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  • Writer's pictureLiz W.

Review for "High Performance Habits" by Brendon Burchard

*Workbook in Progress*

I am still catching up on creating workbooks for the previous books I posted questions for - including this one. All questions will remain available to you here in the meantime!

Intro to the Review

We have all had the experience of enthusiastically starting a new book only to realize that it is not what were expecting. The purpose of the following review is not to express my opinion on whether the book is "good" or "bad." I expect most of the books I read to be "good," Whether or not it is the right book for you is another question entirely. My goal for this and every review I write is to help you decide whether this book would be a good fit for you.

Here are some questions for you to consider:

  • Does it seem like the content covered in this book aligns with what I was expecting to find?

  • Is the main problem addressed in this book similar to my own goal for what I would like to get from reading it?

  • Is the style and format written in a way that will not hinder my ability to get the most value from this book?

  • Am I the intended audience for this book?

If after reading the review, you can answer yes to all these questions, there's a pretty good chance this book is the right fit for you. If not, well, there are plenty more books out there just waiting for you to read them.

High Performance Habits

How Extraordinary People Become That Way

Brendon Burchard

Ⓒ 2017 Hay House Inc

401 pages

“If you really want to make your mark, you’ll have to grow more to give more."

Pick up where you left off:


Book Review

Author Background

Brendon Burchard is a New York Times bestselling author, and a globally recognized high-performance coach. named him “the world’s leading high performance coach.” Success Magazine ranks him in the Top 25 Most Influential success teachers. His other books include The Motivation Manifesto (2014) and The Charge (2012). (affiliate links).

His website includes many resources and can be found here.

His YouTube page can be found here. You can follow him on Twitter: @BrendonBurchard His podcast can be found on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. The website for the High Performance Institute can be found here.

Lastly, if you would like a High Performance Planner you can get one here.

What Problem Does This Book Attempt To Address?

Why are some people able to reach high levels of success, stay successful over the long-term, and enjoy increased levels of well-being while others are not? This book argues that what makes people successful is not natural talents, personality, circumstances or connections, but rather it is a set of concrete, actionable habits performed consistently over the long-term. These habits are termed the High Performance Habits or HP6. This book delves into each of these six habits and how anyone can obtain them and utilize them to become a high performer.


· Concept explanation: Very clear

· Related stories: Average

· Data references and studies: Many

· Charts and graphics: Few

· Practical application: Very strong

The book introduction starts by defining what success and high performance is, what it isn’t, and why you should care. Then it introduces the 6 high performance habits that the rest of the book will be based on, and how these habits were determined to be an integral part of achieving and maintaining success. Each habit is further broken down into 3 areas of focus and each section includes reflection questions and advice on how to start implementing them.

Each chapter starts with an example of someone who was lacking the spotlighted habit, and how this affected them. He does a great job using these stories not as just an entertaining example, but more as a framework that he uses to build upon throughout the entire chapter. It is really well done. There are countless studies and every claim he makes is supported by evidence. The entire purpose of the book is its practical application to the reader, and this is very evident.

Writing Style & Presentation

· Tone: Instructional

· Organization: Great

· Flow: Good

Burchard states upfront some writing decisions he made and the reason he decided to write the book the way he did. He states that he did not add a plethora of stories because he wanted to focus on teaching what the high performance habits are and how to implement them, rather than giving multiples examples of how each is applied. He also stated that he chose not to use famous companies or individuals to prevent the book from becoming dated in years to come. The result is a well-organized, information-dense guidebook for improving performance. The tone is instructional, yet not overly formal or academic. The sheer amount of information provided in this book does take away from the flow a bit. Don’t expect to read this book in one sitting.

Bringing It all Together

One thing done really well: The use of the stories as a tool for teaching each habit, rather than just an example in and of itself.

One thing that could be better: I understand the importance of building credibility with your audience by sharing your accomplishments and so forth, but I feel like this was mentioned more often than necessary throughout the book.

One main thing I took away from this book was: High performance can be achieved by anyone in any circumstance provided that they are willing to put in the work to change their daily behaviors. Success comes from the commitment to high performance.

Overall Recommendation

Overall recommendation: 5/5

Who I would recommend this book for: Someone looking for a step-by-step guide to improving their habits and is ready to apply the strategies to their life.

Who I wouldn’t recommend this book for: Someone looking for a short, inspiring read. The information in this book is really dense and there it is meant to be a practical guide more than anything else.


Discussion Questions


What is the definition of a high performer?

How is high performance achieved?

What is the difference between achievement and alignment?

What is the enemy of growth?

What is the definition of high performance?

Why is achieving high performance about more than just success?

What are the characteristics of the high performance habits?

How do high performers handle stress?

How do high performers handle adversity?

What is not correlated with high performance?

What are high performers more likely to get done?

What is meant by the term “deliberate habit”?

