High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard [Book Summary – Review]


Do you see yourself as one of those who toil and yet cannot get the place one deserves? Moreover, notwithstanding aspiring to achieve greatness, do you find yourself engulfed with responding emails and dealing with boring to-dos? It means you resemble most likely many others: a mediocre performer who cannot go outside the cycle of life one lives.

Fortunately, you’ll see this situation doesn’t have to last eternally and you find ways to change it through this summary. Actually, a novel series of studies demonstrate that the best performing individuals across the globe do not come to the world with an innate exceptional talent to be successful, and there is no particular characteristic that affects their success, either.

Rather, the important element for long-run achievement hinges on particular habits – and through only six of such habits, as discovered by means of studies on excellent performance, you’ll make headway to exceptional accomplishments.

This summary will show you the reason for the importance of seeking clarity, generating energy, raising necessity, increasing productivity, developing influence, and demonstrating courage in accomplishing your greatest aspirations.


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Chapter 1 – The important thing for excellent performance isn’t characteristics or innate abilities; it depends on habits and great self-esteem.


You may have seen someone who makes anything they do appear quite simple. Perhaps she’s received various college degrees while having two occupations at the same time. She would do everything without exerting herself. Or perhaps he’s one of those who can be successful whatever they do, and anything he works on becomes a huge achievement. The odds are they’re the type of people called a high performer.

The writer, Brendon Burchard, has carried out one research that is among the most comprehensive researches on high performance in history, studying many individuals from more than 190 states to see precisely the way they attain their success in the long run.

The results show that one’s sexual identity, skin color and nationality, age, and characteristic attributes have not much effect on one’s exceptional performance. The things that actually are important are particular essential habits, such as maintaining your physical well-being.

To put it differently, your identity doesn’t matter, however, what you do does matter. The writer found out that these habits didn’t come to existence by chance. High performers adopt these habits on purpose.

However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that these habits are similar to “life hacks” or some easy, mystic transformation that requires no endeavor to put into action. High performers exceed their peers since they are fully aware and consistent while implementing these habits.



One other general attribute is their self-esteem in managing to overcome even challenging assignments, such as huge novel projects at work or studying other languages. This time too, they don’t achieve it due to some inborn attributes; they are successful in what they do thanks to their confidence attained via persistent practice.

So, it indicates you are fortunate, too, since it signifies it is possible for you to gain this self-esteem. Through persistent practice, you’ll get wiser, acquire more talents, and your self-esteem will increase, rendering it simpler to maintain learning and growing. This cycle of never-ending growth and self-development is the sign of high performance.

By now, everything should be clear, right? So, without any more fuss, let’s examine what the aforementioned habits are.


Chapter 2 – High performers are conscious of themselves and possess a definite goal in life.


Do you remember the last moment when you were posing yourself important questions like what is the person I want people to remember? Or, what is the thing I want to achieve in life?

Most people will just ponder these questions when it is their birthday or New Year’s Eve. However, high performers pose such questions to themselves always; the writer names this habit seeking clarity, and it helps high performers maintain goal-orientedness.

Apart from this, it provides them with a powerful aim, direction, and concentration on whatever they undertake, because they are exactly conscious of the way what they do are assisting them to attain their objectives. However, unless you have this habit, clarity, then it may lead you to become sullen, stuck in negative emotions.

Clarity is made up of four areas that you have to practice to enhance:

For starters, let’s tackle self-awareness and the person you aim to turn into.

High performers concentrate on turning into the best version of their own and they want people to remember them this way. This version of them, for example, may include being nice, considerate, and modest. After deciding on who you want to become, then follow the next questions: Have your action been in accordance with whom you want to be, and unless you behave like that person, through which things can you alter this situation?

The next thing is the social environment and being conscious and deliberate regarding your interactions with people.



High performers don’t make their actions automatic when it comes to socializing. When they have to participate in a lunch date, meeting, or gathering, they ask themselves: What is the way of molding this meeting into a positive one?

After this step, there is the area of facilities and being exactly cognizant of which skills you have to be hone out.

High performers will concentrate on a main job or area of interest and try to spare time for their own to training themselves in this job while staying clear from anything that may divert their attention. When your desire is to become an excellent author, this would indicate that you must spare some time to work on writing, not only getting information about writing, and finally receiving feedback to understand the areas where you have to work further.

The last area is service and creating some means to give back to people. High performers are great at working not only for their own but for others as well. This will keep them motivated while providing them with a thrilling urge and giving meaning to what they do. What one should ask at this point is: Who can I help?


Chapter 3 – High performers possess a positive vision of life and keep themselves both physically and mentally well.


Were you to write down the habits you think a successful CEO may possess, you may consider effective scheduling and the skill to avoid anything that can divert their attention as little as possible. However, it wouldn’t occur to you that keeping oneself fit would be one of them.

