Brendon Burchard's 4 Cornerstones of Achievement
I'm not the first person to say it, but the first thing we have to have to achieve anything is desire. We have to want it.
Les Brown used to say, "You have to be hungry." You have to be hungry to succeed. You have to have a deep desire to move the needle of your life forward. You have to have a desire for a dream, for a mission, for a cause, for something you believe in that's pulling you forward because you care about it so much.
A lot of people say, "Brendon, I don't care about anything." Is there a worse place to be in life when you just have desire for nothing? Isn't that ultimately where we fall into suffering, depression, loneliness or we've fallen into the negative lights of the world that are the darker shades of life.
Some people say, "I have no desire, Brendon," as if they're a victim. They act like it's the fault of the world.
Maturity and enlightenment in life demands we decide who do we want to be in life? What is it we want our life to stand for? What is it we desire to go after?
Some people say, "I just don't know, Brendon, I don't have any vision for my life, so I don't have that desire." Yeah, guess what? You're never going to have any vision for your life unless you go see something. If you've never seen the world it's hard to have a vision for yourself. You have to get outside of your house, get away from the damn computer and go into the world and say, "What's this about? What are people there doing?"
To have vision for yourself sometimes you have to experience a bunch of different things to know what you really care for, to sample different things and say, "Oh, this is what I like...That's what I want."
You might not always know it. No one wakes up in the morning and knows exactly their purpose.
Desire is built on experience. Desire is built on exposure to things, so go explore the world, read books, ask people what they do and see what's out there.
We have to be hungry for achievement and success, not to just to have achievement and success. Not just for the ends of that experience of money, wealth, status, fame, power, satisfaction, and pride. Those things will come, but we have to have the desire for that journey to grow into the type of people who deserve the experience of those things.
I desire the struggle, the challenge and the hardship of life that's going to make me a better person.
I don't shy away from the stormy seas and sit at a harbor watching life go by and thinking, oh boy hopefully some day I can...
No, it's like set sail, man! Have a desire to reach a new destination.
If you can't do it for yourself, cultivate desire to serve, desire to give something extraordinary to the people around you, to take care of your family, to reach you and your family up to another level of joy and significance and feeling, and just frankly, abundance in your life. It's not about having desire to gain wealth, but maybe that is true. There's nothing wrong with desire for wealth. Desire of wealth doesn't necessarily mean greed—they're two different things. I desire the wealth of health. I desire the wealth of meaningful relationships. I desire all the riches of those softer sides of life, love, compassion, kindness, connection, contribution, consciousness. I desire those things.
Once you have desire for something you will work for it. Determination will only come if you have desire.
I think the second element of all of achievement is direction. You might have that desire. A lot of people have a big desire or even a small desire, where they say, "My desire is to lose weight" or "...quit smoking," or "I desire to learn this skillset," "My desire is to build a business," or "Make money." Whatever their desire is and that ultimate ambition or purpose, goal and mission, you have to have a direction, which is HOW do you get there?
A lot of people have a lot of desire, but they won't do the hard work that demands learning to stretch their competency, to get direction from other people, to say, "Hey everybody, this is what I want to achieve. Is there a class I can take or a book I can read? Is there a webinar I can attend? Is there a course I can take online? Is somebody here who can mentor me? Is there somebody who has achieved this where I can read their biography?" To chase down how other people have done something, to model others, to mimic their steps and the strategies they followed so that we know the path.
In Montana, we have this saying, "The time to have the map is before you enter the woods." A lot of people feel lost, restless, frustrated, and often it's because they never got direction at the beginning of the journey. They just wandered into some big field of opportunity and wandered around... they've been looking around and now they're struggling, because they never said, "Hey everybody, does anyone have a map for achieving this thing?"
If you have a desire, go out and interview people on how to have that, to achieve that or to accomplish that. Ask lots of questions. Be a student of life. Even experts are always students first.
