High Performance Academy Insights and Nuggets: Part 1

(By Vanessa McGovern)

Attending High Performance Academy (HPA) by Brendon Burchard amplified my desire to live a fully engaged and present life. The lessons I learned during this four-day event reinforced and introduced me to strategies that I need to implement consistently in my life to be a better mother, wife, business owner and community leader. HPA was all about teaching you how to live a more consciously designed life and the lessons I learned, that I will share with you in this two part blog series, are broken down in the four following categories:

  • Productivity
  • Physiology
  • Persuasion
  • Psychology

In this article I will go over the first two categories and share my nuggets and amazing insights from this game-changing event.


One of my favorite quotes from the event was “routines will set you free!” At the end of the day, time is everything and the ultimate pursuit of an entrepreneur is freedom, right? The freedom to have more time to do what you want, with whom you want and when you what to do it. Entrepreneurship for many of us means not being shackled by the 9-5 slog and the structure of being employed. But, in our journey to swing the pendulum away from being employed and “restricted” we forgot to take the good elements of working like an employee and that is “structure.” When you don’t have structure, distractions rule the day. You get side-barred by social media and email notifications or a non-work related phone call.  When you forget to create routines and structure in your day you also forget to drink enough water, eat a meal or even stand up from your desk and stretch or take a walk. One nugget that hit me square between the eyes was that it is entirely possible to be busy and productive without actually getting anything done. Brendon said: “productivity disjointed from purpose = distraction.” Creating routines in your day for work and wellness will actually set you free and create more time with your loved ones.


The biggest message in this area of living a high performance life was that we are at war for the health of our brain. This message was delivered by Dr. Daniel Amen – one of the world’s leading psychiatrists. Dr. Daniel Amen has studied thousands of brains through SPECT scans and his passion and knowledge for the negative behaviors we are engaging in as a society to our brains was hugely impactful. Amen said: “There is never an age where our memory should be a problem.” He also said  “as your weight goes up, the size and function of your brain goes down” (This is based on over 200 scientific studies). We are literally living in the greatest brain drain in our human history, according to Amen, and he coins this the “dinosaur syndrome.” He challenged us all to become brain warriors and to think of mental health as really brain health. We learned that brain aging is optional and that we are “not stuck in the brain we have and we can reverse cognitive decline.” Health tips he provided for becoming a brain warrior was to start with getting a SPECT scan as well as to know your BMI and CDC levels. We need to know that inflammation in our bodies is largely associated with arthritis and Alzheimer’s and we can largely manage this by our diet. He was a huge proponent of the importance of sleep, being aware of periodontal disease, eating a clean diet and exercising our brains through memory and word games. He really hit us over the head about the role of sugar and how that hundreds of studies show the negative impact of sugar on the brain. Dr. Daniel Amen delivered huge insights into how to create optimal health for our brains so we can live a high performance life.

Look for my next article on my time at High Performance Academy where I will cover my nuggets in the areas of Psychology and Persuasion.

Your assignment:

Are you following a routine during the day? If not, think about how you are add more structure to your day to increase productivity. And, take a honest look at your health. How are your eating habits? Are you getting enough exercise? Self rate your activities and see how you can improve and then take action! Good luck and if you are a GIFTE member be sure to post your comments and feedback in the GIFTE Forum.

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