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Where Dreams Come to Happen: Success Stories from the Start Experiment

More than just a bunch of quirky, world changers but quirky nonetheless.

More than just a bunch of quirky, world changers but quirky nonetheless.

30 Days ago I joined a movement that I’m pretty sure is going to get this world’s attention eventually. It all started with an email sent by best selling author, Jon Acuff, that simply said, “Adventurers Wanted.” That’s it. There was a form to fill in.

I have an odd affection for vague adventures, and I respect Jon, so I just went ahead and drank the kool-aid.

This online, Facebook group is called ‘The Start Experiment’ and is based on Jon’s best selling book, START. All participants are asked to identify a risk.  My risk for the first 24 days was to create a blueprint for a program that would eradicate childhood obesity in my county 1 family at a time.  I completed it.

My new 24 day risk is to implement the program I created and begin training to get on the cover of The Challenge Magazine. So far, so good!

All this may sound pretty insignificant until you realize that there are nearly 3,500 other starters in the group of varying ages, demographics & interests!

Here’s the thing…We are making a ‘ding in the universe’ and I wanted to share just a few examples of the Awesomeness that happened in just the first 24 days:

Read the rest of this entry

When Fear Wears Lipstick

ImageFear is my enemy.  I’ve heard it said that I should keep my friends close & my enemies closer so I like to study my opponent any chance I get.  I discovered something about fear this morning that I never realized.  It turns out that fear can be your loudest cheerleader if that’s what it takes!

If I asked you what fear whispers to you  our answers would, no doubt, be similar:

-Who are you to do that?

-What will your friends & family think if you attempted that?

-You have failed every time you’ve tried that before?

-You’ll do that one day. Now’s just not the right time.

Oh, yes, Fear can be a bully!  Read the rest of this entry

Christians and Ambition: The Struggle

Audacious: Bold; Daring; Marked by originality & verve

I don’t think I struggle with fear near as much as I do laziness.  I came to this realization about myself this morning so the weight of it is still sinking in.

There is an advantage to hiding behind fear…people excuse you because they can relate and now you have something in common to talk about.  Giving fear too much credit however, is a slippery slope.  The problem, of course, is that when you blame Fear for your lack, you’ve just given it tremendous power.

This morning I dropped my fears to the side and wrote down some Audacious goals in my journal.  I mean just downright silly stuff!  It was fun and freeing.

As a Christian I’ve always struggled with Ambition & Success.  Read the rest of this entry

Stuck? Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself & Read This!

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5 Simple Steps to Get Unstuck

20 Days ago I embarked on a 24 day challenge called the Start Experiment.  I set a goal:

My risk: Identify a child in my area who is struggling with obesity and is willing to take action towards better health.  I will also identify a personal trainer & a nutritionist who are willing to walk alongside this child (family) for 90 days.  Pretty simple.

Each day at 5am I’ve been getting an email from Jon Acuff with a very brief & doable task to help me in getting my risk accomplished.  I realized this morning, however, that I’ve taken my eyes off of my risk and had my gaze shifted towards getting each daily assignment finished instead.  Have you ever done that?

I had sacrificed the important on the altar of the urgent.

Here’s a quick exercise I encourage you to do if you feel like you’re not making progress toward whatever your goal is.

1.Write your goal down

2. Break it down into segments

3. Set a deadline

4. Make it Public

5. Take 1 Deliberate step EVERY day:

A rule of my life is to never challenge others with what I’m not willing to do myself.  Here is my Plan with only 4 days left:

 

1.WRITE YOUR GOAL DOWN:

-Help a child struggling with childhood obesity over the next 90 days.

2. BREAK IT DOWN INTO SEGMENTS-

– Speak to the personal trainer

-Contact the child/family I’ve selected

-Set up a first meeting with me, the nutritionist, the personal trainer & the family of the child.

3. SET A DEADLINE:

-Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

4. MAKE IT PUBLIC:

-Um…thanks for reading my blog LOL

5. TAKE 1 DELIBERATE STEP EVERY DAY:

-Call a few personal trainers to see if & how they are willing to participate.

Friends, don’t beat yourself up 1 minute longer.  I encourage you to take deliberate action towards making your dream a reality today by applying the 5 steps above.

Together, we will change the world!!!

What’s your risk?  Share it below and go public today!!

My Top 3 Fears and How I Punch Them in the Face

MyTop3FearsWhen I was a kid I always feared rejection.

Whenever I was accepted, I feared losing it.

Fear is a Liar.

When I was a young man, I always feared being unloved.

When I finally had someone’s hand to hold I feared they’d pull it away.

Fear is a Thief.

As a married man with 6 children, I fear I am not being enough for them.

When my bride assures me that I am enough I dismiss her words and dwell instead on what I know I could be if I just tried harder.

Fear says you’re not enough.

I’d love to be able to wrap this post up with a nice, little bow of reconciliation about how I conquered fear once and for all, but that wouldn’t be honest. I think it’s always gonna’ be there in some way.  38 years and counting so far…

I think of this question often: Without fear, what kind of plot would there be in my story anyway? It certainly wouldn’t be a book worth reading!

I’ve found a bit of relief in these words:

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Nelson Mandela

I’m pretty certain that the best I can do today is to decide to be brave once more.

To show courage when fear whispers and take just one more shaky step forward.

And in so doing,  punch Fear full in the face!

Where is fear telling you not to go?

What’s 1 step you can take toward that place today?

Do it!

