High Performance Habits

By: Brendon Buchard

"We are what we repeatedly do, success is therefore not an action but a habit". This Book contains a list of habits that help us reach levels of high performance at a consistent level.  Brendon Burchard does an amazing job in first breaking down the different areas of our lives that need to be optimized and then talks about the habits we can incorporate in each one of these areas for moving to the next level.

 

This book is highly recommended for anyone who is looking for some concrete steps/practices to start living a balanced, fullfilling and enjoyable life.

Summary PDF >

6 Key Ideas + 5 Key Habits

  1. To reach high performance, you must consistently do the following

    • Seek clarity on who you want to be, how you want to interact with others, what you want, and what will bring you the greatest meaning.

    • Generate energy so that you can maintain focus, effort, and wellbeing. To stay on your A game, you’ll need to actively care for your mental stamina, physical energy, and positive emotions in very specific ways.

    • Raise the necessity for exceptional performance. This means actively tapping into the reasons you absolutely must perform well.

    • Increase productivity in your primary field of interest. Specifically, focus on prolific quality output (PQO) in the area in which you want to be known and to drive impact. You’ll also have to minimize distractions (including opportunities) that steal your attention from creating PQO.

    • Develop influence with those around you. It will make you better at getting people to believe in and support your efforts and ambitions.

    • Demonstrate courage by expressing your ideas, taking bold action, and standing up for yourself and others, even in the face of fear, uncertainty, threat, or changing conditions.

  2. When showering ask yourself: What is the primary feeling I want to experience today? What can I be excited about today? What or who might trip me up or cause stress, and how can I respond in a positive way, from my highest self? Who can I surprise today with a thank-you, a gift, or a moment of appreciation? 
  3. Door Frame Trigger: Everytime you enter any room, say to yourself “I will find the good in this room. I’m entering this space a happy man/women ready to serve.”. You enter a lot of doors every day, hence this is a good way to mentally ground yourself 

  4. Every-time you sit down, ask yourself “Who needs me at my ‘A’ game the most right now?". You sit down a lot of times every day, hence this is a good reminder to yourself to stay at a high-performance level

  5. Every hour, spend 30 seconds to a minute in closing your eyes/focusing on breath and releasing tension by saying Release, Release, Release and at the end of the process, set intention for what you would like to do next

  6. Every time you sit down to work - put a 50-minute timer to remind yourself to get up and get stretched out -> Take 10 deep breaths and set intention

Notes

Introduction

 

  • It will reveal what it takes to become not just an achiever but a high performer—someone who creates ever-increasing levels of both well-being and external success over the long term.

  • At the end of this book, you’ll say to yourself, “I finally know exactly how to be consistently at my best. I’m confident in my ability to figure things out, and fully capable of overcoming adversity on the path to success, for the rest of my life.”

  • In this book, high performance refers to succeeding beyond standard norms, consistently over the long term.

  • High performers cope better, stay more resilient, and experience less severe performance dips related to fatigue, distraction, and overwhelm.

  • To become a high performer, ego takes a backseat to service. High performers have mastered the art of influencing others in such a way that others feel respected, valued, and appreciated

  • The question high performers ask is less often “Who am I and what am I good at?” and more often “What is required to be of service here, and how can I grow into that or lead others to deliver that?”

  • high performers get more things done that are highly valued in their primary field of interest. They remember that the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.

  • They don’t just develop skill; they develop people.

  • you don’t need anyone’s permission to start living life on your own terms. You just need a plan.

  • To succeed, always remember that the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.

 

 

Beyond Natural - The quest for high performance

 

  • In becoming successful, hard work, passion, practice, resilience, and people skills are often more important than IQ, raw talent, or where you’re from.

  • To reach high performance, you must consistently do the following

    • Seek clarity on who you want to be, how you want to interact with others, what you want, and what will bring you the greatest meaning.

    • Generate energy so that you can maintain focus, effort, and wellbeing. To stay on your A game, you’ll need to actively care for your mental stamina, physical energy, and positive emotions in very specific ways.

    • Raise the necessity for exceptional performance. This means actively tapping into the reasons you absolutely must perform well.

    • Increase productivity in your primary field of interest. Specifically, focus on prolific quality output (PQO) in the area in which you want to be known and to drive impact. You’ll also have to minimize distractions (including opportunities) that steal your attention from creating PQO.

