The Pausing, Preparing And Performing Superbly Approach

There are many ways to do fine work. One approach is to go through the stages of pausing, preparing and then performing superbly. Let’s explore these themes.


This stage involves relaxing and gathering one’s thoughts before beginning to refocus. Different people do this in different ways and much depends on the work they are doing.

Some people pause for a long time. They may do this after completing a piece of work. They may need time to rest and reflect before beginning to explore new ideas. They may then focus on their next project.

Some people pause before what may be considered a short time. A footballer about to take a penalty, for example, may follow their own ritual for calming down before taking the next step.


This stage involves preparing properly and rehearsing before doing a piece of work. Different people do this in different ways to set things up to succeed.

Some people do lots of due diligence before taking a role, embarking on a project or doing a job. They gather information, clarify the goals to achieve and rate the chances of success.

They clarify strategies they can follow to give themselves the greatest chance of success. They then rehearse following these strategies – including managing potential challenges – until they are satisfied with their plan.

Some people may take a long time to take these steps. Some may do it in a short time – even a matter of seconds. They may then briefly pause again before moving on to the next stage.  

Performing Superbly

This involves moving into action and doing superb work. Different people do this in different ways. This may depend on their personality type and preferred way of working.

Some people who are introverts, for example, feel comfortable in their own company. They may also feel comfortable, however, about moving into a professional role. They may do this as an actor, athlete, specialist, trusted advisor or when doing another activity.

They then move into a situation where they know: a) the results to achieve; b) the rules to follow; c) the role they can play to rewarding work and deliver results. They do the work and may then revert back to spending time in their own company.

Some people have personalities where they simply enjoy being on stage or going into their version of the arena. They may then click into action, be fully present and do superb work.

Such individuals may also use all the senses to keep reading what is happening. They then aim: a) to build on what is working and do it more; b) to apply their repertoire of skills to find solutions to challenges. They then do their best to achieve the picture of success.

Let’s return to your own life and work. Looking ahead, can you think of a situation where you may go through the stages of pausing, preparing and then performing superbly? How can you do this in your own way?

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to complete the following sentences.

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