Today in the Sunday Letters article, I’m taking the opportunity to introduce you to Peak Performer–a community space I created for readers interested in achieving peak performance in their work. I’m a work and organisational psychologist, and as you likely know by now, the focal point of most of what I write is daily work—that thing human beings spend the most time doing. Better that daily work is by our own design serving our basic psychological needs than by someone else’s design and profit motives. However, the unfortunate fact of modern work is that most of us work jobs designed by others, and as such, it often lacks the necessary meaning and purpose we need to sustain us.
Peak is a response to this situation. Here’s a little more about the space and what you can expect.
Peak, is a place where you can discover the means to direct your own work and develop the mental skills necessary for success. It’s a space for self-employed people and others who aspire to work for themselves, be it as a solo worker or the founder of a larger organisation. It is a community for people who seek to command their own meaningful and fulfilling work. Being a part of Peak means you have decided to do work on your own terms and by your own design.
The community is new, and membership is
€29/month FREE until we get off the ground properly. So consider this a soft launch. Once the membership exceeds 100 people, the joining fee will apply. Now’s your chance to get in for nowt forever.
What's Peak all about?
Peak is a place where self-motivated, self-determined, self-employed people can develop the mental skills necessary for success. There are many communities for the self-employed, but few of them focus on the development of the person–that's what makes Peak different. Whether you currently work for yourself or have aspirations to do so, the same basis of motivation, personality and the seeking of meaning and purpose in work apply.
As we look back on our lives as we enter our final days, we want to be able to say that we lived life on our own terms and that life was fulfilling. None of us likes being pushed around, told what to do, where to go, how long to spend there, and how long our rest should be—if we are afforded any at all. That’s not freedom—it’s slavery. Wages, their quantity or not is irrelevant. To be free and to work free at things of our own design is a basic human need. Work without that feature might as well be done by automatons, not human beings.
My Philosophy on Work
My philosophy on work is grounded in the idea that work, first and foremost, must be done for its own inherent enjoyment and fulfilment. Without this, our focus will be flawed, and our efforts to succeed will be misdirected. This aligns with Abraham Maslow's concept of "Peak Experience", Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi's concept of "Flow", and Ryan & Deci's concept of "Self-Determination". These theorists recognised that to be creatively successful, human beings must work free, be fully integrated, and independent yet interdependent in their work. For our work to make a difference in our lives and to be meaningful and fulfilling, in other words, we must transcend the self-oriented, narcissistic personality structure that dominates the business world. We must find work that commands our interest and curiosity, and we much strive to do this work as often as possible and under our own terms.
So, who are you, and why should I trust you?
My name is Larry Maguire. I am a work & organisational psychologist in private practice with 20+ years business ownership experience. I earned my BA in psychology from DBS in Dublin and my MSc. in Work & Organisational Psychology from DCU Dublin. I am a graduate member of the Psychological Society of Ireland and an ordinary member of the International Association for Coaching.
My research to date has focused on the well-being of self-employed people at work, and coupled with insights gained from this, my time in business has taught me many lessons. I want to share them here, and maybe you can gain some advantage from it. You also have experiences worth sharing that will benefit others, so I'm hoping you'll join me in developing this community.
Who Is Peak For?
Peak is for solo workers, freelancers, consultants, small business owners, and people who aspire to work for themselves. But Peak is not like other communities for the self-employed. Rather than focusing on the functions and structures of a business; sales, marketing, finance, HR, accounts, IT systems and so on, Peak is focused on aiding the development of the person–the business owner.
How Much Does Membership Cost?
€29 per month, nothing for now. Membership is free for a short period, so you can join and access the benefits of membership immediately. In a few months, when we officially launch, new members will need to shell out for access. There may also be pay-walled areas for exclusive content added as we progress.
What You Will Learn
With the resources and learning materials and the support of other members, Peak aims to be your catalyst for positive change and facilitate growth in the following areas;
Focus & Attention
Motivation & Behaviour
Creativity & Innovation
If you wish to command your own work successfully and grow it beyond yourself (if that's what you want), then you must develop the necessary mental skills. The process will be difficult, but within Peak, you have the comfort of the support of others like you. You'll also have free access to coaching, resources, and information to help you along your way.
A New Definition of Work
Work, as defined here, is that thing we do in our waking hours - it's how we expend energy getting things done. It doesn't necessarily have to be paid work, it can be voluntary work, hobbies, amateur sport, and so on. The only requirement for membership is that you want to command your own work and perform it to a high level. If that's you, then Peak is your place.
This is a private space by invitation only where you can ask questions, get answers to burning questions, and share advice on achieving higher quality results in your work. If you want to be part of a close-knit and private community dedicated to a successful and fulfilling work experience, then I think you'll like it here.
A Note on Success
You’ll often come across the word success in the content I and others write and share in the community. When we talk about success and peak performance, we're not necessarily talking about commercial, financial, or some other form of objective material fulfilment. These things might come about as a consequence of the work you do, but they cannot be the primary aim. At least not in terms of becoming The Performatist.
What we are focused upon instead is the discovery and development of self through daily work. Work being the thing that has captured our interest, engaged our curiosity and provides fulfilment and purpose. It is an expression of who and what we are.
Material success is fine, but that's not our goal. Our goal instead is to become the autonomous, self-directed, independent yet interdependent agent in command of its own work and life. It is, as Maslow said, the full and total expression of a self-actualised organism at one with its environment and in cooperation with others.
The pursuit never ends. We are always developing and expanding, and that pursuit is challenging and difficult. Fortunately, you don't have to navigate the territory on your own. In this community, you'll find like-minded people to share your experience and find solutions to challenges. I'm glad you are here and look forward to talking with you regularly.