The difference between a peak performer and a poor performer is what they each think about. If you know the secrets of a peak performers thought process, you can duplicate their process, and thus their results. So, how do peak performers perceive the problems in their lives? Here is a hint…they don’t view them as problems at all.

Here are the 5 ways peak performers view problems, and how they solve them practically with just a change in perception.

1. Problems Reveal You

Dr. Wayne Dyer has a great way of saying this. To paraphrase, when you squeeze an orange, orange juice comes out because that’s what’s inside. So, what comes out when life squeezes you? It comes out because that’s what’s inside.

Peak performers are constantly self-improving. They understand that life’s pressures will come and go, and that at any time, they want to express the very best of who they are. They know that expressing crippling fear, rage, insecurity and non-action won’t get them very far. Therefore, they’ve learned emotional control where they can internally deal with whatever is going on so they can make the right moves externally. “Right” is defined as the win/win solution, the plan that coincides with their long-term goals, and the pathway that builds others up along the way.

Poor performers are constantly trying to remain the same. No wanting to invest the thought and energy to improve, they find themselves responding to problems the way they always have. They are quick to quip, “that’s just who I am”. They continue to respond in ways they may or may not properly reflect who they are or who they really want to be. However, they find comfort in the familiarity of the same old reaction time and time again.

Problems reveal who you are at any given time. What are your problems revealing about you?

2. Problems are Opportunities

There is a man that was laid off of his job. With unemployment running out and no jobs to be found, he started a business providing consulting support to those that lost their jobs due to lay offs. He understood how to navigate unemployment, benefits, the best job websites, and he had relationships with recruiters. Armed with that knowledge, he marketed via the internet for those that recently lost their jobs, when they still had severance money and unemployment. Needless to say, he began to earn more through this opportunity than he was making while employed full time. The best part is, because he went through it, he could identify with emotional needs his clients had, which helped him to form lasting bonds with them.

This man was a successful peak performer. He took a personal problem, figured out what he needed and understood that there were thousands of people just like him. He could have chosen to stay stuck in the problem, but instead decided to be a peak performer and become a part of the solution.

Poor performers cannot see may options outside of 1 or 2 very linear ways of resolving the problem. They see the problem as a landslide that they must dig out of. For them, the problem is bigger then they are and in many cases surrender to it without a real effort to resolve it. Creativity is thrown to the wind because you aren’t supposed to be creative when you have problems in their minds.

Remember that within every problem lies the seeds for its solution. How can you turn your highest priority problem into an opportunity?

3. Reactions to Problems Can Create More Problems

When you think before you act, you respond. When you act with little or no forethought, you react. Peak performers respond. Poor performers react.

Peak performers follow their thoughts to conclusion. They don’t create a plan to resolve a problem and then just move forward. They put time and energy into seeing all of the possible consequences of their decisions. Then, after spending considerable thought on their solution, they may ask for advise from a trusted advisor that is more successful in the area the problem is in then they are. After thinking about what they know, and considering the unknowns, they move forward with confidence.

Poor performers follow their emotions to conclusion. They make decisions based on their current emotion, which is short-term in nature. When the emotion fades, they are often stuck with the consequences of the few actions they’ve already taken. In essence, they are tumbling down a rabbit hole with no insight into where they are going and what’s waiting for them at the bottom. This process tends to create new problems. Sometimes, these new problems are larger than the initial problem they were trying to solve.

When life throws you a circumstance, can you stop, think and then act?

4. Problems are Life Lessons in Disguise

Peak performers never want to repeat problems. When they solve a problem, it is solved completely once and for all. The way they do this is to consider the life lessons contained within the problem and its solution. They think about the circumstances that lead to this situation becoming a problem. They consider all contributing factors, the different angles the players see the problem from. They think about how this problem for them is also a problem for others. They then devise a way to resolve the problem at its roots. They don’t spend as much time addressing the symptoms and results of the problem as they spend on the causes of the problem.

Poor performers find themselves in the same cycles of problems over and over again. The funny part is that they know it. They clearly see that they end up making the same choices and getting the same results over and over again, but aren’t sure how to get out of the cycle. They tend to spend more time on the symptoms and results of the problems than they do on its causes. Because the underlying reasons for the problem were never dealt with, the problems return.

If you have weeds in your lawn and you want to remove them, do you spend your time treating the parts that you can see or deal with them at their roots? The former guarantees a return of the weeds. The latter eliminates the weeds going forward.

5. Problems are Challenges

When you hear the word “problem”, what happens to your attitude? Do you say to yourself, “Oh no, here we go again?” Do you begin the self pity of , “Why me?” Do you feel your energy drop because you really don’t want to deal with yet another “problem”?

Now, when you hear the word “challenge”, what happens to your attitude? Do you think, “how can I solve this?” Do you begin to fortify your attitude with the positive self-talk of, “Yeah, I can figure this out?” Do you feel your energy life because you know that somehow and someway you will figure this out?

Words matter. Peak performers spend their time dealing with “challenges”. They view “problems” as something other people have. Poor performers spend their time talking about and suffering from their problems. They view “challenges” as a happy horse-pucky self-development buzz word that won’t help them now or ever.

How you perceive a situation determines how you will deal with that situation. Would you rather deal with a problem or a challenge? You perception makes the difference.

Author's Bio: 

James LeGrand is the Author of "Evolve!", an best seller in Religion and Spirituality. He is also the publisher of, a free weekly newsletter that presents solutions to life’s issues through the lens of self-help, wisdom, philosophy and spirituality. In addition, James LeGrand is a Life Strategist, an Expert Author with &, a former Radio Personality, a Fortune 500 Vice President, and a Sifu in Shaolin Kungfu, which has been known for centuries as a pathway to spiritual enlightenment.