Archives For Excellence

Life is seldom smooth and most often it is full of setbacks and challenges that face us daily. At moments it can be overwhelming and we can focus on all of the negative things that are happening to us.  However, even in the most challenging situations we can choose to be happy. If you are struggling with happiness, make sure that these 6 things are aligned to help you on your journey.

happiness

Self-limiting beliefs. We all have a measure of self-limiting beliefs. Somewhere in life we lose our natural tendency that we are born with to aim for gigantic goals and dreams. We settle for good enough afraid to dream of more. Self-limiting beliefs hurt our self-esteem and create a life that is inauthentic. In order to be happy we must first believe that we are worthy of happiness.

Mask. Self-limiting beliefs, failures, and setbacks often lead to a life that is not who we are meant to be. We cover up our true nature with what we think is acceptable for others, hiding what we are fearful for others to know about us. This false self is the mask that we show the world. It is impossible to be truly happy when we are trying to be what others want others to be. In order to be happy we must be willing to be open and honest about failures and negative self-talk to a small trusted group of individuals.

Non-presence. When we are negative and downcast we are living a life in the past. We are mentally going over all of the times life has slammed us down. If our heads are in the clouds in the future it has the same negative effect. We are playing all of the things in our heads that we don’t have. It is impossible to fully embrace life when we are not present. To live life full and overflowing we must be in the moments of life that we are physically in. If we are not, we cannot fully feel and embrace even the smallest moments. To be happy we must live life by being fully present.

Expectations. If we can’t acknowledge our expectations happiness can allude us. Even the best moments in life can be ruined when reality is different than the expectations we have in our minds. To move past this roadblock we need to examine our expectations and gauge whether they are realistic or not. To be happy we must acknowledge our expectations.

Lack of stillness. A busy life can lead to an empty life. We must build in moments of solitude and stillness. In this busy go-go-go society, we must be proactive to recharge our batteries by installing moments of stillness. Make time to turn off all technology and slow the pace of your life. It is the silence between notes that creates beautiful music. The same goes for your life. It is the silence between activities that creates a symphony of a life. In order to live happily you must have moments of stillness.

Lack of adventure. Adventure is the spice of life. Even people that like routine need moments of adventure and excitement. If you are struggling with happiness, when is the last time you tried something new? Trying new things and experimenting can lead to a happy, fulfilling life. We should always be challenging ourselves through new activity. Add some happiness to your life by braving a new adventure.

There are no cookie cutter strategies for every person, but if you are struggling this is a perfect place to start. When I started to focus on living a life full and overflowing it was a gradual process to regain my peace and happiness. Practice makes progress and with time and focus your happiness can increase.  

* If you enjoyed this article, share it with someone you think would benefit.

Sign up to receive my blog posts via e-mail, a copy of my e-book, Find Your Path! and get 5 free coaching videos on Christian entrepreneurship! FREE. Privacy Guarantee: I will never share your e-mail address with anyone else.



 

Life moves by at the speed of light and I have played the role of the busy martyr way too often. In owning my own business it means the to-do list never ends. Add in being a husband, father, son, and friend and I often feel stretched and guilty. Dropping the ball in one sense or another, I find myself apologizing for forgetting, being tardy, or having a wandering mind. I feel like I am robbing Peter to pay Paul with my day, thus someone is always getting the short-end of the stick.

Hurried and rushed, I have lacked the truth about time. That time is not money, but life and I am not fully living. That time should be cherished and savored. That we should live fully in the present, fully intentional, and fully alive.

Time is not money but life

Stop wasting it.

We spend a lot of our lives waiting for the future, fretting about what may be or waiting for happiness. We waste time by fixating on the future and ignoring what is right in front of us. Ignoring this very second because tomorrow we are going to start living. Trying to make a life, we never have a life.

What foolishness, for tomorrow may never come. Both good and bad we may never see what we are fixated and enamored by. We are merely wasting what has been entrusted to us. We are called to steward our time to the best of our abilities.

