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  • Hey, it’s Marie Forleo and you are watching MarieTV, the place to be to create a business

  • and life you love. Now, if youve ever wondered what it takes to be a high performer in your

  • life, today’s guest is going to show you how. Brendon Burchard is a New York Times,

  • Wall Street Journal, Amazon, and USA Today best-selling author and the world’s leading

  • high performance coach. Tens of millions of people have watched his videos and completed

  • his training courses.

  • Brendon is also the star and executive producer of the online YouTube show, The Charged Life,

  • and the podcast of the same name, which debuted at number one on iTunes. His latest book is

  • called High-Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way.

  • Brendon!

  • What?

  • It’s so good to have you here!

  • Thank you. This is so pretty up here. I can’t believe how awesome it is.

  • I know. But this is likethis is fun, because this is actually the second time that

  • youre on the show. But last time we did this, we did Skype-o-rama.

  • Yes. And yours cut out like halfway through.

  • Of course it did.

  • But I loved it because you still aired it, so you had my face there. And I’m at home.

  • I wasn’t sure – I don't think I knew it was a Skype interview. And I had this shirt

  • and it was open like, my hair was like over here.

  • You were great. We had so much fun. I wish you’d told me – I’m gonna block

  • out my face, Brendon. I wouldve been like, “Oh, dude. Block out mine. This is great.”

  • That was called technical difficulties.

  • Yes.

  • Anyway, my point being I’m so happy that were doing this right now.

  • Thank you.

  • First of all, I need to congratulate you. So your sixth book. Right? High Performance

  • Habits.

  • Sixth. Yes.

  • This is a great beast.

  • It’s a beast.

  • But I want to congratulate you because it’s fantastic.

  • Thank you.

  • So talk to me about why. What inspired this book and why now?

  • Uh, yeah. I mean, every one of my books have been completely different. You know, one’s

  • Life’s Golden Tickets, like this parable. It’s a story. The Charge was based on some

  • neuroscience. The last one, Motivation Manifesto, was like philosophy, you know, injected with

  • like warrior-ism.

  • But this one I said, “you know what I want to do is I actually want to empirically test

  • whether what I believe leads to high performance is true or not.” Because I think at some

  • point with our platforms, you know, we can all share what we know from our life experience,

  • and that’s really incredible and it’s valuable. It’s important what we do. And

  • then I have to think we have to at some point say, “but is it true and are there nuances

  • that research would prove out?”

  • And so this became the world’s largest study ever on high performance. Last three years

  • of my life, a full academic teamand all we did is survey, interview, survey, interview,

  • run the data. Survey, interview, survey, interview, run the data. Largest ever not even comparable

  • by over 100,000 people is what we did. And what we teased out was that there’s only

  • six habits that actually empirically can be proven lead to high performance. That’s

  • high performance just means long-term success.

  • Yup. Sustainable.

  • Sustained long-term success, which is huge. But so I’ve been teaching high performance

  • academy for eight, nine years. And the good thing about doing research is there were some

  • things I taught, they were wrong. And there are some things I taught, there was just so

  • much nuance to it, now I can teach it better.

  • And also I think a lot of people want to know in personal development, is any of this provable?

  • I think that’s why positive psychology is so important. And we had researches from University

  • of Pennsylvania helping us with this. So they just want to know is thisis it real?

  • Yeah.

  • And we teased out over 21 different habits, and then we asked, can it be replicable? Meaning

  • are high performers who are doing this, are they just freaking amazing?

  • Yup.

  • Or can you practice that? Then we said is it actually effective across domains, meaning

  • is thiswould this prove out true for an athlete versus an assistant versus, you

  • know, a barista versus the CEO in Fortune 50? Which it did.

  • Then we asked is it something that’s trainable? Like can we empirically prove it canyou

  • can take somebody here over to here in a couple of weeks on this particular item? And we ran

  • all the research and it came down to these six high performers in the book. Or, high

  • performance habits in the book. And I’m super excited about it, because it’s done.

  • It was three years and it nearly killed me.

  • I remember our texts back and forth while you were creating this, but I – you did

  • a phenomenal job. But let’s – I want to tag onto something that you mentioned. It

  • was actually my next question, but it weaves in nicely with what you discovered.

  • I was curious throughout this journey, was there anything that surprised you? And one

  • thing that you mentioned, youre like, “hey. There were some things that I thought were

  • in theyescolumnthat you discovered based on the research are not. So I’m curious

  • if you can tell us a little bit about what surprised you and what

  • It was three years of surprises. I mean, the ah-ha’s I had going through this journey

  • were so great, but it was difficult. You know, it made me – I mean, I was away from family

  • and friends. I didn't get to see you. It’s been – I mean, you mentioned our last interview.

