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Publisher's Summary

From New York Times best-selling author Jon Acuff, a book for those who want relief from always starting and never being done.

Jon Acuff, sought-after speaker and consultant, is the friend who always gives you great advice. With his self-deprecating humor and charm, he has won over hundreds of thousands of followers who come to him for both encouragement and a kick in the pants. Now, after showing you how to reboot your career in his New York Times best seller Do Over, Acuff shows chronic starters how to actually finish their goals in an age of bottomless distractions and endless opportunities.

Acuff knows the reason why many writers' novels go unfinished - it's the same reason why gyms are filled in the first week of January and empty by the end of the month and why people stop learning a new language once they get past the easy parts. It's not just that people lose momentum or get distracted. People give up on projects when they fail to live up to their own high expectations and decide that if they can't do something perfectly, they won't do it at all. If you're going to finish, you have to kill perfectionism.

Drawing on his popular 30 Days of Hustle course, Acuff teaches listeners to short-circuit perfectionism and make it through to the end of a task. Whether it's by "choosing what to bomb" or "cutting a goal in half", he shows listeners how to move past "the day after perfect", get focused, and - finally - finish.

©2017 Jon Acuff (P)2017 Penguin Audio

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  • Bashar
  • mishref, Kuwait
  • 10-27-17

I couldn't finish it!

I couldn’t finish it! I’ve listened to half of Finish, but couldn’t see the point of finishing it through. While I honestly tried and couldn’t find but positive reviews for the book, to me, it fell in the common trap of most self improvement books.

A book picks a subject of matter, and then in few hundred pages try to makeup on the point that everything under the sun falls under his topic of focus. Very often blind sided by other important factors. Sort of like when you’re holding a hammer, and want to nail everything down regardless.

For Finish, it was Perfectionism. The book kept repeatedly saying “perfectionism says...”, and then made the claim. First problem is, the author assumes the biggest problem is perfectionism, which means most people are “Perfectionists”. However most people, including myself, aren’t perfectionists. Most people are satisfied with average results. Some even mediocre ones. Yet they still struggle to finish. For different reasons.

Not enough motivation
Inability to focus
Enjoy partying and having fun more
Learning new skill is hard, so brain resists it to favor comfort.
Fear of failure: Different than seeking perfectionism, many are happy to be good, but never want to feel failure. It's socially unacceptable in many societies still. It also involves risk factor.

And many other reasons. And while the book might touch on some of these points, it does so by assuming it’s related to perfectionism most of the time. It does it so often, and under different contexts, that I ended up questioning my understanding of the word perfectionism, I had to lookup the dictionary again for its meaning. For the record:

"Perfectionism: Refusal to accept any standard short of perfection."

For instance, it would say something like (paraphrasing as I can’t recall exactly)

"perfectionism tells us achieving goals is about putting hard excessive work, and that work itself is supposed to be tiring not pleasant"

I don't know about you, but I've never heard Perfectionism make such claim. Where exactly does it say so? If you’ve seen Chef’s Table, you'd see how obsessed and perfectionists the best chefs in the world are, and yet you see how much they are enjoying their work. Steve Jobs was a perfectionist. And he openly spoke about how the real motive he wakes up everyday to go to work is because he loves this work and creating things that matter. Walt Disney was another perfectionist, who worked for years on the first full length animation, Snow White, and would not agree to any compromises. He'd try the Disney rides, come down and report the ride took few seconds less than it should. He was obsessed with creating the perfect experience. He loved it, and kept doing it his entire life. And it's what drove him to work all the time.

Another time the author says every time you watch a Netflix movie, it’s because you’re escaping from the task, because you fear you might fail and not be perfect at it. Also not true. I might watch movies because I like them. I want to stay up to date with Game of Thrones as it keeps me thrilled and exited. I watch Narcos because it's a great adaptation about one of the most famous criminals in the world. I play video games to ease the stress I have throughout the day. And without such enjoyments, I may not have the power to wake up next morning.

At the end of one the chapters, the author makes three suggestions that he claims flies in face of perfectionism:

Drop some activities to make space for others:
Cut goal in half.
And do something you like.

1- Dropping some activities to make time for more important ones. How many times have we read that before? And it really doesn't need saying. I also fail to see how this is related to perfectionism. Me liking to play football, video games, watch tv, practice music, and read books, meanwhile starting my project is not perfectionism. It's different interests. This is about focus, and prioritizing. Got nothing to do with perfectionism.

2- Again. This is not about perfectionism necessarily. Could be an oversight. Could be bad management, and inability to predict. Or could be because it will give me competitive edge over my competitor. So it's business driven, and I'm doing it knowing the compromises on quality. Perfectionism does not mean doing larger task in shorter amount of time. Maybe I'm doing a small task, such as writing a review for a book (what are the odds?), but I'm too obsessed with it, that I keep refining it. This is something I can't cut in half. Doesn't make sense to split a book review into 2 parts! And taking more time will not make me any less perfectionist. It means I'm feeding my perfectionism needs, by giving more time to a task that is likely to be of marginal value.

3- Do something you like. That has been said so many times before. And again, it does not contradict being a perfectionist. Sometimes when I code, I get obsessed with making beautiful, error free, efficient code. And this happens when I'm in the zone. Compeltely consumed by work, I lose track of time, and forget I haven't eaten all day until late at night. And you know what? These are the happiest coding moments for me! As I feel I'm producing something beautiful. And I can feel myself growing as a programmer.

So all in all, listening to such self improvement book might be motivational, and it's obviously appealing to many people. But I fail to see anything new being suggested here. Only old know thoughts put through different, often incorrect, perspective.

** TL;DR the book made me doubt my understanding of the word “perfectionism”, I had to Google its definition to make sure.**

What do you think? Like to hear your thoughts.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
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Jon will show you how to get to the finish line.

