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In a sluggish daze, I slowly opened my eyes. I could hear my three-year-old saying, “can I get up know?” Startled out of my sleep is the way most days have begun lately. I haven’t risen early but have slept in an hour more to wake up to one of my kids posing the question. My jolting awake has usually been followed by the non-verbal actions of me rolling out of bed and unconsciously staggering toward the coffee maker.

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photo by: KCNewman photography

As the aroma of coffee began to fill the house I had a sudden thought I could not shake. Are you a Jackass or a race horse? Saturday was my first day off in a month, and I wrote this off as an exhausted mind making things up. I certainly felt nothing like a race horse.

This season has been a busy one I am running two stores and now have come on staff at my church as the Life Groups Coordinator in charge of 48 groups. I have been overwhelmed and gotten into Martha mode. Hustling the wrong way, exhausted and empty.

I went back to sleep at ten in the morning this day for a couple of hours. Then woke up for an hour and then again at one in the afternoon laid back down. Crashing in a heap mentally and physically depleted. The whole day I couldn’t get out of my mind, jackass or racehorse you choose. That was it, my day off turned into a random question and sleeping. At nine that night I was ready for bed and I slept hard yet again.

The next morning I got up and tied my running shoes and went for a run. Jogging back up my driveway I felt charged up and alive. Ready to take on the world! Have you seen race horses at the starting gates? They clamor and bang on the gates waiting to go. Chomping at the bit, nervous energy flowing through their body. If you open those gates, they are going to charge out.

The donkey not so much. Stubborn most of the time holding its ground. Anchored in position the master will try and pull the rope attached to the bridle and tug to no avail. Pulled into action against its will. It fights against instead of charging out like the race horse.

I can be the racehorse but often I am so tired I am like the jackass. Abstinent and defiant begging to not go. Worn out and exhausted I am resting from my work. We are called to work from our rest. We are called to fill up so that we can pour out. We are called to flow out from the Sabbath, but it’s hard. It’s hard because we look at the tasks and put that above all. It’s hard because people will always want your help. It’s hard because when we rest sometimes, it gives space for us to think about our failures. Rest is just hard for the go-getters. God whispers to rest, and I will give you what you need to accomplish, yet I fit as much in and try to find time to rest.

Are you feeling like a racehorse? For me, I had forgotten what that felt like. I hadn’t had space to let go and be still. Here are some things to check to make sure you keep energized and focused.

Sleep. You need to know how much you need and stick to it. If you have young kids, and you need more sleep go to bed earlier, that is the only way that you can get more. They will wake up with the sun if they are like mine.

Extrovert/Introvert. Know which you need. I love people, but I need to be alone to recharge. I was not getting my time in the morning before the kids were up and this was a factor in my burn out. Know which one you need and be proactive in it.

God. Prayer, reading the Bible, and just sitting at the feet of Jesus is necessary to having a healthy life for any Christian. The One that knit you in your mother’s womb knows what you need. Ask God and move on what He says.

Patience. Lack of patience is the root of burnout for me. I am trying to make stuff happen, and I want it to happen NOW. Charging out of the gates has served me well, and it has also led to burnout. Look at all you are trying to do and ask someone that is further down the path then you are. They will tell you if you’re trying to eat an elephant in one bite.

Lead from health and rest and look around so that you can enjoy the journey. When we rush seasons of our lives we can miss the beauty in the very moment, we are trying to work past. There will always be another mountain and always another challenge to overcome. We forget the most basic of things sometimes. “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Be blessed on your journey.

Do you struggle to rest?

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The drift is destroying your life!

I have watched friends get addicted to drugs. I have seen others destroyed by affairs. One family friend stole thousands, and another convicted and in jail. Real people who I respect going the wrong direction until it all falls apart. It breaks my heart as I watch families torn apart by the drift. Lives cast aside and ruined. Though to us on the outside these acts seemed sudden, I know better. We don’t one day destroy something; it is a slow fade a drift that builds negative momentum. We don’t start at these tragic points, but sometimes we don’t recognize the extent of the drift until those wake-up calls.

