“You don’t need to worry about ideas. You only need to worry about understanding the true pains and problems that people are having. If you can do that, the right solution will come.” –Source
Which is more important to you: pursuing your interests or helping other people?
Why not make helping people your passion and marry the two?
I just listened to this podcast on starting a business out of nothing (quite literally nothing). I really, really recommend it.
“Shift your passion to improving people’s lives. A lot of people get stuck because they’re very focused on their own passions and skills. Shift your focus to what the pain of the customer is, and become passionate about improving their life.” –Dane Maxwell
I’ve taken on doing the coloring pages for our church once a month (or more if they need me). This was my first week. Pastor is preaching on Psalm 1, and the godly man’s life.
I love taking a concept and trying to put it into a picture: It’s an allegory, an illustration. You don’t understand it just by glancing; there is a story woven into the lines and swoops of the pen.
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
The Christian life is one of work; taking the principles God provides for us in His word and applying them to everyday tasks and relationships. God does not demand of His people that they work for their salvation, but that they rest in His finished work in Christ; we serve Him because we love Him and want to obey Him, not to earn our salvation.
It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.
But on the other hand, we are created for work. We are called to be fruitful for Christ, whether we’re washing dishes, driving, speaking with others, or building businesses. Our lives are not our own— we are to govern them according to God’s perfect, unchanging law. Take God at His word, and you’ll be surprised how He blesses it.
And it’s really exciting.
Feel free to download and print this image for the children in your life!
I never could figure the whole social media thing out. I had a business. I sold stuff. Okay. I’m supposed to start a Twitter account? Why? What am I going to do with it? Oh, a Facebook account too? And a Pinterest one? Instagram? Really? I can’t keep up with my personal correspondence, how am I supposed to post on fifteen social media sites every single day?
Well…..yeah. I haven’t figured all that out yet. But I’ve learned a few things.
1. I am a producer. My work is to make things to enrich people’s lives and make their work more valuable. I can’t give if I haven’t received. If I’m not filling my mind with good things and thinking on that which is true and noble and beautiful, I won’t have much to offer others.
2. I don’t have follow the rules. I am not in a season of life where I can devote my whole workday to art and the promotion of said art. That’s okay. I have important work that can’t be charted by how diligent I am on Twitter.
3. I don’t need to follow everybody to get exposure. Maybe that works…..for other people. But I’m not going to worry about that. This is where the “quality, not quantity” thing comes in. What does 2k followers do for for either me or them if neither of us have anything in common? It’s better to follow a handful of people that inspire you and that share your passions than to follow a million random people. Don’t fish for clients. Attract them.
The bottom line is: don’t kill yourself if you’re not doing everything ‘just right’. I’m not full-time with my illustration (far from it: it’s more of a hobby at this point, not a business), but there are really only a few key rules that I’ve learned from studying this: quality content and consistency. If you can put out your 90% best quality and show up consistently, you don’t need to worry about all the rules that, if you try to follow them all, will run you ragged.
About halfway through the designing process of this piece, I realized that it was strongly reminiscent of Captain Cook, the pet of Mr. Popper in the delightful storybook “Mr. Popper’s Penguins”. Don’t you agree?
I think I’ll be revisiting this little fellow. Adéliepenguins are so adorable.
The past few days I was listening to a talk called The Joy of Foodby Chef Francis Foucachon. I listened to this beautiful, thoughtful presentation while trying to juggle at least five different online ‘projects’ at once. Research this. Post about that. Oh, but first I must look this up! Oh man, I forgot to do that. Did I check this off my list? Oh, I’d better write this down before I forget it. Hey, that’s right, I need to do that too.
In the background of my random, disjointed ‘productivity’, Monsieur Foucachon was talking about the blessing of food and a dedicated meal time for family and friends to gather for an unrushed time to savor food and fellowship.
I paused the DVD and sat silent for a moment. That’s…..that’s honestly beautiful. I thought. I want to live like that. I never wanted to run from one activity to another. As a child I was a member of a slow-paced family (by American standards), but we still did our fair share of rushing to activities a few times a week. Staying at home every day would garner very little protest from me. I love home and building a home-culture— Someday I want to create a warm, welcoming sanctuary for my family to grow and for us to practice quiet, relationally warm hospitality.
And yet, even in my quiet introvertedness, I feel torn and rushed. I see the unending list of things I would like to learn and accomplish and study and pursue, and I feel as if I am being caught up in a whirlwind and I must sink to the floor and cover my head to hide from it all.
How do I balance it to have the productive life I believe is so important, and yet not be so rushed to be productive that I run past the beauty of life? Is savoring beauty, after all, a form of productivity? If I lay down a project I’ve set aside an hour to work on to stare in wonder at a sunset shining through the woodlands, setting weeds and vines aglow with a magical brilliance, is it a good use of my time? I think it is. So I then it would follow that…..
Spending hours on crafting a beautiful meal served on attractive dishes and taking the time to set the table tastefully, even going outside for fifteen minutes to pick leaves and twigs for a centerpiece;
Lying on my bed reading to a small child who interrupted my studies;
Drawing a little scene on an envelope which needs to be mailed that morning;
Organizing the washroom decor to be more symmetrical and tasteful;
Instead of mindlessly eating in front of the laptop while I work, sitting down at the table and appreciating my meal– the colors, aroma, flavor, and texture;
These are not ‘distractions’ from my ‘real life’, my ‘productivity’, but rather crucial elements to creating a life of thankful beauty instead of a life of chaos.
This is a seed-thought. It pleads to be pondered. The subject of beauty itself is something that calls for study. And I mean to study it.
[image: a piece of beauty I created for a friend this week]