performance

The Quiet Eye

If you think about any outstanding sports person you know, he or she most probably has developed the quiet eye. The quiet eye is defined as the stare behaviour of the eye just before movement, particularly when an activity requires a pinpoint aim. It is the concentration and focus of the eye particularly when an activity or task requires inch-perfect accuracy. It is a focus void of distractions and noise. It is what researchers have discovered distinguishes top grade performers from the rest of the pack.

Studies have been conducted on sports men and women to see the role the quiet eye plays in winning. In an experiment conducted by Joan Vickers in the University of British Columbia, she connected a group of professional golfers to a device that precisely monitored their eye movements as they putted their balls. She discovered that the greatest athletes kept their eye on the ball longer than others did, no matter the pressure they felt. The same is said for other elite athletes in other sports such as basketball, football, tennis and archery, who have been studied. They keep their eyes on the goal or target longer than others who tend to have fixations lasting for shorter periods of time.

Most of us would probably have one or more favourite sport personalities, that is, if you have any interest in sports. Most likely, we love these people because of the successes they have achieved or the uniqueness they bring to the sport.

Every athlete or sports person will tell you about the discipline, pain, sweat of competing and the joy of winning. They would also tell you about the power of focus and how important it is to block out all distractions for the big moment. They know what it means to be ‘in the zone’.

We may not all be athletes or sports aficionados but we can use the quiet eye. I consider the quiet eye as the sum of all we do just before we make a significant move or decision. It could be making a business decision, writing an exam or pitching an idea. We need the highest level of concentration and focus to hit the mark. Lucidity and precision are usually the end results of the quiet eye.

The quiet eye stays calmly focused on the goal or target irrespective of the pressure, stress or distraction around. The quiet eyes stays unusually composed and comfortable.

It is easier to stay focused when we do not feel much pressure. The problem comes when we are agitated, anxious, or under stress. At such moments, our concentration wanes and we tend to lose focus.

Think about what the quiet eye could mean to you and how you can apply it in shots you have to take in life. It could be taking time away from the crowd as you prepare for that major task, blocking out the anxious thoughts, mediating on the scriptures, shutting out social media distractions in that moment or maintaining a quiet mien just before your big moment. It could also be repeating a routine over and over again until you know that you are completely focused on the goal at hand.

You can get your mental gaze or stare under control to give you high performance results that distinguish you and your outcomes.

Whose scorecard?

It has been the season of rewards, bonus, extra pecks, gifts, sales, special offers, etc. Everyone is seeking something extra as the year winds down. This has also been the time people go the extra mile to meet targets and realise dreams they visualised at the beginning of year. Usually, this is accompanied by a lot of rush, some anxiety, increased expectations, a few regrets and of course, more prayers. We begin to wonder if we would have gotten different results if we had acted or reacted differently sometime during the year.
As you assess your performance this year, you should not forget the things you ‘thought’ to do concerning your walk with the Lord or service for Him. Have you seen a commensurate improvement compared with other aspects of your life? Did that change in attitude take place? Did you take giant leaps of faith or was your story that of a stunted growth experience. While we take stock of what we have acquired, balance our accounts and tick out our requests list we should also check God’s evaluation list to see if we fulfilled all He set out for us to do this year. While we rush to meet those targets and get those last minute miracles, we should make spirited efforts by the help of His Spirit to fulfill the assignments He has given us.
I believe that if we had paid some more attention to this aspect of our lives we would have had some easier victories. And really, if we paid more attention to the things that matter most to God’s heart, we would have a much easier life. Matt 6:33

What if God’s own evaluation of our performance this year were His yardstick for our promotion next year? He would like to say, Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things in 2011 (Matthew 25:23).
Heading into the New Year, we can adopt a new approach to our day to day affairs. We can make God’s agenda ours and seek to run His errands. What would You have me do for You today? What am I to put off and/or put on? Who am I to reach out to today or connect with?
Each day is a gift to be lived out for Him. Our greatest show of appreciation for the life He has given us is to spend our time to the glory of God. True success is accomplishing what God has given us to do according to His own plan. This is regardless of whether the world recognizes us for what we have done or not, or whether our efforts are measurable by man’s standards or not. Real satisfaction is experienced when we are in the centre of God’s will.
As a child of God, there is an investment of grace that should not be in vain. He has given you all that pertains to life and godliness so that you are fully equipped to fulfill His purpose for your life. We should be able to say like Paul said in I Corinthians 15:10 …his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain.
The sweetest thing about all this is that as we find ourselves surrendering to fulfill God’s purpose through us, things just seem to fall perfectly in place in all spheres of our lives. Our struggles would be less and our visions and desires fulfilled. I believe the best of the year ahead belongs to the sons and daughters of God, those who would be available to Him. If you would make His business your business, He would bring you into the place of prominence and affluence. He would have your back covered and take care of all your concerns.
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