There are only two paths in life: average and awesome. The average path is easy because all you have to do is nothing. The awesome path is more challenging, because things like fear only bother you when you do work that matters. The good news is Start gives readers practical, actionable insights to be more awesome, more often.
What it takes to be awesome
One afternoon while meeting with a friend, I started to dissect Dave Ramsey’s life on a whiteboard. He’s been an incredibly successful author and businessman, something I aspire to be too. I was curious how he accomplished so much. As I started to map out the trajectory of his life, I made a pretty simple discovery about what it takes to be awesome. It’s not that complicated or unique; in fact, since the dawn of time, every awesome life has gone through the same five stages.
In your 20s, you resided in learning. You went to college, got a job, or joined the military. You didn’t yet know what you were made of, so you sampled many endeavors and did as much as you could to learn about yourself, the world around you, and where you best fit in.
In your 30s, you moved on up to editing. You started to focus on the handful of things that worked well in your 20s. You were not done learning, but you started editing down the list of things you thought were really important. You prioritized your passions. You focused your career, your relationships, and every part of your life.
In your 40s, you ascended to Mastering. You edited your life to the most important things in your 30s, and then it came time to master them. You were going to be an awesome parent, awesome friend, awesome employee, etc. You started leading bigger projects and initiatives. You were not an expert yet, but you were next in line.
In your 50s, you basked in Harvesting. The seeds you planted in your 20s, 30s, and 40s finally began blooming. You harvested abundant relationships in your 50s.
In your 60s, you entered a place of Guiding. You retired with a gold watch and a ranch-style home in Florida. You were a grandfather or a grandmother. You were the elder statesman, the one with the wisdom.
That timeline is no longer typical
We’ve been told our whole lives that our 20s are when we begin down our career paths. And our 60s are the end of the road. But that timeline is no longer the only valid one. In fact, that timeline is no longer typical.
Age is no longer the primary factor that determines where you are on the map. Life is now less about how old you are and more about when you decide to live.
- If you’re 45 and looking for a career shift after realizing you don’t love what you do, you’re back in your 20s. It’s time to start.
- If you’re 33 and haven’t found something you’re really passionate about, you’re still in your 20s. It’s time to start.
- If you’re 52 and embarking on a new career because your job (and maybe your entire industry) disappeared, you’ve returned to your 20s. It’s time to start.
- If you’re 22, well that one seems really obvious, doesn’t it? You’re literally in your 20s. It’s time to start.
Regardless of your stage or station in life, it all comes down to one simple truth: you just have to start.