  • I’ve basically been doing research since then. I mean, it’s just been really, really

  • intense.

  • But the learnings kept me going even though I didn't get to see family and friends as

  • much, because I was justevery day was, “Oh, what? Oh, that’s a thing?” And,

  • for example, big ones. Big biases I had that were wrong, and youre not gonna like this

  • one and no one’s going to like it. But creativity is not strongly correlated with high performance.

  • I would havethree years, I would argue. I mean, I wouldve been – I would have

  • passionately argued against it, because I’m a creative.

  • Yeah.

  • This is my life. I write, I train, I speak. That’s what – I wouldve argued forever.

  • I’ve designed all the covers of my books.

  • Yeah.

  • I mean, I dork out about design. I design all my webpages. I’m – I believe that

  • creativity must give the edge, and it does give an edge in certain circumstances, for

  • sure. But I interviewed a Fortune 50 CTO, chief technology officer. Unbelievably high-performing

  • people. Their stock is off the roof. And what he said, he goes, “Brendon, I’m not a

  • creative person. My team isn’t particularly creative.” But long-term success matters

  • just as much about execution and consistency and showing up as the creative edge. The creative

  • edge might get you in the game. Because, remember, high performance is long-term success. Were

  • not studying initial success. It’s veryinitial success, you know, grit, creativity,

  • originality. All these things, very important. The spark, the get you in the game, for sure.

  • But even Jim Rohn said, you know, “motivation gets you in the game, habits keep you there.”

  • And creativity as a habitthe spark that might be called original creativity, it might

  • only happen for us every two to three years. So that’s not sufficient. Weve got to

  • show up on Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday. Execution is more important as an example.

  • So we talk about the kinds of creativity that actually matter, but it’s not strongly correlated

  • almost across all industries. And I would have completely argued with that.

  • Another one, you know, we tend to think – I would have thought the older you get the more

  • likely it is youre a high performer, because wisdom.

  • Yeah.

  • There’s a lot of old, lazy people.

  • Yup.

  • You know?

  • Stuck in their ways. Doing the same thing that theyve been doing day in and day out.

  • Yeah. So I think there's a lot of demographic things I would have – I would have assumed

  • certain countries. We didthis includes research from 195 countries. We wanted this

  • to be global and we wanted the largest one ever. And I wouldve thought certain countries,

  • you know, we all have like, you know, I buy lots of cool Scandinavian furniture. That

  • doesn't quite necessarily mean anything. Right? We make these assumptions about things, and

  • so we dispel a lot of it.

  • And the good news is, all six habits are things everyone can do. Theyre not innate, theyre

  • not likeyoure lucky and born with that.” And everything that we learned that, you know,

  • when people have an excuse they say, well, “I’m too young.” Or they say...

  • “I’m too old.”

  • Or I’m from this demographic, I’m from that town.” None of that matters. And we

  • proved it. We said these are the only things that matter. And that’s what excites me

  • about it is because I can now share these little nuances and people go, “Oh, that’s

  • what matters and that will help me get ahead.”

  • Yeah. And it levels the playing field for all of us. And I feel like that’s one of

  • the other things I really appreciate about the book.

  • You know, you wrote thatachievement is not the problem, alignment is.” Can we talk

  • about that a little bit?

  • Yeah. I wish it was my line. It was one of my clients. She’s – I mean, she manages

  • over 10,000 people. Like, she has 10,000 direct reports. She’s just an unbelievable achiever.

  • And when I started working with her, I mean, just like a lot of people, their struggles

  • aren’t “can I make a goal list and a checklistand, you know, “can I get things done.”

  • Because people get stuff done all the time, but our busy work isn’t always our life’s

  • work.

  • And so you have to learn that we have to find that thing that we can align to. And a lot

  • of people, theyre achieving themselves into the wrong thing. They put the ladder

  • against the wrong building. They just haven’t really figured out what’s important to them.

  • And, most importantly, alignment also includes harmony in your life. Because a lot of people

  • achieve and achieve in their career, and then theyre divorced. People achieve and achieve

  • and achieve, and theyre fat and they didn't take care of themselves, and they know it.

  • And it sounds horrible to say it, but they know it. And so you have to figure out like,

  • okay, how can we align ourselves to something that we really care about?” And not align

  • like sometimes on a Monday or a Tuesday, or not just in our career but really get our

  • relationships, our health, our career all in alignment to help us become in high performing.

  • Because high performing isn’t just achievement for achievement’s sake.

  • Right.

