Most people work hard. Despite this, many of those same people are consistently left wondering why their hard work isn’t paying off. They are still stuck in that dead end job unsure what else they need to do to get to the next level. The reason many find themselves stuck is because they are busy working hard, but they are not being productive. They may be putting in the hours, but those hours aren’t delivering high performance outcomes. The good news is that regardless of your background, it is possible to reach the heights of other top performers and follow in their footsteps. This is the premise of “High Performance Habits” by Brendon Burchard who outlines 6 key habits that lead to high performance. So, what can we learn from the book?
Habits are the key to high performance
It is easy to fall into the trap of assuming that high performers are naturally gifted. We have all seen that person who has earned multiple degrees while simultaneously working two jobs and raising 2 kids. Everyone knows that one person who seems to succeed in everything they do. In short, they are high performers. But research consistently shows that high performers are rarely top of their class. The average grade of a millionaire, billionaire or CEO is a grade C. What sets these people apart over the duration of a career is not their innate ability, but instead the habits that they have developed that allows them to outperform. This realisation was the key takeaway from research conducted on high performers across more than 190 countries. In addition, most of these high performers did not naturally have these successful habits, they adopted them intentionally and so can you.
High performers have a clear purpose
Let’s be honest for a moment. When is the last time you asked yourself any of the big questions? What do you want to do with your life? What do you want to be remembered for? What legacy are you going to leave? The harsh truth is that most people barely scratch the surface when it comes to answering these questions. The closest many come to answering them is when they make a new year’s resolution or hit an important birthday milestone such as 30 or 40 etc. Through the research conducted by the author, purpose was the clear starting point for every high performer. After all, if you want to be great, you need to be able to define what being great means for you, why that is important and what you need to do to achieve. Without this clarity, you will never be able to focus and prioritise what you need to do to realise the ambition. High performers are focused on being the best versions of themselves. They are constantly asking themselves what they want to achieve and why. This then shapes their habits and priorities.
To operate at a high level, you need to be in top condition
If you were to list the most important habits of a successful CEO its unlikely that physical fitness would be at the top of your list. It is likely that you would prioritise leadership skills, business acumen and so on. But you would be wrong. Have you ever been exhausted after a full day of meetings? Now imagine that was your diary all day every day. The research conducted by the author found that high performing CEOs have energy levels similar to those of professional athletes. Physical fitness is critical to ensure that you can maintain high performance for the long term and high performers work out more often than the average person.
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