    • Develop influence with those around you. It will make you better at getting people to believe in and support your efforts and ambitions.

    • Demonstrate courage by expressing your ideas, taking bold action, and standing up for yourself and others, even in the face of fear, uncertainty, threat, or changing conditions.

  • If you have great ambitions to contribute extraordinary things, you’ll have to grow and stretch far beyond what’s natural to you.

  • High-Performance Feeling: This means they tend to be fully immersed in what they are doing, they enjoy what they’re doing, and they have confidence in their ability to figure things out.

  • The high performance happens because of what you deliberately think and do on a routine basis in order to excel and serve at higher levels. It is this quest to challenge yourself to develop good habits that will make you feel enlivened and help you realize your full potential.

 

High-Performance Habit #1: Seek Clarity  

 

  • High performers have more clarity on who they are, what they want, how to get it, and what they find meaningful and fulfilling.

  • Clarity is not a personality trait that some are blessed to “have” and others are not.

  • So don’t hope for a flash of inspiration to reveal what you want next. You generate clarity by asking questions, researching, trying new things, sorting through life’s opportunities, and sniffing out what’s right for you.

  • Who am I? (What do I value? What are my strengths and weaknesses?) What are my goals? What’s my plan? These questions may seem basic, but you would be surprised how much knowing the answers can affect your life.

  • Clarity on who you are is associated with overall self-esteem. This means that how positive you feel about yourself is tied to how well you know yourself. On the flip side, lack of clarity is strongly associated with neuroticism and negative emotions.

  • That’s why self-awareness is so key to initial success. You have to know who you are, what you value, what your strengths and weaknesses are, and where you want to go. This kind of knowledge makes you feel better about yourself and about life.

  • you need to have unambiguous and challenging goals. Decades of research show that having specific and difficult goals increases performance, whether those goals are created by you or assigned to you.

  • You should also give yourself deadlines for your goals, or you won’t follow through. Studies show that having a specific plan attached to your goals—knowing when and where you will do something—can more than double the likelihood of achieving a challenging goal.

  • knowing when and where you will do something—can more than double the likelihood of achieving a challenging goal.

  • the highest performers had a great ability to focus on the future and divine how they would achieve excellence.

  • They didn’t just know who they were; indeed, they rarely focused on their present personality or preferences. Instead, they consistently thought about who they wanted to be and how to become that.

  • They could also describe with great clarity how they wanted to feel in upcoming endeavours, and they knew specifically what conditions could destroy their enthusiasm, sense of satisfaction, and growth.

  • Practice One: Envision the Future Four (High performers in advance envision 4 areas :-)

    •  Self

      • We’ve found that high performers can articulate their future self with greater ease than others. Tactically, this means they tend to have a faster and more thoughtful,

      • But high performers spend a lot of time thinking about their best self and the ideal they’re trying to grow into.

      • sixty minutes more per week than the lowest-scoring clients.

      • Be more intentional about who you want to become. Have vision beyond your current circumstances. Imagine your best future self, and start acting like that person today.

      • Activity: Figure out 3 words that describe your ideal future self (Example: Abundant, Grateful, Alive) and set it them as a labelled alarm that rings several times a day

    • Social

      • High performers also have clear intentions about how they want to treat other people. They have high situational awareness and social intelligence, which help them succeed and lead.

      • Questions to ask yourself : 

        • How can I be a good person or leader in this upcoming situation? 

        • What will the other person(s) need? 

        • What kind of mood and tone do I want to set?

      • three words that best define how they would like to be treated by others, high performers most valued being respected and appreciated.

      • What is apparent across all high performers is that they anticipate positive social interactions and they strive consciously and consistently to create them.

      • They’re consistently wondering, “How do I want those I love and serve to remember me?”

      • Activity: Write down the name of 5 colleagues or loved ones: Ask yourself if I would want 3 words from their view to describe me, what would they be?

      • High performers are also working on skills that focus on what I call their primary field of interest. They’ve homed in on their passionate interests, and they set up activities or routines to develop skill in those areas.

    • Skill

      • executives who score higher on the HPI tend to have more blocks of time already scheduled for learning than do their peers with lower scores.

      • Magic Formula: Look to the future, Identify key skills, Obsessively develop those skills 

      • No matter your current level of performance, clarifying your PFI and the skills you need to master for your next level of success must be a priority.

