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Last Updated on March 17, 2020

6 High Performance Habits of the Most Exceptional Individuals

6 High Performance Habits of the Most Exceptional Individuals

Have you ever wondered why some individuals are exceptional and succeed while others cope with their failures and misery?

The difference between the greatest leaders, first-class scholars, high achievers, productive employees, and the average individual is clear:

They exhibit high-performance habits consistently no matter what they do or where they find themselves.

So what’s high-performance?

High-performance is being exceptional, going beyond the limit and succeeding above established norms over a long time.

Brendon Burchard, author of the book High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way reveals these traits about high performers. Here are the attributes:

– They are more exceptional and successful than their colleagues, yet they are not under pressure.
– They exude confidence that they can accomplish their goals against all odds.
– They are productive and have mastered how to generate quality output.
– They are passionate about what they do, regardless of conventional rewards.
– They are admired and can adapt as leaders.
– They are strong and healthier.
– They feel they are making an impact on their work and people love them.

If you want to exhibit these attributes, you must develop the following 6 high performance habits:

1. Clarity

Find out what you want from life, where you want to be, how you want to relate with others and what can help you to become significant in life.

Establish your vision, core values, and purpose in life. Then, focus on activities that align with your internal standards.

Clarity simplifies living, however achieving clarity demands commitment, consistency, and change, especially if you are easily distracted, busy or overwhelmed.

2. Momentum

Your mental energy determines your posture and success in life.

Momentum can position you to stay ahead in life. It can also guide you to achieve your goals. Momentum generates a domino effect where everything falls into place in your life.

3. Necessity

Necessity is about finding the reasons you must be exceptional. These reasons should include internal standards such as your core values, beliefs, and the requirement for excellence and external standards such as public commitments, competition, social duties, and deadlines.

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4. Productivity

Productivity is about staying focus as well as getting focused on generating quality output. It is the ability to prioritize what is vital until it is achieved. This is what separates the high performers and productive people from the wannabes.

5. Influence

Nobody attains significance in isolation. High-performance people develop influence with those who surround them.

Influence is the ability to have a significant impact on others intentionally. They understand their success will be limitless when they impact others positively.

6. Courage

Courage is a pathway to a successful life. According to Peter Drucker:

“Anywhere you see a successful business, someone took a courageous decision.”

Courage is the quality of mind or spirit that empowers an individual to confront danger and pain difficulty without being afraid. It is standing up when others are giving up. It is taking action when others losing gut.

How to Cultivate High-Performance Habits

Less than 15 percent of the total population are exceptional and high-performers. I strongly believe there’s a lot you can do to be more productive, successful and exceptional.

Brendon also established 6 practical ways you can exhibit the six high-performance habits of the highly successful individual.

1. Seek Clarity

High performers seek clarity more than the average individuals. If you want to be exceptional, seek clarity and learn how to stay on the true path.

For instance, exceptional individuals don’t wait till the year-end before they assess their performance, they evaluate themselves daily. You need to be clear about your ‘why? what? and how?’. This will help you to sift out distractions and consistently focus on what is relevant to your goals.

Here’s an example:

You can focus on these four: self, social, skills, and service. How can you describe your ‘ideal self’?’ How do you want to socialize? What skills do you aspire to develop and also demonstrate? What problem(service) do you want to solve?

If you can answer these four questions, it will give you an edge over others who lack clarity about life.

2. Generate Momentum

According to Brendon’s research, most individuals are fagged out by 3 pm. They may manage to go through the day but they are completely wiped out by evening.

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But do you know that the high performers are not wiped out by 3 pm? They are literarily starting their day.

What then is the secret?

They have gained control of transitions. They can quickly take a break, meditate or close their eyes to release their tension and align their focus on the important activity.

If you want to become creative and energized, as well as retain your efficiency all through the day, learn how to embark on psychological breaks every forty-five to sixty minutes. This might be tough to implement, but try to plan your day in chunks.

3. Raise Necessity

Before they embark on any endeavor, high performers always raise necessity psychologically. They seek to understand why it is crucial to perform exceptionally.

If you want to be exceptional, align your identity with excellence. Refuse to settle for mediocrity. Discharging your duties with excellence is so vital to your identity just like oxygen is essential for your survival.

Several people are afraid of attaching their identity to what they do. High performers can put their names on their performance and put themselves on the line. This is what raising necessity is all about. Excellent performance must be a priority for you.

How then can you raise necessity?

State whom you are doing it for. List the people that are meant to be on your A-game list. Always bring that to focus when you perform.

It could be your wife, children, less privileged, customers, team, end-users. Who are you performing well for?

Your major responsibility is to prime your psychological ability to perform exceptionally. To achieve this, raise a necessity so that you can initiate actions with an improved level of intention. This will enable you to perform excellently.

4. Enhance Your Productivity

Highly exceptional individuals optimize their outputs. When Steve Jobs took back the mantle of leadership at Apple in 1997, he brought the company back from the verge of bankruptcy. He streamlined the product line and focused on optimizing the quality of the remaining products. The iPod, iPod and the iPhone were released under his leadership. [1]

This is what you have to do:

Focus on the main thing and dismiss the inconsequential.