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Photo by: KC Newman Photography

In my life, I run marathons. I have been on mountain tops physically, stretching the limits to what I previously thought possible. But I have also experienced the fade. I needed my eyes opened to recognize that I was fading recently. Slowly but surely wandering down a path until I didn’t recognize where I was.

Last year,  at this time, I was running the Eugene Marathon. I was set to break a personal record and finished the run with energy. Twenty-six point two miles and I ate it for lunch. Four months ago I was still doing training runs up to sixteen miles getting ready to run another marathon. My health excellent, as well as my energy.

Fast forward to three weeks ago, I had a doctor’s appointment where they said my blood pressure was high. I haven’t run as much but still maintained my eating habits while training. Today I could run six to seven miles, and that’s it without exhausting myself. Without the blood pressure check, I would have ended up back at ground zero. From Personal records on marathon time to high blood pressure and average fitness. It feels like it happened overnight but it didn’t.

I slept in a little more and ran a little less. I chose snooze instead of my running shoes. I had my running accountability move away. I stopped putting in the work that had gotten me there and took my foot off the gas. I counted on history for today’s success. That’s not how it works. Rory Vaden says, “Success is never owned; it is only rented – and the rent is due every day.”

I am getting my health back and saying no to the fade. But it won’t be easy, you and I will not fix the fade overnight. However, we can start to take steps toward restoration. The further you have faded the longer it will take to restore. Damage is always done by the decline, and it takes time for others or our self to heal. Follow these simple but not easy to stop the fade and gain traction.

Admit failure. We can’t change what we don’t take personal responsibility for. You have failed, so have I. We have broken promises and let down ourselves and others. We can only heal when we admit that there is something to heal from. Acknowledge that the mark was missed to restore what was broken.

Set the Mark. If we are not aiming at something, the fade will happen quicker and will be less noticed. What does your ideal health, marriage, vocation, friends, service, and ext. look like? If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time. Mark a destination to slow the fade.

Why? You need to write down why you are aiming at that target. It has to be authentically you or you won’t sustain the momentum that you are creating. Methods will change along the way but your why should be so cemented on your heart so that it will get you through the distractions, disappointment, and disinterest. Cement your why to slow the fade.

How? Though your how will change throughout time you need to come up with an action plan. You need to set a course of action. If you want to accomplish a healthy marriage what steps will you take. As much as possible, the how should be measurable. It is much easier to see a fade when you have measurable actions that you know you did or didn’t do. The point is not to be at the hands of a taskmaster but to have a recognition of fade or growth.

Fades are beatable if you refuse to quit when you fall. If you aim at improvement instead of perfection on your journey, it will be much more enjoyable. When you fall and you will, remember that tomorrow is a new day and a new opportunity to pay the rent of success. Be blessed on your journey.

What areas of your life are you fading in?

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Eyes fixated on my strengths and weakness I sit here wondering if I am able.

The unknown

photo: KCNewman Photography

I am scared and scarred.

I bear scars from others and myself. Words have scared me spoken in anger or jealousy. Actions have cut deep whether they were intended to or not. Thoughts of unworthiness consume my mind. Wishing I was someone different, maybe stronger or bolder somehow. Wishing I was able to do what I feel God calling me toward, but with my eyes; I don’t see how it’s possible. I can’t see it, and I get tempted not even to try. Fearful and used, I don’t see how He can use a broken vessel like me. Sure I see Him use others, but I am different.

It as if I forget who I serve. I remember this morning that I serve Jehovah Rapha (The Lord that heals). I forget that He heals the sick and comforts the broken-hearted. I forget that He makes the weak strong. I forget that it is Him who heals ME! That He whispers for us to step out of the boat with our scares and all. Throwing our leg over the side and locking eye with Him. Not even conscious of the impossible feat but focused on His goodness, grace, and mercy. Stepping out of the boat and walking on water, yet simply strolling with the King. Walking on water should be impossible, yet Peter did it.

He whispers to YOU to see the invisible and do the impossible. He takes our scares and says, “Give it to me! Stop holding on to what I have already redeemed. Stop trying to do it on your own or earn your way in. Stop trying to be worthy. Just follow me.”