      • Activity: Write down 3 skills you need to be successful in your field. Under each skill write down the steps you will take to develop them. Repeat for a scenario 10 years from now

    • Service

      • “How can I serve people with excellence and make an extraordinary contribution to the world?”

      • When someone becomes disconnected from the future and their contribution to it, they underperform.

      • What will provide the most value to those you serve? This is a question high performers obsess about.

  • Practice Two: Determine the feeling you are after 

    • Think of an emotion as mostly a reaction, and the feeling is an interpretation.

    • Before entering any performance situation, high performers contemplate how they want to feel regardless of what emotions might come up, and they envision how they want to feel leaving the situation regardless of what emotions might come up. Then they exert self-control to achieve those intentions.

    • if we seek to experience life and all its emotions and yet choose to feel centred, happy, strong, and loving right through the ups and downs, then we’ve accomplished something powerful.

    • In your everyday life, start asking, “What do I want to feel today? How could I define the meaning of the day so that I feel what I want to?” Next time you go on a date with someone, think about the feelings you want to create.

  • Practice Three: Define What’s Meaningful

    • What differentiates high performers from others is their critical eye in figuring out what is going to be meaningful to their life experience.

    • When someone becomes disconnected from the future and their contribution to it, they underperform.

    • High Performers tend to equate four factors with meaning 

      • 1) Enthusiasm 

        • Most high performers mentioned they would do the project they were most enthusiastic about 

        • Ask yourself every day “What can I get excited or enthusiastic about today?”

      • 2) Connection

        • People who become a socially isolated report that their life has lost meaning.

        • high performers feel that their work has more meaning when they are in a peer group that challenges them.

      • 3) Satisfaction 

        • If what they are doing creates a sense of personal satisfaction, they feel that their life is more meaningful.

        • Passion + Growth + Contribution = Personal Satisfaction

      • 4) Coherence

        • They want to know that their efforts align with something important, that their work is significant, and that their lives are creating a legacy and feeding a larger purpose.

    • The important thing is this: You need to bring more conscious and consistent thought to what you will find meaning in life.

 

 

High-Performance Habit #2: Generate Energy 

  • When I use the word energy in this book, then, keep in mind it means the full spectrum of mental, emotional, and physical vibrancy.

  • It turns out that to make it to CEO, you have to care about your energy as much as an NFL quarterback does because it takes about the same level of energy.

  • It turns out, too, that marriage is good for your energy, just as it’s good for your longevity. In our surveys, married people have more energy than their never married counterparts.

  • You don’t have to “wait” for joy, motivation, love, excitement, or any other positive emotion in life. You can choose to generate it, on demand, any time you want, through the power of habit.

  • Practice One: Release tension, set intention

    • Our days comprise a series of transitions. These transitions are immensely valuable—a powerful space of freedom between activities. And it’s in this space that you’ll discover your greatest restorer and amplifier of energy.

    • Activity: Releasing the tension in between activities 

      • Step 1: Close your eyes or get your attention to your breath

      • Step 2: Repeat the world ‘Release’ in your mind and let go of the tension in your shoulders, back, legs, jaw, soul, legs & breathe deeply

      • Step 3: Set Intention,  ask yourself what energy do I want to bring to this activity, how can I do it with excellence, How can I enjoy the process

    • Brendon Burchard RTM meditation (Meditating on the mantra release) - Youtube video that you can look up

  • Practice Two: Bring The Joy 

    • Positive emotion, in general, is one of the greatest predictors of the good life—high energy and high performance.

    • Positive emotion is a prerequisite for high performance. And only you are in charge of your enduring emotional experience.

    • high performers will themselves into positive states. Just as athletes do specific things to get themselves into “the zone,” high performers consciously cultivate joy.

    • Questions to ask yourself in the morning: What can I be excited about today? What or who might trip me up or cause stress, and how can I respond in a positive way, from my highest self? Who can I surprise today with a thank-you, a gift, or a moment of appreciation?

    • If you are always in a state of hurry, anxiety, stress, and busyness, then what energy are you teaching others to adopt? If you won’t bring more mindfulness and joy into your life for the sheer personal improvement, then do it for those around you who might otherwise be harmed by unchecked emotional contagion.

