Maybe We’re Not Meant to Be Productive


Everything about my life lately has had this incredibly accelerated pace. Every hour is hyper-saturated with urgent tasks, to-dos, actions to be taken. It’s as though somehow, I’m holding myself to the same standards that I expect from the technology I use daily for work, entertainment, and communication:Always on, always at the ready, performing simultaneous functions, repeatedly, without tiring. This is of course, the purpose of technological innovation: to tirelessly and efficiently perform these computations and functions at increasingly rapid rates. Read More

Motivation and social validation


I’ve been thinking a great deal about motivation this weekend how it ties into the questions we’ve been asking about productivity and purpose, creativity and building a body of work that lasts.

Motivation is a tremendous force. It’s the reason we do things.The source of compulsion, the origination of purpose, the impetus.

Next to language, I would argue that it’s the most significant thing that shapes us. On some level it’s why we communicate, reach out, connect, create, take short cuts, go the long way, build something lasting or temporary, make something useful or superficial. It’s the invisible, forceful magic that moves us to make or make new, to conceive or re-conceive, to make love or make war, to ask and to answer.

And when it comes to exploring the question of what it means to make a creative life now, we must inevitably dive into the question every advertiser and psychologist and teacher, leader and preacher, and rabbi and rebel asks:

What motivates us?

What motivates us particularly to do the work of making a creative life one in which we both make a mark on the world, and are marked by it; inspired and inspiring; filled with wonder, and creators of wonder?

What I’m particularly curious about, is how the digital landscape and social networks in particular amplify certain motivations, and create powerful feedback loops of social validation that make us feel creative even when we’re only re-sharing, repinning or remixing the original creative work of someone else.

“Not caring what people think cuts you off from connection. Being defined by what they think cuts you off from creativity.”

~ Brene Brown

To understand social networks affect our motivation and in turn our creativity. I’ve been going back to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Creativity is at the tip top of the pyramid: driven by a motive for self actualization. 
But below that, are other needs that must be met first: particularly love and belonging, and esteem.

I’m wondering if the increase in all our social participation online which has also resulted in a decrease in face-to-face engagement within our communities offline points to a widening unmet cultural need for esteem, love, and belonging?

We’re addicted, almost, to social validation online. It’s incredibly rewarding, and the reward motivates us to seek more in turn. Why is social validation such a powerful trigger for us culturally right now?

Arguably, we’ve always been motivated by social validation by the esteem of others but immediate our access to it has been radically altered by technology. Is it is simple as that? Or is there a swelling unmet need for connection, real, and earnest and lasting the touch of each other’s hands, the breaking and sharing of real bread that in it’s absence creates an ever increasing desire for the instantaneous and perpetual validation of our friends, followers and circles online?

I’d love to know what you think drives us to seek social validation online, and how does this hunger inspire or hinder our creative work over time?

My First Week Alone

Thanks John sharing this post.

After a crazy move-in experience, I have officially been on my own for a week!

What I attempted to do in one day turned into a full week of moving. The very first thing that happened was it rained. And by rain, I mean torrential pour down. Due to the rain, the people that were supposed to help me had to cancel and so it was me and my mom moving boxes in for a bit. When I first arrived to pick up my keys, the person working the desk did not have access to them, so it was a little anxiety filled wait for those. Upon entering the apartment, we found that the glass sliding door was broken the handle was not even attached. Good thing there was the Charlie lock, but part of that was broken as well. Fortunately, they were able to fix this within a couple hours. I was able to try the emergency maintenance process out and they did a fabulous job (Hopefully, there will be no more emergency maintenance work that will need to be done). Read More

How We Began


I am going to take you guys all the way back to the beginningat least to when I met my spouse.

When we first met, I did not know at all what I was getting into. I didnt know that she was not going to be the man that I thought I married. That is rightwhen we met she was still going as a he. Jen had not yet come out; she was still living as Billy. We hit it off right away. I loved being around him so much. By time we had our first official date we had decided we wanted to get married and he proposed. We got married a month later. I was so happy. Read More

Worship Scheduling


I get asked all the time how we do our worship scheduling at New Life. Planning Center has become a lifesaver for us all…. Usually around the 15th of the month I will send out a reminder to our worship teams to block out any dates that they are not available to be scheduled for worship team. I typically wait a few days for people to lock in their block out dates and then I will start the scheduling process. A lot of churches use the auto scheduling feature, but for worship team that can get complicated with getting the right mix of people scheduled together (or not scheduled together…). So, I use an excel spreadsheet like the one below to do a rough draft of the schedule before entering it into Planning Center. This helps see the big picture of the month (and helps me not forget anyone) before throwing names in Planning Center. Read More