Recently I have been diving into and analyzing Brendon Burchard’s wonderful book High-Performance Habit. Needless to say, the book has been fantastic. Brendon shares what insight he and his team came to after surveying and interviewing over 20,000 high performers to discover what habits make (and keep) high performers.
Through this research, 6 cornerstone high-performance habits were discovered: Clarity, Energy, Necessity, Productivity, Influence, and Courage.
Over the next six newsletters, I will be breaking down each of the habits, what they mean and how you can apply them to your own life so you can begin to defeat Above Average and achieve High Performance.
The first habit to explore is Clarity.
Seeking Clarity is the first and one of the most important of the habits. You need to know where you are going in your life. Once you have determined this, opportunities can be created to move closer to that destination.
Clarity helps you to create a plan for your success and high performance. Think of it this way, right now there are an infinite number of actions you could take in the next moment and if we lack to find the most appropriate option, we can be stuck with analysis paralysis. Without clarity or a goal, every option becomes a potential option and we have to think about each one individually.
Contrast this with having clarity, knowing where you want to go will allow you to quickly eliminate most options and gives you a frame of reference for evaluating the remaining options.
This can help you quickly find the pathway to your high performance. Follow the two principles, Setting Goals and Finding Meaning, listed below to discover how you can seek clarity and achieve high performance.
High Performers focus on their future because that dictates to them what they should do in the present. Goals don’t just magically complete themselves. We take action in the present so that we can achieve a future goal.
One thing keeping you stuck at above average is that you may be looking at your present conditions and using that to extrapolate what your goals should be. This leads to the creation of goals that don’t cause you to stretch and grow. High performers place little attention to their current conditions other than to see what their current resources are.
There are four areas, Brendon shares, where you should be setting goals. They are Self, Social, Skills, and Service.
Self (Who are you becoming?)
Goals in this area answer the question, “If you could describe your ideal self in the future, the person you are trying to become, how would you describe that self?” Your answer will give you a direction for your personal growth. Now that you have an idea of who you want to become, start taking small steps to actively become that person now. Whatever they would do, you should do.
Social (How do you want to interact with others?)
Setting goals in this area requires a two-step process. First, you need to answer the question, “How do I want those I love and serve to remember me?” Then, you need to begin interacting with people and implanting the feelings you described through the actions you take. For example, if you want your work team to remember you as a giver, you need to take actions that would lead them to believe that.
Skills (What do you want to be High Performing in?)
High Performers are continually growing and learning but they are not learning about random things. Their self-education is structured. To become a high performer, you need to have a self-education plan. To find out what topics would benefit your performance most, ask yourself, “What 3 skills can I work on developing so I can be more successful next year?”
Service (What difference do I want to make in the world at large?)
The greatest sense of satisfaction High Performers receive is giving the right service at the right time in a way that surpasses expectations. High performers choose service over self. While you may not think this currently, adopt this mindset as you progress to high performance and remember the words of Jim Rohn, “You can have everything you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want out of life”.
High Performance is not the end goal, it's a tool and method for operating at your best level. Clarity assists you in finding meaning for your High Performance and helps you highlight what you are trying to achieve. According to High-Performance Habits, 4 factors contribute to meaning: Enthusiasm, Connection, Satisfaction, and Coherence.
What do you really care about? What gets you truly excited? While this isn’t to be confused with the “follow your heart” narrative, you will be able to perform better with less forceful effort on tasks you are enthusiastic about rather than not. When faced with a task you need to perform at a high level on, ask yourself, “What about this project can I get excited about?”
The environment you are connected to will have a strong influence on the meaning you find in what you are working on. Going to a workplace where you are disengaged (lacking connection) will lead to lower performance. This isn’t meant to suggest that your work needs to comfort or coddle you. Rather your social work environment should positively challenge you to perform at your best and continually raise the quality of your output. You want your work environment to assist you in becoming a high performer.
Feeling satisfied in your work is a contributing factor in how much meaning you find in it and can be defined as:
Satisfaction = Passion + Growth + Contribution
Satisfaction means that you care about what you are working on (Passion), can challenge yourself and rise to a higher playing field (growth), and do so by the tasks you have completed (contribution).
Satisfaction doesn't come from a work-life of ease but one where your actions make a difference and cause you to grow in an area you care about.
The last factor contributing to meaning is coherence. This looks at your current actions, projects, and opportunities and asks, “Could this action, realistically, fit into the larger goals I have set for myself?”. Will this activity I am working on now help you achieve the growth or goals you are setting for the future? When our daily actions align with our goals, it gives us more resolve and focus when working because we work with a larger frame of reference.
Seeking Clarity will not only help you find meaning in your daily activities and tasks but will also provide you targets for you to reach so that you can become the high performer you desire to be.
Ask yourself questions in Self, Social, Skills, and Service and write them down
Write one small activity you can do TODAY to move you closer to who you want to be in each category.