Start by Not Doing the Wrong Thing

Sometimes it's difficult to do know if we're doing the "right thing" or not. We might question whether something is our "calling" or if we were meant for something else. We might be jealous of someone else's career or lifestyle. We might struggle with FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and feel like if we're not doing everything we're missing out on "that one thing."

Start by Not Doing the Wrong Thing

Here's how "all the cool things happen to me."

You know those moments when something wonderful and unexpected happens? I get butterflies and have to do all that I can to not shout at the top of my lungs. Well one of these things happened for me just the other day. Thank goodness I was in my car and could shout as loud as I wanted (though I wonder what the people next to me at the stoplight were thinking).

Here's how "all the cool things happen to me."

Decide you want it more than you're afraid of it.

This past week has been a whirlwind for me. So many things were going on and in the midst of it all, I said "yes!" to two opportunities which will require a lot of me. Both opportunities come with significant time investments and responsibilities that I've never had before (basically, I have no clue what I'm doing). When I finally get a moment to sit down on the couch and think about everything that just happened I can get freaked out a little bit. I can begin to worry about all of the what if's that make taking this step a little (lot) scary.

Decide you want it more than you're afraid of it.

A Guide to Becoming the Most Interesting Person in the Room

WARNING: This will not necessarily make you the most productive, wealthy, happy, fulfilled, attractive, accomplished, politically correct, intelligent, healthy or stable person in the room. Only the most interesting.

A Guide to Becoming the Most Interesting Person in the Room

Do those closest to you respect you most?

If we are only respected at a surface level, we'll be tempted to keep all of our relationships shallow and never be vulnerable with anyone. Secondly, I believe that keeping greatness under wraps shows a level of humility that is echoed through Scripture when Jesus tells us, "But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing," (Matthew 6:3). 

Do those closest to you respect you most?

Making Room for Intimacy

The most beautiful example of this, of course, is Christ. He, as the groom and we, as the bride, are in this deeply intimate relationship. And while He holds every power of the universe within a single breath, He releases us be our own person, make our own mistakes and choose our own path. Of course, the deeper we are in relationship with Him, we discover our path begins to align with His as He guides us through His Word and His Spirit, constantly presenting us with truth, calling us to follow Him but then letting us do with it what we will. Sometimes we'll make decisions that aren't the best for us. And in those mistakes where we realize that we're messy, we press in to His truth and His love and find intimacy waiting for us.

Making Room for Intimacy

Your Mind: Warehouse or Laboratory?

I Google things all day e'ry day. Rarely is there a day that goes by where I'm not looking up a definition, a wikipedia article or a "how-to" video on YouTube. If I'm curious about something, I don't have to flip through encyclopedias or wade through volumes of textbooks... heck, I don't even have to spell it correctly when I search! Because the internet opens doors for us to explore our existence with a few finger-clicks and a couple scrolls.

Your Mind: Warehouse or Laboratory?

On the Power of Notetaking

The importance of note-taking isn't to be underestimated. It may seem like a strange practice to try to master, but once you do you decrease your frustrations, increase your put-together-ness, have better ideas, remember more clearly and can lift a burden from your mind.

On the Power of Notetaking

How design thinking can help us build habits, achieve goals, and solve problems.

Any time I design another website or another email, I'm challenged to take something people already know and create something that's unique. Familiar with a twist. This is what's known as Vuja de (the opposite of Deja vou where you feel like you've already experienced a situation). It's experiencing something you've already experienced a thousand times but feeling like it's the first. It's looking at something you know with a fresh perspective.

How design thinking can help us build habits, achieve goals, and solve problems.

The gift is nothing without the work.

I'm constantly blown away by the talented people that surround me in my city, my church, my creative community and my family. People who have a knack for words, dance or paint. People who have invested hours upon hours of time and energy into their craft, honing the rough edges and discovering the nuances that make all the difference.

The gift is nothing without the work.

This Overlooked Skill Set Will Compound Your Success

The world is rapidly changing and, according to the Department of Labor, an estimated 65% of current students will be employed in job roles that haven't even been created yet. There's no doubt that this is a confusing time to make assumptions about which skills will be relevant 5 years after you graduate and which won't.

This Overlooked Skill Set Will Compound Your Success

An Invitation to Intimacy

In the military, officers and drill sergeants are tasked with the grueling responsibility of breaking down a civilian and building them back up as a soldier. In the process, recruits have every metaphorical rug yanked from beneath them — comfort, victory, security, love, belonging... all stripped away. Pushed to exhaustion and on the verge of collapse, these men and women have only one assurance on which to rely: their brothers and sisters next to them. Story after story is told of men and women who, even when their own personal will to press on had faded, looked to their right and their left and leaned in to the challenges because they refused to let each other down. Within months, complete strangers became family.

An Invitation to Intimacy

The Foundation of Creating Something Iconic

This past week I attended the CROP design conference in Baton Rouge where I was privileged to listen to and meet some of my design heroes. One such designer — the king of thick lines himself — was Aaron Draplin of Draplin Design Company. He's known all over the world for his obsession with classic design — designs that worked 50 years ago and continue to work today. Their secret, he says, lies in their sense of clarity and utility. A state of being almost "undesigned".

