The performance master

Best-selling author Brendon Burchard shares life and body-betterment advice from his latest book.

When you're called the new Tony Robbins and you're seen hobnobbing with Sir Richard Branson and "The Bills" (Clinton and Gates respectively), you've pretty much earned the right to shell out life advice. And that's what Brendon Burchard, the number one New York Times bestselling author of The Millionaire Messenger and Life's Golden Ticket does best. Equinox's senior national manager of group fitness, Lashaun Dale, recently snagged an hour with the motivation and marketing connoisseur to discuss his new best-seller, The Charge: Activating the 10 Human Drives that Make You Feel Alive(the author is offering complimentary copies of the bookfor Q readers). Here, his tips for life maximization:

You offer a lot of advice, but what's your personal secret to staying inspired and maximizing life?
Living a charged life has been on my dashboard since I survived a major car accident. In that crash, I was forced to ask the three questions we all ask at the end of our lives: Did I live? Did I love? Did I matter? It was then that I knew I needed to live a life that by the end of it I can say ‘Yes’ to those questions.

Why do you think that despite all we know and all of our tools for achievement so many are struggling?
I think that becomes a very interesting question. In an abundant culture like ours, it’s not that we don’t have what we need, it’s that we aren’t using our human drives for something more. My argument in The Charge is there are ten human drives, and they’re universal, part of the human condition. And if we understand what those drives are, and we activate them more intelligently and strategically, then suddenly, our life comes back to us. I think the one thing everyone wants right now is more life in their lives!

In your opinion, peak performance isn't really the best goal, right?
There is a night and day difference between peak performance and high performance. And I’ll actually argue the majority of people don’t want peak performance. I personally don’t want peak performance, and I don’t want peak experiences. I don’t want my life to be a yo-yo of major ups and major downs. There’s always another side to every single peak. We want to feel fully-charged on a continual basis.

Your model of high performance is really a matter of lifestyle and mastering the "4 Ps"…
My argument is high performance really comes down to understanding and mastering four different areas of your life: your psychology, physiology, productivity and persuasion. When you actually have the ability to master these areas, then you’re going to be the highest performer out of anybody.

Why do people resist change?
There are only three reasons people don’t change: they fear loss pain, they fear process pain and they fear outcome pain. The answer is to activate within yourself a deeper demand, a deeper desire to be more, to give more, to serve more. Activate a demand on yourself to have more energy and engagement and presence in your life. Activate within yourself the charge. Think more of yourself and demand that your actions be congruent with the best of who you are and who you can be. Be that vision. And don’t do it just because it will help you succeed more. Do it more because you will feel it, your family will feel it, your community will feel it and the world will thank you for it.

Brendon Burchard’s Daily Action Plan for A Charged Life: Do these 7 things daily to care for your body and mind, and you'll find your life comes alive.

Care for your Body:
1. Sleep. Schedule 7 to 8 hours of sleep, no matter what. Every single night. Everything we know about mental performance, mental high-performance comes from that rest and rejuvenation.

2. Hydrate. Everybody should be drinking 6 liters of water a day if they are healthy, active adults.

3. Eat. Eat 3-5 times a day and on that one dish, an entire third should be healthy, vibrant green vegetables.

4. Exercise. Everybody who is physically capable should be working out at least 3-4 times a week — no exceptions — and the workout must match your level and goals.

Care for your Mind:
1. Change. Introduce purpose, novelty and newness in your life.

2. Challenge. Challenge yourself to express yourself in the world even more, and be uniquely who you are.

3. Connect. Connect with other people and seek to make real connections. Be curious about other people, be present with them, project positivity on them.