Keep living it.

Intentionality means fully living. We are called to live abundantly and overflowing. Not wasting it and not devaluing what we have been given. Full intentionality for me means start with God and do what He would have me do for the day. When God is silent, it means doing what I know He would want me to do according to His Word. It means loving my wife like He loves me. It means being the father I should be. It means to move in the direction of our dreams and to lead with excellence while living an uncommon life.

Start enjoying it. 

Drawing in every breath, taking in every moment, being fully and authentically present. Enjoying the moment. Why does this feel so strange to us? Why does a wandering mind and dissatisfaction feel so normal? The only way to enjoy this life is to be present. To live in the now is an acquired skill that I am praying for. As I attempt this feat I realize how far I have to go. At work I think about home and at home I think about work. That is not enjoyment and those around me know they are not getting all of me. I am short-changing those I love the most. No more. We must take a stand. We must try and try again for the stakes are so high and we never get another chance. For this very moment will never happen again.

We need to treat this very second with the awe that it deserves. Move in the direction that God is calling, for tomorrow may never come. Do not stand still and waste today, but enjoy the journey and you will be blessed.

Are you living?

* If you enjoyed this article, share it with someone you think would benefit.

Sign up to receive my blog posts via e-mail, a copy of my e-book, Find Your Path! and get 5 free coaching videos on Christian entrepreneurship! FREE. Privacy Guarantee: I will never share your e-mail address with anyone else.



 

One of the most valuable skills we can have is to listen to others. To empathize and connect with others is a skill and an art. This act of listening will help you to propel your personal and professional life. I really struggle to fully listen. Usually I am thinking about a response or something else going on. This is embarrassing to admit, but it’s the truth. Unfortunately my wife can attest that my head is somewhere else often. I have made excuses, but the fact is I need to improve in listening.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

In all reality we all struggle to truly listen to each other. The more technology amps up, the harder it is to listen. This has major consequences within our families, businesses, relationships, and our spiritual lives. Listening is a skill you and I need to work on and like any new skill I want to encourage you to be patient with yourself as you give focus to listening. These 4 things will make you a better listener.

1. Practice. Like any skill you need to practice. As I started to work on my listening I became tired because now that I was focusing on listening it was requiring new effort. Active listening does require more effort and energy and that is why most never really listen. No matter how small the conversation is, practice listening fully to the person. Build that ear and brain muscle through practice.

2. Care. You need to care. This is foundational; if you don’t care you won’t listen. You need to know why it is important to listen. Whether it is caring for the person or what they are saying, you need to care. Most of the time we don’t. If we did, we would take better attention to engage in listening. Get your mind off of you and on to the person speaking. Build a foundation of listening by increasing how much you care. I have prayed that God would help me to get my eyes off  myself and increase my heart for others. He will be faithful if you ask Him.

3. Present. Are you in the moment when others are talking? Don’t let your mind wander. Keep your eyes focused on the person you are talking with. Don’t think about what you are going to say in response, rather be silent in your mind. Most of the time I am thinking of what I am going to say next instead of listening to someone. If you are doing this make sure and catch yourself. It will take time to develop the new habit of full presence.

4. Wait. Allow time to pass between one person talking and your response. This time needs to happen because this is when you are going to think about your response. Sometimes it will feel like an eternity, but it really isn’t. It is the pause between notes that creates music and it is the pause between talking that reveals a meaningful conversation.

The main thing with listening to others is to remember that connection is what we are after. To truly connect with others is rare and sets you apart. You will have greater relationships and businesses if you listen, care, and empathize with others. In a world of false connectivity we are called to something greater. Start today and build that muscle. When you fail, get back up and try again. Be blessed on your journey.

 What helps you to fully listen?

* If you enjoyed this article, share it with someone you think would benefit.

