Ways to improve your performance:
- Compete for a prize
- Earn points
- Please a demanding boss
- Make someone else's imminent deadline
- Face sudden death elimination in the playoffs
- Wear a heart monitor and track performance publicly
- Go head-to-head against a determined foe
The thing is, all of these external stimuli are there to raise your game and push you ever harder. They are fences to be leaped, opponents to be defeated.
The alternative is to compete against nothing but yourself. To excel merely because the act of excelling without boundaries or incentives thrills you.
And the good news is that once you find that, you'll always have it.