The biggest difference between high performers and everybody else is that they bring order to chaos — all the time. Life is chaotic, always changing. Those who cannot adapt get left behind. However, high performers don’t just adapt during the most tumultuous changes; they thrive while others are still trying to understand what’s happening.

High performers grow and learn through the chaotic days and years. They come up with innovative solutions that didn’t even exist before everything changed.

Order must come out of chaos. People who live in a constant state of chaos are usually just seconds away from a breakthrough when most people quit. Many people never become high performers because they get all the way up to the top, and right when they’re ready for a breakthrough, they quit because they haven’t figured out how to restore order to chaos.

So, how do high performers leverage chaos to improve even more? Here are six ways they do it.

1. High performers are comfortable with being uncomfortable

Order is comfortable to most people, while chaos tends to be uncomfortable. To become a high performer, you must be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

  • Notice when you’re getting too comfortable, and change something. Comfort can be extremely dangerous; it can prevent you from doing the things you actually should be doing. On the other hand, being uncomfortable allows you to be flexible in life and seize new opportunities.
  • Identify a goal that makes you uncomfortable, and strive to pursue it. What activities have you avoided in the past because they were out of your comfort zone? Start there.

2. They optimize their lives through love, impact, faith, and energy

I use the acronym LIFE to highlight what I believe are the four key components of a high-performance life: love, impact, faith, and energy. Focusing on these four elements sets the stage for you to live your best possible life. In fact, we designed our Life Optimization process to help people increase lifelong financial independence and freedom while reducing stress and enhancing their quality of life.

  • Love is an extremely important part of a high performer’s life. It if the flagship, the reason why you work so hard. Who are the most important people in your life? Who do you love? Who are you going to put first, before everybody else? If you have a family, they are most likely the ones you will prioritize. Love is all about your relationships. It’s about friendships. It’s about the space that fills you up at a much higher level than anything else. The Beatles said it best: “All you need is love.”
  • Impact is what you do that matters. What do you do every day? What do you make a living doing? Do you turn a profit doing it? What does your financial world look like? Does that financial freedom that you may or may not have allow you to make a bigger impact on the world? How are you making a daily impact?

Your impact is what allows you to not just leave a legacy, but to live a legacy. This requires that what you do is much more than just a job; it’s a career. It’s your calling. It’s your future. As an entrepreneur, you’re performing at the best of your ability and turning a profit while doing it. You’re making enough money to be able to do other things in your life well. You have to have space to do that because if your only focus in life is work, then you’re not living your best life possible.

  • Faith is the component of your life that focuses on who or what is bigger than you. Faith and spirituality are key components to a high-performance life. This looks different for everyone. For me, spirituality is about God. It’s about building and developing a strong foundation on the teachings in the Bible.

When chaos ensued at different stages of my career, I strived to achieve peace in the midst of the chaos. That can be difficult because often, the source of chaos is beyond what we can control. It’s during those times that it benefited me to believe in something bigger than myself. Relying on my faith provides me with the capability to restore chaos to order in my own life much more easily and consistently.

In the rush to achieve and maintain high performance, many people leave faith out of the recipe. I’m not here to tell you what to believe or how to believe it, but what I can tell you is that when you believe in something bigger than yourself, and you use that as the foundation of your approach to life, it becomes much easier to manage the chaos around us. Believing in something bigger than us gives us the emotional and mental strength to focus on the other important aspects of our lives.

A lot of people are afraid to talk about faith. I’m not because I know the high-performance life cannot happen without it.

  • Energy is the fourth crucial component of the high-performance life. It’s all about the how. How do you show up in the world? Energy has everything to do with your mind, your body, and your soul. We need energy to fuel the high-performance life.

When we think of energy, we typically associate it with our health. Having a healthy body and mind is foundational to being able to make order of the chaos regularly. We need energy to make an impact and to show up for those we love. If you have little energy, it will be difficult to be the best spouse, parent or friend.

Making our health a priority is the best way to boost our energy. This means making a conscious effort to eat well, exercise regularly, and check in with our health-care teams regularly. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in an awakened awareness about how priceless our health is. LinkedIn posts declared, “Health is the new wealth.” And it is.

3. They set priorities

Every single day, the high-performance life is about setting goals and then prioritizing the actions that will help you reach those goals.

  • Be ready to change your priorities. Once you set your priorities, don’t become too attached to them! In a world that’s often chaotic, elements around you will change, so your priorities will need to change as well. Be flexible and prepared to change your priorities to adapt to changing circumstances. Otherwise, you’ll be caught off-guard. Identify what’s most important right now. And then, if something happens that’s beyond your control, reprioritize.
  • Every day, identify the things you must get done. What two or three actions will make you feel most grateful when you accomplish them? Which actions will move you forward the most? Each day, what are your priorities in terms of love, impact, faith, and energy?

4. They’re self-aware

It’s really important to know yourself — to know what you’re good at and what you’re not good at. Focus on your strengths. Practice, develop, and improve on them, and it’s amazing how easy the rest of the day can become.

  • At all times, be keenly aware of your strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities. This information will guide you in prioritizing your actions and will help you navigate your priorities and reach your goals more easily.
  • Know your weaknesses so you can delegate well. We’re all great at some things and not so great at others. High performers don’t waste their time and energy forcing themselves to do the tasks they don’t excel at and do not enjoy. Instead, delegate the tasks you don’t excel in to someone who does excel in those areas. That frees up your energy for the tasks you do excel in. And that increases your ability to make more of an impact.

5. They pivot easily

You’ve probably heard of “the power of the pivot.” One definition of pivot is “to adapt or improve by adjusting or modifying something (such as a product, service, or strategy).” Being able to pivot quickly and easily is crucial when you live in a chaotic world and constantly want to restore order to that chaos. Peace lies in pivots. It can be either a small but distinct change or a major shift.

  • When your usual strategy is no longer working, it’s time to make a change. Pivots allow high performers to accelerate their success. Each pivot you make will allow you to achieve a better outcome.
  • Remain agile because change will come at some point. High performers tend to have strong intuition that changes are coming. Some are so in tune with their environments that they can anticipate change and pivot before anyone else even realizes that something in the economy or society is shifting. How do they do that? The key is to know that the only constant is change. High performers know change is coming at some point, and they remain agile and ready to adapt and pivot.

6. They focus on financial freedom

High performers don’t let money rule them. They are not driven by chasing money — instead, they define their purpose and then pursue it in a way that enables them to achieve financial freedom. Along the way, they make wise financial decisions that make their money work for them.

  • Define what financial freedom means to you. It’s extremely important for you to know what that looks like for you because that becomes your why — your reason for working so hard.
  • Again, pursue the four components of LIFE — not money. If your relationships with those you love are stable and successful, your impact is far-reaching, your faith is strong and you have ample energy, then you will have the freedom and space to pursue what matters most. Pursuing money in and of itself will not equip you to perform at optimum levels in all areas of your live.

When you have financial freedom, you can live your best possible life. When you live free — whatever that means to you — you can restore order to a chaotic world.

How well do you make order from chaos? What pivots have you made during times of unprecedented change that benefited you? If a monumental change occurred tomorrow, how quickly and easily could you adapt? What pivots can you make right now, whether small or major, that can improve your outcome?