Many usually think that being CEO brings together mental fitness, however, studies demonstrate that CEOs are physically in good shape as well, and their energy limits resemble usually those of professional athletes. The writer names the second habit as generating energy, and this habit is important for keeping a high-performance level.

Neuroscientists have discovered that doing exercises in a regular manner shoots up the generation of novel neurons in the sections of your brain responsible for learning and memory. Apart from this, exercise enhances one’s state of feeling and lessens anxiety, the entirety of which constitute highly improved leadership performance.

However, that exercise benefits us has not been something secret, has it been? High performers become more noticeable since they turned regular exercise into a habit and they keep doing it, while underperformers excel at finding reasons not to do physical exercises.

Now, let’s look at generating mental energy, which one can accomplish through a positive vision of life.

Studies demonstrate high performers are more lively and optimistic compared to others, despite their personal and professional lives being as tough and challenging as those of others’. High performers constantly and deliberately concentrate on the good while averting becoming stuck in negative thinking. Moreover, studies put forward that this positive thinking is straightforwardly associated with high performers becoming more joyful in their emotional lives and storing more mental energy.



In order to take up this habit, spare some time every morning to pose this question to yourself: what is that you’ll need to have a good day. Perhaps you’ll sit with a childhood friend to eat something at lunch or will throw a birthday party for a colleague

Remember that this isn’t only about keeping good spirits: Neuroscientists are of the opinion that expecting positive events will take place produces as much dopamine – the hormone that is responsible for happiness – as going through the event itself.

Thus, keeping a positive attitude toward life is a highly potent means because you enjoy happiness twice – one of them expecting the event and the second one is when the event truly takes place!


Chapter 4 – High performers employ inner and outer anticipations to continue their motivation.


Suppose there are two runners who will soon begin racing, waiting since the starting pistol hasn’t been fired yet. The two runners possess resembling track records, and both of them have trained as much as each other. However, one distinction exists: the first runner wants to win because of the individual honor of winning, whereas his competitor wants to beat the first runner and win the race for his mother.

Which runner will come first?

Most likely, the one who thinks about winning the race for his mother.

This stems from the fact that increasing the amount of what is there to be lost enhances performance. The writer names this third habit as raising necessity.

High performers will make an additional gravity to what they are doing, often in the style of an external commitment that combines with their internal motives. This makes them more motivated and improves their chances of success. Underperformers, however, will hinge only on their appetite to attain victory, which will render their achievement a desirable result, however, not a required result.

Thus, in order to implement it, you initially have to put a high standard for yourself. Don’t forget, you crave to hone out your skill, thus don’t keep your standard low and avoid objectives that are simple to attain.



After this, you’ll feel the need to connect your individual objective with an outside commitment so as to make a good result to assist another person in your life. Should your local charity become more known and get a huge boom of donations thanks to your achievement, it’ll be more likely for you to toil further to guarantee you become successful.

One other thing high performers do in order to raise the stakes is just to talk about your objective to many people.

External anticipations are formed, and sharing your objective with others can boost its significance. None of us are desirous of failure in the eyes of others; therefore, if you share your objective with more people, your commitment to your objective will increase.

After the writer decided to build a video course on personal improvement on the Internet as his objective, apart from sharing what he was planning to do with his friends and family, he asked them to be the earliest to experience and give feedback as well. Thus, the people who were most close to him were not only conscious of what he was doing but they were also waiting eagerly to see him fulfilling his goal and these anticipations made it almost certain that Burchard would finish his project in time.


Chapter 5 – High performers stay clear of anything that diverts their attention and they act cleverly when it comes to their deadlines.


The feeling of constantly being busy and overwhelmed with work and to continue not having sufficient work completed is a bothersome situation. It indicates plainly that you couldn’t establish symmetry between the energy you expend and the outcomes you get.

For this, we can talk about the fourth habit of high performance, which is named increasing productivity. This is something that is possible to achieve by mastering the way to make a distinction between the essential work and the trivial work. Doing this, you just expend energy on the assignments that are actually essential.

Underperformers generally pay much heed to trivial work that haves them get the feeling of being fruitful in the short term while making very insignificant contributions in the long term. One thing that is trivial but takes up energy is email. People expend almost three-tenth of their working week on emails. The reason for this is that the easy work of responding to an email can provide you with a soothing feeling of success, despite the fact that it most probably diverts your heed from more significant work.



One other essential side of productivity is timing. Studies demonstrate that it is more than three times probable for underperformers to find themselves inside a false deadline trap, which indicates underperformers decide on a loose deadline that can be changed. Being aware that they can change the deadline, as it’s not a rigid due date, nothing will spur you to finish the project in time. Briefly, it’ll drive you toward unproductiveness.

However, high performers excel when it comes to planning, which indicates they can set definite and difficult due dates and objectives. When there is an evident due date in front of you, it is a perfect thing to persevere concentration, resist anything that diverts your heed and continue high energy levels, and studies demonstrate that anyone who has a definite and difficult objective will constantly excel others who don’t set clear due dates.

