pretty good advice…

At the start of the new millennium the Dalai Lama apparently issued eighteen rules for living. Here they are – I’m loving 5! ūüėČ >>>>>>>

  1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
  2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
  3. Follow the three Rs:
    1. Respect for self
    2. Respect for others
    3. Responsibility for all your actions.
  4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
  5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
  6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
  7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
  8. Spend some time alone every day.
  9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
  10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
  11. Live a good, honourable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.
  12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
  13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
  14. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
  15. Be gentle with the earth.
  16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
  17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
  18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
Posted in family/relationships, People | 1 Comment

12

Do less,

tell stories.

And all in good time

embrace creativity,

have faith,

head the house,

change perspective,

be dad,

lose plan b,

ask for help.

Delight.

And wait…

Posted in Belief, Faith, psychology | Leave a comment

Letting go and letting God

Had an interesting experience last night.

Asher, our 15 month-old boy, started having croup at about 9.30pm. We rung the doctor but in parallel I just felt really strongly that I needed to pray and not just rely on medicine. I picked him and started praying but really had nothing to say in English so I started praying in tongues.

I just paced up and down the hall and landing in prayer.

While doing so I felt really strongly that I should keep going till the cough went. Slowly his breathing became easier and the cough more intermittent until he was quite peaceful. I then put him down without a complaint and he slept through.

It was a pretty powerful and profound event actually and, I feel something more significant than just God answering a simple prayer for Asher.  I think there was something applicable to the rest of my life.  Given:

  • in Asher‚Äôs case there was no way he could intelectualise or theologise faith ‚Äď he was dependant on me to pray for him.
  • I haven‚Äôt got a clue what I actually prayed because it was in tongues so there was nothing in me that was getting in the way or praying the wrong thing
  • The whole experience was just a God thing ‚Äď based on a non-thought-through instinctual response.

…I think God was saying: ‚Äúok son, give up, chill, let me even do the praying for you for a time. All I want you to do is stay obedient and faithful‚ÄĚ

…and so that’s what I’m going to do.

Posted in Belief, Faith | 5 Comments

Immersion

Another thing that really struck me about last month’s Recreate Conference was the collaboration between the musicians, speakers, artists, conference leaders but also, and particularly, the PA guys and tech crew.

Everything and everyone worked in harmony to create a truly immersive experience.

A few highlights were:

  • the 1211 band leading worship straight after Communion. ¬†They came in as the communion was finishing, all sat in a circle all facing inward and the rest of us (about 150) sat around them. ¬†There was no sense of performers/audience – we were all in it together, looking at each other, singing along; interacting. ¬†Plus it was SO VERY COOL seeing it all be led from the drums!
  • During the worship time one morning¬†Brock Gill joined in and made a point about being filled with the spirit. ¬†Being an illusionist he did this by arranging three bowls and filling them with water – nothing unusual in that but the bowls never got full and the jug he was using never emptied! ¬†In context it was a very powerful way of describing the infinite, untapped blessings God has for us and we just need to be in a permanent state of being filled
  • The Andrew Peterson show where his various band members did mini gigs acoustically or stripped down and then the main event was a full-on multi-musician extravaganza. ¬†Through each ‘movement’ the lights changed, the sound swelled and changed –¬†the whole experience was multi-sensory.

In the latter days of the conference the CEO of Audio ethics, the tech crew spoke on his approach to his ministry/job. ¬†He was properly into the science of light and sound and how it affects human emotions.¬†He knows what level of light causes reverence, what causes chatter, how different hues and intensity effect mood and so on. ¬†He works in sync with speakers, artists, musicians to make everything seamless. ¬†His heart is to effectively communicate the word of God and he’s a master of craft fully understanding how best to facilitate communication – even as far as how different nationalities / cultures respond to different freq’s of sound and light.

I’m really inspired by this and want to work hard to support the cohesion of teams at church and make sure there’s never any sense of ‘them and us’ with regards the tech crew and musicians. ¬†I want to get to a place where we’re really pushing things hard in video, light, sound as different specialist disciplines all working in unison.

