When I first started reading personal development books, I had no idea the profound impact they would have on my life.
I didn't realize the ideas and thoughts in every book would help me to better understand the world, one page at a time.
And when I became (what I refer to lovingly as), a "PD Junkie", I found more and more people coming to me, asking for guidance on which book they should read while dealing with xyz in their own lives.
What a beautiful thing, sharing ideas is.
So, what I've decided to do is write a little blog post up each time I finish a book (I read a ton, so get ready to party), answering 4 main questions about each one:
1) What is the book about?
2) Who would most benefit from reading it?
3) What was my biggest takeaway from this book?
4) What are the some of the BEST quotes this book has to offer? READ THIS: "START" BY JON ACUFF
1) WHAT IS THIS BOOK ABOUT?
"Start" by Jon Acuff is a truly enjoyable read about escaping an average life and pursuing AN AWESOME one by punching fear in the face and really just going after your dreams (key word "your"!!).
In the book, Jon explains that there are generally 5 "lands" (or stages) to every awesome life ever lived.
Like a simple map through life, Jon goes into detail on what each stage consists of and how most people expect to go from the learning stage to the harvesting stage without having been through the other two "levels" (where you collect your coins and beat Bowser on the road to awesome, obviously).
He talks about finding the things that bring you JOY and living with purpose, on purpose, not just "finding your purpose". There's a big difference.
He discusses FEAR, of failure and of success, and how we are the ones to hold ourselves back from greatness. And at the end of the book, Jon gives an EPIC list of action items that anyone can take and do to accelerate their dreams, goals and plans.
Among many other awesome ideas in this book that I enjoyed, he discusses how continuous learning can actually REWIRE our brains, aka why it's so important to continue to LEARN and GROW and make PROGRESS.
He uses real life examples, like his 85 year old Granny who practices Tai Chi (badass) and makes witty jokes throughout the book, proving his point time and again that to be awesome is to be human, and we all have the capability and potential to lead truly awesome lives. But we've gotta get out of our own way and just start.
2) WHO WOULD MOST BENEFIT FROM READING THIS BOOK?
Honestly, I think everyone and anyone age 20+ would benefit from reading this book. But for the sake of being specifically helpful, I would say that the people who would gain the MOST benefit from reading this would be:
Anyone who wants to live an awesome life
Ha. You thought I was going to get specific. Just read the book. It's awesome.
3) WHAT WAS MY BIGGEST TAKEAWAY FROM THIS BOOK?
Apart from really enjoying the real life stories and tales that Jon wove expertly into his teachings throughout this book, one of my biggest takeaways was that no one ever truly feels ready. But if you are feeling called to do something AWESOME, you really only need to start.
I think we (I'm going on a limb here and assuming you feel the same way) often discount what we're capable of because we don't feel we're worthy of success or achievement. We're so scared of looking silly that often our dreams go unrealized, which is a real shame.
And I also think that our "magic bullet" society encourages quick results like 5 seconds ago, so we have a hard time being PATIENT on the road to awesome. The old adage "great things take time" isn't a bunch of hogwash. That shit rings true time and time again.
The most profound questions I took away from this book that I'll come back to again and again?
1. If I died today, what would I regret not being able to do?
2. Are those the things I'm spending time doing right now?
4) WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BEST QUOTES THIS BOOK HAS TO OFFER?
"You never get to change the world before you change your life."
"The greatest way to ensure you fail at something new is to attempt to be an expert at it on day one."
"Unless you're dead right now, it's not too late. Don't give credence to the calendar fear and doubt want to show you. You've got today, and today is all you need to start. The rest will come into view as you go."
"Why even pretend that you're going to find one thing and one thing only that you love doing for the rest of your life at the exclusion of all others? Don't get locked into a single purpose statement that suffocates you. Live with purpose and enjoy a thousand different passions as you continually walk the road to awesome."
Read this book. It's quick, funny and full of wisdom.
It'll definitely open your mind to the possibilities that lay before you on your own path to awesome.
And at the very least, it'll help you realize that you are so not alone on your journey. No matter what stage you're in or where you're going. Pursue your awesome. You're worth the effort.