It never was mine to bear, and it is never yours. We will never be able to do what He calls us to. We will always need Him to walk on water, yet He is always whispering for us to get out of the boat. Over our heads without Him and that’s what we are made for.

We are not supposed to be in this box. The box is put there by us. Not near the shore but out in the reckless waves. We are not meant to be in the comfort and confines of our strength but in this area that we shouldn’t be able to do in a million years. We are called to slay giants, to restore the land. Called to seek and save the lost. That doesn’t happen when we are focused on fear and failure but when we are concentrated on the one that makes us able.

Work on your strengths know your weakness but don’t forget the goal. The goal will always be Christ, and He crucified. We fill our lives up and chase the mission instead of the mission provider. He is our all, and He is everything. When we forget that we get out of alignment and feel nothing but scarred and scared. It is in Him that all is made new. It is in Him that all is made able. Trust Him and you will be in a state of awe on your journey. Because after all the journey isn’t about you…

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Those personality tests are hurting your business and your life. Here is the thing I love all those tests and take a lot of them myself. Personality and strength finder tests can be an important tool to help you gain insight into your talents and abilities. Profile tests can help you target in on your areas of strengths and can lead you into doing tasks that can bring you a greater energy level. I know you’re thinking, “How can this be bad?” All of these things are obviously great, but there are many drawbacks to these same personality tests that you need to be aware of.

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Watch out for these four downsides to personality tests.

1 Corinthians 12:31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.

Test addiction. If you have taken one test, you have taken many. I know I have taken so many tests I can’t count them all. The problem with this is that I have taken these tests like it is going to give some answer that will fix everything. That suddenly a lightbulb will go on that I was missing, and my life will hit a whole new level. The test becomes the answer instead of the tool they are designed to be. Stop taking tests and start taking action.

Don’t grow (not my gift). We grow in the uncomfortable, and new areas of life yet tests can get us to stay with the comfortable. It is great to know if you are an introvert or an extrovert for example but knowing I am an introvert has stopped me from doing many things that would advance my business. I don’t go to network events; I don’t door to door market because I am an introvert, and I use that as a crutch. Don’t allow your growth to be stunted by not stretching beyond your gifts. Know your gifts and take action whether it aligns or not.

Delegate tasks you shouldn’t. Many tests will show you what drains you and what fills you, and it can be a great coconut on the head to delegate many tasks that you find draining. The problem is that this has more grey area than I have liked to admit. Though you should delegate off much, you still need to do some tasks that are major keys to your business. Yes, do more of what fills you and less of what drains you, however, make sure in your delegation you still know how to do the job and you inspect what you expect.

Don’t show (not my gift). The other hindrance to these tests is we can get lazy and not develop a skill. When we know are gifting we can expect others to communicate and love us the way we communicate and love. The issue is that we are making communication and love about us. We don’t show and tell people the way they hear and receive the best but stick to our languages. To get the most out of personality tests use it to show you where you will fall short and how you can adapt to communicate better. For example, I want people to get to the point in communicating my wife wants detail. I know when I talk with her to give more detail than I naturally do. Recognize how others want things shown to them not how you want to do it.

At the end of most things, everything in moderation is the slogan we should have. Knowing yourself is great but don’t let that become your self-absorbed isolationist mentality. You and I need to learn, grow, and expand and make it about others. Service is what God calls us into. Businesses that succeed are ones that serve to a higher degree than the competition. When you take tests, you should ask yourself some questions to grow and become a better servant.

Four questions you should always ask:

Am I looking for my identity in this test?

How will this help me communicate better with others?

How does this test help me love others better?

Do I need to change or continue any action after this test?

Know your gifting but don’t let it be your identity. Tests are great especially if you have your staff and family take them. You can learn how they tick and learn how to communicate and love them well. Make the personality tests about serving others and you will be blessed on your journey.

How do personality profile tests help your business?