What must you remember in order to succeed?

Beyond Natural

What are the malleable factors that make success possible?

What are the HP6?

What is effectiveness in life a result of?

Who does reaching the top come naturally for?

What factors are not correlated with high performance?

Why aren’t non-malleable factors useful to focus on?

How does improvement in one high performance habit affect the others?

What is a high performance state of mind?

What time frame can someone expect to start seeing results from implementing the high performance habits?

Habit 1

What do achievers do when they are struggling?

What can cause the motivation of achievers to wane?

For what topics is it important to have clarity?

How is clarity created?

What effects do clarity or lack of clarity have on emotions?

What is the first step in creating clarity?

What is the second step in creating clarity?

What should a goal consist of?

Habit 1 - Practice 1

What are the Future Four?

What is the difference in value between introspection and intention?

What do high performers think about weekly?

What intentions do high performers have in regards to others?

What are some intention questions to ask before interacting with others?

How do all high performers approach social interactions?

Which skills do high performers focus on?

How do high performers approach learning?

What are the 3 steps to improve skills?

What is the price of leaving growth to randomness?

What future focused question do high performers ask about service?

Why is relevance important?

In contrast to the Future Four, what trait is seen in underperformers?

Habit 1 - Practice 2

What question will help you heighten and sustain clarity?

How do underperformers experience feelings?

How do high performers experience feelings?

How do high performers take control of their emotional state?

What is the difference between feelings and emotions?

Over time, how does the brain respond when we choose which feelings to create?

Habit 1 - Practice 3

What is a main factor associated with psychological well-being?

What four factors were equated with meaning?

What is enthusiasm associated with?

What is coherence in life?

Habit 2

What is the energy trifecta?

What is correlated with low energy?

What is correlated with high energy?

What physiological effects does stress have on the brain?

Habit 2 - Practice 1

How do transitions drain energy?

How can transitions be made immensely valuable?

What activity will help you transition while restoring energy?

How do you set intention?

What two types of tension does this activity release?

Habit 2 - Practice 2

What are the three defining positive emotions experienced by high performers?

What does having positive emotions lead to?

How do positive emotions affect the brain?

How do high performers achieve more positive emotions?

What are the everyday habits of high performers that cultivate positive emotions?

What role does anticipation play in positive emotions?

What is the benefit of self-coaching?

What is cognitive defusion?

How can you use triggers to create positive emotions?

What is the benefit of journaling?

What is the benefit of gratitude?

Habit 2 - Practice 3

What are some stories we tell ourselves about why we don’t take care of our health?

How does exercise impact the brain?

How does regular exercise help with the demands of life?

How many weeks of exercise are needed to change the brain?

What is the result of increased serotonin?

What are the steps you can do to begin optimizing your health?

Habit 3

How do our choices determine necessity?

What is performance necessity?

How does it feel when performance necessity is not met?

What must be present in order to become extraordinary?

What are the Four Forces of Necessity?

What are the feelings associated with internal forces of necessity?

What causes people to perform tasks well?

How does self-monitoring impact necessity?

What journaling habit can improve necessity?

How do high performers know they’re on the right path?

What goals should underperformers undertake to raise necessity?

How do high performers view challenges?

What role does curiosity play in high performance?

What is the difference between passion and obsession?

Why isn’t normal always healthy?

When does high necessity emerge?

What is an external force of necessity?

What is reactance?

What positive external force motivates high performance?

How does accountability increase performance?

What role does a sense of duty and purpose play in high performance?

What is the difference between real and false deadlines?

What is a social deadline?

Habit 3 - Practice 1

What is the desk trigger action and why is it effective?

Identify and differentiate between 5 types of identities.

Why do high performers play at a high level?

What is flow and what elements does it consist of?

Habit 3 - Practice 2

What do high performers do with their goals?

What is the difference between the why and how of confidence?

What are the social stakes in declaring your why?

What is the benefit of affirming your why?

Habit 3 - Practice 3

What attributes should you look for in new people to surround yourself with?

What is a social contagion and how does it affect us?

How is high performance tied to culture or social environment?

How can beliefs affect effort?

What kind of people do high performers seek out?

Who do high performers spend less time with?

What should you do rather than cutting out negative people?

What 5 tactics can you use to find a more successful peer group?

Habit 4

What feelings result from feeling more productive?

What are the fundamentals of becoming more productive?

By how much does distraction lower productivity?

What two beliefs can make work-life balance seem impossible?

What is a quality vs quantity expectation of balance?

What should you focus on balancing instead of hours?

What are the 10 categories of balance?

Why is measuring major areas necessary to find balance?

When will you always feel out of balance?

How does burnout affect all the areas we are trying to balance?

What positive effect comes from taking breaks?

How much can taking short breaks increase productivity?

How often should you take a break?

Why is powering through not ideal?

Habit 4- Practice 1

What is PQO?

