“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.” – Pablo Picasso
I’ve been reading the new book by Brendon Burchard called High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way. If you’ve been stuck and can’t push forward, then this is the book you should be reading. Burchard has many successful online programs some of which are free. I’m a big fan of his work. And I’m not the only one. He’s a New York Times bestselling author with accolades from the likes of Oprah Winfrey.
But here’s why his newest book is worthy of your attention. If you haven’t gotten to where you wanted to yet, maybe you’re burnt our or keep trying, but you haven’t risen to the place you want to go, then there’s something you’re doing wrong.
Like the fly who keeps hitting the closed window, you need to go look for the open door. Here are a few things that make Burchard’s new book worth your precious time.
- You think focused time equates with success. Burchard shares that the belief we need to spend 10,000 hours on something to become a master is false. It’s not just repetition or time, but it’s “progressive mastery,” that’s important. This is time not spent doing the same thing over and over, in my case that’s continuing to write picture books repeatedly until I’m burnt out. This is about being deliberate about the time spent. Choosing activities maybe classes, critique partners, analyzing what works and doesn’t work, creating specific attainable goal and working with others to learn and improve what you’re doing. Otherwise you’ll be making the same mistake with little progress.
- You don’t know why you’re doing it. You need to know the emotional reason(s) why you’re devoting all your time and energy to this project. You need to remember it when you’ve forced to turn down story time with your kid or received your thirtieth submission rejection or have to eat cereal for dinner yet again because your business is losing money. You need to put yourself in that emotional place-the children that will be impacted by your words, the people who will be healed by your wisdom, and the families who need your product. That’s the food that’s going to feed you when it gets so hard that you’ll be tempted to give up.
- You’re afraid to succeed. With success comes more responsibility. With success comes the guilt of having achieved when your parents didn’t. With success comes accountability and having other people rely on you. You will change and change is scary. You’ll have to push people and yourself. Not many have the grit to do that. If you’re not willing to ask if you did your best and ask that of others, you won’t get to that next level.
- You think it’s supposed to be easy. Maybe intuitively you know there’s work involved to take your business to the next level. But if you buy into the belief that your relationships, friendships, and partnerships are supposed to meld together like butter when you run into conflict, which you inevitably will, then you’ll think it’s not meant to be. You’ll quit before you even got started. But high performers know it takes concentrated focus, the ability to hear what you’re doing wrong and flexibility to change when necessary. In other words, I know it takes getting uncomfortable. It takes struggle. It takes self-doubt. It takes failure and the belief that whatever you’re working on whether a relationship or project is worth it.
If you’re interested in reading the book, Burchard has an excerpt of his first two chapters here. It’s also available at the library and of course you can buy it as well. But these are the main points that I think have been most influential to me. Since reading it, I have been able to do the things I’ve never been able to do. I’ve finally stopped late night snacking. All I have to do is think about my kids and how much I want to be there for them physically and emotionally as they grow older. Being hungry or quitting a habit that wasn’t serving me suddenly seemed simple. I also decided to pursue an idea that I’ve had on the back burner. Lastly, I’m more conscious of the energy and intention I’m bringing to each situation. Instead of being reactive, this has given me the power and ability to control what I want to get out of every experience instead of becoming a victim to it.
If you’ve read this til the end, that’s amazing because this is one of the longest posts I’ve ever wrote. I’m betting you stuck it through because you’re feeling stuck. Life is going by and you feel like you have nothing to show for it. I know what that feels like.
When I finished my costly graduate program in counseling psychology, I realized too late, that this was not what I wanted to do. What I wanted was to write. A few months later, I used my passion to land my first writing gig, which was for copywriting and ended up writing for several silicon valley companies. Since then, I’ve worked with small business owners and individuals who wanted more for their life. One young lady even lost weight, ended a toxic relationship and is thoroughly enjoying her life traveling-which is what she always wanted to do. She got that all from the handful of sessions we met, which in total costed her around $100. It’s time you got started too and I can help support you on your own personal journey.