“Wow Finch, when you crash…., you know, you really crash spectacularly!!”
This is what a good friend said to me over the summer this year. Might sound a little harsh but anyone who knows me knows i like to be told it straight. Truth is he was right – I did spectacularly crash over the summer – the previous 6 months had seen my wife be so ill she was bedridden for a time, the business go through a long, bad time that had pushed us to the brink, the band I’d been in for 10 years came to an end and we’d had real problems selling the house after a major flood.
In fact most of what I’d worked at during my twenties had seemingly fallen apart and I’d truly lost my mojo! Now at the point we spoke, there were significant signs that things were improving in all the areas I mentioned above but it became apparent that I hadn’t really dealt with some underlying issues. This had become clear 5 minutes earlier, before the statement above when my friend had asked me a little, fairly inocuous question, but it had hit a nerve and I basically went into meltdown in front of him. We both realised I’d been bottling stuff up for months when it came to the implications and emotions that came out of the things that were going on.
I had to make a plan to get things sorted and then go about actioning it. In short, I needed to break down the areas of my life that I felt where core to who I was and put in checks and balances in each.
..now, 4 months later, things are much better all round and I probably feel more peaceful and content than I ever have! In direct answer to the above, my wife is better, business is booming, I have a new musical direction that’s starting to gather momentum and we’re renovating a new house after selling our old one. But more than all this I feel that underlying my surface activities I have a strong sense of why I am doing them and to what priority.
In short, I have become a lot more ‘intentional‘. Everything has a reason and a purpose and I regularly ascertain and communicate how i feel about things to my wife and other key people in my life for each area.
Starting at the top:
1. As a Christian my central starting place and highest priority is ascertaining God’s will for me through studying his character (reading the bible, listening to preaches, reading books etc etc) and direct prayer to discern his leading in helping make the most out of my years here. It is my belief that if I get this number one priority and part of my life in order and I have father-son relationship with God then my rationale, reasoning, decision making and emotional response to everything should pretty much fall into place. (I’m not saying this doesn’t take a lot of effort but it’s the only place that makes sense to start – and it’s what God also suggests in the bible!)
2. The most important relationship I have on earth is with my wife and she needs to come before everything else. I need to cherish and prefer her in all situations and work at our marriage as I know that peace & happiness in the home means more to me than aything else – it’s a foundation for both of us. Now, this is actually not as hard as it may sound as I am confident in the knowledge that she looks to honour me and prefer me too. She’s a visionary and secure in herself and we can talk openly about how we can support and love one another in the context of all our activities knowing that, yes, we’re both striving to make the most out of life, but not at the sacrifice of each other.
That said, there is always work to be done managing expectations and demands from work and music (detailed below) to make sure there is a balance – hence the statement on my diagram! This will obviously been an even bigger factor when kids come along.
I also make mention of family here too. It is my belief God has given priorities for life in order to make us successful and these are: 1. God 2. Spouse 3. Kids 4. Parents then other family. 5. Work 6. the rest….. (I’m sure theologians might be aghast at my simplicity here and in my diagram but hey, it’s my blog so there! 🙂
3. After my wife comes my work. Like most of us, I spend most of my time at work – there’s no other activity that I spend 40+ hours each week doing so I may as well LOVE IT!! 🙂 There are key things that I’ve noticed over the course of my life that fascinate and motivate me both personally but also commercially:-
- I love being involved in design and creative thinking,
- I love gadgets, gizmo’s and technology in general and how it make life that bit better / more efficient
- I love working with people and seeing teams come together to achieve something as a whole that the sum of the parts could not hope to achieve.
- All of these things I love in the context of growing business and they’re all transferable in many ways they just happen to be greatly fullfilled in my work at Mando Group
This might sound all a bit romantic and in truth I am particularly motivated at the minute and this is one of the reasons I wanted to blog this – if the bad times come again I can have a point of reference.
4. After my work comes my main love in life – Music. I was in a band for a long time, largely for the same reasons – creativity, people and the whole being great than the sum of the musical parts. We achieved a lot and it was fun meeting new people in different places. It was also a fantastic creative escape and, in a counter-intuitive way, actually kept me sane and motivated at work and in other areas of life knowing I always have this to fall back on and escape to.
Now life is taking a different direction. I am a solo artist, playing a different musical style and this brings a whole range of new challenges and excitement.
I have also settled the whole ‘I want to be a rockstar’ thing. I spent too much time wishing and not enjoying music and I’ve now met enough full time musicians who are dependant on their music for their income and lifestyle and I realise that for me, I have it pretty good being able to do a hobby at such a large scale. I am settled in this.
5. …and then there’s the rest of life – I’m fortunate to have great friends, a great church, the ability to travel, play sport etc and I do my best to approach all these elements with love and passion but, again I have settled that I’m not going to be surf-bum who travels round the world with mates – I have much more important life goals!
So, yes, here is me being intentional. It’s actually done me good writing this down and capturing it all. If anyone else does read this then I hope it helps you too 🙂