I want to create an immersive experience every time we meet as a church…or for that matter every time I’m involved in anything – it’s so much more powerful.

Posted in Faith, Music, psychology, Technology | Tagged | 2 Comments

“The lost art of the sentence”

…this is a quote from Andrew Peterson during his interview with Randy Elrod at the Recreate Conference.

Andrew is an amazing singer/songwriter and Founder of the Rabbit Room and quite the Artisan – he’s all about his craft. He was discussing how, in his view, in the modern world we knock out books, we write chapters, we blast through paragraphs but we’ve stopped crafting the sentence – we don’t take time over the detail.

During his talk it was almost a passing comment but it really stuck with me. As a singer/songwriter myself but particularly as a worship leader and business leader I’m regularly in a place where my ability to convey an idea or capture a moment is everything I rely on. And yet, really, truly, how often do I take the time to actually ‘craft’ my sentences?

If I’m honest – not often.

I’m a wing-it kind of guy and I’m often at my strongest acting on the spur of the moment or dealing with situations on the fly but I’ve felt really challenged of late not to let this strength become an excuse. I want to write and record a worship album this year and I’m engaged in an increasing amount of public speaking at work

…and so ‘the lost of the sentence’ is buzzing round my head reminding me that I need to really sit down and craft my words.

Andrew Peterson played a show at Recreate with his fellow artists at Rabbit Room all of whom were amazing – particularly Andy Gullahorn – these guys REALLY knows how to craft a lyric – exquisite emotion but enough ambiguity to let you paint your own picture and own what they’re saying – you NEED to check their stuff out!

Another inspiration was Ken Davis on his talk about living as a Creative. I mentioned him in my last blog but he deserves mention again as a master craftsman of public speaking. For 45 mins he just told a few stories and one minute you were laughing and one minute you were crying – It was SO engaging.

The most striking thing though was when I looked at my notes.

I’ve pasted them below, just as I’d written them down listening to his stories – look at them – no mention of his stories in of themselves, just total life application for me – one sentence after another with the most profound truth (check the last one out – this is exactly what he did!):

Healthy relationships work through conflict. There’s no such a thing as no conflict

Most people long to be alive and don’t feel even close

Creatives only feel good when they’re living to the maximum extent

The Glory of God is man fully alive

Millions of people die at 25 but don’t get buried till 75. They die with their song still in them

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection (this came from another master communicator – Paul!)

This life is not a waiting room for heaven

Comfortable, neutral, lazy & boring – a life of leisure is a life of death

Life comes from discipline

A body in motions stay in motion, a body in rest, rests in peace

Do I do what I do to live or to make a living?

The opposite of discipline is death

Failure is the price tag of success

We’re called to run the race not win it

Creatives should inspire other creatives as well as doing the business themselves

This guy has mastered the art of the sentence!

And I plan to as well…

As well as some great new songs, hopefully I might even blog a bit better in the future too!

Posted in Belief, Business, Faith, People, psychology, work | Tagged | 2 Comments

I AM “A CREATIVE”

…there you go I’ve said it.

I AM A CREATIVE!

Might seem funny to hear a musician and web designer making a proclamation of this fact but the truth is I’ve never really been able to say it before. ¬†That is, before¬†this year’s¬†Recreate Conference in Franklin TN, and particularly the specific elements of the ¬†keynote speeches from¬†Randy Elrod *(particularly)¬†and Ken Davis on what it is to be ‘a creative’ i.e. someone who is quintessentially definable as such.

I think up to that point to call myself ‘a’ creative rather than someone who ‘applies creativity’ or who ‘is’ creative would have been to call myself ‘a flake’ or ‘someone that think’s everyone else should pay for their self indulgence.’ ¬† Quite possibly because of the logical / scientific side of my personality; possibly because I’m a businessman that deals with the realities of the design industry daily, or maybe simply because I’m english (and we typically don’t want to create a fuss!) I’ve just generally had a problem with the associating myself with the moniker. ¬†I haven’t liked the kinds of people it often brings to mind – disorganised, head-in-the-clouds, self-absorbed drop-outs… ¬† (harsh? ¬†yeah, probably but I’m trying to articulate a negative starting point!)

