When we look at highly successful people, we often fall into the trap of thinking that they possess superior talent, intelligence or resources that we don’t have access to. After a decade of researching and interviewing high performers, Brendon Burchard discovered that all successful people share six common, consistent habits regardless of their area of expertise; it is these habits that ultimately differentiate them from others. In his new book, High Performance Habits, Burchard describes the following habits that all of us can emulate to help us reach the next stage of growth in our lives.

  1. Seek clarity. We need to figure out who we want to be, how we want to interact with others, what we want and what will bring us the most meaning in our lives. Every time we begin a new project we should ask ourselves: What kind of person do I want to be while I’m doing this? How should I treat others? What are my intentions and objectives? What can I focus on that will bring me a sense of connection and fulfillment? High performers continue asking themselves these questions every day; they develop a consistent routine of self-monitoring to make sure that their goals are always clear to them.

  2. Generate energy. In order to perform at a high level day after day we need to take care of our mental stamina (through frequent and intentional breaks), physical energy (through diet and exercise) and positive emotions (through controlling our thoughts). High performers know that they need to consciously generate energy so that they can maintain focus, effort and well-being. They know that they need to take care of themselves to stay on their A game.

  3. Raise necessity. We need to find and access the reasons why we absolutely must perform well. This necessity should be based on a mix of our internal standards (ie. our identities, beliefs, values and expectations for excellence) and external demands. (ie. social obligations, competition, public commitments, deadlines). We need to know our why and nurture the drive to transform our goals into absolute necessities.

  4. Increase productivity. We need to focus on prolific quality output in the area where we want to have the most impact. In order to do this, high performers minimize distractions and say no to opportunities that don’t help their quality output in their specific area of expertise.

  5. Develop influence. Success is rarely achieved in isolation; we need to develop influence with those around us. It’s crucial to have others around us that believe in and support our ambitions. High performers intentionally develop positive support networks because they know their achievements would be limited without the help of others.

  6. Demonstrate courage. We need to stand up for ourselves and others even when we are faced with fear, change, doubt and threat. High performers consistently express their ideas and take action every day. Ultimately, courage is not one bold action; it is a trait that we can choose to develop and use on a daily basis.

The Mishna teaches, “Anyone whose good deeds are greater than his wisdom, his wisdom will endure. And anyone whose wisdom is greater than his good deeds, his wisdom will not endure” (Ethics of the Fathers, 3:12). Ultimately it’s our actions and habits that help us move forward in our lives. Once we have the clarity about what is truly important in our lives, we can overcome impasses by implementing these six habits that other successful people have used to achieve their goals.