I was in another one of those weird funks I get in when I don’t have a book I find engaging. We went to the library, and I was scanning the new nonfiction books, looking for the covers that would grab me. This is the way I find nearly all the books I read, unless someone else recommends something specific. I am a great believer in judging literal books by their covers.
I wasn’t having much luck, so I asked the Universe to guide me to whatever book I needed most to read this week, and I kept wandering, searching for something to draw me in. Then one word, “Illogical” jumped out. I picked up the book, and this incredibly charismatic man in a pink jacket greeted me. He was appealing, but the blurb by his face sealed it for me: “New York Times bestselling author of Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man.” I haven’t read the book, but I’ve seen some of the videos; they’re powerful, and he’s unbelievably compelling on camera.
I didn’t think Emmanuel Acho would have much to say that would help me work on my Spark stuff, but I was curious to learn more about him, so I grabbed the book and one other I haven’t started yet, and we checked out and left.
I sat down to read the book in the early morning hours, and I got one of those gifts I often get from the Universe. This is the dedication: To those eager to do the extra and become extraordinary.
OK, I got it. Thank you Universe.
Then I started reading.
To be fair, it’s not an incredible book, but it’s extremely readable and has some insight worth considering. These points stood out to me:
You don’t follow your calling because you’re qualified. You qualify by following your calling.Illogical 34
From time to time, imposter syndrome sets in with me (can you relate?). I wonder, should I go get more training, go back to school, get a coaching certificate?
For me, at least right now, the answer is a solid “no.” It’s not that formal training wouldn’t teach me anything, but it would also stall my progress, and that’s one thing I’m entirely disinterested in. I don’t need more school, I need to just keep developing the content, having conversations and leading experiences.
When you are called to do something great…there are always plenty of skeptics. Skeptics may pop up in the form of haters or they might be well-meaning friends who disagree. Regardless, your calling is your calling. It’s not a conference call.Illogical 57
Boy do I love this.
People have always had a lot of opinions about me: whether or not I should take a job, walk away from a job, pursue my dreams, keep or give away the baby, get or don’t get married, buy a certain house, concern that I’m too opinionated to effectively run a nonprofit, if I am native or not to North Dakota, if I’m too liberal…
Here’s the thing: Other people’s unsought out opinions are tedious, even when well intended.
If I ask you, then I really do want to know what you think. But if you’re just offering something up because you’re quite certain you have “the answer,” please save your breath. I’ll be sure and let you know when I want to schedule a conference call. Until then, feel free to find someone else to browbeat.
Don’t set a goal; have an objective with no limitations…Why aim for one thing when you can have everything? When it comes to choosing small, targeted goals versus huge, effective impact, always choose impact.Illogical 164-65
I don’t set goals. Honestly, I don’t even really understand how to do it. I mean, I set budgetary goals at my nonprofit job, and that made sense to me. But setting life goals? I will make __________ dollars. I will coach ___________ people. I will be on ____________ podcasts and stages. Why would I limit myself?
What if I say, “This year, I want to work with 200 individuals.”?
On one hand, that’s four times the number of people I’ve currently worked with, but on the other, in the big picture of 7+ billion people, 200 is hardly worth getting out of bed for.
What if I reach it? Then I just stop?
And what if I don’t? Have I failed?
It’s better to say my objective is to Guide as many people as possible, across many different media, to Discover Your Spark of WHO not what you are.
That leaves the door open for public presentations, book writing, podcasts, large-scale corporate talks, working with teams, leading workshops, courses and experiences, one-on-one coaching and so much more.
My objective is to be a multi-hyphenate Spark Guide. Period.
That inspires, excites and motivates me. Putting a number down on a piece of paper deflates, taunts and makes me want to climb back into bed.
If all you’ve heard up to this point is that to succeed in life you must be illogical, then you’ve heard too much. While that statement is partially true there’s another necessary piece that is critical to your success. That piece is something known as “it.” You gotta have “it.”Illogical 217
I love Chapter 15 because it is Spark work. It’s the intentional digging to find “it,” to find your Spark. What did you love as a child? What are you good at? What draws your attention? What do you dream about?
Illogical is a word that many people shy away from. Most of us long to make order of our lives and sense of our journey. But what if that’s not the true purpose of our existence?
What if, instead, we’re here to bring forth our Spark to serve whomever we’re intended to serve as well as ourselves along the way?
What I appreciate about this book is that it doesn’t apologize for desiring greatness, it doesn’t diminish “failure” and it challenges us to get going right now. Not when we think we’re ready, when it’s comfortable or when someone else has opened the door and invited us in.
What Spark do you need to dig into more deeply so that it illuminates your path going forward? And what in the world are you waiting for?
Not sure what your Spark is? Start here and see if that doesn’t give you insight and motivation to get and keep going.