Regardless of the arena (sports, business, music, etc.), people who have been recognized for extraordinary accomplishments or Breakthrough Performance have some basic principles in common that we could apply to our endeavors immediately. Although their practices and habits are often simple, they are not necessarily easy to implement and master.

Benjamin Franklin is one well-known person who exemplifies Breakthrough Performance. The diversity, volume, and quality of his output remain legendary 225 years after his death. He is known as a polymath: a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas; such a person is known to draw on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific problems.

Franklin’s Ritual for Making the Most of a Day

He had a “punch list” that he stuck to each day. He was highly organized and precise. Take a look at how he planned each day.

He said he was in a process of self-examination and developed this daily plan. What if you and I did the same? What would we identify about our aspirations and the questions that we want to answer in our lives and through our work? What issues or problems do we want to address? What legacy do we want to leave?

Your own Breakthrough Performance

For many of us, creating a plan like Ben’s for our own days on how we are going to invest our precious time and sticking to it would constitute as Breakthrough Performance. Based on the stories of other Breakthrough Performers who have similar examples of daily disciplines, we would most assuredly achieve results well beyond what we think is possible today.

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