Action Always Beats Intention & The Start Experiment

With that said, I will take advantage of the opportunity to show my gratitude for the opportunity to write these words and share them with you, my readers.  My only hope is that for the people that actually go as far as to read the posts that I write on this blog…is that my words have a positive and uplifting impact on you.  One of my hopes is that this blog can be one of many ways I can create healthy, positive and beneficial change in the world and inspire you to do the same in your own unique way.

It is time for us to START.

Stay tuned.

Yes…this is where the writing gets corny and my inner hippie shines through.  Some of my writing does this, I am not apologetic and it may strike an emotional chord with some of you.  With others, it may not.  This implies that there are more than two people reading my blog.  This is a bold statement.  Mildly confident, if I do say so myself.

As I continue reading, he suggests that we perform an “average audit” by surveying the seven key areas of your life:

  1. Physical
  2. Spiritual
  3. Financial
  4. Family
  5. Social
  6. Intellectual
  7. Career

In a sense, this blog has been doing that for the past 12 months, especially with the series that writes about the Life Project List.  Jon continues and encourages us to be brutally realistic about present circumstances – specifically with regard to debts and assets, suggesting that we re-read parts of the book in doing so.  I may or may not do this…and even as I think about this, I am leaning towards doing as much as possible, as written in the book, even if it means simply revisiting those pages just to refresh my memory about the context of what is being discussed.

I fear that if I bend the rules too much here, I will lose sight of why I felt drawn to this book and the manner in which it was written.  I fear that if I bend the rules too much there, I will be “cheating” and that doesn’t seem right in any context – especially with this strange “community” aspect that is taking place with The Start Experiment, a group on Facebook with people that contacted Jon Acuff regarding involvement in an “adventure.”  The blog post written was quite vague, which was part of the appeal about responding to it.  I chose to do so, along with several other thousand people.  We have been selected to be a part of The Start Experiment.

The Start Experiment is described as follows:

  • Welcome to the Start Experiment. 

    Do you know what fear, fears?

    Fear fears community.

    Fear always tries to isolate you and put you on an island as if you’re the only one on the planet bumping into challenges. 

    But how do you build community in a rapidly disconnecting culture?

    That is the question the Start Experiment seeks to answer.

    And it starts with an adventure. 

    My initial plan was to break folks into teams of 24 randomly, but you guys already came up with a better idea.

    So on Monday, you’ll get your first two assignments in the form of a survey.

    You will decide whether you want to be on a team based on your location or your passion.

    For instance, do you want to be teamed up with people from Connecticut or your part of England? 

    Or do you want to be on a team with other people trying to write a book, start a business, go back to school, etc.?

    The choices is yours. We’ll reveal the teams after we’ve created them. 

    You will also receive a name and an email address. This will be your adventure partner. (We’ll partner guys with guys and girls with girls.) Each day for 24 days, you commit to send that person one new idea for their dream, one encouraging quote or some sort of motivation. 

    The second task is that you’ve got to decide what you are going to risk in this 24 day period. 

    You’re a pirate, which island are you going to strike out for? 

    What will you dare?

    What will you risk?

    What will you do?

    The survey will be up for 48 hours and will be found on this Facebook page only. 

    Each day, starting on July 15ish, (Originally the 8th, but we moved it back to allow people to actually choose their team) you will receive an email from me. In it will be a new challenge, point of encouragement or other such awesomeness. 

    At the end of the 24 days, we’ll announce the next phase.

    Along the way, expect some secret events that only you’ll be invited to. 

    Some will be local to you, some might require a passport and a machete. 

    This is an experiment, so expect it to be messy. A counselor told me once that the definition of narcissism is believing you’ll be amazing at something you’ve never done before. 

    I’ve never done this before and awesome will take a little while. Expect some awkward first. 

    I believe your risk and the reward it generates is going to be fantastic. 

    Maybe you want to write a new chapter in your book in the next 24 days.

    Maybe you want to sign up for a class. 

    Maybe you want to give your first public speech.

    Maybe you want to apply to three new jobs.

    I don’t know what you’re going to do yet, but if you’re not up for this adventure, email me at jonacuff at and we’ll pull you from the roster. 

    Average is easy because all you have to do is nothing.

    It’s time to do something.

    It’s time to go on an adventure.

I am currently working on my adventure / my risk.  I am seeking one thing that I’m going to risk.  I will have a partner and will be on a team over the next 24 days.  I am hoping that this, along with the upcoming transitions with regard to my career will help me move on from feeling derailed from the decline of one of the most intimate and close relationships I was currently having.  Life itself is cyclical, much like the relationships that go on within it.  Like stars, some of these relationships are long-lived and burn a consistent and warm light…some of these relationships burn with an exceptionally bright light, if only for a short period of time – they are brilliant, nonetheless.  Relationships are like stars.

A big draw towards The Start Experiment is the sense of community that exists when a group of people have read a book that resonates with each of us in a different way – yet we are all sharing in the experience of our own experience.  It is very challenging to put into words, yet I am very much enjoying what is taking place, as what *is* taking place is continually changing and evolving before the very eyes of the person who is having an experience that is part of The Start Experiment.  The community aspect is tremendous and feels wonderful.  It is a friendly environment – this “social network.”

As I glance back at the book to see exactly how far off track I have strayed – I realize that I actually haven’t strayed that far off track at all…while I could better outline the “honest picture” of where I am at right now, I think I will continue and move forward with the next towards Escaping Average.

Step 3:

Be wildly unrealistic about your future circumstances.  We’re going to take dozens of steps toward our dream in the weeks to come, but right now, just free write every crazy thing you’d like to do (e.g., you’ve never played guitar before, but someday you want to play the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee).  Everything you wrote down during Step 2 doesn’t exist.

Knowing that by the end of 2013, I will be debt-free.  In early 2014, I will likely have 3-6 months of living expenses saved up from the successful completion of the project I will be working on throughout Texas.  With my parents owning 20 acres and dreaming to start a farm on this 20 acres, it has become my dream to help them grow York Meadow Farm into a successful generational farm in an effort to fulfill my role in the sustenance of America and living freedom and liberty. 

It is my dream to follow through on the writing and drafting of a business plan to submit to my parents in order to effectively lease that area of the property just south of the neighbors field, southeast (?) of the pond.  I wish to lease and homestead there with a tiny-house, shipping container or a yurt that is set up as an office / shop.  Fully set up to be operational as a small, independent farm operation.  This is the reason for the official lease.

Hopefully with the way that I grow and produce vegetables on my parcel, they will witness results and we will both be better suited to get to where we are working together rather than fighting.  This lease will allow me the feeling of independence from my parents while still having the ability to live/work independent of them and experience the freedom that is necessary for a man in his mid/late 30’s to have.

Eventually, I’d like to get to a point where I am self-reliant in terms of food production.  What little I do have to buy, I can barter for and/or use silver as a means of exchange.  I would like to run and operate a small hydroponic supply distribution warehouse along with involvement of selling certain vitamins and health supplements?   There are many ideas, but perhaps it could be a health/wellness/self-sufficiency/edible landscaping/permaculture design/online store where I sell and stock the items and then simply control the sales and distribution of the products? 

Perhaps my dream over the next 24 days would be to fine tune and develop the business plan / proposal to provide to my parents?  Hmm

Stay tuned.

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