Huge projects conducted for long durations can be highly difficult, particularly if they require constant concentration and maintenance of the speed in the project. When there is such a project, it’ll assist you to split the long-run objectives into sub-objectives of four or five small actions that will help you complete the project in due date. Doing so, you will be able to maintain your concentration and make progress, even if the project continues for months or decades.


Chapter 6 – High performers are grateful, giving, and conscious of through which ways others can become accomplished.


Most people must have heard “lonely at the top” saying, which indicates after attaining the zenith of the career mountain, you won’t find anyone with whom you can talk about your accomplishments.

However, high performers are not like this, which is demonstrated by studies revealing them to be rather proficient in creating meaningful and enduring bonds with their peers.

High performers are appreciative and giving. Furthermore, they don’t fear to put their coworkers through some difficult tests and anticipate others to do the same for themselves.

In 2016, the American Psychological Association’s Work and Well-Being Survey disclosed that just two-fourth of people in America feel appreciated and recognized by those above them. High-performing leaders could never adopt an approach like this. Burchard’s study discovered high performers regularly commend and support their personnel. It is also more probable for them to recognize and appreciate good work.

Studies discovered that high performers have a giving mindset, which makes up the fifth habit. High performers fully know what the struggles and ambitions of others are and employ that information to give their workers the thing they need.



Moreover, they are aware that their personnel wants reliance and liberty to decide on their own. When they possess such an authority, it encourages them a lot, and high performers not only know this but also respect this.

Being conscious and cognizant of their staff’s needs to better themselves permits high performers to choose the right workers for the right assignments so that they can pass to the succeeding level.

Moreover, if it is a high performer who needs something, then they just go and ask others to do something for then. Underperformers usually try not to do that, worrying about being judged or refused, despite the fact that statistics demonstrate that a normal individual will receive a positive reply three times more probably than what the same person anticipated. Really, concerns regarding severe judgment from our peers are usually overrated. The fact is, many of us are too occupied to kill time considering you, so no need to put a burden on yourself!


Chapter 7 – High performers don’t hesitate to venture and are candid when it comes to their desires.


Are you one of those who would like no one to come in their comfort zone? Should this be the case, how much should you force yourself to get out of that zone?

High performers don’t view risk-taking as something strange. Actually, showing boldness is the sixth and last habit in this summary, and adopting a positive outlook on difficult situations and showing boldness affect each other.

To remind you, such traits as these aren’t innate characteristic features; high-performers have worked on these traits and spent time implementing them. High performers are aware that taking a courageous step means a more probable failure – this is the reason for accepting such actions as audacious! However, high performers have managed to understand how to surmount their fear and take steps.

If you make enough practices, it is also possible for you to reach brave decisions. Moreover, in the same fashion as high performers, you can also start to relish the excitement of venturing.

Taking a risky action is similar to other learned abilities – you’ll begin to make them in a much simpler mode if you do them more. Thus, the only thing you have to do is to take these risky steps. Such as parachuting, the initial moment is invariably replete with panic and trepidation, however, when you start doing it more, you’ll slowly start feeling that this comes as a bit simpler and less worrying.



Many will avert anything that requires much effort, however, being unusual and attaining your aims involves mastering the way to face hurdles with a grin. The only important thing is the right standpoint, and instead of whining about life being hard, higher performers will notice every novel hurdle as a chance for self-improvement.

One of the most frequently-done brazen actions is being candid and frank about one’s real desires. Most people won’t implement this conduct, thinking it may lead to undesired judgment or mockery.

Though the mediocre person chooses to make efforts toward their goals in silence, high performers reveal their visions, being completely conscious that anyone may tell them that they’re “delusional,” “unrealistic” or even “insane.” High performers don’t see it differently from another valuable struggle in life.

Thus, kill no more time. Now’s the moment to disclose yourself to everyone and every positivity and negativity it’ll give you. Through candidness, you can realize that you’ll find many people, all of whom are eager to assist you in making your vision come true.


High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way by Brendon Burchard Book Review


High performers don’t come to the world with exceptional traits; they develop via a constant and persistent practice that requires a conscious effort to learn particular habits. They are very much conscious of the aim of what they do, maintain energy, employ outside motivators, are aware of the way to enhance productivity by means of meticulous planning, routinely interact with and give to people around them, and take courageous and risky actions.


Look for clarity in your social connections.

Don’t simply dive into a social connection on autopilot. Pose these questions in advance to yourself: What’s the way of becoming a good person in the imminent situation? What will the person I am going to communicate anticipate? What sort of spirit and energy do I desire to build, and what should I do to get that result?



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Savaş Ateş

I'm a software engineer. I like reading books and writing summaries. I like to play soccer too :) Good Reads Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/106467014-sava-ate

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