  • Practice Three: Optimize Health 

    • Ask yourself: From a scale of 0-10: How healthy am I in terms of my diet & exercise? If you scored yourself below 7 , this is the most important section in the book

    • Exercise improves learning. Exercise also decreases stress, which is a killer of mental performance.

    • I promise you that if you make exercise a vitally important part of your life, a lot of other things will magically fall into place.

    • Companies that don’t care about their employees’ well-being don’t perform as well as their competitors.40

  • Energy is critical to high performance. You can have all the other habits up and running in your life, but without mastering this one, you won’t feel good.

 

High-Performance Habit #3: Raise Necessity

  • Necessity is the emotional drive that makes great performance a must instead of a preference. Unlike weaker desires that make you want to do something, necessity demands that you take action.

  •  Necessity inspires a higher sense of motivation than usual because personal identity is engaged, creating a sense of urgency to act.

  • We’ve found that two specific internal forces—personal standards of excellence and obsession with a topic—are particularly powerful in determining your ability to succeed over the long term.

  • Satisfaction is not the cause of great performance; it’s the result.

  • High performers don’t just know that they have high standards and want to excel; they check in several times throughout their day to see whether they are living up to those standards. It’s this self-monitoring that helps them get ahead.

  • If you’re not going to monitor your progress, you may as well not set a goal or expect to live up to your own standards.

  • Decades of research involving over forty thousand participants have shown that people who set difficult and specific goals outperform people who set vague and non-challenging goals.

  • A certain degree of insanity and recklessness is necessary to advance or innovate anything, to make any new or remarkable or meaningful contributions.

  • When you are passionate about what you do, people understand. When you are obsessed, they think you’re mad. That’s the difference.

  • When you have the opportunity to serve, you don’t complain about the effort involved.

  • Real deadlines are an underappreciated tool in performance management.

  • The reality is that when you choose to care for others and make a big difference in the world, the number of deadlines coming at you will increase.

  • Identity. Obsession. Duty. Deadlines. As you can imagine, any one of these forces can make us bring up our game.

  • We change and improve over time only when we must. When the internal and external forces on us are strong enough, we make it happen.

  • Practice One: Know Who Needs Your A-Game 

    • From now on, whenever you sit down at your desk—that’s the trigger action—ask: “Who needs me on my A game the most right now?” Butt hits chair; then you ask and answer the question. That’s the practice.

    • It forces you to do a quick gut check. The mere mention of your A game forces an internal review: What is my A game? Have I been bringing it today? What would my A game look like in the next hour or so?

  • Practice Two: Affirm The Why 

    • High performers have confidence in the reasons they are working so hard, and they are proud to tell you about their purpose.

    • High performers are confident about their why but open about how.

  • Practice Three: Level up your squad

    • If you truly want to increase your performance in any area of your life, get around some new people who expect and value high performance.

    • High Performers are more strategic and consistent in seeking to work with others at or above their level of competence, experience, or overall success.

    • They seek networking activities or group affiliations with more successful people. At work, they communicate more with people who are more experienced and often “above” them on the organizational chart. In their personal lives, they volunteer more, spend less time in negative or conflict-ridden relationships, and ask for help from their more successful peers more than others do.

    • Choose to surround yourself with people who bring joy and growth into your life and are secure enough in themselves to be real and solid whether you shine or struggle.

    • “Have I associated the important activities of my day with my identity and my sense of obligation? Why is chasing this dream so important to me? Why must I do this? When must I do it? How can I get around more amazing people who up my game and help me serve at the next level?” These questions, frequently revisited, can be the prompts for an entirely new level of commitment and drive

 

High-Performance Habit #4: Increase Productivity

  • Sometimes, being effective isn’t enough because achievement can be hollow if it gets out of sync with who you are, what you really want to be doing, what you’re actually capable of.

  • The fundamentals of becoming more productive are setting goals and maintaining energy and focus.

    • Goals: When you have clear and challenging goals, you tend to be more focused and engaged, which leads to a greater sense of flow and enjoyment in what you’re doing. Greater enjoyment gives you that intrinsic motivation that has been correlated with greater productivity in both quantity and quality of output.

    • It’s an undisputed fact that happier people are more productive.

    • Distraction is another downer. One study found that distraction lowers productivity by 20 percent.11 It’s even worse if we’re working on challenging mental tasks—distractions then can slow our thinking by almost half.

    • The final big culprit is interruptions.