Sign up to receive my blog posts via e-mail, a copy of my e-book, Find Your Path! and get 5 free coaching videos on Christian entrepreneurship! FREE. Privacy Guarantee: I will never share your e-mail address with anyone else.



 

Home Run

Zechariah Newman —  March 16, 2015 — 8 Comments

It is tempting to swing for the fences with every action. This is how I operated in the online arena for a long time. Everything I did I was trying to tattoo that ball and hit it out of the park. I would put all of my effort and might into a single action. More importantly, I would watch the ball to see how far it flew.

4519847224_c6865de988_n

photo by: Chris Ptacek

That is the negative aspect of home run swinging. It isn’t negative to put all of our effort into something, however, it is negative when we stand there and admire our hit watching to see how far the ball will carry. Will this be the effort that will send us over the edge? It ends up being a bunch of starting and stopping and as a result gaining no momentum.

 Momentum is the mass of the object multiplied by its velocity.

This is what we are after. Not a home run, but greater momentum. If we are little we create more momentum than our larger competitor by increasing our velocity. We need to ramp up our activity, not do a single act. I got the best news of my writing career, celebrated for a day and then went back to writing. Since then I have written ten posts in seven days. I want my momentum to increase. I have a goal that one single piece of big news does not accomplish my goal.

When you gain momentum everything is easier. It is as if you are swimming downstream with the current. Things begin to feel easy, when before you were straining to move an inch. With momentum your small effort has massive movement.

This is the power of momentum and why single-minded focus is so important. This is the reason you should have a goal outcome and do many actions toward it. The compounding effect of your effort multiplied by God rolls on top of each other.

These are simple steps to follow to create momentum in your life.

  1. Ask God what you should focus on.
  2. Write down what the goal outcome is.
  3. Plan the activities that will get you there.
  4. Start!
  5. Do a little bit every day.
  6. Don’t stop until it is finished.

Unless God calls you to something else, remain focused on a single outcome and your efforts will yield small outcomes. Then over time you will gain momentum. Over time is what you need to remember in order to fight discouragement because in the beginning it will feel like you’re going nowhere fast. Push on and fight again and again. Eventually you will overwhelm and surpass the goal. You can do it, little by little it can be done. Be blessed on your journey.

What has helped you gain momentum?

* If you enjoyed this article, share it with someone you think would benefit.

Sign up to receive my blog posts via e-mail, a copy of my e-book, Find Your Path! and get 5 free coaching videos on Christian entrepreneurship! FREE. Privacy Guarantee: I will never share your e-mail address with anyone else.



 

This season in my life has been very challenging. It has been challenging in ways that I never expected or saw coming. When we are going through a hard time that challenge makes sense. The low point is tangible because where we want to be and where we are do not match. This latest obstacle had me so shaken that I had a couple days where I was so overwhelmed. I was on the verge of panic attacks and felt my breathe getting rapid and shallow. What was happening to me was growth and success.

10959784_201317130038647_2717786583268487105_n

photo by: KcNewman Photography

Though we get much more sympathy for moments of struggle and lack, abundance can feel overwhelming at times. When your business or dream takes off, there will be moments in your life that feel like you can’t handle anymore. These 4 things will help you to prosper during the stretch of growth!

Seasons of unbalance. Balance seems to be one of the buzz words floating around these days. The reality is something will always be out of balance and it is okay! A lot of what overwhelms me and I am sure you too is all that I “should” be doing. I am a Christian, husband, dad, son, friend, and entrepreneur. Each one of these things are blessings and each one can overwhelm me at times. I am sure the same is true for you as well. It is okay to be out of balance for seasons. The reality is that is life.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.”

Breathe. Be conscious of your breathing. When pressure becomes overwhelming you can have physiological effects. Slow your breathing and take deeper breathes. God made you, both body and spirit. Make sure that you do not neglect your body or the signs that it is giving you. If you are having shortness of breath, your body is telling you something.

