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Just Pick Back Up When Things Don’t Go According to Plan: Reading “Start” by Jon Acuff Chapter 5

With this post i am just picking back up when things don’t go according to plan…

I started reading Start in May. I even finished it in early June but I did not keep up with my goal of blogging my way through the book. I was disappointed in myself. I wanted this book to be that right surge I needed to start really working on my awesome stuff.  Be that as it may, I still want to share my reflections/review of the book.

Chapter Five discusses “Editing” and focuses on well editing though beyond fixing written words. Editing here touches upon fine tuning how you do things and honing in on the few core things you really want to do and how to do them well. For me, being a graduate student, I have so many things to balance in terms of work. Now that I’m no longer taking classes but doing research it is on me to set my schedule and get my work done which is not always easy. So I tried lots of things like chunking things daily, doing two hours on one task and two hours on a different type of task, but I found that I wasn’t getting done the things I planned to do each week. Based on what I learned in this chapter combined with recent pondering on the topic, I remembered that when I was in college I preferred to take the one day a week classes because you got all the class time in one sitting. And this gave me the rest of the week to focus on readings and homework. One day a week classes were so much easier than being in class for 45-120 minutes, getting out of class doing homework for 45-120 minutes and then going BACK to class. The large chunk for my classes worked because I could tune my brain to the type of task at hand and keep it there. So last week I started chunking my work. My productivity isn’t at my goal level, yet, but my productivity and focus are up and that’s what editing as described in the book is all about.

But money isn’t a calling. It’s a consequence.

This chapter shares so many interesting and helpful things, like the snippet above. But my absolute favorite was when Jon Acuff shared that awesome isn’t a job title its a way of being. “A job title is just a consequence of you living out your awesome. I’m not trying to tell people to go out and find new job titles; I’m telling them to escape average.” In short, the goal is to live out your dream, do what you love, make the difference that you want to make and everything else will fall into place. Which helped me but also made me chuckle as I was reminded about conversations I have had about dating in recent years. Some say that if you want to meet a certain type of man or woman go to places where that type of person goes. By extension, do what you love and your person will follow…Well the same goes for being awesome. Start doing what you love. What you can do without pushing and prodding, by yourself and others, and the rest will follow.

Last thing, Acuff shares that we get to decide what is of value in our lives (using rocks versus diamonds).       “You get to assign value to the things in your life, and the value you assign will radically change how you interact with them.” While reading this part, I was reminded of my high school Spanish 2 class. This was the class where we learned about el pretérito, the past tense.  It was hard! Just when I thought el pretétrito was bad we learned about el imperfecto, the tense for actions that happen over time in the past. There were sooo many tests I struggled on that year because of all the rules about when to use pretérito and when to use imperfecto. Fast forward to college. This is where I learned that while there are rules about which past tense to use, its up to the person to decide which tense to use based on what you want to emphasize – a past moment or past over time. I was mad and relieved at the same time. Mad because my high school GPA would have been better, I could get some quiz and test points back. Happy because I saw that I had control over the rules. So just like with Spanish grammar, I can decide what is valuable to me, my diamonds, and what is not, my rocks. And frankly, I’m enjoying this newfound  freedom that choosing my diamonds being awesome is giving me.

Rocks & Diamonds Quatrz HerkimerNY


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