But now I don’t. ¬†There’s too much evidence in my life of the ¬†personality traits defined as being in the character make-up a person commonly as being ‘a creative’. ¬†Here are just a few examples that spoke to me the most:

A creative has a generally more emotionally-charged form of Empathy

Randy identified the forms of empathy as being:

  • Cognitive empathy – understanding intellectually how someone feels
  • Emotional empathy – feeling how someone feels
  • Compassionate empathy – ¬†it’s like your living it with them

A Creative is more likely to be a compassionate empath. ¬†This means they have some great strengths but also some very clear weaknesses. ¬†In a simple example I know I’m best deployed at work when shaping the future, putting teams together, generally inspiring. I’m not best dealing with things like disciplinary or other HR processes where I may get so involved in someone’s story that it makes it a very emotionally draining process whereas someone with cognitive empathy will be able to do something sensitively but dispassionately.

A creative person is intuitive.

The spirit is to the soul what the mind is to the body and we need to understand our spiritual mind and remain connected to that which feeds the soul.  As a creative I think you have a natural awareness when something is missing, when the spark is gone Рeither in yourself or whatever you are objective considering.

Often times I have a general feeling about something well before I can articulate it. ¬†For a long time I’ve forced this part of me down in favour of working through a logical process. ¬†Because it’s describable and traceable I trust the logical process much more but as I’ve got older I’ve been able to speed this rationalisation process up and time and again my natural intuition has been proven right, even if I may early thoughts as to maybe why something is the case have been wrong.

An Interesting fact in all this is that almost all kids are scientifically validated as being ‘highly creative’ on a creativity scale – the results diminish as follows over time:

  • 90% aged 5
  • 70% aged 7
  • 5% (5!!) aged 18+

We need to be more attentive to our creative spirit generally. ¬†I’ve always felt being childlike in life has immense value.

A Creative person is charismatic.

Charisma, apparently, can be defined as the ability to help people feel intimate in a none-intimate space. Charismatic¬†people are people comfortable in their own skin ¬†(Charis = grace. ¬†Grace =God in us. ¬†It’s the fruit of truly understanding freedom you could argue). ¬†Other people have recognised me as being someone who doesn’t change when in different circumstances or social circles. ¬†Being authentic has always been important to me as has being¬†attentive to my own emotions ¬†(even if its not agreeing with myself that I’m having the correct emotional response to something and figuring that out) as has been trying my best to focus on other people and reacting accordingly. Someone once advised¬†– are you listening or planning what you’re saying next?

A Creative only feels good when they’re living to the maximum extent.

This is SO true of me. ¬†For YEARS I’ve put myself down as just being a discontent or at worst ungrateful. ¬†But actually, hearing this is so much more life-affirming a validating – of course you’re going to feel discontent if you’re quintessential nature as a creative means that you need to live life to the maximum extent. ¬†I need new projects, new learning, new experiences, new places to visit. ¬†And I don’t feel bad about it! How freeing!

Creatives inspire other creatives as well as doing the business themselves.

One of the reason’s I love running a business, performing music or leading worship is that I love connecting with people. ¬†Now the truth is I’m an introvert – meaning I get energy by being on my own. ¬†People drain me, and yet I love the feeling of making something happen or being a part of something where the whole becomes greater than the sum of it’s parts. ¬†Where everyone moves forward together. Where everyone is inspired to reach higher, dreamer bigger, go further.

Creativity and Entrepreneurship go hand in hand.

So I look at my resume and that I’ve set up and run a web business, co-own a watersports school, produced numerous CDs (inc Supervision and Finchley as well as others) and have even commercially my house by always having lodgers…. and I reckon this is true!

So, in conclusion РI am a creative!  And actually, I look up at the above examples and feel quite content to be so.  I am free of seeing only the negative and am therefore going to be more a-tuned to preserving my creativity and living a life that protects it and lets it flourish.

Because it’s who I am and what I aspire to be.

