Do the groups, companies, and organizations you align yourself with help tell your story? Of course they do! They not only show your areas of interest, but they also show a part of your heart, your passion, and commitment to the broader community around you. Everything from the boards you serve on to the Facebook groups you create to the blogs you write all make up the stories that ARE you!
The more projects, articles, boards, and groups that you are involved in the busier you become and the harder it can be to keep up and keep track with each of these ventures. Busy people often serve on multiple boards simultaneously—while they run their companies—and yet they still often take time to teach or mentor as opportunities present themselves. The older I get the more I see the truth in this quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin…
“If you want something done, ask a busy person.”
Us busy folks are pretty good at juggling multiple projects simultaneously and hopefully, in the midst of it all (at least the really good ones I’ve seen) set time aside as a priority for their spouse and children. For the record, let me say that being busy at the expense of your family or those that love and care about you is extremely foolish. Simply put, don’t make your family pay for your busy-ness. If you can’t keep your family as a priority you probably shouldn’t accept that board invitation or start that project that will only pull you away more. (FULL DISCLOSURE TIME: I have six kids and no matter how much time I spend with them it never seems like enough. I just realized that while I’ve been writing this article two of them left the room I’m in and I didn’t even look up from the screen…ugh.)
Recently I decided that it would be pretty handy for me to have a collection of links to the companies, non-profits, organizations, Facebook groups and pages, etc., in which I’m actively involved. I’m calling it my Life Involvement List. It’s a place for me to easily access each of the things I’m committed to when needed, but it also serves to help paint a picture of who I am as a filmmaker, a business-owner, a writer, an artist, and a member of my local community. When I look at the list as a whole it helps me gain a better perspective on myself and it also can help me see some of my own strengths and weaknesses and even potential areas I should focus on.
A Life Involvement List should become a living, breathing document. As organizations and interests come and go I can add or remove items as needed. One thing that I noticed as I assembled my own list was that a couple of Facebook groups I had created a few years back (connected to my faith) were stagnant and stale and honestly needed to be deleted. So not only did I not include them on my list, but I also went ahead and shut down the Facebook groups. The act of NOT including these made me realize they may leave a hole in my story that should be filled by other similar involvement.
I’m confident you could benefit from performing this little exercise, too, so allow me to encourage you to create your own Life Involvement List of all the boards, companies, groups, classes, and activities in which you participate. Do it for two reasons. First and foremost, to give you a better perspective on yourself. And secondly, for you (and others if you share your list) to have easy access to the websites and links you include. It’s a handy exercise that has some practical value and may help lead you to make different decisions in the future.
It’s called a Life Involvement List because each item on the list represents an important decision you’ve made that helped shape your life into what it is today. But it’s also called a Life Involvement List, because if you look at your list and see things that are not helping you create a rich, deep, and meaningful existence, then perhaps you should consider deleting them… not just from the list, but from your life. We only get so many trips around the sun. Life is far too short not to make the most of it.
So, go do it! Create your Life Involvement List. If you need a little inspiration, you can read my list below and learn a little about me and the things that I’m involved with. Oh, and one more thing… what am I missing? If you think of areas of life that should be included in our lists, please let me know. Thanks!
Kent’s Life Involvement List…
COMPANIES I’VE CREATED OR HELPED FOUND:
- Paladin Pictures, Inc. – 1991 – film & video Production
- Paladin Media Group – 2005 – client-based video production
- Bungalow #9, LLC – 2010 – a privately held real-estate company
- Earless Rabbit, LLC – 2012 – Charlottesville-centric online video (recently acquired by Paladin)
- Stained Glass Rainbows – documentary about gays and the Church and the conflict therein
- By War & By God – documentary about veterans who return to Vietnam with a very different mission
- Rebellion of Thought – documentary about post-modernism, the church, and the struggle for authentic faith
- When Love Walks In – dramatic film about loss and finding love again
- Monastic Inkwell – film and life articles – thoughts from a film director
THE NON-PROFIT I FOUNDED:
- Community Films Foundation (501c3) – 2009 – an organization to help filmmakers and mission groups better tell their stories
BOARDS I SERVE ON:
- Paladin Pictures, Inc (aka Paladin Media Group) – since 1991
- Community Films Foundation – since 2009
- Vets With A Mission – since 2005
- Transformation Counseling – since 2006 – private counseling practice
- Charlottesville Tom Sox – since 2015 – valley league baseball team
PROGRAMS I’M PROUD TO HAVE STARTED:
- Paladin Fellows Program – 2015 – A special program designed to help certain Paladin Fellows learn the “why” of filmmaking.
NETWORKING FACEBOOK GROUPS I CREATED OR HELPED LAUNCH :
- Cville Filmmakers Group – connecting Charlottesville filmmakers
- Paladin Alumni and Intern Network (aka PAIN) – a private group for employees, interns, and alumni
- Creative Potluck — Private Creative Industry Network – connecting creatives in central Virginia
- Stained Glass Rainbows Pledge Group – private group for people who have taken the Stained Glass Rainbows pledge that appears in the study guide for the film
- The Face of Down Syndrome – connecting friends whose families are blessed with Down Syndrome
- Community Organizing Group – private group for my neighborhood
FACEBOOK PAGES FOR MY FILMS:
- By War & By God
- Stained Glass Rainbows
- When Love Walks In
- Rebellion of Thought
- Spiritual Wank – NOT YET PRODUCED
- UN1TYlacrosseMOVIE – NOT YET PRODUCED
FACEBOOK GROUPS FOR MY FILMS:
- Stained Glass Rainbows… a film about gays in pursuit of a Holy God
- UN1TY… Faith. Triumph. Relentless Lacrosse. – Not Yet Produced
FACEBOOK PAGES FOR MY COMPANIES & NON-PROFIT
FACEBOOK PAGE I CREATED JUST FOR FUN:
- Graffiti Town – a place to view and post images of graffiti from around the globe
FACEBOOK PAGE I HELP EDIT:
- Charlottesville Tom Sox – Charlottesville’s own valley league baseball team