Book Notes: Start by Jon Acuff

Kicking off the media tour for the release of his latest book, Start, Jon Acuff hosted a “Start Night” event at the historic (and awesome) Franklin Theatre. I had the pleasure of attending this event and receiving a pre-release copy of the book.

Start by Jon Acuff Review

Start is about getting off the path to average and getting on the path to awesome. I don’t know about you, but you’ve got me right there.

The book gives readers practical advice for living their version of awesome and pursuing their dreams — whether that’s starting a business, writing a book, making art or something else entirely.

There are golden nuggets of wisdom throughout the book, but I’ll share just a couple that stood out to me:

You don’t have to know where you’ll end up before you get started.

“Beginning with the end in mind” is wise, but that doesn’t mean you have to know all the details before you even start.

“You have to get comfortable with tension…You have to be a realist and a dreamer. Practical and impractical. Logical and illogical. You have to be brutally realistic about your present circumstances and wildly unrealistic about your future circumstances.”

“‘You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end — which you can never afford to lose — with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever that may be.’ Avoid the temptation to believe that being honest about your current reality is somehow not the right way to dream big. Honestly looking at where you currently are in life turns your present into a platform you can jump from instead of a prison that will hold you back.”

Forget trying to find your purpose and start living with purpose.

“One of the worst things you can do is try to find your purpose in life. Nothing cripples you like trying to:
‘Find your purpose.’
‘Figure out your dream.’
‘Name your passion.’”

“Purpose…usually finds you…More often than not, you’ll encounter purpose in the middle of the road when you least expect it.”

“Living with purpose allows you to: start today, start where you are, start on what matters to you.”

Work harder and smarter.

“If you work hard, you tend to expect results. If you decide that you’ll spend ten hours a week on your path to expertise instead of twenty, you’ll get there slower than someone who owns the twenty and gets down to business.”

Ignore the voices.

“No one has a positive internal voice.”

Your internal voice will tell you you’re too young or too old or not smart enough. We have to stop giving our best time, energy and creativity to paying attention to these negative voices.

Two of the best ways to fight these “invisible bullies” is to document them and share them.

How to be awesome.

“Helping other people better their lives is way more fun than obsessing about bettering your own.”

“You have to believe that everyone is more interesting than you.”

Spend less time trying to be interesting and more time being interested in others. That’s how you make a difference in this world.

Get your own copy!

This just scratches the surface of the practical, motivating writing you’ll find in Start. What are you waiting for? Grab your copy today!

Your Turn

Have you read Start? What stuck out to you?


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  • Levi Watson

    Great recap!