Finish Book Summary - Finish Book explained in key points
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Finish summary

Jon Acuff

Give Yourself the Gift of Done

4.4 (251 ratings)
14 mins

Brief summary

Finish by Jon Acuff is a practical guide for those who struggle with completion. Acuff debunks common myths about perfectionism, provides strategies for overcoming obstacles, and offers advice for achieving our goals with consistency and joy.

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    Nothing in life is perfect, and the real work of finishing a project begins after the first sign of imperfection.

    We’ve all been there: you start an exciting new project, but somewhere along the line, it stalls and remains unfinished. Our excuses are always the same, as we’ll tell ourselves or others that “life just got in the way,” or “I was never able to get back on track.”

    But if we’re being truthful, a more accurate explanation is “I quit once it stopped being perfect,” because the real roadblock to finishing our projects is perfectionism.

    Any plan can be ruined by perfectionism. Once, the author, Jon Acuff, began a new year with an ambitious new exercise regime. It started off perfectly, with over 70 miles run in the months of February, March and April. But then came May, and he only completed eight miles, followed by June, with only three. With his excellent streak ruined, Acuff gave up.

    Acuff had the same thought a lot of us have: “If it’s not perfect, then it’s not worth doing.” But this is dangerous thinking, because nothing in life is perfect and no one should go around thinking everything will go their way. If we limit ourselves to perfect work, we’d never accomplish anything!

    Instead, it’s best to expect imperfection and understand that when it arrives, the real work begins.

    It’s normal for imperfection to arrive first thing on Monday morning. Before you even sit down at your desk, there may well be multiple problems that need fixing. How you deal with these imperfections, and how you proceed once they arrive, is what determines your success in meeting goals.

    In fact, it’s the actions on the day after something went wrong that separate the quitters from the achievers. Did you skip the gym and sleep in instead? Did your diet go out the window after you devoured a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts one afternoon?

    The day after imperfections like these are when you need to accept that life is messy, and push on with your goals. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that excellence can only be achieved through perfection when, in reality, perfectionism is the killer of excellence.

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    What is Finish about?

    Finish (2017) is a guidebook for anyone who loves starting new projects but always struggles to complete them. You’ll discover how the real enemy to getting things done isn’t laziness, but rather the voice of the disgruntled perfectionist we all have inside us. This valuable advice can help you reduce needless, self-imposed pressure, giving you the opportunity to finish what you’ve started and be more productive.

    Finish Review

    Finish (2017) by Jon Acuff is a motivating book that explores strategies to overcome procrastination and finish what you start. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It provides practical, actionable techniques to help readers move past perfectionism and achieve their goals.
    • Through real-life stories and relatable examples, the book offers insights and strategies that are both informative and inspiring.
    • The book's humorous tone and relatable anecdotes make it a captivating read, ensuring that it is anything but boring.

    Best quote from Finish

    Developing tolerance for imperfection is the key factor in turning chronic starters into consistent finishers.

    —Jon Acuff
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    Who should read Finish?

    • Creative types struggling to finish projects
    • Anyone who wants to build their self-esteem
    • Ambitious people looking for new avenues of self-improvement

    About the Author

    Jon Acuff began his current career with a popular blog and has become a sought-after public speaker who’s inspired many to live a happier, more productive life. He is also the creator of “30 Days of Hustle,” an online challenge to help people reach their goals. His other books include the New York Times best sellers, Start, Do Over and Quitter.

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    Finish FAQs 

    What is the main message of Finish?

    The main message of Finish is to overcome perfectionism and complete goals.

    How long does it take to read Finish?

    The reading time for Finish varies, but it typically takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Finish a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Finish is worth reading for its practical tips and motivation to finish what you start.

    Who is the author of Finish?

    Jon Acuff is the author of Finish.

    What to read after Finish?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Finish, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Brave, Not Perfect by Reshma Saujani
    • The Lazy Genius Way by Kendra Adachi
    • The Perfectionist's Guide to Losing Control by Katherine Morgan Schafler
    • Time and How to Spend It by James Wallman
    • I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t) by Brené Brown
    • Drop the Ball by Tiffany Dufu
    • Atomic Habits by James Clear
    • Stillness Is the Key by Ryan Holiday
    • How Highly Effective People Speak by Peter Andrei
    • The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg