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 listeners practical, actionable insights to be more awesome, more often.
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START made me STOP listening fast
Listening to an audiobook is one of the easiest ways a person can attain information, yet this audiobook somehow managed to make it feel like a chore.I really hoped to hear some useful ways to turn my work and experience into something greater than myself, i.e. "Do work that matters." Unfortunately START was so suffocated by pointless lackluster stories and name dropping that I completely lost track of why I purchased it in the first place (So you were on the news... Am I supposed to care? And what does that have to do with the purpose of this book again?).More importantly, Acuff as the narrator is the worst! His delivery reminds me of that cliche friend we all have, the one who thinks he's absolutely hilarious, reciting movie quotes and poor impressions, and we all just nod and put up with it because we've been friends since childhood. If I wanted a poorly written comedy, I would have purchased something by Tyler Perry. If I wanted adventure stories of an entrepreneur, I would have purchased Richard Branson's memoir. Stripped of all the filler, this book would be a pamphlet long, maybe a few paragraphs, or even just a quote that read, "Do you want to live an average life, or an awesome one?"For a book that claimed to "Punch Fear in the Face!" START delivered like a weak jab that missed the mark.
Turned me off from this genre? No. START's poor performance just made me more wary of my selections in the future. I will ABSOLUTELY listen to a sample reading before purchasing another book of this kind. If I had listened to a sample of START before purchasing, I'd still have $13.95 in my pocket.
I appreciate Acuff's energy, but there's an unearned sense of overconfidence in his voice. If the material or substance was there to back it up, I'd be all for his delivery, I'd even give the tales of his "awesome life" a chance. Instead, I felt like I was listening to a D-list comedian trying to woo an empty night club. Maybe add some canned laughter or crickets in the background? You can use that zinger in your next book Jon.
There were a few nuggets of actual useful material in the book, but really only stemmed from one basic concept: do you want to live an awesome life or average? Unfortunately anything redeeming was buried so deep under a thick gloss of pointless nostalgia and name dropping that I'd lose interest and tune out. I can't tell you how many times Acuff would be submerged in another story about how "awesome" his life is, and I'd think, "What the hell is he talking about? What does this have to do with anything? That really doesn't sound that awesome to me at all." I'm sure Acuff is the coolest/smartest guy he knows. Unfortunately his material isn't.
The overall ratings tell the Truth!
John Acuff's personality and lighthearted approach brings the process of reinventing yourself into view much better than the print version.
The path to starting anew is not rocket science and the "One-Star" people are looking for the easy path that doesn't exist. The practical aspects of how to grow and develop are just that; practical. It isn't some voodoo like message of just believe and your dreams will come. They won't unless you get up and start taking action to improve your life and achieve your dreams. I went down the road to awesome once and it was awesome, at 47 I needed someone to say it is ok to start again. The difference is that at 22 most people are protected by their family and loved ones to start. In your 40s, most people feel that they should have figured it out. Start gives you the understanding that you can start again and you don't have to really go back to 22, you already have the knowledge and experience that the last 47 years have told you about where awesome is in your life, you just have to live it.
To stop listening to the voices in my head. The fears and lies they tell do hold you back. Get them out into the open and you do see the absurdity of them.
The second things is that most of the answers you are looking for are right there in front of you, but you can't step back far enough to see them. Don't complicate the process, you don't have to 'start with the end carved in stone'. Start with your life today and move toward what you truly enjoy doing, everything will just start to fall into place.
- Roberts Hunter