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All Groan Up: Fight for Inspiration

All Groan Up: Fight for Inspiration

Editor’s note: Graduation season is almost upon us. Many, many college seniors the world over have a major case of spring fever mixed with the daunting unknown ahead. They are sick to death of dorm living, dining commons food, 2:00 am pizza parties cramming for tests, and they’re growing more excited by the day to don their mortarboard and polyester gown. And yet they’re wondering the same nerve-wracking question: What now? Paul Angone shares his painful yet funny story of struggle, hope, failure, and doubts in the twilight zone of growing up and being grown, connecting with his twenty-something post-college audience with raw honesty, laugh-out-loud humor, and hope.

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Every no is leading you toward a bigger yes.

I promise it’s true.

As a writer, leader, entrepreneur, husband, wife, dreamer, you sometimes have to be willing to fail first.

The hero always experiences an “all is lost” moment before the dramatic rise. You can’t create a masterpiece without mashing, sculpting, and molding the clay — and then throwing the whole thing in the fire.

World changers typically have their greatest impact where they have experienced the most personal pain.

For me this road has been anything but easy, and I still have a long way to go. But I needed to learn how to walk on in spite of failure and rejection if I was going to try to help people do the same. And be fine with looking like a darn fool on many occasions along the way.

I learned that those we partner with can make or break the whole ride. In business, in friendships, in love, in faith. If we partner with people out of desperation or fear, if we choose relationships from our insecurities, if we don’t choose wisely the people who walk with us, it will make the journey a lot more perilous than it has to be. With all the stumbles and falls coming our way, we need some secure people to pick us up.

I’ve learned that most of the time we don’t choose between chasing our dream and paying the bills. We do both at the same time. For years. The job feeding us while we work on our dream. And the dream feeding us while we work at our job.

I learned that if we’re going to get up at 5:00 a.m. to work on our dream before we drive in at 8:00 a.m. to work at our work, we better love the process of our dream more than just the desired outcome.

And really the truth is that you don’t chase a dream; you grow one. It’s just like a farmer whose whole existence relies on one simple belief: If we plant something in good soil and consistently water it, God will spark life underground.

Sometimes the most inspired thing you can do is to just keep showing up when inspiration is out on a Caribbean cruise and not returning any of your phone calls. You can only find inspiration by continuing to move forward when you’re completely uninspired. The act of doing can often be the only thing that can dislodge the motivation that has been stuck.

You don’t wait for inspiration; you fight for it!

So if you don’t know what your dream is, do something. Try something. Take a chance. As you pursue something, the main thing you thought you were pursuing may slowly fade away as the actual main thing begins to reveal itself.

Watch the All Groan Up Video

Excerpted with permission from All Groan Up: Searching For Self, Faith, And A Freaking Job! by Paul Angone, copyright Zondervan, 2015.


Your Turn

What dream have you contemplated giving up that you need to start pursuing again? Join the conversation on the blog! We’d love to hear from you!