This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "High Performance Habits" by Brendon Burchard. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What are the characteristics of high performers? What do they do differently from an average person?

In his book High Performance Habits, Brendon Burchard talks about how successful people manage to stay at the top of their game over a long period of time. He attributes it to eight psychological characteristics of high performers.

Keep reading for eight characteristics of high performers.

What Is High Performance?

If you want to cultivate the characteristics of high performers in yourself, you must first understand the definition of “high performance.” High performance is consistent and continued success and growth at a high level. The following are aspects of “high performance”:

  • High performance requires that you focus on the right habits. Some habits are more effective than others. High performers recognize that they only have so much time and focus on the most effective habits. For example, getting in the habit of keeping a journal may help people process their emotions, but it won’t necessarily help them perform better. 
  • High performance requires the ability to adapt. The world is changing all the time, and high performers recognize that they have to adapt to the world around them. One of the characteristics of high performers is that they’re always seeking better ways to improve their performance and don’t get stuck in their routines. For example, a high-performing athlete is constantly looking for more effective ways to work out and improve their performance.
  • High performance requires aligned priorities. High performers know what’s important for their success and what’s not. Instead of agreeing to everything they come across, they only invest time in projects that will improve their lives and contribute to their success. For example, a high-performing executive will only invest in projects that they believe will contribute to their company’s success. They won’t take the time to delve into projects they don’t believe in. 

8 Characteristics of High Performers

High performers are people who maintain their success and well-being over a long period of time. Here are 8 characteristics of high performers:

  • They are satisfied with their lives
  • They are able to accomplish things outside of their “strengths”
  • They are highly productive
  • They work hard regardless of external motivators or rewards
  • They achieve more success than their colleagues but experience less stress
  • They are healthier than most of their colleagues
  • They are acclaimed by their colleagues
  • They adapt to their surroundings and impact other people
8 Characteristics of High Performers: What It Takes

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Here's what you'll find in our full High Performance Habits summary :

  • The 6 habits that high performers have
  • How being a high performer is about more than one big achievement
  • The 3 traps that can foil you, even if you're a high performer

Darya Sinusoid

Darya’s love for reading started with fantasy novels (The LOTR trilogy is still her all-time-favorite). Growing up, however, she found herself transitioning to non-fiction, psychological, and self-help books. She has a degree in Psychology and a deep passion for the subject. She likes reading research-informed books that distill the workings of the human brain/mind/consciousness and thinking of ways to apply the insights to her own life. Some of her favorites include Thinking, Fast and Slow, How We Decide, and The Wisdom of the Enneagram.

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