The honest truth about High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard is that it changed my life. I’m surprised it has taken me this long to write this review – maybe I didn’t feel qualified to tackle such a complex topic. Partially thanks to Mr. Burchard’s book (and the courses I later bought from him) I don’t feel that way anymore.
I’ve come to realize I’m an exceptionally qualified person to write a High Performance Habits review. While I don’t feel I’ve quite reached the status of “high performer”, I’m definitely making the transition. And that means a lot.
Similar to Mr. Burchard, I suffered a traumatic brain injury as a young adult. Before that event, high performance was an afterthought to me. I’d been a capable athlete and actor with designs on a career in combat sports. After the workplace accident, I couldn’t even maintain positive emotions let alone pursue my dreams.
These days, I’m back on the path to building beautiful things. I may never be a prizefighter, but I have the opportunity to create an amazing digital marketing business and I’m so grateful for that.
Note: I’m an affiliate marketer and this post does contain affiliate links. If you follow them and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.
The 6 High Performance Habits (Summary)
Burchard’s 6 essential habits are as follows:
- Seek Clarity
- Generate Energy
- Raise Necessity
- Increase Productivity
- Develop Influence
- Demonstrate Courage
There sure are a lot of buzzwords in there, eh? Fortunately that doesn’t matter to successful people. I’ve seen personal development mocked a dozen different ways, and it always comes from a place of deep insecurity. Only a person who’s afraid to change would degrade someone else for trying to improve.
Let’s take a closer look at each of those habits along with some examples.
Habit #1: Seek Clarity
What is clarity? In this case it refers to mental, spiritual, and emotional clarity. If you don’t clearly understand what you think, believe, and feel, high performance is likely to elude you. The question is, if you currently lack clarity, why is that? Are you intimidated by your thoughts, beliefs, or feelings? Are you proud of them? Indifferent? Are you happy to share them with others?
Answering those questions is one of the first steps toward seeking clarity.
Habit #2: Generate Energy
“The power plant doesn’t have energy, it generates energy.”
That’s one of Mr. Burchard’s favorite quotations, which I believe can be attributed to him. He says this phrase repeatedly during the training videos of his I’ve watched.
There are basically two parts to this habit, and it was hard for me to embrace. First I had to accept that energy wouldn’t just come to me – I had to generate it through positive emotions and lifestyle. Next, I had to actually follow through with those actions. Easier said than done!
In the end, it worked. The habit formation tips in the book were helpful, but for the most part I just had to put in the work.
Habit #3: Raise Necessity
Ever felt stuck to the couch? Maybe you were having a lazy day, or maybe you were completely exhausted… either way, you’ve probably experienced the “wild horses couldn’t move me” mentality.
But what if someone tossed a grenade in your lap? My guess is you’d get up pretty quick! That’s the essence of raising necessity. You need to understand the importance of every single thing you do in the grand scheme of your life. Once you truly realize the impact that each action has one yourself, the people around you, and the world, you’ll have a proverbial fire lit beneath you.
This habit is innately connected with seeking clarity. If you don’t start by getting absolutely clear about what you want and need, it will be difficult if not impossible to raise necessity.
Habit #4: Increase Productivity
Mr. Burchard often talks about “prolific quality output”, which means the work you do that no one else can match. While it is certainly important to focus on honing your skills and creating high quality results, it’s also important to increase your productivity. By becoming more efficient, you’ll be able to do more excellent work in the same amount of time, or even less.
Mindful practice and taking massive imperfect action are my favorite strategies for increasing productivity. It may seem counterintuitive to focus on imperfect action when your goal is high-level quality output, but as long as you always practice mindfully, the more action you take the better.
As a blogger, content creation is one of my favorite examples of this. Consider someone who is starting a new YouTube channel. If they spend half their time thinking, planning, and worrying about results, how far will they get? Not nearly as far as if they throw themself into the creation process every day.
The effectiveness of this process has made content creation “challenges” quite popular in online communities. A typical challenge might include publishing a YouTube video every day for 90 days.
While focusing on publishing makes it easier for some people, I don’t think it’s important to publish every day. It is important to do the work almost every day, though. Need a day off? Take a day off. But 95% of the time, your passion should drive you to keep creating. That way you build unstoppable momentum, and get in as much practice as possible.
Habit #5: Develop Influence
Influence is an often misunderstood concept. In a world where influencers can become famous for doing not much of anything, it’s easy to get confused about what influence really is and how it’s created. But developing influence over time is a key aspect of high performance in most peoples’ lives, and the book does a great job of explaining it.
According to Brendon, people look up to and follow influencers who care for and challenge them to improve. Of course, it’s also important that your overall behavior is that of a positive role model, but the balance of care and challenge is key.
A great example of this is influencer and YouTuber Elliot Hulse. Elliot is a weightlifter/bodybuilder and personal development expert. He has built multiple successful YouTube channels as well as other social media profiles and is commonly sought out as a coach and speaker.
With over 1 million subscribers on YouTube and 450,000 followers on Instagram, Elliot wields a massive influence over his audience. The two main cornerstones of almost every Elliot Hulse video are 1) he obviously cares about his viewers and their results 2) he ends the video with a call to action challenging you to become “the strongest version of yourself”.
If Elliot only made videos of him pumping iron and boasting about his strength, he likely never would have climbed to the heights he currently enjoys.
Habit #6: Demonstrate Courage
“What makes the Sphinx the seventh wonder? What makes the dawn come up like thunder?”
- “Courage”, the Wizard of Oz
Five years ago, I might as well have been the cowardly lion. My anxiety was so terrible at the time I could barely bring myself to leave the apartment. Back then, “high performance” for me meant a day where I went for a walk and spoke with another person. Now I’m building a business. It’s crazy how things change, and yet stay the same. I still have severe anxiety… I’ve just learned to demonstrate courage in the face of it.
Some people may not realize that being a high performer is completely relevant to where you’re at in your life. If you’re in a place where you struggle with day to day activities, then building those basic habits should be considered an achievement. When you start to stack such achievements on top of each other, you gain the kind of momentum needed to make positive, lasting changes.
The transition from an unexamined life to one of high performance can be rocky. Best to armor yourself with fierce courage to combat monsters met along the way.
Other Books I Love
Traffic Secrets by Russell Brunson: This book and some of the accompanying audio radically changed my view of how traffic can be directed online. Russell put together a really incredible bundle of tricks for this book, and I’m looking forward to reading it again.
Expert Secrets by Russell Brunson: The wisdom in this book amazes me. If you’re looking to gain insight into the world of online business from the perspective of multiple experts, this makes an excellent read.
Dotcom Secrets by Russell Brunson: Another great book with clever insights to the world of online marketing from the web’s best potato gun salesman.
More great titles to consider: Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman, Mastery by Roert Greene, Influence by Robet B. Cialdini, Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller.