Brendon Burchard on the Charged Life

Just before you die, you will ask yourself:

Did I live?

Did I love?

Did I matter?

Those are the questions Brendon Burchard asked when he received a second chance at life, and the questions he now asks himself every night. After a bad breakup in college, Burchard took a summer job in the Dominican Republic to escape from his depression. While there, Burchard was in a car crash where he was convinced he would die – and he was horrified to discover that the answer to these questions was no. But Burchard survived, and as he stood bleeding on the hood of his car, he saw a bright, big, beautiful moon, and knew he had gotten a second chance. He swore he would earn it. So he did.

Miraculously, Burchard and his friend both survived the car crash with just a few broken bones. And Burchard realized that every day was a second chance. Choice was life’s golden ticket, letting you decide at every moment who you were and who you were going to be. Brendon knew that only two things could change anyone’s life, including his own – either something new would come into his life, or something new would come from within. For Burchard, it was the latter. When he changed how he acted, his life improved dramatically. It’s a simple lesson, but for 20-year-old Burchard, it was mind-blowing.

Burchard’s decision led to an extraordinary life. He helped develop leadership programs at major companies like Walgreens and JCPenney. He became a successful entrepreneur, founding the High Performance Academy, and the author of bestselling books, including The Charge: Activating the 10 Human Drives That Make You Feel Alive. He was doing great – until he left the country again, this time to Cabo for a bachelor party.

Burchard was riding an ATV on the beach, doing everything by the book. But a little pillow of sand he didn’t see lifted the bike just enough to throw Burchard off. He ended up with a snapped wrist and broken ribs, but overall he was fine.

Still, Burchard felt a little off when he returned to his life. He didn’t feel what he calls the Charge, not a spark or brief moments of energy, but the enduring sense of chargeness in his life. He couldn’t connect with the audience onstage. He couldn’t see the next sentence coming when he wrote. One day, when he re-read the book he’d been writing for 3 months, he realized that it was complete nonsense. The ATV accident’s most serious damage had been to Burchard’s brain.

Over the next few months, Burchard had to work harder than he’d ever had before to get his charge, motivation, creativity and energy back. You might have been in the same boat, maybe due to energy, maybe due to stress. But if you’ve lost the charge, you’ll know.

There are 3 kinds of lives, according to Burchard. In the caged life, you feel trapped, whether that’s by others’ expectations, or your current opportunities or capabilities. In the caged life, you are the tiger in the zoo who isn’t treated well, who is angry and suffering in the corner. In the caged life, you are frustrated, angry and convinced nobody understands you because you must be the only person to have ever gone through your situation. Sometimes, the only thing that breaks the cage is something new that comes into your life, such as a new opportunity. Or something new comes from within, when you start looking for your way out.

Most of us live a comfortable life. You are no longer in the cage. You have security, a nice house, a decent job, and you are happy. But the comfortable life can also lead to a deep rut, if you stop learning. There are 10 human drives that make you feel alive, and one of those is challenge. When there’s no challenge, you are just comfortable.

Then there’s the charged life. Most importantly, the charged life has heightened and sustained levels of energy, engagement, and enthusiasm. With more energy, you are more passionate and excited about what you’re doing. Science has proven that the more engaged you are, whether with a person or something else, the happier you are. And enthusiasm keeps you connected to the future. But there are other drives, such as competence, change, challenge, creative expression, contribution and consciousness. All of these contribute to the charged life.

Is your first reaction, well, you’re just like that? I can’t have a charged life, that’s not who I am?  But think about a power plant – it doesn’t have energy, it generates energy. You’re the same. Sure, sometimes you’re tired, but you must choose your energy level in life. Make conscious decisions that will generate energy. It’s the same with engagement, which is the number one thing people around you want. Your presence, your engagement with them. People say a relationship loses its spark, but a spark is not a thing that you lose, like your car keys. That spark, that engagement was created between the two of you. You just have to fuel it. And as for enthusiasm? You must find something to look forward to in the future, something that is driving you. You have to activate the first human drive for control, and realize that the future is what you consciously design it to be. You must realize that a charged life is a consciously designed life that generates more energy, engagement and enthusiasm.

Today, Burchard is back to normal in his brain tests. Yes, it took 18 months and a lot of struggle. But he worked to activate the 10 drives that he knew would make him feel alive, but now he is living the charged life. So when he gets to the end, and he remembers the second chance that he was given 17 years ago, he knows he will have earned it.

Will you?

Did you enjoy this video? Let us know in the comments, on Facebook or Tweet us @SuperheroYou!