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With the fast approaching of New Year’s, it is a time when I and many others look back at the year and plan for 2016. This year I have had so many good things happen, however, it has also been a year where I have lacked focus and intentionality. I was moved too often by emotion and ran from exciting thing to exciting thing. With my family, health, spiritual life, and personal finances I would draw this year up as a success, but with my business both online and offline I lacked more focus as I would have liked. That’s a nice way of saying I adopted a shiny thing syndrome this year. “Oh look at that! That looks cool, I’ll try that. Oh wait, look at that!” This would sum up my year in business. It has not been a year of failure, although I need to come up.

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“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” – Douglas Adams

I am dedicated to getting more out of 2016. Here are 5 things I am using to set and keep my goals.

Make Plans. Where do you want to be in 12 months? Year goal setting is really as simple as asking that question and writing down what you want. As a Christian I get caught up in thinking, Is this what God wants? Though that should happen it shouldn’t be an excuse to not move. If you are frozen in fear, stutter stepping with every goal and plan, stop it! What I have begun doing now is praying and then moving in where I think I should go. If you don’t have a point of reference in where you are going you will not get there. Make a plan for 2016 to get more out of it.

Proverbs 16:3 Commit your works to the LORD And your plans will be established.

Submit Plans. Just like submitting our architecture plans to the building department, you and I need to submit our plans to God. We do not want to get frozen in fear, however, we do need to remember that without God we are a shell of what He intended. It is all about Jesus and sometimes I can get caught up in my goal that I forget this foundational thing. If we submit our plans to God, we need to trust that if we our outside of that plan He will guide us and put our feet back on our path. Submitting your plans to the Lord is necessary to get the most out of 2016.

Psalm 37:5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.

Shut up? There is a great Ted talk by Derek Sivers and a great post by Matt McWilliams on shutting up about your goals. The long and short of it is that your goals are less likely to happen if you are sharing them. The reason is that sharing your goals give you psychological satisfaction like you have reached your goals. So this year my inner circle that will hold me accountable will know my goals. Other than that I am keeping my goals to myself. Zip your lip to reach your goals.

Make a commitment to yourself today. Vow to yourself today! That you will make whatever sacrifice! That you will pay whatever it takes! That you will do whatever you have to do! To be amazing.
– Eric Thomas

Decide. There comes a point in every journey that we need to decide. Setting principles to live by and making a commitment to the process is key to hitting any goal or vision for our lives. If we don’t make a decision to the process we will be moved and swayed by emotion. Though emotion can be great for starting, it is horrible for keeping you going. Emotions are fickle and no matter how awesome and cool your goal is your emotions will eventually turn on the goal. Decide and commit to the goals that God has placed in your heart to reach higher in 2016.

Move. Don’t sit any longer analyzing once you have prayed, submitted your plans, and decided. Run! Focus on one thing that will move the needle the most in your life out of the goals you have written down and move. Dave Ramsey calls this gazelle intense. You have to move like you are a gazelle being chased for dinner. This does not mean that you don’t rest or that you can’t enjoy life, but each and every day first thing in the morning you must move toward your main goal. If you don’t take actions goals are worthless. Run toward your goals to make 2016 the best year yet.

“You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.” ― C.G. Jung

Focus in on what you want out of life. Submit your plans to the Lord and He will bless them. If you didn’t get as much out of 2015 as you would have liked, it is okay. Neither did I. It does not mean that the year was a waste or that you failed. Let’s learn and grow together making this next year a prosperous and significant year. Be blessed on your journey.

What helps you reach your goals?

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Most entrepreneurs have their hearts set on expansion. Standing still is not really an option as there is always another hill to climb. The vision is rarely a single entity but a small little empire. Our eyes are always looking for new markets and new opportunities. In business we need to be quick to act as to not miss out on an opportunity. However, if we jump to quick our business that we worked so hard to build can crumble to the ground.

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Photo by: KCNewman Photography

Expansion within a business is a time of vulnerability and if we don’t adjust properly we can kill what use to be successful. It is not a time to fear but it is a point that needs great clarity and forward thinking. If you are contemplating expansion make sure you can answer these 5 questions.