Write it down. In times of feeling overwhelmed, it is important to write down what you are feeling. What do you have to do? What are outside influences? What are unneeded pressures and expectations by yourself or others? There will be things on your list to delegate, others to cross off and say “no” to, and some that you just need to grind and get done. Writing it down will help to formulate your emotions along with your to-do list. Write it down to remove the mental pressure.

God. It is with God that all things are possible. These moments are really great for us because we realize what is always true. We cannot do anything without God. We are inadequate on our own. We are more than conquerors in Him. Pray to God and refocus on Him. You will be given more than you can handle on your own, however, you will never be given more than what God can handle. Make sure to maintain your focus on God through all seasons.

It is important to be ready for all that life can throw at you. Growth and success can be a challenge, but you can overcome to get to new levels. To get where you want to go will be a constant refining process that is only accomplished through surrender to Christ. God will make you into what you need to be when you need to be it. Just trust Him. Be blessed on your journey.

* If you enjoyed this article, share it with someone you think would benefit.

Sign up to receive my blog posts via e-mail, a copy of my e-book, Find Your Path! and get 5 free coaching videos on Christian entrepreneurship! FREE. Privacy Guarantee: I will never share your e-mail address with anyone else.



 

Be realistic! I have heard this so many times. Mostly in my mind, but from others as well when I dare to tell them about my dreams. This phrase kills more dreams than we can imagine. Taking them to the grave, most people never dare to utter their dreams at the risk of being perceived as unrealistic. I heard once and believe it is true, that the graveyard has more ideas and inventions than we have in this world. People scared to look silly, scared to fail so they just settled for realistic; settled for something that is a shadow of what they were meant to be.

I want to shed light on this evil doer statement, “Be realistic.” At the root, it is just plain old fear. Fear of failure, fear of man, fear of going the wrong way, fear of the tough road ahead. FEAR! The killer of goals, dreams, and plans. Fear, the thing God warns us against over and over in the Bible. We may dress it up and put lipstick on it, but really it is nothing but fear.

We need to shed light on this fear. I talk about how to do that here. Another way to reduce our fear is to give hope by showing how others who have gone before us overcame their fear. Today, I wanted to highlight a few people who beat odds to achieve their dreams. You may have heard of these stories before, however, really take in how they must have felt before they knew they would achieve what their hearts longed for. Here are some people who beat the odds!

Abraham Lincoln. If I was to meet any person in U.S. history, this would be who I would choose to talk with. He was the sixteenth president of the United States. He only had one year of formal education. He lost more elections than he ever won. He was the first president outside of the original colonies and the first president from an unknown party. What an amazing man who outsiders would have never expected to make such a stamp on my country. President Lincoln was very unrealistic.

Helen Keller. At the age of two Keller became deaf and blind. At the age of seven she learned to write, read, and communicate. She learned Greek, Latin, French, and German and graduated cumlaude from Radcliffe College. Keller became an internationally renowned author and founded the Civil Liberties Union. Helen Keller was definitely unrealistic.

Albert Einstein. Einstein didn’t speak until he was four years old. Throughout his elementary years, many teachers thought he was lazy and wouldn’t make anything of himself. He received good grades, but his head was always thinking of other things and complex questions that others couldn’t understand. This Nobel Prize winner, Einstein was definitely unrealistic.

You. Whatever limitations setbacks and failures you have had does not preclude you to something great. In fact, when we get focused on our shortcomings we are taking our eyes off God and putting them on ourselves. The Bible says that He is made strong in your weakness. So it is your very weakness that makes you qualified in Him. You are more than a conqueror through Christ.

Me. When I started writing, my wife who taught Special Education before we had kids, would have to spend twice as long correcting my work as it took me to write it. I never did great in school and dropped out of college to start my first restaurant. I have had a dream to write for Entrepreneur and recently found out I will now be a contributor to their site as well as Addicted2Success! There’s nothing realistic about that!

