If you feel your life has become a bit of a blip, that the joy of work isn’t quite there, that you’re trudging along kind of ok but have lost your mojo…then its time to take control back! The US based and internationally renowned life coach Brendan Burchard and his book “High Performance Habits” just might be for you. Yes, it’s about creating as he says habits that lead you to being a “high performer”, but for me, the crux of the matter is connecting or reconnecting to the essence of who you are, and what really makes or brings you joy- even if not necessarily wanting to achieve the “high performance” levels the book also focuses on (although, ok, that would be nice!). Its positive to say to yourself to some level that you have gotten off track and need some assistance, and books such as this one are a darn site cheaper than therapy or going to 1-2-1 life coaching sessions (which would be awesome, lets admit).
My case as example and what led me to this book: I’m not necessarily as happy as I could be with work. It’s my second career change, I find it overwhelmingly stressful and I’m not sure I find it my “life’s work”. I wake most mornings dreading going in, and I struggle with the quick speed of the environment. I also earned more 10 years ago! I read the book because I am wondering am I doing the best I can, am I making a difference and where is my soul in what I am doing, that life is short and in essence I don’t want to be wasting my time. I don’t think I AM “wasting my time”, but sometimes if I am honest these are the thoughts I am contending with, and that’s a bit soul destroying. There’s nothing worse than not fully enjoying what you do, or deep down letting it make you feel a little bit removed, a little bit miserable. Life IS short, therefore it’s good to get on top of what is holding you back, and books like these kind of healthily pick that apart.
I don’t read easily. In fact if you know me you’ll know I tell you that I don’t read for pleasure because I get distracted easily. I must say, Brendan’s style of writing was very engaging and easy to follow. He breaks down high performance into 6 different areas of equal measure: clarity, energy, necessity, productivity, influence, courage. Brendan advises these are not just things that high achievers are just “born with”, they are things we can learn. Good news!
Some of the books most exciting points for you to ponder:
- Know your “why”! Know your purpose to everything you do. What are the key skills you need for what you are interested in, and how can you go about obtaining them? Are you actually working on obtaining them? High performers set themselves apart by their clarity over each and every interest by knowing their “why”; it keeps them focused.
- Being grateful and positive are not enough on their own (wonderful though these habits and positive thinking approaches are) It’s what we consistently do as well as think that will make a difference to our performance.
- Live as your “best self” now. Don’t wait for a future moment. Imagine and visualise who you “want” to be, and demonstrate behaviours towards it NOW.
- High performers don’t shrink back from challenges. The only way you’ll truly test yourself is to put yourself forward and learn from feedback, both positive AND negative. Be courageous and put yourself forward. I think that’s something I really struggle with, so I understand this is a difficult one, but with challenge, however terrifying at the time, may come amazing growth.
- High performers aren’t afraid to commit, to show their passion and obsession to their interest. They link what they are doing to their identity and in doing so, raise the level in which they are working. In this way they are more than what Brendan describes as a dabbler. Commit to your intention fully: by committing fully we then up the stakes to see positive results
- Create positive energy. Sleep well, eat well, exercise routinely which in turn raises energy levels. You can’t perform well if your body is sick or broken. You can’t be your “best self” if you are sick. Lift your mental energy by asking what you CAN be excited about today, if in a rut with work/life. Ultimately whilst simply being grateful isn’t enough on its own, creating a more positive force around you mentally and physically is important for you to achieve your goals.
There is SO much more to say and that can be commented on, it really is an exciting read, but I’ll leave it there otherwise this will turn into an essay! For now, I’d recommend this quick test which is where I started before ordering the book:
And any comment on the book would be great; I’d really love to hear what you thought and how its working out for you!!