    • If you don’t like your work and you have to spend a lot of time doing it, then, of course, you feel as though life is out of balance. You would recognize that your busywork isn’t your life’s work, and that dissonance would cause you mental distress.

    • Your brain also needs more downtime than you probably think—to process information, recover, and deal with life so that you can be more productive.18 That’s why, for optimal productivity, you should not only take longer breaks—claim your vacation time!—but also, give yourself intermittent breaks throughout the day.

    • If you want to feel more energized, creative, and effective at work—and still, leave work with enough oomph for the “life” part—the ideal breakpoint is to stop your work and give your mind and body a break every forty-five to sixty minutes.

    • “If your butt lands in a chair, then set a fifty-minute timer on your phone or computer. At fifty minutes, no matter what you’re working on, stand up, move, breathe, set an intention, and then return to your work.”

    • If all you did was stand up every hour, close your eyes, and bounce in place while taking ten deep, long breaths, you’d feel a total renewal of focus and productivity in your life.

  • Practice One: Increase the outputs that matter 

    • Figuring out what you are supposed to produce, and learning the priorities in the creation, quality, and frequency of that output, is one of the greatest breakthroughs you can have in your career.

    • One of the great realizations of life can come from discovering that the outputs you are being compensated for are not exciting or fulfilling. When that realization comes, it’s time to honour that truth and make a change.

    • Spend 60% of your workweek your prolific quality output (The work you really want to do in this lifetime)

    • researchers have found that procrastination is really a motivational problem.33 It’s an issue that arises because you’re not working on things that intrinsically matter to you.

  • Practice Two: Chart your five moves 

    • High performers are making things happen, all right. But when they start making a lot of things happen with no unifying trajectory, they begin losing their power. Then they lose their passion. Then they’re achieving a lot of little things but no big, meaningful things.

    • Having a plan and working through it step-by-step is more important than you think. A plan focuses scattered thinking. And finishing each vital task on your list fires off dopamine in the brain, making you feel both rewarded and more motivated to continue.

    • Think of your dream/goal and ask yourself : “If there were only five major moves to make that goal happen, what would they be?” Know the big five moves that will take you to your goal, break those moves down into tasks and deadlines, then put them in a calendar. If that’s all you did, and you made sure these moves aligned with your PQO, you’d be ahead of the game.

    • Burchard, Brendon. High-Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way (p. 197). Hay House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

    • High performers plan almost everything more than underperformers do: from workouts to learning, from meetings to vacation time.

    • Find the successful people you want to emulate in some way, and discover their five moves, ask them “What five major moves made the most difference in …?”

    • It doesn’t matter whether you know how to achieve your Five Moves at first. The important thing is that for every major goal you have, you figure out the Five Moves. If you don’t know the moves, you lose.

    • Process to get whatever you want done 

      • Decide what you want.

      • Determine the Five Major Moves that will help you leap toward that goal. 

      • Do deep work on each of the major five moves—at least 60 percent of your workweek going to these efforts—until they are complete.

      • Designate all else as a distraction, tasks to delegate, or things to do in blocks of time you’ve allocated in the remaining 40 percent of your time.

      •  

  • Practice Three: Get insanely good at key skills

    • No matter what skill you want to learn, with enough training and practice and intention, you can become more proficient at it.

    • Whenever you want to master a skill, you have two choices: You can hope to develop that skill with some practice and repetition, or you can ensure that you become world-class in that skill through progressive mastery. Steps to progressive mastery:- 

      • Determine a skill that you want to master. 

      • Set specific stretch goals on your path to developing that skill.

      • Attach high levels of emotion and meaning to your journey and your results. 

      • Identify the factors critical to success, and develop your strengths in those areas (and fix your weaknesses with equal fervor). 

      • Develop visualizations that clearly imagine what success and failure look like. 

      • Schedule challenging practices developed by experts or through careful thought. 

      • Measure your progress and get outside feedback. 

      • Socialize your learning and efforts by practising or competing with others. 

      • Continue setting higher-level goals so that you keep improving. Teach others what you are learning.

  • Stop producing outputs that don’t make your soul sing. Avoid trying to be effective or efficient doing things that you’re not proud of and make no impact.

 

High-Performance Habit #5: Develop Influence

  • The only way to influence another person is to first relate with them and then help raise their ambition to think better, do better, or give more.

