High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard

Hay House, 2017

Why are some people more successful than others?

How do they manage to get all their stuff done with a positive mindset?

What sets these people apart from others who struggle to reach their goals?

High Performance Habits is a step-by-step guide to become more successful in life. Based on years of research, Brendon Burchard, one of the world’s most successful performance coaches, has defined six deliberate habits that high performers practice consistently. With these habits, they have reached long-term success based on a strong mindset and a healthy body. The interesting fact is that their age, career, strengths, and personality did not matter.


Everyone can become a high performer by following these six steps:


Habit #1: Seek clarity

Envision the future by becoming clear about who you want to be each day, how you want to interact with others, which skills you need to learn to improve, and how you can make a difference to others and the world and serve with excellence.

Determine the feeling you’re after by asking yourself ‘What is the primary feeling I want to bring to this situation/get out of this situation?’

Define what’s meaningful. Focus on the actions that are in alignment with your goals. Look for activities that bring you enthusiasm, connection, and satisfaction.


Habit #2: Generate energy

Release tension, set an intention. Don’t rush through your day but create some space between activities where you release tension and set your intention for the next task. Do this with mindfulness and a deep breathing exercise.

Bring joy. Joy is the ultimate creator, and you are responsible for the energy you bring to every single task, your day, and every other situation in your life. Anticipate positive outcomes and ask yourself the right questions.

Optimise health. Focus on nutrition, exercise, and mindfulness to set your body up for optimal performance.


Habit #3: Raise necessity

Know who needs your A-game. Before you start any project or task, ask yourself ‘Who needs me on my A-game today?’

Affirm the Why. Be clear why you are doing what you’re doing. Say it out loud to yourself and share it with others. As a consequence, you will stay motivated and committed.

Level up your squad. Positive energy and a passion for excellence are contagious. So hang out with the people who inspire you and lift you up.


Habit #4: Increase productivity

Increase the outputs that matter. Determine the outputs that are most important to get you closer to your goal and show excellence in creating these outputs. Say no to almost everything else.

Chart your five moves. What are the five major things you need to do to reach your goal? Write them down and break down each move into deliverables, activities, and deadlines. Put them in your calendar and prioritise them above everything else.

Get Insanely good at key skills. Define the five major skills you need to develop over the next three years to become the best version of yourself. Focus on improving those skills.


Habit #5: Develop influence

Teach people how to think. Prepare each situation of influence by asking yourself the following questions: What do I want my conversation partner to think about themselves, about other people, and the world at large?

Challenge people to grow. Observe other people’s character, how they connect and what they contribute to others and challenge them to develop these things further.

Role model the way. Walk your talk. Show up as a role model every day for your family, your children, your team, your colleagues, and your friends. Ask yourself: How can I handle this situation to inspire others to believe in themselves, to help more people with heart and excellence?


Habit #6: Demonstrate courage.

Honour the struggle. Obstacles are detours in the right direction. View struggle as necessary, important, and positive part of your journey. Have reverence for the challenge.

Share your truth and ambitions. The main motivation of humankind is to be free, to pursue our dreams and to express our truth. Do not play small but share your true self, feelings, and dreams with others.

Find someone to fight for. Find a person or a cause to fight for. Most people will do more for others than for themselves. In doing so, you will find your courage, focus, and excellence.


I read this book with a highlighter and sticky notes and will leave it on my desk for future reference. I highly recommend it if you need some structure and clarity around your Why, your goals, and how to achieve them. After each section, the reader finds Performance Prompts to reflect on the topic. There are also free checklists to download.

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