*This post was inspired by Jon Acuff’s book, START!  If you haven’t read it yet, click the link and get a copy like, NOW!  It is that good!

At the Edge of Starting

ImageI’ve joined a secret society of folks seeking whatever their own flavor of awesome may be.  This all started when I answered an email that referred to ‘Taking on a Challenge’ which was sent by my friend, Jon Acuff. I say friend because he follows me on Twitter & I actually met him once. He wrote some words in a book I was holding. Since his name was on the cover I think he felt entitled. I digress.

I find myself on the edge of starting and I don’t even know why I’m excited.  It’s not like I wasn’t already headed somewhere.  This month is already geared to be one of the greatest our home-based business has ever experienced.  So why am I so jazzed right now?

I think I’m excited because over 2000 other people responded to that same email.  We’re all jockeying around in the Starting gate waiting for the doors to bust wide open. We’ll be separated in groups of 24 and partnered with 1 other Starter to begin a journey on our distinct road to Awesome.

Details would be great right now but I sorta’ like this nervous energy.  A pilgrimage is about to begun from the land of Mediocrity towards the valley of Trying on our way to the mountaintop of Awesome and I am ready.

My plan is not to really mention this  experiment while I’m traveling these next few weeks.  I’ve been advised to put my bullhorn down by Jon & just go out and DO Awesome instead of talking about doing it.

We stand ready at the edge of Starting.

May Average be left on the shore

Our sails billow forward with Awesome

Toward a Challenge for those who want more!

If you haven’t read Jon’s book, START , yet I fully recommend you do. It’s THAT Good!

What My Voices Tell Me and How I Found Hope in a Lisp

What do Your Voices Tell You?My desire is to be transparent with this blog & this is one of the more raw posts I’ve published.  I struggle with voices of fear & doubt and they’re trying to sabotage my dreams.  The loudest of these voices pretty much repeats the same 3 words:

‘You’re Not enough.”

The quitter in me has a way of convincing me that others are doing great things but I am destined for mediocrity;  that the many imperfections I have are what is holding me back from being a published author, a speaker or a 5 Star Ambassador with Visalus. Simply put, my voices try to convince me that successful people are that way because of a natural gift, a particular skill set I can’t develop or just plain luck. I’ve a feeling I may not be alone in this.

Oddly enough, I find great comfort in Jon Acuff’s lisp. Jon is actually my favorite author and someone I admire very much. It’s a strange thing to fall in like with a lisp, I know, but it’s also the truth.  He’s not perfect & I love that about him. I’ve followed his ascension to stardom for years but never actually heard him speak until meeting him at a book signing a few months ago for his new book, START.

My biggest fear now is for Jon to actually read this & suddenly realize he may have a lisp.  Sorta like the time I intercepted a note from one of my students and found out I had a bald spot  :/ I started shaving my head the next day.  I find great delight in the nuances of others that make them unique and move them South of Vanilla.  (Now I just ticked off the vanilla lovers!)

The point is, while some may discover the imperfections of people and see less, I see them as a reminder that success is reserved for those who keep hustling.  I am compelled to silence that voice within me that whispers, “You’re not enough”, and simply respond,

“Oh no, I’m MORE than enough.”

I’m curious, what do your voices tell you?  Comment below and check out Jon Acuff’s project NoMoreVoices.com to contribute to the conversation already going on there.

NOTE: If you just thought to yourself, “I don’t hear voices in my head! He’s crazy!” Then welcome to the voice in your head.

The Saddest Dreamer of All: Congratulations Walt

I think this world has good intentions. I always see positive platitudes plastered wherever I look on social media & commercials. It seems at every turn someone is trying to encourage me (maybe themselves) to ‘follow my heart’, or ‘Chase my dream’. Come to think of it I can’t recall the last time someone encouraged me to ‘Embrace Mediocrity’ or ‘Soak in the Glow of Resentment’. But this morning I heard a song and it kinda slapped me in my smile just a bit.

I’m in my second reading of Jon Acuff’s book, Start. The first time I approached it much like I would approach the first beef enchilada when I know I still have 2 left. In chapter 2 he referenced a song by John Mayer, and it is the saddest songs I’ve ever heard.

Now, we’ve all heard sad songs.

-When I was younger they centered around breakups,

-In my 20’s a sad song for me centered around some ‘system’ that was going to force me to grow up & be responsible.

-The minute I entered Fatherhood I fell apart anytime I heard a sentimental chorus involving sons, daughters or their mommy.

But now I’m on the precipice of 40 and I’m just now getting a foothold on living a life of significance. I want to matter. But here’s the catch…I don’t want to change the world alone.

‘Walt Grace’s Submarine Test, January 1967’ by John Mayer is the story of a man who had a dream. He painstakingly developed the skills to make his dream a reality. He had the perseverance and resolve to move forward towards his passionate pursuit despite the heckling crowd of naysayers.

If Walt Grace was paying any attention to social media & self help (self-hurt books??) back in 1967 he would’ve been very pleased. Encouragements of, “Keep going, Walt!”, would certainly pepper his comment section. But there is a problem.

Walt is a married man with children and spends his days just searching for silence from the ‘noise’ that has become his life. He has alienated those he loves to pursue a selfish passion full-time.

Here’s something I think we all need to do right now.

I encourage you today to identify your dream and invest a few moments on what your finish line looks like. Walt Grace made his dream a reality. He ‘Just Did it’. His chest broke the tape guarding that finish line he’d had his sights on all those years.

And he celebrated alone.

Congratulations, Walt.