My friend Matt McWilliams says, “I am a world changer just like you!” So true. Together we can change this world if we say, “NO” to fear. Push through the limitations you have and cling to God. This world can be better and you and I can change it. Be blessed on your journey.

What fears have you pushed through?

* If you enjoyed this article, share it with someone you think would benefit.

Sign up to receive my blog posts via e-mail, a copy of my e-book, Find Your Path! and get 5 free coaching videos on Christian entrepreneurship! FREE. Privacy Guarantee: I will never share your e-mail address with anyone else.



 

An Organized Life

Zechariah Newman —  December 1, 2014 — 18 Comments

One of my biggest struggles is to stay organized. I have about ten yellow legal pads around the house with different things from to-do lists to blog ideas scribbled on them. My car is not much better. I have fishing poles laying across the seats in case I want to stop and fish and things for each of my restaurants in my trunk. My office desks have stacks of unfinished work. Embarrassing, yet true. There always becomes a point where I can’t take the strain on my brain anymore and begin to organize my mess for a while.

fall path

Photo by: KCNewman Photography

The bottom line is that an unorganized life is hurting my dream and if you are unorganized it is making your dream chasing journey unnecessarily hard as well. Today let’s turn over a new leaf and clean up our lives so we can clean up our minds. If you are an organized person I would love your input at the end! These 5 things will help you to become and stay organized.

1. Start and end. To get organized we simply need to start. Perfection is not the goal, but merely to begin and head in that direction. After we have started we always need to end with organization. This takes discipline to stay a little late at the office or clean the car when you just want to sit down. I lie to myself that I will do it later. The reality is once we leave a location, our minds shift and it is much harder to do it later. I forget because it is not a habit in my life yet. Don’t procrastinate and do it now.

2. Write it down. My memory is pretty bad. In fact, I tell my staff that if you don’t write it down, you never told me. I have so many responsibilities and daily demands swirling around in my head. I am sure your life is the same way. I have begun to write everything down on yellow pads. I carry one in my car and have several throughout my house. When thoughts, ideas, to-do lists, and prayers come in my head, they go on a pad. This is necessary as your mind is what we are trying to clear the clutter from. Write them down instead of holding them in your mind and you will feel freedom.

3. One central place. This is the next transformation of a free mind that I am working on. Once a week I believe we need to gather the yellow pads and organize them on the computer. I have searched too many times for something I know I wrote down somewhere. Use this time to delete what you have done and add to your lists. Print off your lists and carry them with you as this will help your efficiency.

4. Commitment. Are you committed? Commit to a certain amount of time to stay organized no matter what. No matter how long it takes, follow these principles. Whether it’s 30 days or 3 months, stick to a time that you commit to so that you will have a chance to see the difference. You can always go back to a messy life if it is not worth it. Every new habit and routine starts with a commitment to do it.

5. Accountability. In all things we need accountability. This needs to be built into your daily life. Who is going to hold you accountable to your commitment? Find people who love you and are bold enough to call you out. Set times that you will check in. You cannot do this life alone! Build relationships. The time is worth it.

Let’s organize to free our minds and to be fully present. It will take time, energy and pain. however, it is worth it. The time spent will be multiplied down the road. When you fall down remember that failure is temporary if you get back up. Keep on trucking my friend. Be blessed on your journey.

How do you get and stay organized?

* If you enjoyed this article, share it with someone you think would benefit.

Sign up to receive my blog posts via e-mail and get a copy of my popular e-book, Find Your Path! FREE. Privacy Guarantee: I will never share your e-mail address with anyone else.



 

Fear Of The Unknown

Zechariah Newman —  October 21, 2014 — 5 Comments

The part of being faithful with the small things we often don’t want to talk about is that when we are being faithful with the little, we are not fearing, worrying, having anxiety and agonizing over our next step. It is a simple concept, but hard sometimes. Taking steps of faith were not meant to be easy. I often get stuck in thinking, “Is that you God?” I find myself analyzing and in the end talking myself out of the next step. The time, energy and effort spent worrying about things outside of my control is pretty sad.

path

photo by: KCNewman photography

I have operated, at times, like faith is the absence of doubt. This is the furthest thing from the truth. I believe that great faith is movement in spite of doubt. It reminds me of the gazelle.

