Monday, April 8, 2013

Start: Taking time to be awesome

Every Monday in April I will be writing a recap, review, or thoughts on the book Start by John Acuff. I'll cover about 2 chapters each week. I received an advanced copy of the book so I don't expect you to follow along (if you have one too, please join me!) but by April 22nd - in honor of my 31st birthday - you can have your very own copy. Pre-order it now and you'll also get $250 worth of other awesome goodies from Jon Acuff. All opinions are mine.
Start by Jon Acuff

Last Monday I started writing about my experience with the book Start by Jon Acuff. This past week I read and lived into chapters 3 and 4. One thing I've struggled with in my life and career is the idea of finding a purpose. I'm 30 years old, working in a job I adore, living with my beautiful family that I love, but I have no idea how exactly I got where I am...except by the grace of God and a whole lot of hard work! There is a lot of intentionality in my life, but I cannot give you a 5-word purpose statement that defines how I ended up in this exact spot in my life.
...out of nowhere, five words popped into my head. And they were the words that would forever ruin my ability to tel you how to find your perfect purpose in life: 'How did I get here?' (47)
Discussing purpose in a low-stress way is very freeing. Purpose isn't the key, it's simply a door that is already unlocked. "Push the door open and take the next step into awesome" (52). Some may say that Jon Acuff stumbled into success. He created a successful blog, wrote a successful book, and BAM was picked up by Dave Ramsey and skyrocketed into another realm of stardom.
I'd already kicked down the door of purpose and started traveling the road of awesome when I met Dave. He met me when I was already in motion. My relationship with Dave wasn't a by-product of luck. Luck is a word people who are lazy use to describe people who are hustling. 
Like I said earlier, and have said several times on this blog and say nearly everyday in life, I have a job I absolutely adore. It's a great fit for me in my life right now. I get to work with incredible people, do something that challenges me, and feel like I'm making a difference on the planet. It's a job I've been dreaming of and preparing for since at least 2007, if not 1982. I didn't just land in this job as a miracle of luck. I worked hard. I took jobs that weren't my dream job. I made connections, put myself out there, and took a lot of risks. Am I awesome at my job? Not yet, but I'm striving towards awesome.

Start doesn't just tell you that you should be awesome, by chapter 4 Jon Acuff begins to lay out some habits to implement that will help you get there. It will cost you - not dollars, but time. Are you ready to spend some time becoming awesome? At Blissdom Jon Acuff hosted a 5am club. He gathered at 5am with anyone who was willing to get up that early and shared all of his secrets to success. I signed up to go. It sounded like a great opportunity that I may never have again - time with someone awesome. When I met Jon Acuff the night before, he said to show up as you are - he'd be in the same shirt! Did I show up? Nope. I wanted my sleep.

I've gotten lazy over the past few months. I make excuses and this has made me lazy and unproductive. Jon Acuff discusses the 5am club in chapter 4 and I wanted to stop reading immediately. Because of you and the commitment I made to give this book a solid effort, I decided to give his concept a try. I'm intentionally carving time into my schedule to do something for myself. Everyday this past week I woke up and was out of bed by 6am. This gave me 45 minutes of uninterrupted time each morning. Each day I did something different - I either walked several miles or had quiet time getting things done. I even got out of bed when it was pouring rain and I knew walking wasn't going to be an option!

Because I was waking up earlier I was able to exercise, clear my head, center myself, and adequately prepare for the day. By the time Wesley was up, I had already been up for over an hour and was able to spend quality time with him rather than rushing around to get out the door on time for work. Jarrod, Wesley, and I were all on time to work and school every day this week without panic. It was glorious. I'm actually excited about continuing the habit this week.

Waking up earlier is giving me more time to learn, practice, and perfect the things that are meaningful to me. I am given 45 minutes extra each day to live with intention. I don't want to live with regret and the seasons of my life most filled with regret are lacking intention. Think about being a survivor of a plane crash - what is one thing you'd want to do with your life as a survivor? Watch more TV? Get more sleep? Doubtful. When I think about this question I immediately think about my family. I want to spend quality time with my husband and son. I want to make the world a better place because of my creativity, ideas, and compassion. I want to write, read, and learn more. Asking this slightly morbid question gets to the heart of intentionality. This is how I want to live my life.

At some point I'll share more that I learned in these two chapters. I'm wrestling with some areas of my life that lack awesome. I'm wrestling with some dreams that seem far away and fears that look like road blocks. That's a post for another day, but know that it's coming. And if you have fears about being awesome, I'm right there with you!

What are some of your dreams about being awesome? How do you think you can accomplish them? Are your fears standing in your way?

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are uniquely mine. 
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