Where does Finish rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

In the top 5.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Jon Acuff is hilarious and not afraid to share his mistakes.

What about Jon Acuff’s performance did you like?

I love that he reads his own books. It's easier to feel what he feels.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Very thought provoking and action inspiring.

Any additional comments?

As a serial, procrastinating perfectionist with a case of chronic paralysis from analysis, I needed this book!<br/><br/>"Goals you refuse to chase don't disappear - they become ghosts that haunt you."<br/>"Starting is fun, but the future belongs to finishers."<br/><br/>Buy this book and get going on that thing you've always wanted to do. Jon will show you how to reach the finish line.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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gonna get my life in order!

Jon Acuff does motivational speaking, so he is pretty safe narrating his own books, which actually can be a dangerous thing to do. His delivery is near perfect, but I dropped a star because he dropped too many ends of words. The day after per----. Rewind. The day after per----. I figured it out 5 minutes later in the chapter, but that was not my hearing problem. And then he did it a few more times.

But, I will listen again to this book because it is honest. It doesn't get you riled up for one day's good work and then drop you because you can't keep it up. Acuff is honest about how we actually feel the day after we start a project, how we get bogged down in the middle, and then how we give up when we are so close to the finish. He give actual doable suggestions to getting your goals done, finished! It won't take away the work, but he explains how you are feeling and helps you talk back to your own self-defeating words.

I will also buy the paper copy and mark it up. This is a good book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Do yourself a favor and read this book

This was exactly what I needed in this season of my life. Just like Jon said, starting things doesn't seem to be my issue. It's finishing them. There are so many great moments in this book. It seemed like he was in my head. Many times I found myself saying "Yes! That's me!" He makes the book fun through humor and no pressure action steps. I don't have to do them. I get to. Like a new adventure. Excited to have finished this in a matter of days and to implement the steps to allow myself to finally finish some long overdue goals. Imperfect action is better than perfect procrastination. This book helped me remember that.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Inspiring, convecting, encouraging

I have started may projects big and small, I also have many ideas that I have yet to start or complete because of fear. This book was mentioned to me a couple days ago, so I started and finished it today. I was challenged in areas of my life and inspired and encouraged to step out and start a project without a perfectionist mindset. My perfectionist mindset has killed a lot of my willing to step out and risk because I don't want to fail. After listening to Jon, my eyes have been opened to this mindset and I will start to FINISH.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great book for all of us who procrastinate and stop short on our goals

I found this book to be extremely useful. It had very insightful observations about why people fail to finish their big objectives. It also included many tips for staying motivated and finishing major tasks.

I also really enjoyed the author’s sense of humor. I highly recommend this book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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I needed this even more than I thought

Confession. I'm a struggling perfectionist. Have been most of my life. I've been able to overcome it for the most part when it comes to things I don't really care about all that much. But if there's something that's REALLY important to me...something I REALLY want to accomplish or get done...something that I feel CALLED to do or BORN to do...well, my perfectionism kicks in big time. I start working on it with tons of enthusiasm. I map out the steps and stages. I start thinking about how big of an impact this is going to make for myself, my family, and yes, maybe even the world! Then, I get nailed hard with perfectionism, I splutter to halt. Tell myself I'll get it done soon...as soon as the time is right (perfect)...and then EVERYTHING will work out perfectly. Years later, I look back with regret and wonder what happened.

Does this happen with everything I do? No. Does perfectionism hang me out to dry every time? No. Just when it comes to something I really care about. Something I'm really passionate about. Something I know I can and should do because this is in my sweet spot. That's where I falter.

That's why this book is exactly what I needed. It has some humor, some good advice, and mostly it's a positive kick in the backside to get stuff done and how to get past my perfectionism.

I bought the hardcopy of this book first, started reading it, then knew I'd need it on audio so I could listen to it multiple times. So bought the book a second time, but this time on audio. I've been listening to in the car and while jogging. I can't tell you how many times I've pounded the steering wheel and said, &quot;YES!&quot; to no one in particular because the author hit the nail on the head for me.

I think the thing that was most helpful to me, was that John identifies SO MANY different ways that perfectionism rears it's ugly head and tries to stop the work you know you were born to do. I mean, it's not like I'm surprised that I struggle with perfectionism, I've known that for decades. It's that I didn't realize just how many ways perfectionism can sabotage my plans and my big goals.

So, if you struggle to get stuff done (especially the important stuff you really care about), get this book. Even if you don't know why you struggle (maybe especially if you don't know why you struggle). This book will help. And if you're a recovering perfectionist like me, you really, really need to read this book to uncover ALL the ways you need to say no to perfectionism and do the things you know you were meant to do in life.

AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Scott
  • Buena Park, CA, United States
  • 11-08-17

I finished it!

Great book to share with friends. Lots of sage gems to implement.
Funny too.
Do it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kyle
  • Seattle, WA
  • 10-17-17

FUNNY and IMPORTANT

This book was written for brains exactly like mine. There's a line in here about the prerequisites to buy a chainsaw...that made me pull over to the side of a country road I was laughing so hard because it was so true.

But, really, if you're a hard-working person with perfectionism wreaking havoc in the background wrecking all your projects, listen to this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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What every dreamer needs to hear and apply to their life!

I consider this book is full of truths and actionable steps that you can apply to your own life as well as teach others the journey of finishing goals. Jon writes about a lot of truths many of us are scared to say out loud. This isn't a one-time read. It's a guide for life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • M
  • 12-03-17

Pretty solid read.

No airy fairy wafting, well defined steps, and realistic visions of where to go next. More on maintaining discipline would have been appreciated, but some of it was a solid kick up the back side to get going.