‘The 4 Disciplines of Execution’ by C. McChesney, S. Covey and J. Huling

This highly recommended and bestselling business book is a set of practices that have been tested by many organisations, to help them turn plans and strategies into action. Although the book helps organisations, it is just as helpful for individuals. The book gives advice, based on experience and practice, on how to achieve goals, have meaningful work, and get successful results and stay focused in the midst of a “whirlwind” of priorities.

Discipline One: Focus on the Wildly Important

By focusing on less you get to achieve more. Instead of focusing on or trying to do everything at once, select one or two most important goals, and focus your finest efforts on those instead of giving mediocre focus on many goals at once. This will also help you become clear about what matters the most.

Discipline Two: Act on the Lead Measures

Some actions have more impact than others, and those are the ones you should identify and focus on. This is the discipline of leverage. Your lead measures are those of the most high-impact things you should do to reach your goal(s). These are measures you can predict and influence.

Discipline Three: Keep a Compelling Scoreboard

When you’re keeping score you tend to play differently. When you’re tracking how you’re scoring, you become emotionally engaged and the result is a high level of performance. This is about engagement – knowing whether you are winning or losing the game.

Discipline Four: Create a Cadence of Accountability

You have to follow through with consistent action and operate with a high level of accountability. Commit to moving the score forward. Report on your commitments, review the scoreboard, and clear the path and make way for new commitments. This discipline is where the actual execution takes place.

The above has been simplified so that an individual can be able to understand and put it to practice. The 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX) can make a difference in your personal life too and the book is written in such a simple way that it’s not difficult to take what it advises an organisation, and chop it down to suit you as an individual or a small organisation.

Execution is challenging and this is what this book is for, giving you a framework of how to break through those challenges. When priorities are a mountain it becomes difficult to straighten them or get them done effectively. Here you’ll find ways to prioritize your time and focus on what matters the most. Goals differ, some are achievable and others aren’t, some are more important than others. The book helps you narrow down what matters the most.

It seems simple but you have to keep at it, commit. It’s one of those books you might want to keep revisiting as you go along, highlight important parts, or keep notes on the most important rules/guidelines. Depending on how fast you learn, it can be repetitive but that can be beneficial if you want to get every bit of detail and thoroughly understand it. It’s worth having.

Getting Out Of Your Way, in Gary John Bishop’s ‘Unfuck Yourself’

Not just another book with ‘Fuck’ in the title to make it look interesting.

When I was buying this book, the lady next to me told me how she’d read The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson, and how she’d hated it. She said how everyone was now putting “Fuck” on their title just to sell something that’s actually crap.

I have read The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck and it wasn’t my favourite either but I decided not to judge one book based on the sins of another. Not fair.

I’m glad I gave Unfuck Yourself a chance because I found a lot to put to practice and make some personal changes.

The book is realistic, clear, and to the point. It basically reminds you how the changes in your life depend on you and your actions. There’s no vibration raising, sitting in a quiet room and visualising, and leaving it to some Power, but rather emphasises ACTION and how ultimately, a lot of things are up to you. Searching for answers and waiting for some motivation or powerful feeling won’t get you anywhere – you have to get up and do something.

Here are some lessons from Unfuck Yourself:

“I am willing”.

Ask yourself what situations in your life you’re willing or unwilling to put up with. Stop defending your circumstances and do something about the things that can impact your life. Rather than focusing on what you want or don’t want, focus on what you are willing and unwilling to put up with.

“I am wired to win.”

He points out that the current life you have is the one you’re winning at. For example, if you’re constantly putting off work until the last minute, that’s where you’re winning. You’re winning at whichever domain you’re playing at and so take the necessary actions and mindset to change that domain.

“I got this.”

Shift the way you view your problems and adopt a new approach. Assess the things you’ve experienced and how you got through, as well as the things you’re yet to experience, and place them in a different perspective. If you had it then, then you got it now.

“I embrace the uncertainty.”

We have an addiction to prediction and this makes us seek the certain. The unknown may be scary, it may hold the bad but it may also hold the good. Do the things you normally wouldn’t do. Shake up your routine. It doesn’t have to be major things or huge risks, you can start with the small and simple things, and stop worrying about things you can’t control.

“I am not my thoughts; I am what I do.”

You change your life by doing, not by thinking about it. Thoughts without actions are just thoughts, and if you leave them there, without any action, there will be no impact on your success. He also points out how an action will change your thinking. Take the first step, and the next, and the next.

“I am relentless.”

This is about having the momentum to keep going no matter what, through hopelessness, uncertainty, not feeling up to it, whatever doubts and worries come up. Become the kind of person who progresses even when all seems lost. Being discouraged is okay, it happens, but it’s not okay to stop. Keep going!

“I expect nothing and accept everything.”

It’s better to come to terms with life’s unpredictability than to be retarded by your refusal to let go of unproductive expectations. It doesn’t mean you walk through life aimlessly without any plans. Be free from the expectations of those plans. Plan for victory, learn from defeat.

Unfuck Yourself is a candid message about your life being in your own hands. There’s no use waiting for the right mood or motivation to come, and positive thinking alone won’t help. You have to take responsibility, take charge, and do something to transform your life. Stop blaming people, your past, your childhood, or the world. Stop with the excuses. Stop waiting for the “perfect moment”.

Gary John Bishop reminds us that, “the only barrier preventing you from living a happier, more fulfilling life is YOU!”

So Unfuck Yourself!

Elevate Your Life With Books

A handbook to help you read, learn and execute.

“Contrary to popular wisdom, knowledge is not power-it’s potential power. Knowledge is not mastery. Execution is mastery. Execution will trump knowledge every day of the week.”
— Tony Robbins

When reading books, the gaining of knowledge is only half the work. The rest you need to do, and in order to fully benefit from the book you need to apply that knowledge. At The Book Neighbourhood, we emphasise the need for execution, or else that knowledge may be worthless.

We’ve designed and written this handbook that will help you get into the habit of reading for benefit. In it you’ll choose the different life areas you want to focus on, choose (with our help) books that are relevant and resonate with the challenges you’re facing, and offer step-by-step guides on how to extract as much information as you can from the books and apply it to your life for improvement, development and growth. It is a well-organised handbook that will help you restructure your life and organise it in a way that makes it easier to approach your problems with more clarity and with more useful tools – from books.

We will be announcing the release date soon and hope it will change your life.

While you wait, you can download our free guide to help you get into the habit of reading. Download the Read Like A Boss guide here, and warm yourself up for the handbook by working your way to becoming an avid reader.

It’s been said a million times and I’ll still say it – not doing something is just as much of a
habit itself. Reading is a habit but so is not reading.