I recently finished reading a fantastic book by Jon Acuff called “Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average, and Do Work That Matters”. I figured I would check it out in order to get some motivation to begin the pursuit of continuing my education and eventual career change.
This is a very easy read and I was really surprised on just how much I enjoyed it. There were parts that really made me think, parts that just made so much sense and parts that made me laugh out loud. This book is about the path we take to achieve our goals. Acuff breaks it down into five simple stages: learning, editing, mastering, harvesting and guiding. These are all based on ages, however the way I look at it, the ages do not really matter. You can start a new journey no matter your age or experience.
In the learning stage, we are educating ourselves and trying a bunch of things to find out what we like to do. The great thing about this stage is that you can do no wrong. You soak in as much knowledge as you can and figure out what you would like to do with your life from this point forward.
Next is the editing stage. Now that you have educated yourself (either through formal education, experience or self-study), you have a much better idea of what path you want to pursue. In this stage, you eliminate the interests that you do not wish to pursue. Another important part of this stage is to also identify the people in your life who are slowing you down to get to where you want to go. Although this is unfortunate when it happens, it does happen. Some people can be toxic and act as a roadblock on your path to success.
After you have edited, identified the destination of where you may like to end up and continued on the path to get there, the next stage is mastering. Mastering focuses on the things that remain after editing. You now can improve these defined skills and become an expert at them.
The fourth stage is harvesting. Although there is one more stage after this, harvesting is a fun one (or at least it sounds fun to me. I’ll let you know once I get there myself). In this stage, you are reaping the benefits of completing your mastery. This is where you keep doing what you’re doing and know with confidence that you’re on the right path.
The final stage in guiding. Once you are fortunate enough to get to this stage (and yes, with persistence and dedication you can do it), you become a mentor. You pay it forward and help others who are in any of the previous stages. How rewarding!
So what happens when you have completed all the stages? Start them over! That’s right, start with something new. I am sure that you have more than one passion, so why not pursue it? Don’t get me wrong, when you start the stages over you are not pushing the reset button on life. You are continuing on a new path to a new destination. You most certainly continue harvesting and guiding from your previous path. You are now just doing something different. You are expanding your skills.
No matter what stage you find yourself in right now, I highly suggest “Start”. It gave me a different outlook on life. Whether you feel stuck where you are or you feel that you are at the highest point you have even been, this is a great read.
If you do decide to check out this book, I would love to hear your thoughts on it. I would love to hear the stage you are in and the path you have traveled. As always, I welcome feedback, questions, comments and concerns about this post or anything else that may be on your mind. Please feel free to comment below or you can also reach me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.