1. How will your role change? Different stages require a different owner. In the beginning you need to do everything. As you grow your role changes and morphs. The more you micromanage the greater lid you put on your company. You will need to change and adapt as your company matures. You need to write down how your role changes. It is important to remind yourself what you do but also what you don’t spend your time doing.

2. Have you replaced yourself? The reason you want to write out the change in role is so that you can create new job descriptions for staff members. Being able to give both tasks and key results areas is crucial so that you are able to inspect what you expect. As a business owner it is your job to replace and train yourself out of a job. Replace yourself before expansion to make the transition smoother.

3. What if you fail? Failure or at least less than desirable results may happen. You need to be prepared for an action plan of failure. Writing down both a time and willingness for loss is crucial for an entrepreneur. Often when something is failing a business hangs on too long and damage themselves to a point of no return. Writing down both a pivot and time table will help eliminate emotional decisions.

4. What if you succeed? There are two types of problems in business. Not enough business and too much business. If new business is not handled properly the customer may never try you again. If this expansion blows the roof off of your company make sure that you can handle it. If you want your company to thrive it heavily depends on your ability to take in and take care of new clients. Plan for success.

5. How is your cash flow and savings? Cash is king and often it is not treated as such. Knowing your numbers is the lifeblood of your business. With expansion you require more money to keep your doors open. You need to make sure that your emergency fund is nice and healthy. Know what parts of your company are producing profit and what parts are pulling you down. Be vigilant with your cash flow, the bigger you become the easier it is to be sloppy with your money.

Answer these five questions to avoid business failure during expansion. As the great John Wooden said, “Be quick, but don’t hurry.” Move quickly but don’t rush the process and your expansion will be the dream you desire not a nightmare.

Are you looking at expansion?

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Doing what is right is not always easy. In fact, doing what is right is usually a lot harder than compromise. As you build your dream you must stand on principles and truths. For me this is the word of God. Standing on this truth is not easy, but when I follow what the word says peace comes to my life even when it is hard.

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Photo by: KC Newman Photography

A few weeks ago my good friend, Jared Easley invited me to a great event called Podcast Movement this summer in Fort Worth, Texas. This event is for podcasters and by podcasters. It is a one of a kind event and many people who I have become friends with will be there. This is on my short list of events I want to attend and if you are available you should be there!

I looked at the calendar and I had committed to be somewhere else that weekend. I had committed to help my parents with their restaurants and though I knew they would let me out of my commitment I also knew that I was needed. I didn’t and still don’t want to put them in that situation.

My emotions were saying no, but my conscious was saying let your yes be yes and your no be no. In 1 John 2:5 it says, “But whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him.”

Ugh! Sometimes verses suck. Sometimes doing what we know we should do isn’t easy. Sometimes adulting is hard and doing what will steal our peace is easy.

Choosing the hard right is better than choosing the easy wrong. (Andy Stanley paraphrase)

For you and your dream:

Decide. Decide up front what principles you are going to stick to. If it is the Bible, which I hope it is, let those principles guide you. Decide before temptation comes or you will be cast about like the wind. Temptations don’t become easier as you advance, rather it is actually the opposite. Decide what principles you are going to stick to no matter what.

Don’t compromise. Let your principles override your emotions. Be unmovable on your principles. Even when it looks like you will miss out on a big opportunity, be rock solid on what you stand for. You will fail in this as I do, but get back up and try again. Be a man or woman of integrity which you only become when you stick to principles.

Believe. Believe that in the end choosing the hard right will advance you more than the easy wrong. In my situation though, Jared was bummed I couldn’t make it yet I gained respect in his eyes. He knows I will keep my word. I want to be known as a man of character. As you stand for something people will be drawn to that. You have to believe that in the end the hard right is the best way.

As you build your dreams make sure you can lay your head down at night in peace. Build a dream with integrity and honesty and it will be a dream that lasts. Build a dream with deceit and compromise and it will crumble. Choose to live a life that if what is hidden comes out in the light, you will feel pride and not shame. Be blessed on your journey.

What is a time in your life where you stood for what was right when it was difficult?

