Are there things in your life you want to do…
But no energy to do them?
Maybe you’d like to take it to the next level in your career. Find exciting new opportunities, build your platform, maybe even write that book. But where would you find the time?
Sure, you could start waking up at 4am to get in a few uninterrupted hours before the family wakes up, but you know what that would do to you. You’re practically inhaling coffee as is.
I don’t know anyone who has enough time and energy. We’re all operating at max capacity as is. If we had more to give, we’d be giving it.
So when I see those feel-good posts on social media, like “Follow your heart! Pursue your dreams! Seize the day!” I want to cringe.
It sounds so good. It feels so inspiring. You think to yourself, “Yeah! Why not? I can DO this thing!”
Only to realize a second later that you don’t have space to breathe, let alone add more to your plate.
That’s why Brendon Burchard’s newest book, High Performance Habits, riveted me from the very first page.
Brendon is a high performance coach who’s devoted decades of his life to understanding why some people break through and others don’t.
And he’s not just concentrating on CEOs or athletes, either. He’s looking at students, housewives, anyone interested in living their very best life.
What he found was that the ability to overcome challenges and achieve success on a consistent basis came down to 6 simple habits.
Not talent. Not creativity. Not intelligence, luck, gender, or geographical location.
Habits just aren’t a sexy topic.
Sure, happiness expert Gretchen Rubin sang the praises of good habits in her 2015 bestseller Better Than Before, but the word itself has such a stuffy, old-fashioned ring to it.
Brendon does his best to overcome that barrier by peppering his narrative with stories of coaching clients who didn’t link their struggles to their habits, either.
So many of us struggle to understand why we’re not doing better, why we’re putting in the hours without seeing a payoff, why it feels like we’re running in circles rather than getting anywhere.
The explanations we come up with—we’re getting older, we don’t have the advantages other people have, we have more on our plate than everyone else—just don’t cut it.
For Brendon, the best answer to the question, “Why am I doing so much and not getting anywhere?” is:
Your habits are holding you back.
Maybe you’ve never even thought too much about your habits. You do what you’ve always done. The most consistent habits most of us have revolve around mealtimes, getting up and going to work, and relaxation rituals like watching television before bed.
But high performers cultivate certain habits. They’re deliberate about it.
They look at what they want more of in their life, then they establish routines and practices to help them achieve it.
Not all habits are created equal, though.
Some habits have that extra punch. They deliver far more than you’d expected from the time invested.
They have a knock-on effect, too. Cultivate just one of these habits, and you’ll find it easier to cultivate the others. Life feels more meaningful, more enjoyable. As Rubin found, happiness and habits are inextricably entwined.
So what are the 6 high performance habits?
- Clarity. Are you clear about where you are, where you’re going, and how you’re going to get there? This isn’t just a matter of setting goals. It’s a matter of setting intentions.
- Energy. Do you have the energy you need to make it through the day on a high note? Do you finish your workweek feeling satisfied rather than wiped out? High performers do. They find sources of energy throughout the day (hint: it’s not the office candy jar) that most of us miss.
- Necessity. How often do you find yourself coasting by in life? Many people just do what they need to do to get by. High performers have a different attitude. They need to do their best. Knowing why you’re committed to excellence gives your efforts meaning.
- Productivity. Productivity isn’t about doing more. It’s about doing those things that matter. High performers shift their goalposts from achievement to alignment. For them, it’s less about racking up the symbols of success and more about carefully choosing what they get involved in.
- Influence. High performers are influential. Not because they have the coolest gadgets, wittiest tweets, or best made-for-Instagram lifestyle … but because they challenge people to think and grow.
- Courage. The more you put yourself out there, the more likely it is someone will try to shoot you down. The more risks you take, the more likely it is you’ll fail. But high performers have the courage to face their fears and do it anyway. They honor the struggle.
Does that sound like a set of habits you’d like to cultivate?
I can’t wait to get started on Brendon’s recommendations in High Performance Habits. If you’ve given them a try, let me know how they worked for you in the comments.