  • What we found in that study is high performers also value well-being more than almost any

  • other demographics that weve ever measured. And you and I know that, but it’s actually

  • the second habit in here is the ability to generate energy. And that’s mental, physical,

  • and emotional energy. And we can talk about the nuances in all of that.

  • Yeah, that’s actually some place I want to go next, but I don't want to cut you off

  • because youre on a train.

  • Yeah. No, that’s it. I mean, it’s so important. And so when we say alignment we don't just

  • mean choosing the right thing. We mean generally creating some kind of harmonious alignment

  • in your life. I don't use, you know, I wouldn’t say that in the book, but that, you know,

  • that’s really what it is.

  • It really is, because, you know, in thinking about how each of us define success, it’s

  • such a unique thing. But those components of health and your family and how you feel

  • every day and the meaningfulness of it, it has to be there.

  • So I say for people watching, if youre in this place where youreyou really

  • feel like youre struggling but youre like, “Damn, I’m working so hard,” I

  • would say what she said to me. You know, “achievement is not the problem, alignment is.” Once

  • we got her aligned, I mean, her life came back. I mean, literally this person felt like

  • their life was a waste, like they had spent 20 years doing something that wasn’t the

  • right thing. And there’s a lot of guilt and shame and frustration there.

  • And but I’m like youre a badass, but she didn't feel right because she wasn’t

  • in alignment. As soon as we got her in alignment, I mean, literally weeks, she changed. I mean,

  • you would have thought she had, you know, some Renaissance of the mind. And it wasn’t

  • that many things. Just sometimes youre actually not off by, you know, 50 feet like

  • you think you are. Youre off by like four or five degrees. And if we can align your

  • relationships, your career, and your health back into the right angle for you, you come

  • back to life.

  • Yeah. It’s huge. One of the distinctions I loved in the book was about emotions and

  • feelings and how you parsed through that. And your framework, and I’ll paraphrase

  • here so feel free to correct, emotions are instinctual. Like they often just appear.

  • Right? Where feelings relate to our interpretation and we can better influence them. I’d love

  • you to talk a little bit about that, because I think it’s a really important distinction,

  • especially as it’s related to energy and this idea of high performance.

  • Yes. One of the major, major keys we found, the first high performing habit, is seek clarity.

  • And what we found is one of the practices that high performers do is they define the

  • feeling theyre after. And so when we had explained that and later talk about in the

  • energy chapter, we had to differentiate between feelings and emotions. And they are different.

  • Emotions tend to betheyre the same.

  • Yeah.

  • Like wetheyre physical, theyre almost always automatic, even though in the

  • brain is creating associations as often happen, for us they just kinda

  • Emotion comes up.

  • Yeah. Youre watching a movie and youre sad. And youre like, “Oh, my gosh,”

  • you know? “I’m crying.” You didn't even have the tissues ready, youre just like

  • you know? But feelings are usually interpretations that we make of what that emotion was and

  • how it sticks and the meaning we give to it. And the example I usedyou know I like

  • to give, and I don't remember if it’s in the book or not, honestly. Because here’s

  • what’s happened, this book is 400 pages. It was 1,481 when I finished.

  • Ooh, baby! You edited down!

  • Yes. And it was 1,481 good. Complete. It was like awesome.

  • Yes.

  • But I was like that’s gonna freak people out. So were publishing a bunch in academic

  • journals later, and I just stripped it down to 400 pages so it’s more readable and fun

  • and learnable. So I can’t remember if this one actually made it in there, but the example

  • I like to give is if you and I go to a haunted house.

  • Yeah. Which I love.

  • I love them. I love them. And they scare me to crap, but if you and I walk around, you

  • know, you walk around the walls in a haunted house, someone jumps out at you. You and I

  • are both gonna jump.

  • Yes. We are emotionally going to experience fright

  • immediately. It’s gonna be there. Right? But I might be freaked out for the next five

  • minutes, and you might be laughing. Why? It’s the meaning and feeling that weve defined

  • it as. That’s fine for everybody.

  • Here’s the issue that people have and you have to be careful about when we start talking

  • about energy, because emotional energy is real. And that is, look, if at 6 – we go

  • to a haunted house at, you know, 5 PM in the afternoon. If at 9 PM now youre in your

  • house, youre alone, but you're completely safe, and you still feel scared, that’s

  • not the haunted house’s problem. That is the way that you are defining and working

  • through your own emotions. You had the emotion of terror and fear and you're still experiencing

  • that feeling? That’s a mental job, not an emotional job.

  • So your job is to go, “Wow, I’m at my house. I’ve lived here for 10 years. I’ve

  • never been threatened in this house. This is a safe place. I’ve got to