The Foundation of Creating Something Iconic

The Beauty of Constraints

Rules are a meta-cognitive substitution for willpower. They allow us to eliminate options that won't be good for us, saving us from unnecessarily using willpower to make mundane decisions. For example, you and your spouse might make a rule of, "no Netflix until after we run" and hold each other accountable.

The Beauty of Constraints

Our Responsibility to Grow

We live in a culture that is teaching blanket-statement tolerance — as long as you love and embrace it, so will we. Anything goes. While having tolerance for some things is a considered a virtue, tolerance for others is simply foolishness. Our culture worships pop stars who sing about being "born this way" and overweight models who are embracing their unhealthy lifestyles. But if anyone speaks out against such things, they're ostracized for being intolerant of another person.

Our Responsibility to Grow

A broken city is your invitation to serve, not leave.

You can shout excuses at me about funding, infrastructure and politics all you want but unless you've put your energy and resources behind a push for change, I'm betting you're just a complainer like the rest. Is there something in your city that you don't like? Maybe that's your invitation to go serve there. It's your city — start shaping it into what you want it to become.

A broken city is your invitation to serve, not leave.

Can you aim for success and still be creative?

Within the creative industry, success is the s-word. It's that thing that you're not supposed care about because it somehow taints the art if you do. No one wants to be a sell out; everyone wants to be authentic. So this new mindset arose out of the industry and every creative blog, book and TED talk will tell you that if you're authentic, you'll find success and even if you don't, well... you shouldn't be caring about it anyway so just keep doing you.

Can you aim for success and still be creative?

10 Ways Creating Space Can Change Your Life

When we purchase a new pair of shoes or a new set of tools, we're not purchasing them with the intent of cluttering up our lives. We purchase them because—at least in the moment—we believe that they'll bring us joy, comfort, convenience or utility. All of these things are inherently good so, at first glance, why shouldn't we add them to our lives?

The problem doesn't become clear until weeks, months or years down the road when we look up and realize our lives have been overrun with clutter from our closet to our schedule. Minimalism gives us the tools we need to preemptively shut down the clutter that wants to enter our lives or get rid of clutter that's already there in an effort to provide more room.

10 Ways Creating Space Can Change Your Life

Sacrificing "Good" at the Altar of "Great"

A few years ago, I may have encouraged you to "not give up" and "you can do it all if you really want it bad enough." Today, I know better. Today, I realize that a life of more doesn't necessarily equal a life of fulfillment and joy. Rather, some things — even some good things — have to be sacrificed so that the best things can be gained.

Don't take my word for it, take the word of a man who has built an empire — simplicity facilitates success.

Sacrificing "Good" at the Altar of "Great"

Embracing Life Requires Embracing Uncertainty

Uncertainty is scary. There's potential for loss, for pain and for difficulty. There's no guarantee of success or even opportunity. But for all of the risk that uncertainty brings, if you're not diving in headfirst, you'll never grow. Carol Dweck, a well-known Stanford University psychologist, introduced the concept of a growth mindset.

Embracing Life Requires Embracing Uncertainty

The Life-Giving Practice of Assuming Positive Intent

Assuming negative intent. It's a pandemic. People from every social class, race and religion are so quick to get their feathers ruffled at the slightest disagreement. Some injustices are worth your righteous anger. Others, however, aren't worth your attention and any lashing response can only be described as childish.

The Life-Giving Practice of Assuming Positive Intent

Start Infusing Google's 20% Time into the Classroom

Google is famous for their 20%-Time where, on Fridays, they allow their employees to work on personal projects on company time with company resources. The only catch is that they must present their projects to the rest of the team when they're through. This practice not only endears the employees to the company but also encourages creativity and passion within the employees. Solutions to tough problems, new ways of thinking and innovative products stem from these Fridays where Googlers are let loose to chase their own dreams. These sorts of practices, I believe, are worth looking at within other contexts beyond Google.

What would happen if, on Fridays, schools turned into incubators of creativity and passion?

Start Infusing Google's 20% Time into the Classroom

Simplifying the Dormant Clutter

Two things happened in the past week that reminded me of the weight of dormant responsibilities. The first was that I filed my taxes and, rather than file only my W2 from my employer, I had to file for the minimal amount of freelance income through my photography/design business I started 3 years ago. The second was that I got a notice in the mail that my business account had been overdrawn for seven days and I owed the bank $4.34. I had mostly emptied my business account and it has lain dormant for nearly a year now since I've started at the creative agency but rather than shut it down, I had left it open, accumulating small fees here and there that slowly eaten away at the few remaining dollars that I had left in the account.

Simplifying the Dormant Clutter

Supercharging Your Learning by Teaching

You always think you know something until someone asks you if you wouldn't mind standing up and explaining it to the class. When you're standing there in the spotlight with every ear tuned in to what YOU have to say, you suddenly wonder if you ever knew it at all.

Supercharging Your Learning by Teaching