Posted in Faith, family/relationships, Music, play, psychology, work | Tagged | 5 Comments

Recreate Conference

recreate songwriter's night

recreate songwriter's night

So last week I attended a gathering of creatives in Franklin, TN at a conference called Recreate. It was my first time there and a truly phenomenal experience. I was fortunate enough to be immersed in music, art, literature, theatre, business and a whole lot more besides alongside another 150 creative minds, speakers and leaders.

Checking through my Evernote notes there’s SO much to process and I figure the best way to do so would be to work through my notes and try and disseminate (or ‘diffuse’ as Randy would say) some key themes into some separate blogs. So watch this space over the next few days but in the meantime you can check out twitter:

Posted in Faith, Music, play, work | Tagged | Leave a comment

Thinking and Feeling – creating culture

You’ve got 3 bowls:

  1. One with hot water in which you have your left hand in
  2. One with cold water which you have your right hand in
  3. one in the middle with luke warm water

So what happens when you put both hands in the middle one?

You guessed it, your right hand will feel hot and your left will feel cold and yet they’ll be in the same environment…

And this is why we need to balance what we think and what we feel.

We’ve all know ‘feelers’ who seem to bounce from one drama to another on the roller coaster of life. ¬†And we all know thinkers – people who are so unruffled they go through the motions of life without seemingly a glimmer of emotion and often just ‘process’ the people they come into contact with. ¬†The two types can often be dismissive of one another too – calling one another flakes or robots respectively.

The truth is both ways of living are limited. ¬†The reality of the bowls example above is that whatever you might feel the environment is constant and it’s your previous experience and how that colours your senses which will determine what you understand. ¬† To fully appreciate what’s going on you need to know what you are experiencing but fully appreciate where you’ve been to get the full truth. ¬†If all you did was go on your feelings you’d come up with a nonsensical view of the water. ¬†If all you did was say what you knew to be true it would deny the impact on your body and your sense of what the new enviroment is like in comparison to your past.

….and so I’ve been mulling on this in a company context. ¬†Whatever we do, say, create or act out will be interpreted differently by every single person. ¬†Our way to be truly effective in creating our culture or environment is to understand how people are experiencing it and communicate accordingly. ¬†Otherwise we’ll kid ourselves that it what it is and everyone needs to get in line. ¬†By the same token we can’t go too much on what individuals might say about it – we need to stay focused on what we’re intent on creating. ¬†In addition we need to coach everyone to take a step back and work on taking a rounded view of what they’re involved in. ¬†This way we all better ourselves, understanding more and communicating more effectively.

The same will be true of family life, church and any other form of community where you’re shaping something

Posted in People | 2 Comments

2010 in review – stats from WordPress about this blog

This is really really impressive from a free service. ¬†Wordpress have introduced this report each year to show you how you are doing with your blog. ¬†I’ve barely blogged anything really but see below how positively they report everything – it just makes you want to write again. ¬†It’s a proper value-add that makes you loyal to them as a customer. ¬†There’s something in this for how we run our Managed Services dept at Mando Group I reckon. ¬†I’ll be mulling on some changes for 2011!

>>>>>>>>>>>

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter‚ĄĘ reads This blog is doing awesome!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,900 times in 2010. That’s about 5 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 8 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 35 posts. There were 17 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 3mb. That’s about a picture per month.

The busiest day of the year was February 13th with 73 views. The most popular post that day was 5 year plan update.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were twitter.com, facebook.com, obama-scandal-exposed.co.cc, en-thuse.com, and digg.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for mando group md, ian finch, ian finch music, ian finch wordpress, finchley contraflow lyrics, and ian finch facebook.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

5 year plan update February 2010
1 comment

2

everything July 2010

3

‘Strengths’ February 2010

4

Being Intentional November 2006
2 comments

5

remind me why I live in the city again?… November 2010

Posted in Business, Social Media, Technology, Web | Leave a comment

remind me why I live in the city again?…

view at 7am Sunday morning (20 second rides and where I nailed my left!):

Saunton Sands, Devon

view at 7am Monday morning before going to work!:… sigh……

rainy city street

Posted in Sport, Travel | 1 Comment