Find Motivation: Brendon Burchard’s 3 Practices

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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How do you find motivation to work on your goals? More importantly, how do you sustain it over time?

It’s difficult to find motivation, and it’s even more difficult to sustain it over time. According to Brendon Burchard, the secret to sustainable motivation lies in adopting three practices: prioritizing, reminding yourself of the of your reasons, and surrounding yourself with the best.

Keep reading for Brendon Burchard’s advice on how to find motivation and keep it up.

How to Find Motivation: 3 Practices to Know

Motivation is hard to attain and easy to lose. Use the following practices to find motivation and keep it up: prioritize, remind yourself of the “why,” and surround yourself with the best.

1. Prioritize and Get in the “Flow”

To be a high performer, know what tasks are the most important at a given moment. This helps you maintain your sense of duty and urgency. To do this, create a “desk trigger.” Anytime you sit down at your desk, take a moment to think about who needs you the most in that moment, then focus your efforts accordingly. 

Once you know where to focus your attention, give 100% to the task at hand. When you give all of your attention to a challenging but achievable goal, you may get in the “flow.” When in the “flow”: 

  • You feel internal satisfaction.
  • You lack self-consciousness and feel calm.
  • You lose track of time. 
  • You know how you’re doing performance-wise.
  • You have the skills to complete the task, even if it’s difficult.
  • You have control over the outcome of the situation.
  • You forget about your personal needs.
  • You’re completely focused on the task at hand.

2. Remind Yourself of the “Why”

To find motivation, constantly remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing. Don’t just think it—say it. Verbalizing helps you solidify and affirm what you’re thinking. For example, if you’re an athlete with the goal of going pro, tell yourself before every workout, “This workout gets you one step closer to the big leagues. Your pain today will lead to strength tomorrow.”

Note: Having a strong sense of why you’re doing something doesn’t mean you should be married to how you do it. Be on the lookout for better and more effective ways to work towards your goals and have the humility to embrace new concepts when they come to your attention. Be willing to adopt new technology and concepts if they help you achieve your goals. Don’t get stuck in your ways of “doing things” just because they’re comfortable.

3. Surround Yourself With the Best

Surrounding yourself with people who are smart, goal-oriented, and driven will go a long way at helping you find motivation to work on your own goals. They will solidify your internal standards, act as role models, create accountability, and urge you to take action to improve. To surround yourself with the best, consider the following actions:

  • Make a new, positive friend. Adding just one positive person to your life can help you improve your overall outlook on life and find motivation to accomplish things you didn’t think were possible.
  • Seek out volunteer opportunities. Positive, service-driven people are drawn to volunteer opportunities. Taking the time to volunteer gives you a chance to interact with selfless people who aren’t driven by factors such as money or prestige. These experiences and interactions will help you develop empathy and understanding that will spread into your other relationships.
  • Participate in organized sports. Competitive activities hone your self-evaluation skills and give you clear goals that you must work hard to achieve. You can apply the drive that you develop in a competitive atmosphere to the work that you’re passionate about.
  • Find a mentor. Mentors are people who are older and wiser than you. Find someone who you look up to and ask them for guidance. Talk to them often, listen to their advice, and have them hold you accountable.
  • Earn your spot. Work hard and achieve success to get into the same rooms as other high performers. The more you accomplish, the more doors open up to you.
Find Motivation: Brendon Burchard’s 3 Practices

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  • 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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