I’ve always been fascinated by high achievers, what sets them apart and makes them tick, and how they accomplish what they do. I read a lot of biographies.

I think my favorite character is Theodore Roosevelt. Perhaps more than any other historical figure, Teddy’s limitless energy and pure delight in life resonates with me. It seems that he was incapable of doing anything casually. Whether it was pond skating in winter, exploring the deepest darkest blank spot of the Amazon jungle, or writing ornithological books, he approached every endeavor with a ferocious determination. Roosevelt’s remarkable breadth of interests and passions, and the frenetic manner in which he pursued them, belies what I’ve come to appreciate was his greatest strength. When he turned his attention to some subject or project, he was able to direct maniacally disciplined concentration on that object.

Concentration, focus, attention, and their opposites have fueled a truly massive volume of scientific research and writing.

One such book that I have recently been rereading is The 4 Disciplines of Execution, by Clayton Christensen. Labeling his approach 4DX for short, Christensen, a professor at Harvard Business School, laid out four critical principles to successful execution. They are:

Focus on the Wildly Important
Act on the Lead Measures
Keep a Compelling Scoreboard
Create a Cadence of Accountability

This 4DX approach is particularly applicable to our success with our health and fitness.

In coming weeks I’ll expand a bit on each of these disciplines and explain how they are applicable to what we do with MidStrong.

For now, let me leave you with a request to engage in some useful introspection which will help you immediately sharpen your focus.

Spend 10 undistracted minutes thinking about what is “wildly important” about your health and fitness. Try to really get at your “why”. Why do you care at all about your it? What makes that “wildly important”? What difference will it make in your life? How would your life be better if your health or fitness improved? How will your life deteriorate if you don’t make changes or don’t continue to consistently train? Be granular. Color in the details.

Our boy Teddy made fitness an integral part of his everyday life. No doubt there was something about it that was “wildly important” to him. Like with everything he did, when it was time to train he brought his maniacal energy and focus to bear on it. Let’s allow his example to inspire us.

I’ll check back in next weekend and we’ll explore the value of focusing on the “wildly important”.

Until then…

Be strong and have fun!

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Paul Reilly

Paul is the Owner and Founder of MidStrong. He created MidStrong in 2017 to train men and women in midlife who are busy with work and family to build muscle and burn fat so they can look and feel better than they did in their 20’s. MidStrong is making Functional Fitness training safe and fun, and inclusive. He and his wife, Julie also own and operate MidStrong locally, their bricks and mortar business, previously called ACCELERATED Strength & Balance. It is a boutique fitness center specializing in training folks in and around Westborough through the challenges of midlife for more than five years.