Jon Acuff hates brussel sprouts!
He also writes incredibly insightful and thought-provoking books. In his last book, “Finish: Give yourself the Gift of Done,” Jon brings up countless stories to help others successfully define and cross the finish line in whatever it is they may want to achieve. Jon points to perfectionism as the enemy to getting anything done. In other words, our fear of being anything less than perfect prevents us from accomplishing so much in our lives. I have to say – I agree with him.
There are so many elements of gold in this book, but the sections (which are nearly ALL OF THEM) that stood out to me are:
- Choose what to bomb: You can’t be good at everything – so pick a few things that aren’t going to be your area of focus. Whether you excel in them or not won’t matter in the end.
- Distractions are everywhere – Identify your hiding places: Netflix anyone? Knowing where you go to hide in order to prevent doing the thing you should really do is powerful.
- Distractions can be noble – Avoid Noble Obstacles: I can’t do that thing I want to do until I have my house clean. Or save a whale. Or feed starving baby chimpanzees. All of those are great, but what do they have to do with your main goal?
- Ask “Who Says?”: We all have rules that we believe are written in stone – a simple question like “Who Says?” can help you overcome secret rules that you’ve built up over time to avoid the finish line.
- When you are so close to the end: “What’s next?” is an important question It can be used to prevent you from completing your current goal. Make the exercise of defining and executing “What’s next?” contingent upon the completion of the goal in progress.
Finish is an excellent book for anyone that has an endless supply of half-completed ideas and wants to fix that.
Bonus: Jon Acuff joined my book club the other week. I had asked him a question about “good enough.” Specifically, how did he define “good enough”? Perfection has a lot of room to breath in this, but he answered it two ways: 1) Did your creation pass the personal quality check? 2) Did you have a friend/colleague/whatever review it?
In other words, the space between “Good enough” and “Perfection” is where you should live. Knowing how to define “Good enough” for you is critical to delivering on your goals.
For more on Perfectionism and Implementation – read the “The Perfect Software Implementation”