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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:

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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!

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.