  • If you believe that your peers view you as a successful, high performing person, naturally you believe yourself to be more influential.

  • Part of gaining influence is simply learning to make a lot of requests and getting better at making those requests (which comes only with practice).

  • It’s counterintuitive, but if getting people to like you more is the goal, then just ask them to do you a favour.

  • Great leaders ask a lot of questions. Remember, people support what they create. When people get to contribute ideas, they have mental skin in the game.

  • when you show up and give genuine praise, respect, and appreciation, you stand out. Be grateful for people. Just by offering gratitude, you can more than double the likelihood that those receiving your appreciation will help you again in the future.

  • If you’re the one who appreciates people the most, you’re the most appreciated.

  • Find out what your people are passionate about, and cheer on their good ideas. Be excited for people when they do a good job, and publicly praise them.

  • To gain influence with others, (1) teach them how to think about themselves, others, and the world; (2) challenge them to develop their character, connections, and contributions; and (3) role model the values you wish to see them embody.

    • Practice One: Teach people how to think

      • “Think of it this way . . .” “What do you think about . . .” “What would happen if we tried . . .” “How should we approach . . .” “What should we be paying attention to . . .”

    • Practice Two: Challenge people to grow

      •  High performers challenge the people around them to rise to higher levels of performance themselves. If you could follow them around as they lead their lives, you would see that they consistently challenge others to raise the bar. They push people to get better, and they don’t apologize for it.

      • There is no doubt that regardless of how well you communicate, some people may not like it when you start pushing them to grow and contribute. That’s a price you must be willing to pay to effect change and gain real influence in life.

      • Questions for character building: 

        • “Looking back, do you feel you gave it your all?”

        •  “Are you bringing the best of you to this situation?”

        •  “What values were you trying to embody when you did that?”

        • “What kind of person do you want to be remembered as?

        •  What would life look like if you gave your all? 

        • Where are you making excuses, and how might life turn out differently if you showed up stronger?”

      • What you wouldn’t condone is poor social behaviour. High performing leaders call out anyone who is being inappropriate, rude, or dismissive of someone else on their team.

    • Practice Three: Role Model The Way

      • High performers think about how to act so that others might follow them or help them achieve a specific outcome. It’s less “I’m trying to be Mother Teresa” and more “I’m going to demonstrate a specific behaviour so that others will emulate that exact behaviour, which will help us move toward a specific result.”

      • What makes them high performers is the laser-focused intention on how they can act in a way that gets someone to improve who they are or achieve a specific result.

      • There’s just something magical that happens in our life when we let all the drama go and decide to ask how we can be role models again.

 

High-Performance Habit #6: Demonstrate Courage

  • Individuals who have developed greater courage in life also tend to have more clarity, energy, necessity, productivity, and influence. Courage can revolutionize your life,

  • high performers report taking action despite fear much more than others do.

  • Someone to demonstrate courage, these things are likely to present: risk, fear, and a good reason to act.

  • Types of courage

    • physical courage, when you put yourself in harm’s way to meet a noble goal—

    • Moral courage is speaking up for others or enduring hardship for what you believe is right, to serve the greater good.

    • Psychological courage is the act of facing or overcoming your own anxieties, insecurities, and mental fears to (a) assert your authentic self instead of conforming—

    • Everyday courage could mean keeping a positive attitude or taking action despite great uncertainty

  • The important thing is that you define what being more courageous means to you, and start living that way.

  • You are capable of remarkable things that you could never foretell and will never discover without taking action.

  • Only when our fears become our growth plan have we stepped onto the path of mastery.

  • If your future best self—a version of you ten years older, who is even stronger, more capable, and more successful than you imagined yourself to be—showed up on your doorstep today and looked at your current circumstances, what courageous action would that future self-advise you to take right away to change your life? How would your future self-tell you to live?

  • Practice One : Honor the struggle 

    • To achieve excellence requires hard work, discipline, routines that can become boring, the continual frustrations that accompany learning, adversities that test every measure of our heart and soul, and, above all, courage.

    • When we learn to see struggle as a necessary, important, and positive part of our journey, then we can find true peace and personal power.

    • We must accept that struggle will either destroy us or develop us, and the hardest of human truths is that, ultimately, it’s our choice. No matter how difficult it gets, the next step is still your choice. For that, let’s be thankful.

    • In any area of your life, if you have the opportunity and blessing to serve, you don’t complain about the effort involved.

