In my process of learning from other professionals online, I discovered a helpful blogger named Chris Lema. He is an expert in all things WordPress (and a fellow Rainmaker user as well). What drew me to Chris Lema’s writing is the fact that he doesn’t focus on the what of WordPress development – but on the why. And I like talking about why we do things, perhaps more than I like talking about what it is we’re gonna do.
I’ve been reading Mr. Lema’s posts regularly, which led me to hang out at his website recently. Something caught my eye when I saw the front page. Right below the header image, he lists all the categories he writes about in an orderly, comprehensive fashion. Categories, that’s the ticket. In my own journey to make sense of my life, I have found that categories are essential to getting a handle on it all.
Consider this Bible verse:
Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. (Genesis 2:19 NKJV)
This verse claims that God is the author of life and creation, but to Adam is given the task of giving names. These opening chapters of Genesis glorify God as an all-powerful Creator. So, couldn’t He come up with the names of the animals He created as well? Yet He delegated this task to Adam – His child and friend – in this wonderful sense of anticipation: to see what he would call them.
An Act of Personal Leadership
Chris Lema’s homepage is his way of saying, “here are the names I give to all the ‘animals’ in my professional world.” He has to make sense of all the information he deals with. He does a service to us by giving names and helping us make sense of the world of WordPress development.
I gotta say, my life is an interesting one. I say this not because somebody else’s life isn’t as interesting. I say this because my journey has illuminated things that I would not have identified and acted on if I wasn’t taking the journey. A journey of prayer, of learning, of working, and of just plain growing.
Making sense of this journey and breaking it down into categories is an act of personal leadership. And personal leadership empowers you to lead others.
Here is the breakdown:
My National Identity
First off, I’m a guy who started his life in suburban America in the 1980s. I would be expected to follow the trajectory of other American Gen-Xers. But I went through a life-changing experience at the age of 13 – I moved with my parents to Israel, and I’ve lived here ever since. This has effected my sense of national identity – which is one of the “animals” that I have named: Country
My Cultural Heritage
My suburban American childhood instilled me with a cultural heritage. Albeit one of video games, skateboarding, and indie rock music. Sure, you can laugh at that, but if you really dig into those things, you will find that it is a child’s pursuit of beauty. And I have named three “animals” in my life as a result: Music, Culture, and Skateboarding
My Self, My Family, and My Community
I have an understanding of life that is based on my spiritual pursuit and on my national identity. It is also based on my species – ’cause I’m a human being. All this together has put a deep value in me for family. I don’t know exactly how it all started (it’s kind of a no-brainer). I’ve been married to my wonderful wife Bethany for 13 years now, and to date we have eight children. I’ve noticed that you don’t have a family like that without seeing some changes in the world around you. So I address this as self, family, and community – all under one name: Family
And my spiritual pursuit is nothing to shake a stick at. It’s a big deal. I prefer to show it more with actions than words. However, I see the act of articulating the right words as an action in itself (y’all get that?). And I address this not as religion, but as a relationship, a relationship with my King – so that’s what I’m calling it: King
My Professional Passion
But hey, you gotta do something to make a living. And it took me quite a while to find my professional passion. I love business, I love community work (some might call it “ministry”), and I love art. What do these all have in common, work-wise? Branding, Content Marketing, and Platform (that’s the nomenclature around here for “websites”). And here is where I share about my journey in working in these areas.
But let’s take things one step further. Let’s make an attempt to grasp the physical confines that we deal with, in order to conduct our lives. Time, Space, and Quantity. These are a reference to things like:
- time-management and productivity
- minimalistic living and sustainability
- management of resources – financial planning and budgeting
- …and even caring for the very valuable resource that is your own body.
Sounds like a lot, right? Well, my next step is to take what I write in all those categories and turn it into useful content for you.
Because I am here to help you to reconcile your family life, national identity, and faith, with your work – your jobs, your communities, and your art.
Here’s a map of all I have to offer (it appears on the homepage as well):