How to achieve world-class performance








Is world-class performance reserved for people born talented or can anyone, even normal people like you and me, achieve greatness?

Read on to discover the secret of world-class performance and become the parent, leader or football player of your dreams.

The 7 Principles of World-Class Performance

This post is the first in RethinkingTruth’s eight-part Performance series. It will provide you with a holistic and high-level view of how to achieve world-class performance in any area of your life.

But why should you care about what the 7 principles of world-class performance are?

If you want to become the best tennis player the world has ever seen then yes, applying these principles will significantly increase your chances of achieving that dream.

However, if you don’t care about world-class performance but want to become a better person, develop some new skills or pursue your life-dreams, then rest assured: Every single principle outlined in this series will enable you to achieve that too. In fact, applying the 7 principles of world-class performance will speed up your progress and make sure you’re enjoying the ride too!

Shall we get started?

How the 7 principles of world-class performance have been identified

Before jumping straight to the principles of world-class performance themselves let’s briefly visit the process of how these principles have been identified.

Over the last two years I’ve iteratively:

  • spent time with world-class coaches, top performing executives and other high-performers
  • studied the performance literature
  • created numerous hypotheses of what the principles of world-class performance are (based on the people I’ve met, the literature and personal reflection)
  • applied what I’ve learnt to myself, friends, family & clients
  • refined these principles based on new knowledge and experimentation

thinkNow, in August 2013, I feel the “performance model” is ready. Yes, it’ll always be refined & improved but at this point it’s good enough to be published at

Do I claim that anyone who follows the principles outlined in this series will achieve world-class performance?


Do I claim that anyone who’s ever achieved world-class principles followed each and every one of these single principles throughout their lives?


What I do claim, however, is this:

By applying the 7 principles outlined in this post, world-class performance becomes possible for normal people like you and me.

Are you ready to discover the 7 principles of world-class performance?

The 7 principles of world-class performance

The 7 principles of world-class performance are:

  1. Have a dream
  2. Spend your time wisely
  3. Achieve health & manage your energy
  4. Get the best knowledge out there about what mental & physical skills you need and how to develop them
  5. Build a supporting environment for yourself
  6. Practice to develop the required skills & break all the rules!
  7. Use a method to ensure you’ll continually live the above six principles

Sounds possible right?

Let me provide you with an analogy of how these principles work, one-by one.


Principle #1 will provide you with a direction in which to sail. Are you going to Australia, South Africa or Sweden? Is your trip about getting there as fast as possible or about enjoying the “ride”?

More importantly, Principle #1 is about believing you can sail from Bergen to Sydney in less time than any man ever has and about all the reasons why you so desperately want to make this happen.

Principle #1 is by far the most important principle of world-class performance as it fuels all the other six.

Principle #2 will ensure that you have the time required to prepare for and carry out the journey.

Principle #3 will provide you with the sail boat and the wind required to reach your destination in the least time possible. Pretty much everything else about your journey is based on those two so be sure to take care of your boat and use the wind effectively.

Principle #4 will enable you to know what skills you need to learn to sail from Bergen to Sydney in the less time than any man ever has. It sure as hell won’t be enough to steer the boat I’ll tell you that. You better learn a few mental skills such as awareness & patience too!

Principle #5 will make sure that you include family & friends in your dream, that you build a great sailing team and that you get yourself a sailing coach. This principle will also make sure that you think carefully about what conditions to practice & sail in and that you install critical equipment, an extra sail, a compass and sonar system for example, to help you reach Sydney in the quickest time possible.

Principle #6 will make sure you practice the skills required to get to Sydney in less time than any man ever has. It means practicing how to sail, how to read maps, how to use the compass, how to remain calm under heavy weather and so forth. Who knows, if you’re open to breaking the rules on your way there, perhaps you’ll discover some new & interesting insights that could speed up your journey!

Principle #7 is the routines, the methods and systems that will make sure you stick to principles 1-6 day in, day out. It’s the mechanisms that will drive your performance improvement and that will ensure you end up in Sydney as the new world-record holder :D

That’s it!

You now know the 7 principles of world-class performance and you have a picture in your mind of how these principles would help you achieve the sailing goal.


Lovely Bergen, Norway

Next: World-Class Performance Principle #1, the most important principle of all

Clearly, knowing on a high-level what the 7 principles of world-class performance are is helpful.

It’s not enough though.

In order for you to fully understand and be able to use these principles effectively, the RethinkingTruth Performance Series has 7 more parts:

One post pr. performance principle plus a final summary.

Next up is the most essential performance principle of all, the one Lionel Messi would say is more important than any of the other principles combined:

Have a dream.

The content of that next post is nearly complete but it’ll take me a week or so to finish it.

Now I want to know what you think

Do these principles make sense to you?

What has in your experience been the most important factors for your own performance?




The pictures in this post are borrowed from the websites below. Thank you. Gandhi, Sailing, Bergen, Sun

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