Written by Sasha Graffagna

Just before you die, you will ask yourself:

Did I live?

Did I love?

Did I matter?

Those are the questions Brendon Burchard asked when he received a second chance at life, and the questions he now asks himself every night. After a bad breakup in college, Burchard took a summer job in the Dominican Republic to escape from his depression. While there, Burchard was in a car crash where he was convinced he would die – and he was horrified to discover that the answer to these questions was no. But Burchard survived, and as he stood bleeding on the hood of his car, he saw a bright, big, beautiful moon, and knew he had gotten a second chance. He swore he would earn it. So he did.

Miraculously, Burchard and his friend both survived the car crash with just a few broken bones. And Burchard realized that every day was a second chance. Choice was life’s golden ticket, letting you decide at every moment who you were and who you were going to be. Brendon knew that only two things could change anyone’s life, including his own – either something new would come into his life, or something new would come from within. For Burchard, it was the latter. When he changed how he acted, his life improved dramatically. It’s a simple lesson, but for 20-year-old Burchard, it was mind-blowing.

Burchard’s decision led to an extraordinary life. He helped develop leadership programs at major companies like Walgreens and JCPenney. He became a successful entrepreneur, founding the High Performance Academy, and the author of bestselling books, including The Charge: Activating the 10 Human Drives That Make You Feel Alive. He was doing great – until he left the country again, this time to Cabo for a bachelor party.

Burchard was riding an ATV on the beach, doing everything by the book. But a little pillow of sand he didn’t see lifted the bike just enough to throw Burchard off. He ended up with a snapped wrist and broken ribs, but overall he was fine.

Still, Burchard felt a little off when he returned to his life. He didn’t feel what he calls the Charge, not a spark or brief moments of energy, but the enduring sense of chargeness in his life. He couldn’t connect with the audience onstage. He couldn’t see the next sentence coming when he wrote. One day, when he re-read the book he’d been writing for 3 months, he realized that it was complete nonsense. The ATV accident’s most serious damage had been to Burchard’s brain.

Over the next few months, Burchard had to work harder than he’d ever had before to get his charge, motivation, creativity and energy back. You might have been in the same boat, maybe due to energy, maybe due to stress. But if you’ve lost the charge, you’ll know.

There are 3 kinds of lives, according to Burchard. In the caged life, you feel trapped, whether that’s by others’ expectations, or your current opportunities or capabilities. In the caged life, you are the tiger in the zoo who isn’t treated well, who is angry and suffering in the corner. In the caged life, you are frustrated, angry and convinced nobody understands you because you must be the only person to have ever gone through your situation. Sometimes, the only thing that breaks the cage is something new that comes into your life, such as a new opportunity. Or something new comes from within, when you start looking for your way out.

Most of us live a comfortable life. You are no longer in the cage. You have security, a nice house, a decent job, and you are happy. But the comfortable life can also lead to a deep rut, if you stop learning. There are 10 human drives that make you feel alive, and one of those is challenge. When there’s no challenge, you are just comfortable.

Then there’s the charged life. Most importantly, the charged life has heightened and sustained levels of energy, engagement, and enthusiasm. With more energy, you are more passionate and excited about what you’re doing. Science has proven that the more engaged you are, whether with a person or something else, the happier you are. And enthusiasm keeps you connected to the future. But there are other drives, such as competence, change, challenge, creative expression, contribution and consciousness. All of these contribute to the charged life.

Is your first reaction, well, you’re just like that? I can’t have a charged life, that’s not who I am?  But think about a power plant – it doesn’t have energy, it generates energy. You’re the same. Sure, sometimes you’re tired, but you must choose your energy level in life. Make conscious decisions that will generate energy. It’s the same with engagement, which is the number one thing people around you want. Your presence, your engagement with them. People say a relationship loses its spark, but a spark is not a thing that you lose, like your car keys. That spark, that engagement was created between the two of you. You just have to fuel it. And as for enthusiasm? You must find something to look forward to in the future, something that is driving you. You have to activate the first human drive for control, and realize that the future is what you consciously design it to be. You must realize that a charged life is a consciously designed life that generates more energy, engagement and enthusiasm.

Today, Burchard is back to normal in his brain tests. Yes, it took 18 months and a lot of struggle. But he worked to activate the 10 drives that he knew would make him feel alive, but now he is living the charged life. So when he gets to the end, and he remembers the second chance that he was given 17 years ago, he knows he will have earned it.

Will you?

Did you enjoy this video? Let us know in the comments, on Facebook or Tweet us @SuperheroYou!

Written by Sasha Graffagna

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