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

Three key habits to improve performance and productivity:

Habit #1: Tension to Intention

Most high performers know they have the power to generate whatever feelings they want in any situation.

High performers know they don’t have to carry around the emotions of the day. They don’t have sit back and hope to feel the way they want to feel.

Brendon says “It’s so thoroughly obvious that high performers are generating the feelings they want more often than taking the emotions that land on them.”

Each transition during the day (work to home, school to gym, etc) is a chance to build the habit of releasing the tension and then setting an intention of the feeling you want to bring to the next situation.

Habit Sequence: When you transition from one situation to the next (or one work mode to the next), close your eyes and release the tension in your face, neck and shoulders. Then set an intention for how you want to feel by asking yourself: “What is the primary feeling I want to bring into this situation?”

Book Summary: High Performance Habits - How Extraordinary People Become That Way

Habit #2: Necessity through Identity

The feeling of necessity might be the most powerful feeling high performers choose to generate. Musician Bob Marley once said, “You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.”

High performers don’t hope they perform well. High performers create situations and mindsets where they must perform well. They do this by creating a sense of identity around their goals and processes.

When Brendon asks high performers why they work so hard or how they stay so focused, their responses often sound something like this, “It’s just who I am. I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

Whatever your important goals (running a marathon, writing a best-selling book, etc) are, form your identity around them. You’ll make progress a must, not a nice to have.

Habit Sequence: When you feel unmotivated to work, repeat the following statement to yourself, “This is who I am. This is what I do.” Cultivate a feeling of identity around your work process.

Habit #3: Bringing my ‘A’ Game

Our culture tells us that sense of purpose comes from “helping millions” or “changing the world.” However, Brendon Burchard has found that most high performers develop a sense of purpose by focusing on one person. Not millions, not even a group of people, just one person.

To find the person who will give meaning and purpose to your work, ask yourself, “Who needs my A game?”

Brendon Burchard says: “This question gets you looking beyond your individual performance or feelings, and it connects you with a reason to be your best for others. It helps you find somebody worth fighting for. By asking this question, you stoke the necessity to be your best in order to help others, which allows you to hit high performance faster and stay there longer.”

When you ask, “Who needs my A game”, you might think of a family member, a boss you like, a teammate in need, or a customer you want to help. Whoever it is, see their face in your mind’s eye. By doing so, you will tap into a reserve you didn’t know you had.

Habit Sequence: When feeling stressed at work, or you find yourself losing focus, ask yourself, “Who needs my ‘A’ game right now?” Think of a person worth pushing yourself for.

By committing to develop high performance habits we are committing to a life of excellence.

“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.” – Vince Lombardi


The book is based on extensive original research and a decade of experience as the world’s highest-paid performance coach. The author claims to reveal the most effective habits for reaching long-term success in any area of life. He identifies six habits that are essential for high performance: seeking clarity, generating energy, raising necessity, increasing productivity, developing influence, and demonstrating courage. He also provides practical exercises, tools, and strategies to help readers practice these habits and measure their progress.

He identifies six key habits that high performers all have in common:

  1. Clarity: High performers have a clear understanding of their goals and what they want to achieve. They know what they want, and they have a plan for how to get it.
  2. Energy: High performers have the energy to consistently perform at a high level. They manage their energy wisely, and they make sure to refuel both physically and mentally.
  3. Necessity: High performers are driven by a sense of purpose and necessity. They believe in what they are doing, and they are committed to making a difference.
  4. Productivity: High performers are highly productive. They use their time wisely, and they focus on the most important tasks.
  5. Influence: High performers are able to influence others. They are able to build relationships, persuade others, and get things done.
  6. Courage: High performers are courageous. They are not afraid to take risks, and they are willing to step outside of their comfort zone.

The book is divided into three parts. The first part introduces the concept of high performance and explains why it is important to develop habits that support it. The author defines high performance as “succeeding beyond standard norms consistently over the long term”, p. 4. He argues that high performance is not a natural talent or a personality trait, but a result of deliberate practice and consistent effort. He also debunks some common myths about high performance, such as the need for balance, passion, or motivation.

The second part of the book covers each of the six habits in detail. The author describes what each habit means, why it matters, how to practice it, and how to avoid common pitfalls. He also provides self-assessments, quizzes, and worksheets to help readers evaluate their current level of performance and identify areas for improvement. Each habit is illustrated by powerful stories, examples, and research from various fields and disciplines.

The third part of the book offers additional resources and guidance for applying the habits in different contexts and situations. The author shares some of his best practices and tips for creating a high performance environment, team, and culture. He also addresses some of the challenges and obstacles that high performers may face, such as burnout, loneliness, or criticism. He concludes the book with a call to action for readers to take charge of their lives and pursue their highest potential.


