You're Welcome: Young Me, Now Me

I'm gonna start a reoccurring post idea here called: "You're Welcome".

Every once in a while you come across a website that just steals your attention right from under you. You may not even know why, but you find yourself just mindlessly clicking through because you just have to see

These will be things I find to share with you; things before you thank me for showing, I'll just say, "You're welcome!"


Several months ago, I came across Young Me, Now Me by a guy named Ze Frank.

The idea is that people contribute pictures of them when they were much younger along with a picture of them today re-enacting that same picture to the strongest detail they can.

Take a break from thinking for a second and go enjoy.

*I also heard that Young Me, Now Me was recently highlighted on Modern Family. Its Tivo'd. Don't ruin it for me.



When your creativity is waning, the most likely change needed is that of your own mindset. This could look any variety of ways. Two are strong possibilities. 1. You are Jealous Unless a speaker or writer really really impresses me or makes me think differently than I had before I heard them, I am generally dismissive of them as a speaker and author. Two things I have not pursued or gone after! But something in me is dismissive and unimpressed.

This thing within is jealousy. Jealousy is basically a part of you that is convinced there can only be one of something, and you are not that one.

The problem lies in that most things can have more than one of them. It is possible for there to be more than one artist within whatever artistry you pursue. But that part of you that gets FRUSTRATED when someone else accomplishes something you know you can do is jealousy.

2. You Don't Dream  This is just simple psychology. I have read of a few different studies that show our minds are their most creative when they are allowed to disengage from the rigidity. Our brains are most creative when they are allowed to wander without force. Set time to make that happen!


What mindset change needs to happen for you to be more creative?


Hector is one of my most important friends. Though I rarely see him, he is still vital to my life. Why? Because he is one of my most inspirational friends. This is not one of those, "he's been through the ringer so he is inspirational" type stories. Hector is a go-getter. He is an image of carpe diem. He is one who follows his inspiration with abandon...always.

Every time I sit down coffee or beer with Hector, I walk away ready to create. At times it is a simple situation of being inspired by someone who follows his dreams. Other times it is an issue of him demanding that I create and not accepting any excuse I prepare for him.

If your creativity is waning, surround yourself with inspirational and creative people. Surround yourself with people who will not only inspire you but demand creativity out of you.

Surround yourself with friends who will not accept any excuse you give, no matter how good the excuse is.


Tell me, on one sentance, about the most inspirational person in your life right NOW.



The saying goes, "Garbage in; garbage out." Creativity can be reapplied to this saying. If your creativity output is lacking, take a look at your intake. Are you listening to the same music over and over? Find a new artist and see if your creativity does not take a new jolt. Try an entirely different genre than your usual and see what new ways your creativity is sparked. Listen to some more creative podcasts (search "spoken word" "TEDTalks" "IndieFeed" or "The Moth" to get started)

Do you only read a certain kind of book? Mix up between fiction and non-fiction, leadership and fun, self-help and trash. Browse more magazines. (you don't HAVE to read every article)

Watch a more artistic movie (I think you're supposed to call them "films").

Change your intake of things and see whether your creative output doesn't begin to change in return.


What are your most inspirational intake?



All the changes we need to make in order to see our creativity return are breaks in the rut of routine so many of us find ourselves in. If you are looking at what you do and see a lack of the creativity you know is within you, one of the first changes you can try to make is ENVIRONMENT.

The environment and atmosphere you exist in have incredible impacts on our creativity. There are certain places you exist in that squash any remaining breath of creative air you might have, and there are others which are like pulling a little tank full of compressed creativity to your nostrils. Find the latter places. 

More often than not, your office is NOT a creative place. Your bedroom is not a creative place. Your home is not always a creative place.

Change your environment for a few minutes on your lunch break and breathe in the possibility of creativity in the midst of your day.

Change your environment for a couple hours and set some fresh creative roots.

Change your environment or a weekend or a week and reboot your creativity all-together.


What are your most creative environments?



Creativity is an ethereal animal it seems. There are times it is strong and heavy on you, while there are other times it seems to avoid you like an newly broken up ex. When we want creativity to flow, we more often than not expect to wake up creative one day. We expect a breath of fresh air to flip the switch in our brain back over to "creative". It rarely works.

You have to make changes in the creative process if you want to see a change in production of creativity. 

This week is dedicated to the things we need to change in order to get back to the creativity we all love and crave. All the changes are part of a process. Creativity may be an inherent gift, but maintaining creativity is a process.

Your Magical Tree

You have a magic tree; what does it grow?

Assuming I cannot answer, "more magic trees" I will say my magic tree grows money.

Boring, right? Perhaps! I sat here trying to be more creative, but realize all the things I want to do in this world take faith and trust in God, but practically, it takes money to make things in the world to move.

Imagine the good you could do! Imagine the world-change you could enact with limitless money! Imagine there being 'no poor person among us'.

I imagine if your magic tree grew money, the value would be something the world would attempt to steal. Like every good thing in history, a broken world would find a way to steal and destroy it.

Now I am wondering what I do with the value of hope in Jesus Christ that is neither magic nor fictional, but presently abundant.


You have a magic tree; what does it grow? (be fun and creative with don't have to take it down a Jesus Juke route like I unintentionally did.)

Which creative process fascinates you most?

I have always been fascinated by people's ability to draw. It is a creative process I wish I had any capacity for. I simply do not. I love the ability to either recreate a reality on paper or even to create a reality on paper. I am also fascinated by the art of acting, specifically comedy. Naturally, like all art forms there are people who are naturals. But like some art forms, you can still learn technique. I love the art of comedy. There is technique to learn and develop. It is an artform that certainly fascinates me. 

Which creative process fascinates you most? Why?

Shad - hip hop artist highlight

"Too often, hip hop still lacks deep vision and analysis. It's morally underdeveloped and spiritually immature." - Cornel West

Most people would be surprised to know how much I enjoy hip hop. At least, my guess is most would be surprised. I really love hip hop, but I am incredibly picky as to what hip hop I will endure.

Dr. West's thoughts above get to the heart of my picky-ness as it relates to the hip hop I enjoy. There are a few criteria an artist has to meet for me to enjoy them.

  1. Is it well-written? I care too much about the beauty and art of written and spoken word to waste time with "artists" who pay no mind or effort to the craft.
  2. Is it thoughtful? I am no longer (and never was) interested in how much more sex, money, or arrogance you have than me. But if you are writing for a purpose outside and beyond yourself, I am all ears.
  3. Is it redemptive or impactful? Tricia Rose said, "Hip hop has become a primary means by which we talk about race in the United States." I not only agree but would say that, as any artistic expression, hip hop has the capacity to be dramatically redemptive and impacting in endless issues.

One artist in the last few years has surfaced for me as one fulfills all of these criteria as well as many others. Shad is out of Canada and still has a swagger you do not expect from mounty country. He is uber-creative, thoughtful, and well-thought. It is evident in his work. Get all three albums and thank me later.