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4 Cornerstones of Achievement

Brendon Burchard 12-17

People always ask, Brendon, how do you know if someone is going to succeed? Are there components to achievement that you’re looking for? How do you know if one of your clients or those that you lead or even yourself, if you’re going to do a good job, if there was real achievement going to happen and you know if someone’s going to get progress towards something?

What are the building blocks to achievement?

I don’t think I’m the first person to take a shot at this. I mean this is what the entire self-help, personal development, professional development, continuing education market is all about. That simple question: What can we do to have more success and achievement in our lives?

I’ve learned from so many of the greats out there, I’m a product of this industry more than anything else. I’m one of its worse students, but I try really hard.

It’s like, what is it? What’s it take to succeed?


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. Can you believe that? They act like it’s the fault of the world; well nobody gave me the desire for anything (frown).

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, like some day you just wake up and you’re like oh, this is what I desire of life.

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 have desire. 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 person who deserves such a lofty goal. To grow into the persons who would deserve the experience of those things, to really desire that journey.

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, people make that such a bad thing these days. 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. You must desire something, you want it, you desire it, you’re excited about it and you have enthusiasm. I wake up… If you have no enthusiasm it’s because you haven’t targeted something and said I’m going to work towards that thing. I’m going to work towards not only achieving that thing but becoming a better person along the way. I think that’s what gives us great desire.

I desire to develop greater knowledge, skills, ability and talents in my life, so that not only can I feel that sense of mastery, personal power in mastery, but that sense of contribution by honing those skills, the knowledge, the tools and talents, I know I can serve and make a better difference. By becoming a better person in my own life I know I’m a better man for my wife. I know I’m a better man for my family. I’m a better son. I’m a better brother. I’m a better leader. I’m a better contributor, I hope, for you. I desire that and that gets me going.


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 over here, over my desire is to build a business over here or make money over there. 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 guys, this is what I want to achieve. How? ”Hey everybody, this is what I want. 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, to learn from others 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 right now in their life 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, they’re upset and frustrated, and don’t know where to go because they never said, “Hey everybody, does anyone have a map for achieving this thing?”

They just do what our culture, at least here in North America celebrate, which is they had an idea and desire and they did what? They threw stuff at the fan to see if it stuck. They just tried without any knowledge, information or wisdom gathering. 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. All day long I’m asked to do these things. 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.

How easy is it not to be disciplined?

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, which we’ll talk about.

We need to make sure you have a real set of disciplines. If people who want to get fit, they have to be disciplined o workout every day or every other day. It’s vital for them. It’s a real discipline.

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 doesn’t have an extraordinary amount of self-discipline. They are absolutely committed to their habits and practices that positively support them on their path to desires.

So sit down tonight with a pen and paper and say okay, what discipline could I setup in my life that I’m going to do consistently? Everyday I’m going to study these things. Everyday I’m going to try these things. Everyday I’m going to ask these types of questions. Everyday I’m going to try to be this type of person. Everyday I’m going to go to the gym. Everyday 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.

A lot of achievement looks easy and they say, “They’re so lucky.” A lot of people watch my videos and send it in all day long, Brendon you’re so good on video. You have gotten so good at this, and I’m like, “Thanks, I’m still working at it. I’m still a student. I’m still trying.”

What they don’t see is I’ve tried this so many times. I’ve done so many videos that I don’t have to think. These are unscripted. I don’t have a script, I’m not reading a teleprompter. This is just me sitting in a high chair talking to you. I have a topic in my mind and I just go.

I’m able to do that now because I’ve trained myself with discipline to be able to speak extemporaneously. I started in college and the first time I spoke in front of people I threw up I was so nervous. I was terrified to talk. I thought, “If I’m going to make a difference in the world then I’m going to have to learn to become a master communicator. I’m going to have to be dedicated towards that.”

It’s not easy for me to come into the studio now. I run huge brands online. I have multimillion-dollar courses and books and programs and speeches and webinars. My business demands a lot. It’s not easy for me to do these videos anymore, but I love them. I’ve disciplined myself and say, “Nope, we’re going to do videos.” I clear the schedule and come in. I can do this now because I’ve trained myself. I’m disciplined to do so many videos. Many of you will say this video sucks. It’s the discipline of doing this and making it fun along the way.

Discipline is not a negative thing;
it’s a joyful habit of pursuing your dreams.

That’s the way I look at discipline. It’s just a joyful habit of constantly pursuing my dreams. 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.

It’s a discipline and it makes you a good human being to have good discipline, even in the realm of human relationships. You have to have those.


The last piece also requires a lot of discipline too. The last component that I would say is critical to be able to predict if you will succeed or others will succeed isso 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 new blue links, 300 new emails or 1000 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.

Get rid of it. You don’t need to watch all those television shows. Miss two, three or four of them and you won’t wake up freaking out. It’s not going to be a horrible withdrawal, stop watching so much television, if you do.

Most of us are distracted three to five hours a day. The average American watches four hours of television a day and that time over the course of the average adult American life span is somewhere around 13 years of their life 24/7 in front of a television. What do you think about that? They lost over a decade of their life. At an average salary they’ve lost near a million dollars of potential earning power. But even if it’s not about money, think about the reality that they lost 13 years of life, of exploring new places, learning new language and talents and skills, of giving, of creating, of being with their loved ones or mentoring their children. For what? For four hours of distraction of the television.

Maybe television isn’t your drug. 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 watching me that it becomes a purposeful habit to grow your mind, to re-fire your motivation and keep yourself on path in life.

Choose to watch me, don’t just randomly bump into me. Even if you randomly bump into me today you get this choice, do I subscribe or do I 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.

If you’ll do that, you’ll get a decade of your life back. Just by removing four hours of distraction.

How do you do that? You wake up in the morning and say,

“What do I desire today?”

"What is my direction, what am I going to do today?"

"How am I going to be disciplined today?"

"What distractions can I remove from my life?"

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. 



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