Book Review: Soundtracks by Jon Acuff

I’d never thought to call them “soundtracks,” those voices in my head that have an opinion about everything I do. (Sometimes they sound like my mom.

But more than anything, it’s my own voice and it’s often not positive. Until I read Jon Acuff’s new book Soundtracks, I’d never thought to name that as overthinking and do something about it. I’m so glad I read this because it has already been a game changer, with lots of easy and quick to apply lessons for me. 

Jon defines overthinking this way: “when what you think gets in the way of what you want.” Using that framework, he made me realize how often I do that and what a productivity killer it is. 

The book is loaded with practical suggestions to combat overthinking. Here are a two that resonated with me:

  • Borrow from the best – I don’t have to come up with new soundtracks on my own. I can borrow from the famous and the close by. He even makes suggestions that I am using. I’ve also started paying attention to the people around me and gotten some good ones there.
  • Don’t fight it, flip it – Once I identify the negative things I’m telling myself, rewrite the soundtrack. Instead of “This will never work,” I’m trying “This is a great idea with a lot to learn from it.

Soundtracks offers tons of suggestions for new soundtracks to replace the broken ones. My new favorite is “Feeling uncomfortable is just a sign that my old comfort zone is having a hard time keeping up with me.” Anyone want to join me in claiming that one? 

A few years ago, I was delighted to meet Jon when he spoke at the Nonprofit Leadership Center of Tampa Bay’s Leadership Conference. Since then, I’ve read (and laughed through) all of his books. He mixes humor and practical advice in a way that sticks with me. This latest does not disappoint. I laughed, I highlighted and I’m on a path to replace my broken soundtracks. 

Grab your copy today and join me! After all, we could all stand to be a little nicer to the person we spend the most time with – ourselves.

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