The Secret to Peak Performance in Business and Life: The “Third” Place

I used to spend 10 sometimes 12 or 14 hours even at work.  I had a very successful business career killing myself climbing the corporate ladder.  Then I had a GREAT idea — I’ll leave my successful, well-paying, secure corporate job and start my own company! 

And I did.  I built, scaled, and sold several businesses actually.  And 14-hour days were probably the LEAST I worked then as my business performance skyrocketed.  However, performance in business is so much more than 14, 15, or 16-hour work days.   I was literally killing myself by working so many hours.  My wellbeing suffered mightily, I had little to no romantic relationship, and I never took a vacation.  Ugh.

In their 2010 book Well Being: The Five Essential Elements, coauthors Tom Rath and Dr. Jim Harter gathered and conducted extensive research from 150 countries on well-being. The five broad categorizes they came up with that are most important to living a healthy and productive life are Career, Social, Financial, Physical, and Community.

Are there more well-being areas than those five broad categories? Of course. And those five broad categorizes have several subsets in them. They all affect business performance to one degree or another.  One of my favorite well-being areas that is sometimes overlooked is known as the “third place.”

After home and work, the third place is where you spend most of your time. For some people, it’s church. For others it’s the fitness studio or your best friends’ place. Others may just love going to hear a live concert. Superman has his Fortress of Solitude. Batman has the Bat-Cave. Everyone needs a place to retreat and recenter. 

Do these “third place” environments provide you with the challenge you need physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually? Do they allow you to de-stress, learn a new skill, or just have fun? The only way to truly transform your business and life and reach a level of effortless peak performance is to harmoniously balance all three places—home, business, and your unique “third place”.

Like Superman’s Fortress of Solitude, your third place will help you rest, recharge, and renew your creative energy and boos your performance in business. Here are three simple steps to follow to create your third place:

Step 1: Identify if you have a current “third place”.  Is it sufficient?  Is it inspiring and challenging?  Or is it time to create a new “third place”?

Step 2: If your current “third place” is insufficient, uninspiring, or nonexistent, come up with three options for a new and inspiring “third place”.

Step 3: Take 30 minutes to get into relevant action to create your “third place”.  Make a phone call, send an email, schedule a time to visit your new “third place”.  No matter what time it is or where you are, do it. Now.

If you are struggling with “third place" ideas or don’t think you have enough time to even take advantage of a “third place”, then check out my new bestselling book that teaches you how to escape your “success miserable” life and achieve a level of peak performance in business and life with balance — not burnout:

Check out my recent podcast on LID Radio discussing peak performance