 

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Sitting at the computer trying to grab a hold of something to write about, I sat there completely blank. Deleting and restarting the opening paragraph, I became frustrated. A few minutes faded into an hour and a half and I wrote absolutely nothing. Annoyed, I slammed my laptop shut. Not one post. I woke up early for nothing, I thought.

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Photo by: KCNewman Photography

This happens to me all too often and mostly after I have a piece do very well. I draw a blank and the more I TRY to fix it, the more the block persists. It is as if I am trying to capture lightning in a bottle again. Whether you write or not there are some principles that I have learned that should help you on your journey toward your dream. In fact, every profession requires some level of creativity and often small tweaks can unleash the flow of creative thinking.

If you are stuck make sure you are not making these 4 mistakes.

1. It’s about you. I am pretty selfish. I wish it weren’t true. I wish I was a selfless person that put my needs and wants behind others. I all too often make everything about me. How many shares did I get? Has my audience grown? Did I make money this week? All me, me, me. When I am really happy and content it is about YOU. I am focusing on service of others and how my pain or success can help you.

Learn from me and make your dream about others. Peace awaits in that. Thinking changes and a more authentic and caring life will transform others. Make it about them, not you, and creativity will flow out of trying to serve them.

2. Lack of rest. Rest is not a luxury but a necessity. Creativity is killed as Mike Kim talks about here when we don’t rest. A few months back his post really spoke to me and caused me to take a couple of weeks away from writing. If you are in a funk could it be a lack of rest and stillness? We should work from rest not rest from work. This is a major shift in thinking and goes counterintuitive to our society. What you will find is that you will get more accomplished with a little rest. Rest will lead to creative and efficient thought process which will have you focused and on track.

Rest to bring new creative energy to your life.

3. Sedentary. I have so much less energy and passion when I sit all day. Make sure that you are taking the time to move. If you have a job that requires sitting, maybe invest in the stand-up desk. Walk or run in the morning. Just do something. I ran this morning and thought of three posts that I will write today. Physical activity should be built into your life daily.

If you are stuck, get up and move. Moving physically will get your brain moving.

4. Perfection. If I am stuck I notice that I am trying to do something perfectly. I am trying to recreate the past. Focused on what went right and trying to write the same thing. My best writing occurs when mechanics and my heart collide. This is never done by perfection and living in the past. It happens when I just write! I throw up on the page and then correct and change what I have done. If you are chasing perfection you are causing a mental block.

Perfection is a myth. Just do something and adjust as you go.

I hope this helps you like it has me. Trust God, trust His timing and focus on your part. Plateaus and mental blocks are part of the journey. Just keep experimenting and you will find breakthrough. Don’t give up, rather think about stepping away for a moment. Be blessed on your journey.

How do you spark your creativity?

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Sometimes I just get plain worn out. The balancing act of keeping up with life leaves not much energy to try to advance and shoot for something greater. I get tired doing tasks for the day and don’t do what will give me freedom in the future. At my restaurants I don’t train and instead do the job myself. I don’t write another guest post that week and zone out on TV. I press snooze instead of getting out of bed and running. I don’t do my zero based budget at the beginning of the month just trying to be good with my money instead. The problem is that to get our lives to the next level we need to get our actions to the next level.

 It's never corwded along the extra mile

I know it is not the most pleasing thing to hear, but the truth is DISCIPLINE is what we need more of. If we did what we know we should do, we would see our lives move in ways that we never thought possible. If you are struggling with discipline, these 5 things will help you to increase it.

1. God. I come from the world view that if God is not in it you are wasting your time. God is the change agent in my life, but often I skip Him in things that feel non-spiritual. Although it feels non-spiritual, it doesn’t get much more spiritual than living a disciplined life. Self-control is even counted as one of the fruits of the Spirit. Don’t leave God out of any area of your life. Pray that He would help to make you more disciplined. God is always faithful to answer our prayers even when it takes longer then we would want. In time, God will guide you to more discipline.

2. Remove temptation. Stop setting yourself up for failure. If you struggle with being on your phone instead of being present, set your phone somewhere else. If you are trying to eat healthier, remove unhealthy food from your home. Proactively set up your life to where you don’t have to practice self-control for long. The more you remove temptation from your life the less you have to use discipline. Set up your life so that a little discipline goes a long way.