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High-performers are more efficient because they are visionaries. They know what’s ahead and they position themselves to achieve what’s next.

If you want to be productive, you must ask yourself:

– What are my next five moves?
– What are the five greatest moves that brought me here?
– What are not the major moves?
– What are the skills and competencies I need to develop to make those moves?

These questions will help you avoid distractions and focus on success.

For instance, if you want to vlog, you need to hone your speaking and video editing skills, learn how to write a script and how to collaborate for success.

Do you know the interesting thing?

Most high-performers don’t establish their next five moves consciously, they just make it happen.

But now that you know, you can.

5. Develop Influence

High performers teach others how to think and challenge them to take responsibility for their lives. This is how they develop influence.

You can change your life by teaching people how to think smart.

Learn how to cold call people around you. High performers challenge people with thought-provoking questions such as, “What if you addressed it this way?” or “What do you say to this?”. They consistently train the people that surround them on how to think smart.

You can only have an influence when you impact the thought processes and patterns of other people.

Here’s the good news:

“If someone is inspired because you are alive, you are not only a leader, you are a high-performer.”

High performers spur the people around them to grow. This is the secret to becoming influential and exceptional.

6. Demonstrate Courage

Brendon’s extensive research also revealed that high performers exhibit some traits when they face hardship, risk, judgment and the unknown.

First, they stand for themselves. They communicate their vision and ambitions than the average people. They not only speak for themselves, but they also speak for others. They are not afraid to share truths about themselves.

Not only that, they understand that struggle is fundamental to success. They pursue their ambition knowing it wouldn’t be easy.

They knew if it were to be easy, there will be no Steve Jobs, Isaac Newton, Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, Williams Shakespeare, of course, me and you. If it were to be easy, you would not have been born.

I have seen several people complain about struggle. High performers get muddy, they work hard. They show up when others give up. They deliver when others celebrate mediocrity.

They know it’s not going to be easy, but they fight to succeed.

If you want to be a high performer, you must be courageous.

How then do you get the courage to stay focused on your goals?

It’s simple:

Focus on who you are doing it for and work hard to achieve your goal. This will inject you with the courage that you need.

The Bottom Line

I would leave you with the words of Denzel Washington, an Outstanding Actor in Motion Picture and a high performer:

‘Without commitment, you’ll never start, but more importantly, without consistency, you’ll never finish.’

Ease is a great threat to becoming a high performer than hardship. Keep learning!

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More Success Habits

Featured photo credit: ian dooley via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on October 22, 2020

2 Transformational Ways to Spark Your Creative Energy

2 Transformational Ways to Spark Your Creative Energy

Good things come in twos: Peanut butter and jelly, Day and night, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. The same is true for what sparks our creative energy: our thoughts and actions.

Creativity is an inside job as much as it is about a conducive schedule, physical environment, and supportive behaviors. By establishing the right internal and external landscape, creativity can blossom from the abstract to the concrete and we can have fun along the way.

Sparking creativity is all about setting up the right conditions so a spark is ignited and sustained. The sparks don’t fizzle out. They are allowed to grow and ripen.

Think of a garden. Intention alone will not produce the delicious red tomato nor will the readiest seed. That seed needs attention at its nascent stage and as it grows a stalk and produces fruit. If we want to enjoy more than one fruit, we keep at it, cultivating the plant and reaping multiple harvests.

Creativity lives in each of us like seeds in the earth or encapsulated in a nut. Seeds of ideas, concepts, designs, stories, images, and even ways of communicating that surprise and delight await activation.

By sparking our creative energy, we activate these unique seeds. Like snowflakes, they are of a moment and always without a match. The smallest sparks encourage even the smallest, most dormant seeds to sprout.

The good news is that our creative energy wishes to be sparked—to be invited to play. It wants to be our regular playmate.

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1. Be Childlike in Your Thoughts, Attitudes, and Approach

Being childlike in our thoughts, attitudes, and approach is an easy way to internally have our thoughts be gracious prolific gardeners to our creative energy. If we want it to come out and play and hang around as our regular companion, then let’s return to our 5-year-old selves.

Our childhood selves are naturally curious. We still have that curiosity! All we have to do is remind ourselves to get curious. We can do that by simply observing and being with what is in front of us instead of making up a story about what won’t work or why something can’t be done. So, it’s about cultivating curiosity instead of jumping into judgment.

Move Your Inner Judge to the Sidelines

When we get curious, creativity percolates and, ultimately, takes its place in the world. To give a hand in choosing curiosity over judgment, we can move the judge that also lives inside us to the sidelines. The judge squashes our creative urges, even when they are as small as sharing a point of view. It’s that pesky voice that causes us to doubt ourselves or worry about what others will think.

The judge is also risk-averse. The judge likes things to stay the same. Change makes the judge nervous.

Creativity is all about risk and changing things up. It needs risk, even failure, to be its naturally innovative, dynamic, impactful self. The judge likes to convince us failure is something to be avoided at all costs.

