Climber reaching mountain summit
Photo: Comstock/Thinkstock
Wouldn't it be great if we could just change one little thing, or take this pill, and suddenly we're performing at a superstar level? Unfortunately, most of us know that isn't how it happens. True, there may be some quick diet change that can help shed 10 pounds fast, but it's usually at the expense of something beneficial for the body. And these short-term results often don't translate into lasting changes. The reality is we have to work hard to accomplish our dreams and goals. The great news is that if achieving your personal goal comes at the price of good, old-fashioned determination and a healthy dose of sweat, the reward of sitting at the top of your mountain is even more satisfying because you'll appreciate the effort it took to reach your summit.

In our years of private practice, and more recently in our years spent working at Canyon Ranch Health Resort, we have learned quite a lot about helping people reach their personal goals in regard to their health and their personal and/or professional lives. After discussing our experiences, working with others and taking into account our personal ambitions and tactics for achieving our personal best, we began to formulate a plan that combines the best of our health practices. We felt it was time for a new paradigm of wellness, something that went beyond illness prevention to a place of excellent health or an accomplishment called "peak performance." While this term has often been affiliated with high-level athletes, we feel everyone has the potential to reach peak performance. The idea of peak performance can be applied to all aspects of life, whether it is running your first marathon, being a top pilot, becoming the best mom or coping with an underlying illness in the best way possible.

So how can one attain peak performance? We feel it needs to be an integrative and multidiscipline approach. We have named this path the Everest Principle (as a metaphor to climbing your summit). There are many books and articles written about improving your life, and many of these individual approaches provide excellent plans, which sometimes even produce results. But they are all missing something: If what you're looking for is peak performance, then you have to address multiple areas at the same time.

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