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Rashi Goel

What is Performonks?

kicking monk in mid air
Reading Time: 4 minutes

I’m finally getting around to clarifying the meaning of ‘Performonks’ and its genesis. 🙂 

This is what the articles covers.

  1. The Performonks philosophy – our highest potential awaits
  2. The inspiration – Shaolin Monks 
  3. Why should all this be relevant to you?

It all started with the painful realization that I had no honest answer to a simple question, “Who Am I?”

Any answer that popped into my head was incomplete without linking my identity to my employer’s brand and my designation.

This kicked off years of exploration to understand.. well, everything. 

What is my identity as myself? Just myself.

Which led to… What’s the purpose of this one life we’ve all been given? 

Then came a time when whenever I found myself in meetings that existed only to stroke someone’s ego, the clock seemed to tick louder, and the feeling that I was wasting precious moments of my life grew stronger.

The quest continued in parallel. I devoured books and podcasts, meditated, received chakra healing, and changed multiple jobs and cities. 

All these roads led me to the same insight.

There is only one purpose for all of us – to reach our highest potential. The focus area doesn’t matter – it could be ‘to be a 10X CEO’ for one person, ‘to be the best parent’ for another, or ‘to plant as many trees as possible’ for a third. 

What matters is that we need action to convert our inert potential into kinetic reality. We cannot simply wish it into existence. This means we need performance mastery—performance in corporate, as a poet, as a wrestler, as a barista, or as a mom. 

Again, no matter the field, only self-mastery leads to performance mastery…just like the Eskimos have 50+ words for snow, there are many different ways to express this idea.

only inner mastery gives outer mastery.

better humans make better professionals. And better professionals build better businesses.

you can’t separate the personal from the professional. 

Your home life and work life are two sides of the same coin. 

how you show up outside reflects what’s going on inside.

Pick any that rings your bell.

The Performonks philosophy – our highest potential awaits 

While this quest continued, in parallel, I started writing to discover myself and carve my identity away from my corporate day job. 

When it was time to pick a name for my newsletter, I coined “Performonks” by blending Performance and Monks.

You’re saying “performance,” but instead of the usual “mance,” it’s “monks.”

The core idea is that peak performance comes from tapping into a monk-like state.

Because of my background, I anchored the ‘performance’ part on business and marketing.

But where did the word ‘Monk’ pop into my head from?

It came from my childhood.

The inspiration – Shaolin Monks 

I grew up on a summer holiday diet of epic Shaolin Monk flicks. “The 36th Chamber of Shaolin,” “The Shaolin Temple,” and many more.

Those monks weren’t just sitting around, chanting ‘om’ and waiting for enlightenment to strike them between the eyes.

They were martial arts warriors, pushing the limits of human capability. They spent their days on deliberate practice in pursuit of physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental excellence. 

Their potential unfolded as they wept, bled, and sweated from the 1st chamber to the 36th. Over decades, this practice compounded into a state of mastery.

Look at this clip of a real-life Shaolin monk’s test. The teacher calls out (03:08 to 03:23), “Your mind is not at peace. Focus on the present.”

These stories weren’t just entertainment for me. Much, much later, the dots connected, and I realized that this philosophy had entered my subconscious and had become a blueprint for my life – “inner mastery and outer mastery go hand in hand.

And in 2020, this blueprint became “Performonks.”

Why should any of this be relevant to you?

As I mentioned above, for the purpose of this newsletter, performance mastery is all about mastering challenges in the corporate domain.

Now I know that all the blunders in my career (and there have been many) happened whenever my insides were not in synch with my outsides.

I realize that as I climbed the corporate ladder, the surface area of my blunders broadened into two types. 

  1. Judgement-based decisions: As we get senior in corporate, we have to make decisions set in complex and ambiguous situations with incomplete data. Decisions like where to play, how to win, which career to pursue, who to hire, who to fire, who to trust, and who will betray us are tricky because they have no right or wrong answers. Yet, they have life-changing consequences for our self-confidence, businesses and careers.
  2. Self-management: As we transition from manager to leader, we have to navigate organization politics (it exists, don’t kid yourself) and manage relationships (with boss, peers, and reporters). We also have a lot more on our plate – managing our home, strategically charting our career path, while dealing with life’s setbacks. Despite knowing that 1% of life is what happens to us and 99% is how we respond, we often focus too much on external factors and too little on self-management.

If only I had known.

The power of compounding

The psychology of building good habits

To keep biases wired into the human brain in mind while designing marketing programs…

The brand vs product balancing act that marketers do… 

The power of storytelling in everything we do…even in the stories we tell ourselves…

That I had to cultivate and listen to my intuition…

That mastery begins where self-limiting mindsets and behaviours end…

If only.

The more I wrote, the more this newsletter became a vehicle for ‘learning on hindsight’

And this, dear readers, is the story of Performonks. 

See you next week.