  • Burchard’s book is centered around the idea that high performance is not solely the result of innate talent or luck, but rather a set of deliberate habits that can be cultivated and developed.
  • The author presents six key habits that he believes are crucial for high performance: clarity, energy, necessity, productivity, influence, and courage. Burchard delves into each habit, providing practical advice, actionable strategies, and real-life examples to illustrate their significance.
  • Throughout the book, Burchard emphasizes the importance of intentionality, mindfulness, and consistent effort in cultivating these habits. He offers a step-by-step framework that readers can follow to implement these habits into their own lives.

The book is well-written, engaging, and inspiring. The author uses a conversational tone and a clear structure to convey his message and insights. The book is full of practical advice and actionable steps that readers can implement right away. The book is also backed by scientific evidence and data from one of the largest surveys ever conducted on high performers, p. 9. The author cites over 300 sources from various fields, such as psychology, neuroscience, business, sports, and education.

The book is suitable for anyone who wants to improve their performance and achieve their goals in any area of life. The book is not limited to a specific domain or profession, but rather applies to all aspects of life, such as health, wealth, relationships, happiness, and purpose. The book is also relevant for any stage of life, whether one is starting out, advancing, or transitioning.


  • Burchard’s writing style is engaging and motivational, making the book accessible to a wide range of readers. He combines personal anecdotes, scientific research, and practical insights to deliver his message effectively.
  • The book is well-structured, with clear chapters and sections that allow readers to easily navigate and absorb the information. Burchard provides summaries and action steps at the end of each chapter, enhancing the book’s practicality.
  • The author’s extensive research and interviews with high performers from various fields add credibility and depth to the book. Readers gain valuable insights and perspectives from individuals who have achieved exceptional success.

The book is not without its limitations or criticisms. Some readers may find the book too long or repetitive, as the author covers each habit in depth and repeats some of the key points throughout the book. Some readers may also find the book too simplistic or optimistic, as the author does not address some of the complexities or difficulties that may arise in practicing the habits or achieving high performance. Some readers may also question the validity or generalizability of the author’s research or claims, as they may not reflect the diversity or reality of different populations or contexts.


  • Some readers may find the book repetitive, as Burchard reiterates certain concepts and ideas throughout different chapters. While repetition can be beneficial for reinforcement, it may feel excessive to some readers.
  • The sheer amount of information presented in the book can be overwhelming for readers who prefer a more concise and focused approach. It may require time and effort to fully digest and implement all the habits and strategies outlined.

Here are some additional thoughts on the book:

  • I appreciated Burchard’s emphasis on the importance of clarity. He argues that if you don’t have a clear vision for what you want to achieve, it will be very difficult to achieve it. He provides a number of exercises to help you clarify your goals and why you want to achieve them.
  • I also appreciated Burchard’s discussion of the importance of energy. He argues that if you’re not managing your energy effectively, you’ll never be able to perform at your best. He provides a number of tips for managing your energy, such as getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and exercising regularly.
  • I found Burchard’s discussion of necessity to be particularly insightful. He argues that if you don’t create a sense of urgency and importance around your goals, it will be very easy to procrastinate and give up. He provides a number of tips for creating a sense of necessity, such as setting deadlines, tracking your progress, and finding a mentor or accountability partner.
  • I thought Burchard’s discussion of productivity was very helpful. He argues that there are two types of productivity: busyness and effectiveness. He provides a number of tips for becoming more effective, such as focusing on the most important tasks, delegating tasks, and saying no to commitments.
  • I found Burchard’s discussion of influence to be very inspiring. He argues that everyone has the potential to be influential, and he provides a number of tips for building relationships and networks that can help you achieve your goals.
  • I thought Burchard’s discussion of courage was very motivating. He argues that courage is essential for achieving success, and he provides a number of tips for overcoming fear and taking risks.

Overall, I think the book is a valuable and useful resource for anyone who wants to learn how to become a high performer and live a better quality of life. The book offers a comprehensive and science-based framework for developing habits that can help one succeed beyond standard norms consistently over the long term. The book also provides a lot of tools and exercises that can help one practice these habits and track their progress. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in personal development and performance improvement.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars


I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to improve their habits and achieve their goals. The book is particularly useful for individuals who are looking to improve their productivity, resilience, and overall well-being. However, readers may want to approach the book with an open mind and a willingness to apply the strategies and tips outlined in the book.

Alex Lim is a certified book reviewer and editor with over 10 years of experience in the publishing industry. He has reviewed hundreds of books for reputable magazines and websites, such as The New York Times, The Guardian, and Goodreads. Alex has a master’s degree in comparative literature from Harvard University and a PhD in literary criticism from Oxford University. He is also the author of several acclaimed books on literary theory and analysis, such as The Art of Reading and How to Write a Book Review. Alex lives in London, England with his wife and two children. You can contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Website | Twitter | Facebook

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