Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work that Matters by Jon Acuff is a simple tale encouraging you to go from average to awesome, simply by…wait for it…starting. He begins by having us ask ourselves, “Where am I?” and then reminding us that the road to accomplish mastery in anything is no longer given as one life long great task. You can go through the cycle as often and as regular as you decide to hustle for it. He says, ‘Life is now less about how old you are and more about when you decide to live.’ I believe this is more about the information that is at our fingertips. Someone has already figured out a path and created steps to learn how to become a master at just about anything. But in order for us to become intuitively awesome in a way that Jon Acuff describes it simply is about moving forward.
In taking on our fears and pursuing our dreams we have to combat the challenges and fears, both internal and external. Jon looks to anticipate the fears that might pop up when initially starting and helps us differentiate between foolishness and healthy vision/passions. Dreaming does not neglect responsibilities and those that are most important to us.
I found the book a little slow and the principles not much different than Quitter, Jon's first book into his personal story of joblessness and pursuing passions. But, to be fair, I have consumed a lot of Jon Acuff over the past few years, including his Quitter Conference in 2012, as well as a number of other non-fiction books about success and passionate pursuits. This book is probably great for someone diving into the topic for the first time and I would highly recommend it over most self–help books if you’re just getting started with self–directed goals or aspirations or if you’re being forced to reset your life and don’t know where to begin.
Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job & Your Dream Job was a book I came across at a time when I needed it badly and it is Jon’s personal story, which I enjoy personal stories to connect with concepts. But with Start, I think I may have already worn out a lot of this subject while still expecting to be ‘mind–blown’. There were a few nuggets that I benefitted from and were good to unpack, like the five stages on the road to awesome, but not as much as I had hoped. This probably means I have internalized a lot of the concepts already, which isn't at bad thing. ha.
I recommend the read, but only after Quitter.