To move the judge to the sidelines and let curiosity reign, we can pay attention to who we are in conversation with and who is calling the shots.

Is it the voice of fear, doubt, or anxiety (the inner-critic—the judge’s boss)? Or is it the voice of wisdom, courage, strength, and non-attachment, and of course curiosity (the inner-leader)?

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We can easily tell the difference by how each makes us feel. The inner-critic depletes and slows us down, putting roadblocks in the way. The inner-leader energizes and a natural rhythm develops.

It’s all about who we spend time with. If we wish to exercise, we will seek out our friends who go to the gym or hike. If we want to lose some weight, we will opt to eat dinner with someone who prefers a healthy spot over fast food.

After getting curious, we can honor what our curiosity prompts us to do. The spark can do its job and a fire starts to glow when commitment enters. Our childhood selves were fully committed to being creative. That level of commitment is still something we are very capable of exercising!!

Again, we need to let go of the judge. We can ask ourselves, what do we want to commit to—negativity that depletes our creative energy, depth, and output, or the understanding that our thoughts and attitudes matter and that right thoughts and attitudes are the sparks that really let our creativity come alive?

Learn to Recall Your Childhood Self

To get in touch with that unabashedly committed childhood self, recall your childhood self. If you have a picture, pull one out. Keep it around so you can remember to activate that innate creative nature that was prominent then and wants to be prominent now and always.

Soak in the essence of that being. Commit to their commitment to brave and dogged trial and error because it is yours as well. You are that person.

Remember how tenacious you were when you wanted to build that sandcastle. You kept at it as the waves came in. You built with fury or reconfigured the walls. Also, remember that there was a willingness to fail since you were as invested in the process as well as the outcome—but less with the outcome. You were willing to experiment and start again. There was vitality—the main lifeline of your creative energy—instead of a rigid attachment.

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When you notice you are in conversation with your inner-critic or being held back by it, simply acknowledge, name it, and then switch to your inner-leader by taking a few good deep belly breaths, rubbing two fingertips together, or listening to ambient sounds in the background.

Physical movements shift our negative thoughts over to the positive domain of the inner-leader. As our judge continues to sit on the sidelines, our ability to quiet the inner-critic becomes stronger. We taste freedom. A simple taste emboldens us to say no again to the judge and yes to what makes our hearts and spirits sing—our creativity.

We begin to spark creativity to the point it no longer needs to be invited to play. It becomes our regular playmate—the younger sibling or the kid next door ready to have some fun, maybe even make some mischief by shaking things up.

When we align with our inner-leader and think and act from its promptings, creativity flows up and out with ease, as it needs to!

Letting those initial sparks generate a creativity fire that keeps burning is something we can all do! That’s the inside job.

2. Listen to Your Inner Leaders of Creative Energy

If we listen, our inner-leaders will let us know just what we need to set-up and do in our physical world to maximize that gorgeous, hungry creativity we now have flowing freely in us.

The seed has been unlocked! So, now what?

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To enable our creative energy to take its form and place outside of us, there needs to be spaciousness! Spaciousness in our physical worlds impacts our internal one. It lets the voice of the inner-leader be heard. It lets creativity have room to be sparked and acted upon.

With a little discipline, we can easily create spaciousness in our daily lives—spaciousness that will spark our creativity and let it take shape.

So, no matter who you are and what conditions help your creativity thrive, check-out these easy-to-implement basic suggestions:

  • Reduce or eliminate multi-tasking.
  • Say yes to what matters and what aligns with your big values and goals.
  • Say no to all else.
  • Say no again.
  • Schedule time in your calendar as you do with other things in your life to just be, to ponder, to let ideas percolate, and to create.
  • Spend time doing the things that bring out your creative energy. It could be walking, singing, or simply looking out the window.
  • Meditate.
  • Breathe—long breaths in and long breaths out through the nose.
  • Invite your body and heart into your experiences so your mind is a part of you and not all of you.
  • Try a new thing to spark your creativity. If you spend time running, try a different route. If running feels stale, cruise around a museum, or go for a bike ride.
  • Play a game. Indoors out or outside. Think of what makes you happy that you haven’t done in a while. Is it a physical game like badminton or cards? Maybe it’s storytelling? Play is creative, and it sparks the creative energy, too.
  • Spend time in the places that bring out your creativity. What spot in your home could be your spot for entering into that mode? Do you need to get out? Maybe a park bench is the right spot, with a book of poetry, or even nothing at all.
  • Spend time in nature. Nature brings us to a place of calm and awe and through that our creativity is easily sparked.

Final Thoughts

These are all habits—habits of mind and habits of doing. Experiment with what works for you. Have fun. If you give even 50% to altering your thoughts and actions, then you will begin to spark your creativity. It takes a lot of curiosity and commitment, but it can definitely be done.

Our innate creative energy is a deep source of all that we seek—joy, connection, renewal. It deserves and looks forward to the changes you will make that will let sparks fly and ignite!

More Tips to Spark Your Creative Energy

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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