  • Practice Two : Share your truth & ambitions

    • The main motivation of humankind to be free, to express our true selves and pursue our dreams without restriction—to experience what may be called personal freedom.

    • The only time you should try to measure up to someone else’s idea of who you are or what you’re capable of is when that person is a role model cheering you on. If someone believes in you and sees greatness in you, sure, try to live up to that.

    • No one can quiet you without your permission.No one can minimize your self-image but you.And no one can open you up and release your full power but you.

    • If you don’t ask for help, the right people can’t come into your life. So if the universe isn’t giving you what you want, perhaps it’s because amid all your distractions and silence, the universe just doesn’t know what you’re asking for.

    • The most important thing in connecting authentically with others is to share your true desires with them.

    • make it a daily practice to be sharing your thoughts and goals and feelings with others. Every day, share something with someone about what you really think and want in life.

    • The kinds of courageous acts that you are proud of at the end of your life are those in which you faced uncertainty and real risk, with real stakes, when doing something for a cause or person beyond yourself, without any assurance of safety, reward, or success.

 

Section 3 : Sustaining Success 

  • If you’re going to maintain high performance, you need to maintain your high performance habits and avoid these three traps.

  • TRAP # 1 : Superiority 

    • When you are succeeding beyond others, it’s easy to get a big head. You can begin to think you’re special, separate from, better than, or more important than other people.

    • Here’s how to know when superiority has infiltrated your mind:

      •  You think you are better than another person or group. 

      • You’re so amazingly good at what you do that you don’t feel you need feedback, guidance, diverse viewpoints, or support.

      •  You feel that you automatically deserve people’s admiration or compliance because of who you are, what position you hold, or what you’ve accomplished. 

      • You feel that people don’t understand you, so all those fights and failures are surely not your fault—it’s that “they” just can’t appreciate your situation or the demands, obligations, or opportunities you have to sort through daily.

    • All isolation is ultimately self-imposed. This is a difficult truth to relay to people who feel that no one can understand them or their situation.

    • Their lack of understanding only grows in your silence.

    • whoever you are, what seems a big issue to you, what might be separating you from others in your circle of influence, might be child’s play to a bigger fish in another pond. That perspective can prove hopeful. Someone out there has already solved the dilemma, mastered the thing that you believe makes you so different from others. If you can find them, you can find a mentor, a solution, and a path back to reality and humility.

    • Don’t judge others as below you or separate from you. Your frustration with people is coming from a forgetfulness that almost everyone could succeed at a higher level

    • Superior-minded people are certain they are better, more capable, more deserving.4 And it’s that certainty that closes their minds to learning, connection with others, and, ultimately, growth.

    • Humility is a foundational virtue that enables many other virtues to grow.

    • To avoid thinking you’re superior to others you can do the following things : 

      • deliberately seek others’ ideas for improving anything you do: If you could improve on my idea, how would you go about it? Ask this question enough, and you’ll discover so many holes in your thinking, any sense of superiority begins to melt away in the harsh light of truth.

      • If you find that your thinking is not being challenged enough or your growth has topped out, hire a coach, trainer, or therapist.

      • remind yourself that trust is earned through caring for others, not bragging about yourself. Challenge yourself to ask people more questions about who they are, where they come from, what they want to achieve.

      • Keep a practice for reminding yourself of your blessings. Gratitude and humility have been shown to be “mutually reinforcing,” meaning the more grateful you are, the more humble you feel.

  • Trap # 2 : Dissatisfaction

    • Those who are never satisfied are never at peace. They can’t tune in to their zone—the noise of a dissatisfied mind prevents them from finding a rhythm that makes them feel alive and effective.

    • Dissatisfaction is disconnection, so people who feel it do not experience the full levels of engagement and joy that high performers so consistently talk about.

    • Our natural tendency is to seek positive emotions and experiences. When we do, it enhances our learning and our ability to see new opportunities.14 It also leads to flow states that make for superior objective performance outcomes.15 That tendency should be encouraged and amplified. When it is, life blooms and high performance is more likely.

    • Being satisfied, then, doesn’t mean “settling.” It simply means accepting and taking pleasure in what is. It’s allowing yourself to feel contentment whether or not a thing is complete or “perfect.”

    • Soon, in the place of all that dissatisfaction will be a sense of real connection and play, and when that happens, you’ll reach an entirely new level of mastery and performance.

