"Pursuing Optimal Living and Performance" by George Pitagorsky

Optimal living enables optimal performance. Individuals and organizations shooting for sustainable excellent performance and individual satisfaction need a well-developed program.


I was recently asked, "What makes you different than the many other coaches offering services in the mindfulness and wellness space?" Thinking about it, what came to mind was that while mindfulness and wellness are critically important, they are means to the end of optimal living and performance. This is not a new concept. I addressed it in my book, The Zen Approach to Project Management and came back to it in my books on the application of mindfulness to conflict and expectations.

As a coach and consultant, I provide tools and concepts to enable individuals to live optimally and teams to perform optimally. This recognizes that to be effective it is necessary for individuals to work well in relationships, teams, and organizations to be healthy, and happy.


It is not enough to work on oneself, though it is an essential foundation. The work environment, including its values, goals, and processes, must be healthy to promote and support personal wellbeing. A "healthy" person will perform as well as possible in an unhealthy environment, but will be hindered by it and is likely to be worn down or driven away.


What do we mean by 'healthy?'  Before we can promote and sustain optimal living and performance, we need a clear understanding of what it means to be healthy as an individual, team and organization.


For the individual, to be healthy means to be able to work effectively with whatever comes, to be openminded, flexible, and resilient. Of course, physical health is a big part of it, but the mental health that enables flexibility, resilience, emotional and social intelligence, and effective performance is the critical factor. One can be 'healthy' even when suffering with sickness, physical disability, or injury.


For a team or organization to be healthy it must have a right balance of process factors like:

  • strategic and tactical values, goals and objectives
  • effective communication
  • interpersonal relationships that support collaborative efforts and teamwork
  • processes for managing relationships, expectations, conflicts, operations, projects, and programs
  • a commitment to serving people (employees, clients, and business partners) and their needs


A fundamental reality is that process enables performance. In fact performance and process are inseparable. There is no performance without process. And process is complex, with many facets and intersecting levels - personal, team, organization, community, environment.  On the surface process is task oriented. Just beneath  the surface there are controls, strategic planning, policies, project management, infrastructure, knowledge management and other enablers.


Enabling these is the process of interpersonal relations. And at the foundation of intrapersonal process is the interplay among beliefs, mental models, habits, cultural conditions, physical and psychological conditions, intelligences, competencies, values, and the ability to self-reflect and self-manage.


To enable individuals to live optimally and teams to perform optimally, it is necessary to provide coaching and consulting services in a program that consciously address the whole, whether it is the team, a family unit, or organization. A well-planned program will have many training, coaching, consulting, and measurement components woven together with a common focus on overall performance.


For example, teaching people how to meditate to relieve stress without providing support and the understanding of where it fits in the bigger picture is like putting a band-aid on an injury. It helps but it neither treats the injury nor helps to eliminate its causes. Positioning mindfulness meditation as a "wellness" technique without recognizing its role in relationships and operational performance misses an opportunity to leverage the power of mindfulness in overall performance.


In any kind of training or coaching the measure of its success is the degree to which what is learned is applied and makes a positive difference. Ongoing assessment and refinement is needed.


So I come back to the question "What makes me different than the many other coaches offering services in the mindfulness and wellness space?" It is a foundation of six decades long foundation in the study and application of mindful awareness to the roles that I have played - technologist, executive, learning developer, yogi, meditation teacher, author, globally recognized project and process management expert, coach, and consultant.


Having had in-depth experience in so many roles is one of the benefits of living 80 years. And then there is the opportunity to stay open minded and flexible to be able to serve the performance improvement needs of individuals, teams, and organizations by promoting a programmatic approach.



George Pitagorsky’s mission is to guide people to create healthy, happy, and highly effective teams, organizations, and communities. He has decades of experience as a globally recognized project, program and process management expert, teacher, and technology executive. His experience includes six years as CIO for a multi-billion-dollar government agency, and as a principle in a technology start-up. As Director of Program Development George brings over ten years of experience in that role for an international learning organization.

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