Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work that Matters
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Wall Street Journal best-selling author Jon Acuff reveals the steps to getting unstuck and back onto the path of being awesome.
Over the last 100 years, the road to success for most everyone has been divided into predictable stages. But three things have changed the path to success:
Boomers are realizing that a lot of the things they were promised aren’t going to materialize, and they have started second and third careers.
Technology has given access to an unprecedented number of people who are building online empires and changing their lives in ways that would have been impossible years ago.
The days of “success first, significance later,” have ended.
While none of the stages can be skipped, they can be shortened and accelerated. There are only two paths in life: average and awesome. The average path is easy because all you have to do is nothing. The awesome path is more challenging, because things like fear only bother you when you do work that matters. The good news is Start gives readers practical, actionable insights to be more awesome, more often.
you have a kid, you’re not really parenting. You’re protecting. Your job is to basically keep them from hurting themselves with tables and cabinets and toilets and dogs and cats and knives and anything within their surprisingly long wingspan. Which is why baby earrings have never made sense to me. Why would I attach a shiny, sharp, windpipe-sized object to my child’s head? I have Fort Knox–style drawer locks that make getting a fork out a Criss Angel magic trick. Why would I make sure my baby is
loveseat. I was wrong. The same joy that dominated the stage before 13,000 people was on display in a room full of eighty friends. It was like Seryn couldn’t help but play that way. That was what was inside their hearts. In that moment, I learned a simple lesson about being awesome: always play to the size of your heart, not to the size of your audience. Awesome doesn’t let the crowd determine the size of the performance. Awesome gets up for two people or 200. Awesome writes great books even if
It’s impossible to have zero expectations. Try as you might, you are going to carry at least a thread of expectation into every part of your life. The other reason it doesn’t work is that all too often it becomes a protectionist move. You think, I’ll go in with low expectations. If they’re met or exceeded, then great! I’ll be pleasantly surprised. If they’re not? I won’t be disappointed. And on the surface that sounds okay, but over time, that approach tends to morph into you thinking, If I get
you to lose some face.” Oh, Bryan Adams, love does cut like a knife! She had me. I didn’t decide to raise $25,000 because that’s what I felt called to do or that’s the number the charity organization needed. I picked $25,000 because I was afraid I’d fail to raise as much as last time and in the process kill the headline I’d turned into a myth and, ultimately, my epitaph. I picked $25,000 because I thought we would easily eclipse that and I’d get a new headline: “Blogger raises $25,000 in 4
average. I hope you figured out what your diamonds are and started doing work that matters. I hope you realized the door to purpose has been unlocked this whole time. And when you survey your life and find something else that could be more awesome, I hope you’ll do what I’m going to do once I finish writing this sentence. Start again. What Now? Action Always Beats Intention WHAT NOW? ACTION ALWAYS BEATS INTENTION ANYONE CAN DREAM. It’s the doing that is such a hassle. Where do you