6 High Performance Habits Found in Successful Osteopaths

There are 6 high performance habits found in successful osteopaths. If you want to create and live a fulfilling career, focus on these.

What Are The 6 High Performance Habits?

High Performance Habits is a self-help book by Brendon Burchard that offers six habits of high-performing people.

The six habits are:

  1. Clarity
  2. Energy
  3. Necessity
  4. Productivity
  5. Influence
  6. Courage

The central concept of High Performance Habits is that high-performing individuals share six common habits that contribute to their success. Burchard says that by adopting these habits, you can achieve your full potential and live a fulfilling life and career.

Let’s explore how these six habits can not only transform our practice but also elevate our personal and professional lives.

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Habit 1 – Clarity: Embracing Purpose and Direction

Imagine walking into your clinic every morning with a crystal-clear sense of purpose, knowing exactly where you’re headed and why. This is what Habit 1, “Clarity,” brings to the forefront of our osteopathic journey.

Breaking Down Clarity:

In the whirlwind of daily practice, it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. But high-performing osteopaths understand the significance of having a compass that guides their actions. Clarity means having a deep awareness of your career’s mission, goals and the impact you want to make on your life and, of course, your patients’ lives.

As osteopaths, we’re not just treating symptoms; we’re helping people. Imagine you have a clear vision of what you want your career to achieve. This vision attracts patients who resonate with your mission. By embodying clarity, you stand out in a sea of similarity. Because yeah, a lot of osteopaths look the same to the average Joe.

Clarity isn’t just about inspiration; it’s a powerful tool for decision-making. When faced with choices – be it treatment plans, practice expansion or hiring – your clear vision acts as a compass. You can confidently say “yes” to opportunities that align with your purpose and gracefully decline those that don’t so you can keep your focus.

Every practitioner bumps into obstacles, but clarity acts as a shield against moments of doubt. And guess what, you’ll have lots of those moments because we all do. When you understand your “why,” challenges become stepping stones rather than roadblocks. Your clear vision fuels your resilience, reminding you that your impact is worth the effort.

Practical Steps:

To integrate clarity into your career, consider these steps:

  1. Define Your Mission: Craft a clear and concise mission statement. What do you aim to achieve? How do you want your patients to feel after each visit? What makes you different? Need help doing this? You need branding.
  2. Set Goals: Break down your long-term vision into achievable short-term goals. This helps you track progress and stay motivated. For goal setting, you may find Principles by Ray Dalio helpful.
  3. Regular Reflection: Take time to reflect on your mission and goals. Does your current approach align with them? Remember that adjustments are a natural part of growth.

Habit 2 – Energy: Fuelling Your Body and Mind

Osteopaths, with our extensive knowledge of health and well-being, already understand the vital importance of maintaining optimal energy levels. However, Habit 2, “Energy,” dives into the nuanced ways in which we can harness our physical and mental state to excel in our career.

Understanding Energy:

Think of your body and mind as a dynamic system that needs consistent nurturing. High-performing osteopaths recognise that to provide the best care, they must ensure their own well-being first. “Energy” isn’t about quick fixes; it’s about establishing sustainable habits that bolster your ability to perform at your best. Need to work on your habits? There’s no better book than Atomic Habits by James Clear.

Your body is your instrument, and your career is your stage. Just as a musician tunes their instrument before a performance, you must prioritise self-care to bring your A-game to each day.

“Energy” starts with physical well-being. Adequate sleep, balanced nutrition, and regular exercise are the cornerstones. For osteopaths, this isn’t news; but it’s an important reaffirmation.

Beyond physical energy, mental resilience is key. High-performing osteopaths cultivate mindfulness and stress-management techniques. Just as you listen attentively to your patients, actively listen to your own body and mind.

Sustaining Your Energy:

  1. Mindful Scheduling: Allocate time for self-care in your schedule. Prioritise it as you would any patient appointment. Incorporating meditation or deep-breathing exercises into your daily routine can be as transformative as your clinical expertise.
  2. Hydration: Hydration impacts cognitive function. Duh. But keep a water bottle within reach throughout the day.
  3. Breaks: Take short breaks between patients to recharge. A brief walk or deep breathing can make a significant difference.

Habit 3 – Necessity: Turning Desires into Imperatives

Osteopaths, already driven by a deep sense of purpose, can further harness their dedication through Habit 3, “Necessity”. This habit takes our innate passion and elevates it to a level where our goals become essential rather than optional.

Understanding Necessity:

Imagine if your professional goals weren’t merely aspirations but non-negotiable mandates. “Necessity” transforms your desires into imperatives by highlighting the profound impact your work has on the lives of your patients and your local community. Every time you help someone, you’re contributing to the well-being of your local community and the broader health ecosystem.

When your goals become necessities, you’re driven by more than ambition – you’re driven by responsibility. High-performing osteopaths understand the ripple effect of their actions. By viewing your goals as necessary, you’re compelled to act with unwavering determination.

Necessity equips you to confront challenges with resilience. Picture the tenacity you feel when you perceive your goals as indispensable. Even in the face of bad days or demanding schedules, your sense of necessity moves you forward.

Practical Steps:

  1. Depth of Impact: Reflect on the far-reaching impact of your work. Understand how your commitment enhances patient lives and the healthcare landscape.
  2. Internal Dialogue: Shift your internal dialogue from “I want to achieve this” to “I need to achieve this.” The change in language can trigger a profound shift in mindset.
  3. Visualise Consequences: Imagine the repercussions of not achieving your goals. This visualisation can infuse a sense of urgency and necessity.

