how to break free from average (it might involve punching fear in the face)
What is that one thing that you’ve always wanted to do? Always wanted to accomplish or be “when you grow up”? We all have something.
There is some dream that you think of every once in a while. You bring out the dream, maybe a long-lost childhood desire, and look at it. You turn that dream over and over in your mind, studying all sides of it, and you smile so tempted to bring it out in the open. But then you remember. You remember that you are now an adult with commitments, a family, a mortgage, and a job. So, once again, you shove that dream way back into the recesses of your mind, determined not to think about it again.
I recently read a book called Start by Jon Acuff. In it he talks about how to chase your dreams and find your purpose. Basically, you just have to punch fear in the face and start. But we don’t start. We tend to stay where we are even when we do have a dream. In Start, Jon says that most people just stay average.
He says, “Average is so popular because average is familiar. We all know how to do average. Nintey-nine percent of the people on the planet do average. The road is well worn, the decisions obvious, and the next steps are crystal clear. Awesome? It’s a little dangerous….So when faced with the decision to be awesome or stay average, most of us opt for the familiar, for the comfortable.”
It’s easy to let days pass you by, just living them without much thought . Soon the week is over and you look back and realize it’s all a blur. A familiar blur. “But I’m just so busy”, we say. Busy has become a badge that many of us wear proudly. We equate busy to important and successful and needed. But what if busy is keeping us from moving forward. It’s possible to be so busy surviving life that you stop actually living life.
It’s amazing how easy it is to get stuck and just stay in that comfort zone. There are so many people out there who hate their jobs but feel like its too late to change careers. Others spend most evenings in front of the TV or Facebook instead of living their own life. Many are just too exhausted at the end of the day to pursue anything new or exciting or different.
Comfort zones are, well, comfortable. They are easy and safe. Everything runs smoothly within a comfort zone as there is little risk of failure. But there is also little risk of excitement, of accomplishing great things and making a difference.
So, how can we truly live life and not just exist? By remembering those dreams and living with purpose. Forget about finding your purpose because as Jon says, “Waiting to find your purpose tomorrow is a great way to ensure you don’t live with purpose today.”
Start where you are today. Start within your job, family,or social life. Start moving forward because “Purpose is attracted to motion. Purpose is attracted to momentum. Purpose loves to surprise you mid-stride. Very rarely will it greet you on your front doorstep. More often than not, you’ll encounter purpose in the middle of the road when you least expect it.”
Start has really encouraged me to take a look at my life and my dreams. What I really like about the book is that it provides a step by step guide on how to identify your dreams and purpose and how to accomplish them. So many books are just theoretical but this book actually tells you how to do it! I want to remember those dreams and move forward and I feel like this book provides me with a plan.
I really highly recommend reading Start. I think it can be life changing! Plus, Jon Acuff is a great author, very entertaining. You can check out the book here.
So, is there a long ago dream that you have given up? Maybe it’s time to start making that dream a reality!