I'm so unbelievably happy with where my career is, what I get to do and how I get to serve people. All around the world, I'm asked to come speak on motivation, high performance, leadership, marketing in business. I'm honored and thrilled by it. I'm seen, in my career, in the experts industry, as one of the leaders of what I do. I appreciate and love that, but I always say, "I'm just a student, man. Here, let me share all the lessons I've learned. Have you read this book? Have you done this course? Go follow this person over there." I'm always curating all the content in my area, not just so I know what's going on but to continually provide me fresh new direction, new ideas, new strategies to continue moving me towards my desires.
I'm never complete. None of us are, we're always learning. So if you really desire something you need a map. You need to get direction.
Then, once you have that direction you have that third component which is discipline. You will have to work and be more consistent than you've ever imagined possible, if you're going to make your ultimate desires come true.
It's like I always say, "When you knock on the door of opportunity it is work that answers." You need a high level of discipline each and every single day. You need to set up repeated habits, repeated methods and practices in your life that you do over and over again to move you towards your desire. You need to check in on them to make sure you have the right direction, because if you're disciplined towards the wrong direction, you're really distracted. We need to make sure you have a real set of disciplines. If people want to get fit, they have to be disciplined to workout every day or every other day. It's vital for them.
If you want to master any area of your life, you need to work it consistently. If you're just doing it once in a while, not only do you risk becoming just a dabbler in life, but you absolutely ensure your inability to accomplish mastery and long-term growth and success and achievement in your life.
Discipline is required. You don't see any high-level achieving person in any area who isn't absolutely committed to the habits and practices that positively support them on their path to their desires.
So sit down tonight with a pen and paper and say, "Okay, what discipline could I set up in my life that I'm going to do consistently?" Every day I'm going to study these things. Every day I'm going to try these things. Every day I'm going to ask these types of questions. Every day I'm going to try to be this type of person. Every day I'm going to go to the gym. Every day I'm going to... whatever it is for you; you set it up as a discipline and you try to meet that every single day. That's where a lot of achievement comes from.
Discipline is not a negative thing; it's a joyful habit of pursuing your dreams.
That's the way I look at discipline, and that's why I've gotten good at the things I care about and I desire of life.
It's the same thing in your personal life. I have discipline to get present for the people around me. As soon as I see someone's eyes I remind myself, Be present Brendon.
It's a constant challenge and discipline for me to remind myself to be present, to be engaged, to be connected, to be interested in other people, to learn from them, to respect them and love them.
4. Distraction Radar
The last component that I would say is critical to be able to predict if you will succeed or others will succeed is so simple. It is absolutely powerful... You must have distraction radar.
You must be fantastic about managing distraction, because everything is going to get in your way. Other people will give you their agenda and emergencies and needs. The world will throw up this emergency, this challenge, this problem. The world will toss in front of you 300 new emails or 1,000 new posts to read.
There's so much to be consumed by but your job is to have that desire. Your job is to have direction on how to get there. Your job is about discipline and working towards it and so much of commitment today means minimize and removing distraction.
For many people their drug is the computer. I call it "browser blackout," where they start watching this thing, and that thing...and I know it's dangerous me telling you this because maybe this is your distraction for the day, I get it.
I hope if you're reading this that it becomes a purposeful habit to grow your mind, to re-fire your motivation and keep yourself on path in life.
Choose to listen, don't just randomly bump into me. Even if you randomly bump into me today you get this choice, do I keep listening or not? I hope you do, but if you don't no sweat. I want you to stay disciplined on your path of learning. I want not to be a distraction but to be somebody who's empowering people with better direction, to re-fire their desire, to re-aim who they are and what they're about.
So you have to choose to consume the right things that are going to support you on your path to success.
How do you do that? You wake up in the morning and say,
That's when you start feeling like you have progress in your life. That's when you start feeling like, "Wow, I'm knocking off these steps to get towards my idea!"
That's when you start to feel like you're really moving forward in life.
Life becomes more energized and engaged. You're more enthusiastic for tomorrow, because you know you control your destiny. You know what you're after and internally you feel such a magnificent spark and fire each and every day.
That's how we experience the charged life.