3. Exercise. The better physical shape we are in the more discipline we have. I have worked myself up to running marathons and my discipline has increased the whole time. My energy is at an all-time high because of this and I can work long days and have enough energy to be disciplined at the end of the day. We are the most vulnerable when we are worn down and tired. As you get fit you will have higher energy to make wise choices. Also the mere act of exercise makes momentum in the discipline department.

4. Accountability. Build into your life accountability. The bigger the struggle the more you and I need to be accountable to someone we trust. We need open and honest relationships to be able to share when we fail. Share small and big wins and just have someone to do life with. The more you build accountable relationships into your life the more you will feel like you’re not alone. Walk through life with others and stop being the lone wolf.

5. Forgive. We are going to fail and that’s okay. It is not the failure that stops us on our pursuit, but when we fail we often get fixated on that failure and stop moving and pushing toward higher levels of discipline. Keep getting back up and you will keep moving forward. Every failure, sin and set-back was already atoned for on the cross and if we fixate and beat ourselves up for our mistakes we are multiplying the sin. If you failed, confess to God and a close friend and move forward looking back no longer.

Discipline is a muscle that is built. The more you use it, the stronger you will get. Don’t give up. Press into God, take care of your physical body, build relationships and forgive yourself when you fail. Overtime you can and will see your dreams if you stay disciplined on the journey.

How do you increase your discipline?

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Becoming forgettable is your biggest problem if you are trying to build any dream. Businesses spend millions of dollars on television, radio, print and many other forms of advertising to stay top of mind. They know if they are not in your face, you will forget about them and that is the killer of any business.

As the little guy, we can compete with these big conglomerates with endless stacks of money. It just takes a little more effort, but in return you will get loyal, raving fans that are not easily swayed to the competition. You can serve these people to a greater degree and then your dream becomes mutually beneficial. In essence you will be unforgettable!

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To become unforgettable as a person or an organization make sure you’re doing these 4 things.

1. Excellence. We remember excellence, not the ordinary. We remember the companies and people who are extraordinary. My favorite burger place is In-N-Out. In fact I love them so much that when I hit California I stop at the nearest one in Redding almost every time. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. I am not alone in my adoration of this simplistic burger joint as they have a cult-like following.

If you commit to excellence, not only will people remember you, but they may even spread the word about you. If you are average you will be forgotten. Be excellent enough to get people talking.

2. Niche down. Who do you serve? If it is everyone then you have a problem. The fact is, if no one hates you then no one will love you. This was hard for me when I first started this blog because I want to be liked by everyone. I ended up writing material that really didn’t serve every person well. As I move along I have continued to niche down more and more. It doesn’t mean that you don’t serve people outside of your niche, however, it does mean that you are building everything for a specific group of people. If you are successful this niche following will be extremely passionate about you and what you do.

Niche down to be memorable. If you are too broad no one will recall you. Be specific enough to get a group of people talking.

3. Get to know them. Once you have narrowed down your niche you need to get to know them. You need to find out their likes and dislikes. Expectations are key and you want to make sure that you go above and beyond what they expect. If you can meet expectations that your niche doesn’t even know they have, you will build brand awareness. Think like your target thinks and anticipate need before it arises. Find out where they hangout, what kind of things they are in to and set yourself up to succeed.

Build knowledge about your niche so that you will have the ability to be unforgettable.

4. Serve them. Niche down and getting to know your target audience is all for one purpose; to serve them to the greatest of your ability. Your dream and business in the end will always be about others and serving them. If it is not, you need to get into a different line of work because that is the only way to prosper long-term. Instead of thinking, How can I expand my business, start thinking, How can I take the information I know and serve them greater? Do they want faster service, higher quality, lower prices, and friendlier staff? What is it that will serve your niche the best?

Serve and you will build. Self-serve and you will be forgotten because no one cares about you when you don’t care about them.

Build a life you never imagined by being unforgettable. Never settle for average. Instead serve with excellence. In time, you will be unable to hold back the tide of customers.

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