Habit 4 – Productivity: Proper Prioritisation

Habit 4, “Productivity” talks about how you can go beyond what we know about productivity. It’s not just about getting more done; it’s about optimising your efforts to achieve meaningful outcomes in your career and personal life. Here’s a few principles from the book and how it relates to osteopaths.

The Pareto Principle:

High-performing osteopaths understand the Pareto Principle – the 80/20 rule. It states that roughly 80% of effects come from 20% of causes. Apply this to your career: 80% of your impact comes from 20% of your activities. Identify those high-impact tasks and make them a true priority.

Maximising Time:

Imagine a well-organised day where you prioritise patient consultations, moving your career forward each day at a time and self-care. High-performing osteopaths designate time blocks for different tasks, eliminating the clutter of decision fatigue. This not only enhances your efficiency but also frees mental space for creativity and innovation which, believe it or not, are unbelievably important traits in successful osteopaths.

Practical Application:

  1. Priority Assessment: Identify your high-impact tasks. What activities directly contribute to patient care and career growth?
  2. Task Delegation: Delegate low-value tasks that consume time without adding significant value. Focus on your core strengths.
  3. Time Blocking: Allocate specific time blocks for things you need to do eg. administrative work – really, the sky’s the limit for what you could time block.

Habit 5 – Influence: Cultivating Relationships and Effective Communication

Habit 5, “Influence,” holds great significance for osteopaths. This habit goes beyond mere interaction between you and your patients/business relationships; it’s about building strong relationships and harnessing the power of communication to create positive impact.

Understanding Influence:

“Influence” isn’t about persuasion or manipulation. It’s about forging genuine connections and mastering the art of collaborative communication. High-performing osteopaths recognise that their influence extends far beyond their clinical expertise – it’s in how they interact, empathise and create a collaborative network.

Every patient interaction is an opportunity to “influence” their well-being. Imagine conveying complex medical information in a way that resonates with patients. I’m sure you do this often, but imagine doing it with every patient.

High-performing osteopaths are skilled communicators who tailor their approach to individual needs. This skill is essential for ensuring patients understand their conditions, treatments and the importance of their active participation in seeing the results they want to achieve.

“Influence” also extends to your relationships with other osteopaths and businesses. Imagine the potential when you actively seek win-win situations. Collaborating with other healthcare professionals fosters a network that benefits everyone involved – including the patients you collectively help.

Practical Application:

  1. Active Listening: Practice active listening during patient consultations. This not only builds rapport but also helps you understand their concerns deeply. Active listening one of five key communication skills FBI negotiator Chris Voss covers in his book, Never Split The Difference.
  2. Empathy: Put yourself in your patients’ shoes. Empathy goes beyond understanding symptoms; it involves understanding the emotional impact of those symptoms.
  3. Collaboration: Reach out to colleagues for interdisciplinary collaboration. This enhances patient care and strengthens your professional bond. It’s a win-win.

Habit 6 – Courage: Embracing the Unknown

Habit 6, “Courage” is probably my favourite of the six. This habit dives into the the idea of taking risks, embracing uncertainty and cultivating resilience – attributes essential for growth and innovation in the field.

Understanding Courage:

Courage isn’t about the absence of fear; it’s about acting in the face of fear. High-performing osteopaths understand that progress requires stepping outside comfort zones, whether it’s taking on challenging cases, exploring new methodologies that challenge your beliefs or raising funds to open their first practice.

Osteopathy, under the umbrella of manual therapy, is a dynamic profession that evolves constantly. “Courage” is essential for embracing change, trying new approaches and expanding your skillset.

Imagine the growth that comes from confronting uncertainty head-on. High-performing osteopaths recognise that while risks might lead to failure, they also pave the way for breakthroughs. By taking calculated risks, you’re not just potentially expanding your expertise; you’re contributing to all the lessons that will help you achieve your version of success.

Courage enhances resilience. Picture embracing the unknown and failing – it’s a chance to learn and adapt. The ability to bounce back from setbacks is a testament to your courage. Every failure becomes a stepping stone to success, every challenge a catalyst for growth.

Practical Application:

  1. Identify Fears: List the fears that hold you back from pursuing new opportunities or trying new approaches.
  2. Challenge Comfort Zones: Select one fear and take a small step towards facing it. This could be attending a new CPD event or diving into what you know about running a practice.
  3. Learn from Failure: Embrace the possibility of failure as a chance to learn. Analyse what went wrong and how you can improve next time. In “Shoe Dog” by Nike Founder Phil Knight, Knight and his team at Nike encountered numerous setbacks and failures during the early years of the company. However, rather than being discouraged, they embraced failure as an opportunity for learning and growth.


In the unlimited potential of an osteopath’s career, the principles of “High Performance Habits” shows us what it really takes to get what we want from our career.

Clarity, Energy, Necessity, Productivity, Influence, and Courage – each habit holds the power to reshape our career, our practice and amplify our impact.

By adopting these habits, we can unlock our full potential, not only as osteopaths but as people.

It’s time to act, one habit at a time.

Written by Alan Zaia M.Ost

Founder & CEO of Osteohustle. You’ll find Alan coaching osteopaths, travelling in a van or writing our weekly newsletter, The Hustle.

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