Tuesday, March 30, 2010

book: The Truth About You

I'm only 1 chapter into this book/DVD/exercises combination by Marcus Buckingham and it's already an A+. (I'm reading it with our Oakbrook Proteges.)

This is the primary guy behind the "Strengths Movement"--the idea that we'll grow more and contribute more to any organization if we're focusing on our strengths vs. trying to trying to develop a weakness.

I read his book, GO Put Your Strengths to Work; and I'll admit, his books are a read and one can get mired down in them.

The Truth About You is stripped down, (109 pgs) boiled down, easy to comprehend and integrate with the DVD and exercises in the book. It's based on 5 pieces of advice he wished he'd been given:

1. Performance is always the point. So don't expect your organization to know you like you do.

2. Your strengths aren't what you're good at, & your weaknesses aren't what you're bad at. So you'd better find out what your real strengths are.

3. When it comes to your job, the "What" always trumps the "Why" & the "Who." So always ask: "What will I be paid to do?"

4. You'll never find the perfect job. So every week, for the rest of your life, write your Strong Week Plan.

5. You'll never turn your weaknesses into strengths. So fess up to your weaknesses, then neutralize them.

This book is for everyone wanting to make a difference with their one & only life!
You can get it in Kokomo at LakesideCafe&Books or at Amazon.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Ritual series: Communion

Here's a PDF manuscript from my talk at Oakbrook Church 3.28.10. An audio podcast will show up here. Or subscribe or browse podcats at iTunes > search "oakbrook podcasts."

Monday, March 22, 2010

Piano Headboard

click pic to enlarge

Check out the "how to" on my latest project from the Workshop.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Adobe Lightroom II

The image on top is the actual image I shot early this morning on a louvered blind in our dim shadowy den. The bottom image is after 5 minutes editing in Adobe Lightroom II.

I didn't add color, texture, or elements that weren't already in the image (except for the vignette around the edge); I simply tweaked the white balance and boosted some color and contrast.

It's a great program that a lot of serious photographers are using; as such it's a bit expensive ($299 from Adobe, $239 @ Amazon). Or around $100 if you qualify for an educational discount.

The Adobe website does have a free complete trial version you can use for 30 days with no strings attached. (Don't do the free trial unless you have the cabbage to pony up when it expires, or you'll hate yourself.)

Or if "you're a PC" I've used a great FREE image editor called Photoscape.

My card?

I have to admit, I was thinking of business cards as being archaic given our digital age. But I've had several people ask if I had a card.

And since the #1 "disability" of our culture is hurriedness and over-scheduling, then perhaps finding this card in one's pocket at the end of the day may actually prove to have worth.

The good people at Sir Speedy took care of these for a very modest price. Need one?

Click here for a digital business card.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dinner with the Band

WOW! I just caught a creative new show on the Independent Film Channel (IFC) called Dinner with the Band.

Here's the concept: this phenomenally groovy chef, Sam Mason, cooks an inventive dinner with and for his musical guest. During the cooking and then afterward, the band plays live in a loft above the cooking space.

Tonight's episode was Final Fantasy (aka Owen Pallet) who is a one-man-violin-band complete with wonderful vocals--he defies description--loved him! Check him out on YouTube.

Do check it out Tuesdays @ 10:30. Way to go IFC!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Nikon D90 White Balance

I really love my Nikon D90 DSLR camera for a multitude of reasons. Here is just one: white balance.

I was shooting the progress of the headboard I'm building in my wood shop. I snapped the pic on top and noticed how "green" it was on the camera's rear LCD screen. (Common effect of fluorescent lights.)

So I clicked into the white balance menu & selected the "fluorescent light" icon. From there it gave me SEVEN kinds of fluorescents to choose from. I selected "cool white" and snapped the bottom pic.

No need to fix it in editing--the in-camera white balance controls do it--love it!

Rock on Nikon ;-)

Journaling at Starbucks

Journaling can be a lot of things: therapy, venting, inventorying, praying, searching, safety, etc. Friday morning I fell into a happy exercise.

I wrote at the top of the page, "What's working, or simply 'good?'" (in my life right now). I ended up writing 11 things and a short paragraph about each one.

Then I wrote down, "Learnings." I went back and read through the list of things that are working. I wrote down 7 things based on what was working.

Some were intangible, like an unrealistic expectation I need to let go of. Some were tangible, like practices that I should pursue since I could see how they led to positive results.

Here's one of my learnings: "Coaching is fun and rewarding. I'm a better 1-on-1 coach than I am a small group leader. Look for life-giving 1-on-1's."

It was a good exercise. Making myself list the good things is good for my soul and good to help me live in the thankful. If I can integrate some of the learnings, then positive things will be less about chance and more about intentionality.

Give it a try.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

De-clutter the WHAT?

Growing up in a home with a lot of clutter, I have been a fan of living in spaces that are generally uncluttered. To me clutter adds a low level of stress and sense that things are just a bit out of control.

Yesterday I took to cleaning up my computer desktop. I typically leave current projects, downloads etc on the desktop and then later put them away. I had gotten bad on the "putting them away" part. I had so many icons on my desktop that when I saved something new to it I was having trouble finding it!

So I started "putting my stuff away." And I experienced a surprising sensation. As I worked through the icons, ditching this and filing that, I began to feel more relaxed. By the time I got to the image of above, I felt very relaxed and...simply...good.

So I learned that even virtual clutter has the same effect as physical clutter. Huh. I love learning new things.

Peace & de-clutter ;-)