    • if you are a leader. Allowing greater satisfaction as you strive isn’t just about how much better you can feel. It’s also about how others feel around you. No one wants to work with someone who is perennially dissatisfied with themselves or others. We’ve found that leaders who are always stuck in error-detection mode and forget to celebrate the small wins also consistently fail to acknowledge progress, praise the team, encourage reflection, and champion other people’s ideas.

    • To help you on this journey, try this: 

      • Start journaling at the end of each day. Write down three things that went well or better than expected that day. Write about any progress or blessings that you feel grateful for. It’s such simple but essential advice to keep 

      • Get your family or team together once a week for no other reason than to talk about what’s working, what people are excited about, what difference your efforts are making in real people’s lives.

      • Start meetings by asking others to share one great thing that has happened that can give the team a sense of joy, pride, and fulfillment.

  • Trap #3 : Neglect

    • You don’t say to yourself, “I’m going to neglect my health, my family, my team, my responsibilities, my real passions and dreams.” It’s more that passion or busyness blinds you to what’s important, just long enough for things to fall apart.

    • I’ve found it useful to organize life into ten distinct categories: health, family, friends, intimate relationship, mission/work, finances, adventure, hobby, spirituality, and emotion. When I’m working with clients, I often have them rate their happiness on a scale of 1 through 10 and also write their goals in each of these ten arenas every Sunday night.

    • I’ve found it useful to organize life into ten distinct categories: health, family, friends, intimate relationship, mission/work, finances, adventure, hobby, spirituality, and emotion. When I’m working with clients, I often have them rate their happiness on a scale of 1 through 10 and also write their goals in each of these ten arenas every Sunday night.

    • When you’re good, you want to take on more. But beware the impulse. High performance isn’t about more for the sake of more, just because you can. It’s often about less—zeroing in on just those few things that matter and protecting your time and well-being so you can truly engage those around you, enjoy your craft, and confidently handle your responsibilities.

    • Slow down, be more strategic, and say no more often.

 

 

The #1 Thing

  • When someone is more confident, they consistently have greater clarity, energy, productivity, influence, necessity, and courage

  • The 3 C’s of confidence: 

    • High performers simply thought about things that gave them more confidence than others, more often did things that gave them more confidence than others, and avoided things that drain confidence more often than others did.

    • Competence

      • High performers have confidence not only because of past skill acquired in a specific area, but equally from trust in their ability to gain future competence.Their confidence came from belief in their power of learning in general.

      • High performers are learners, and their belief that they can learn what is necessary to win in the future gives them as much confidence as their current skill sets.

      • In other words, the competency that matters is the ability to become competent.

      • High performers ponder the lessons from their wins. They give credit to themselves, and they allow those wins to integrate into their psyche and give them greater strength.

      • Don’t wait until New Year’s Eve to think about all the great things you did and learned this year. I recommend you spend at least thirty minutes every Sunday reflecting on the previous week. What did you learn? What did you handle well? What do you deserve to give yourself a pat on the back for? As simplistic as this may sound, it can have a profound effect in helping you gain more confidence.

    • Congruence

      • Living in congruence with the best of who we are is one of the primary motivations of humankind.

      • High performers shaped their identity by conscious will and have aligned their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to support that identity.

      • The more days they live in congruence with who they have chosen to become, the more they feel a sense of general confidence in life.

      • If you can understand the power of congruence, then you can understand why the habit of seeking clarity is so important to confidence. You can’t be congruent with something you’ve never defined. No clarity, no congruence, no confidence. It’s that simple.

      • Confidence comes from being truthful with yourself and others. You have to avoid the little lies that can easily tear at the fabric of your character. If you lie about the small things, you will cause a catastrophe when faced with the big things.

    • Enjoy Connecting

      • High performers discovered that it is by connecting with others that they learn more about themselves and the world. It’s their connection with others that inspires greater congruence and competence.

      • The more you work with people, the more you learn about yourself. And the more you work with others, the more you learn new ways of thinking, new skills, new ways of serving.

      • Will you genuinely try to engage someone and learn about how they think, what they need, what they stand for?” If you can summon that curiosity and talk to enough people with that intention, you will gain confidence.

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"Curiosity is the electric arc for a life bright with joy and vibrancy"

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© 2020 Arjan Sahni