice that you’ve described how the person occurs to you.  As human beings, we can almost never see the occurring as an occurring.  What we see is just the way it is….

Think about the performance challenge you identified earlier.  You will take a big step toward transforming it – not merely trying to change it – if you see that you aren’t seeing the situation as it is.

The reality illusion will try to convince you that you are.  But just as it is for the rest of us, what looks like reality is only how reality occurs to you.  The First Law, then, says that there are two elements: performance and how a situation occurs.  These two are perfectly matched, always, with no exceptions.

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