Icewater in the veins. Cool as a cucumber. Chill. There are times when staying cool is absolutely essential. Professionally, that’s pretty much always. Losing it can cost you a job, a promotion, being included in a great project. But too often, we’re operating on the edge: overworked, nearing burnout, nerves frayed — and it doesn’t take much to have a meltdown. Dr. Christian Marcolli is an international performance coach for top athletes and high-level business people, and he’s seen the worst of it. But for all of us who combust under pressure, there are also those who don’t. And it’s not because they’re superhuman. It’s because they worked hard to achieve that cooler head.
In Dr. Marcolli’s book, The Melting Point: How to Stay Cool and Sustain World-Class Business Performance, we learn the secrets to holding it together. It’s all about raising our individual melting point — a critical threshold when we buckle under pressure. One of the really useful things about his book is that it uses examples of people at the top of their game, and then shows how to apply the same strategies. Marcolli is a student of cool, you might say, and he lays out the steps to gain those nerves of steel.
Among the key steps to raising that melting point: learn to balance out mental and emotional strength — too much of one is not a good thing. Learn how to budget our energy. Think about sustained performance, not just have peak moments — you never know when you’re going to suddenly face a hitch in the plans. Pay attention to your stress levels and find your weak spots. And one that’s surprising: have a good time. As if it’s not unnerving enough to be facing an opponent who is completely level headed when your own cranium is pounding, it turns out that the highest performers also enjoy themselves during these high-intensity, walk-through-fire times. They feel playful. Go ahead and try to have fun: it’s not easy. But it’s part of attainting true coolness, Dr. Marcolli says.
While this book is directed at the higher echelons of business, and draws some of its wisdom from Marcolli’s work with athletes, its approach will ring true to a far broader spectrum of readers. Anyone facing a crisis, a pressured situation, a long-anticipated challenge, a dreaded discussion, a deadline — pretty much anyone can find The Melting Point useful. But its smart tips seem like they could be especially helpful to people just entering the job market or looking to push into higher ranks. Having a high melting point seems like an incredibly important skill to have no matter what your field. Might as well start now. Learn more at www.marcolli.com/home/.
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