I was given what I consider to be a huge compliment the other day. My friend made the comment, “That’s why I like you, you’re a man of action.”
Of course, I don’t consider myself a hyper-productive person, but this past year has been an interesting season for me, and has me categorizing ideas in two ways:

Take action

Or

Don’t take action

It’s quite simple, really. And, to be honest, the Action Method has really helped me put words to this simple to describe, difficult to produce, ideology.

When you get to the place where ideas all go through the is the actionable? Now? filter, what you act on becomes easier to determine. You waste less time chasing ideas, and get more things done.

But the power of the compliment is that while I may have been evolving into a man of action, I now see it as a part of my identity. I’ll claim it, and I’ll run with it. It’s empowering to hear that my intentionality is recognizable.

Maybe you should compliment someone’s hard work today, and see how the trajectory of their work is impacted.

If You Had a Storefront

Sam Mahlstadt —  August 29, 2010 — 6 Comments

I am ripping this question off from Carlos Whittaker, because when it comes to creatively embracing our faith expressions, well…he’s the man. He asked this question a while back, and it’s stuck with me, because it reveals so much about our personal tastes, our collective aspirations and, of course, our sense of design and style.

So, the question is, what would you do if your craft/dream/organization/etc. had a storefront?

BeDeviant Summit

Sam Mahlstadt —  August 28, 2010 — 1 Comment

Justin Wise, from the great blog, BeDeviant.com has just launched an incredible opportunity for those in ministry.

The BeDeviant Social Media Summit will be held in Des Moines on Saturday, October 23. If you are in ministry, whether you are an early adopter or a cautious observer, this is sure to be a great event.

The mission of the BeDeviant Social Media Summit is to create a network of social web-savvy ministry professionals and inspire them to use social media in their specific contexts.

I have had the opportunity to speak briefly with Justin about the event, and trust me, you are going to want to be there. At a very reasonable price of $39.00 (early-bird price) you get to enjoy the company of other ministers who desire to grow in their knowledge and leverage of social media.

Register here to get the great price, before it raises to $49.00 (still incredibly reasonable).

The definition of ART:

“The quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.”

Let’s boil that down a second.

The production and expression of what isĀ beautifulĀ or more than ordinary in significance.

Now here’s the question:

What in your life isn’t the production or expression of something beautiful or extraordinary in significance?

Why the heck are you doing it?

The Perverted Craft

Sam Mahlstadt —  August 26, 2010 — Leave a comment

There is something subtle and destructive that happens when artists begin to create for themselves. It usually happens over time; the purity and nobility found in a craft corrodes away under the pressure to produce.

When the artist shoulders that pressure, rather than freely creating for creation’s sake, the craft becomes about the artist. Once that transition happens, from creating in response to the unrelenting prod in our gut to creating in response to our own expectations and pursuits, the craft becomes perverted. And the artist suffers.

Artist: The craft is larger than your artistic contribution. Creating in response to the Creator must be good enough. Great art comes out of a personal depth, not a contrived scheme. Art is visceral.

Create because you can’t not create. And find freedom in that.