What aspects of personal production priorities can create career breakthroughs?

How much of your time should be oriented to PQO?

What are the two common excuses for not focusing on PQO?

What causes procrastination?

Habit 4 - Practice 2

What is the key to progressing with purpose?

What happens with unfocused efforts?

What does thinking before acting entail?

What question should you ask to create a plan?

What is more important than knowing how to achieve your five moves?

Habit 4 - Practice 3

What is the definition of “skill”?

How many skills over what time frame should you focus on developing?

What is the difference between repetition and progressive mastery?

List the 10 steps to progressive mastery.

What is deliberate practice?

Habit 5

What feeling is correlated with a higher influence score?

What is the definition of “having influence”?

What do most people underestimate?

How is the power of repetition related to influence?

What happens when leaders ask questions?

What can double your ability to influence others?

What kind of mindset do high performers have?

What is the greatest thing you can give in an organizational setting?

How are gratitude and appreciation related to influence?

In what three ways do who people who positive influence others act?

Habit 5 - Practice 1

What is framing?

What should leaders always be communicating?

What three things do leaders want their people to be thinking about?

Habit 5 - Practice 2

How do high performers raise the bar?

In contrast to confrontation, how do high performers challenge others?

What two parts of communication are important when challenging others?

What is another term for settings standards?

What three areas do high performers challenge others in?

What social expectations do high performers explicitly make?

How do high performers challenge people in a team setting?

Habit 5 - Practice 3

How often do most high performers think about being a role model?

What is the downside to using manipulation to get ahead?

Habit 6

What kinds of courageous acts make us feel proud?

What is courage?

What allows us to become more comfortable in fear-inducing situations?

What three things are present when someone is likely to demonstrate courage?

What are three types of courage?

How does “noble” and “life-enhancing” differentiate true courage from other things?

What pattern is clear among high performers even in the face of risk?

How can preparation lead to increased courage?

Habit 6 - Practice 1

Why are we less courageous as a society?

What two ingredients are required for courage?

What are the benefits of embracing struggle?

How does meeting conflict increase courage?

What view of struggle increases personal power?

How do high performers view failure?

What are the two outcomes of struggle that we can choose?

How does trust in the future help during struggles?

Habit 6 - Practice 2

When should you try to measure up to someone’s ideals and when shouldn’t you?

Why do some people feel they have to minimize themselves?

What does accessing the next level of courage require?

What is often the cause when a successful person fails to achieve the next level of success?

Who will listen to your truth?

Habit 6 - Practice 3

What is true about our willingness to do things for others vs for ourselves?

What is courage an expression of?

High Performance Killers

What are internal traps?

What are the three anti-practices to high performance?

Trap 1

What thoughts may be indicative of creeping superiority?

How is confirmation bias related to superiority?

How does superiority begin?

What is the main characteristic in all thoughts of superiority?

What is the myth that causes self-isolation?

What mindset do high performers have that is contradictory to the “lonely-at-the-top” syndrome?

How does forgetfulness cause superiority?

How does certainty cause superiority?

What thoughts are signs of condescension?

What positive outcomes are linked to humility?

What actions can promote humility?

What can make someone appear to feel superior to others?

Trap 2

What must accompany striving for optimal performance?

What causes a lack of connection and gratitude?

What can dissatisfaction lead to obsessing about?

What does the “never-settle” mentality lead to?

What is the negativity bias?

What two things are not mutually exclusive?

What things are play crucial in?

Why is dissatisfaction harmful as a leader?

Trap 3

How does neglect most often occur?

What two reasons do most high performers say is the cause of neglect?

What is the simple way to avoid the first cause of neglect?

Why does overreaching occur?

What is the mindset shift required to avoid overreaching?

What is the solution to living a reactive life?

What effect does cramming have?

What is the reason behind the “say no first” mentality?

Why is it important to always remember what got you to the level of success you’re at?

The #1 Thing

What do individuals who have high confidence also tend to have?

How are confidence, efficiency and distraction related?

What are the benefits of confidence?

How do the thinking patterns of confident people differ from others?

What are the three C’s of confidence?

What kind of confidence is tied to performance?

How is confidence development?

How do high performers view future competence?

How do high performers use past successes?

How have high performers shaped their identities?

What do you learn from working with others?

Why do high performers feel they will do well with others?

Vocabulary List

These are words I noticed while reading that some people may be unfamiliar with. Use the worksheet to customize this list for yourself.

None! Use the workbook to add your own.

Discussion Question Workbook

The workbook that accompanies this post includes:

  • All discussion questions with space for writing answers

  • All vocabulary words with space to write definitions and add your own words

  • Chapter reflection questions

  • Final reflection questions

  • A condensed list of all discussion questions, for reference.

You can download this complimentary workbook for free:

High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard Discussion Question Workbook - Oak Tree Readin
Download • 563KB

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