By Adam Jusko, ProudMoney.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: While ProudMoney.com focuses chiefly on personal finance information, we believe that being successful financially almost always follows from a life built on a solid foundation. For that reason, we often discuss topics that go beyond dollars and cents. This review supports our mission to take a “never settle” approach to life.
“It’s all or nothing!” “Go big or go home!” “Get rich or die tryin'”
We live in a culture that glorifies the hero, the person who takes on the toughest of odds, the one who would rather die than fall short of the absolute extremes of success. For many of us, this idea creeps into our mind and does insidious things. It tells us that only a massive goal is a worthy goal. That falling short of glory equals complete failure. That if you’re not “going big,” don’t bother getting started. And it tells us that if we are trying to do something big, it had better be perfect.
In 2013, Jon Acuff wrote Start, a book encouraging you to never settle, to get started on the awesome life you envision. In 2017, Acuff wants to help you Finish. If that sounds like Acuff has changed his tune, it isn’t so. He’s simply realized that too often people quit because the goal is too big, the distance between the start line and the finish line is too great. They put so much pressure on themselves that the initial motivation could never be enough to provide what’s needed to complete the quest.
So… cut the goal in half. Give something up. Get rid of your “secret rules” that say you must sweat and suffer. And don’t just keep your eyes on the prize, but look back to see how far you’ve come. Most of all, figure out what works for your way of thinking and acting, because you’re not going to turn into a different person just because you’ve got a big goal to achieve.
It may be counter-intuitive, and it may sound like you are, indeed, settling for less. But in reality Acuff is simply telling you to quit fighting yourself — bite off what you can chew in the shorter term, accomplish the goal, and celebrate crossing the finish line. Nothing stops you from creating a new finish line after that. But if your initial goal is to be superhuman and anything less is failure, you’ll never get anywhere.
Not only is Acuff giving you license to “give yourself the gift of done” (the book’s subtitle), he makes these ideas a whole lot of fun. Finish is one of the funniest books you’re going to find in the personal performance/self help genre. Acuff does not spare himself when it comes to giving you examples of what not to do. You’re sure to see some of your own mistakes in his stories, which makes it easier to forgive yourself when you stumble along the way.
I was hoping to come up with an ending to this review that was a little snappier, but Acuff (and you) will hopefully understand if I’ve decided to choose a Finish line that’s a bit short of perfection.