The African gazelle can jump thirty feet in distance and fairly high. However, they are easily held captured. This animal can be held captive by a three-foot high fence for one simple reason. If they cannot see where they are landing, they refuse to make the leap. Though they can easily jump the fence, the gazelle won’t.

We are often like the African gazelle; great bound up potential refusing to move. Just sitting dreaming of more; dreaming of a full life. A tiny wall that mentally looks like a big obstacle holding us in.

True faith requires risk. It demands a step into the unknown. Faith requires doubt. Stop waiting for all the answers, for that day will never come. Leap with the risk of the unknown. Today work with excellence and diligence, walking in peace, continuously moving toward your goal and dream. Take steps of faith and allow God’s will to be done. Move and the path will be revealed to you. Be blessed on your journey.

How do you overcome the fear of the unknown?

* If you enjoyed this article, share it with someone you think would benefit.

Sign up to receive my blog posts via e-mail and get a copy of my popular e-book, Find Your Path! FREE. Privacy Guarantee: I will never share your e-mail address with anyone else.



 

Heart Of Service

Zechariah Newman —  October 14, 2014 — 10 Comments

In life we can either live a life of service or one of self-service. I struggle often with actually living a life of service. One that comes from the heart, not just the right actions. Not some mask of service, but authentically serving those I touch in my everyday life. When I am focused on my wants and desires I struggle with depression. Thoughts of self-service succumb to self-pity. Why me? Why is everything hard for me? I do the right thing and never get a good result! These are some of the negative thoughts I have when I focus on my life instead of living a life for others. At the time it feels like the truth although it is the furthest thing from the actual truth.

Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

When we focus our lives on helping and serving, we will be fulfilled. However, when we focus on when we will get a harvest, we will be depressed and frustrated. Our eyes have fallen on our wants and fixated on the negative things in life. I could spend ten minutes telling you how blessed I am. I could also spend ten minutes telling you why my life sucks. Sometimes in the same hour. It is all about where we choose to focus.

10646960_147502628753431_3001945273472930743_n

Photo by: KCNewman Photography

Zig Zigglar has a great quote. It says, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” I love this quote. I have one issue with it though that has led me astray. If in our hearts we are helping others to fulfill our wants, it will not work.

Studying Zigglar’s work, I believe he was exhorting us to get our minds off of ourselves and on serving others. This will lead to success! Only when we lay down our wants do we actually receive our true desires. Unfortunately, I at times have manipulated others; helping them with the intent to get what I want. The problem is then I am unconsciously or consciously still fixated on myself.

This week let’s be proactive in helping others. Let’s detach the strings that we put on “favors.” Serve just to serve. Sow seeds of love, peace and joy into others by focusing on the cross and God’s love for you. Love because Christ loved, serve because Christ served. Be the light that believers are called to. Use your dream that God put into you to serve and that after all is why He gave it to you to strengthen and exhort the body. Be blessed on your journey.

How do you focus your life into being one of service?

* If you enjoyed this article, share it with someone you think would benefit.

Sign up to receive my blog posts via e-mail and get a copy of my popular e-book, Find Your Path! FREE. Privacy Guarantee: I will never share your e-mail address with anyone else.



 

I hate having a meaningful conversation and watch the other person stop looking at me and look down at his or her phone. The conversation energy just completely stops. It makes me feel really important to the person. Okay, maybe not.

You see the same thing in restaurants. Couples looking down and fiddling on their phones. It is sad to me that in a connected world we have become isolated.

I am ashamed to say that I started to do the same things. I stopped being present in the moments with those I love. Looking down at my phone when it went off. Social media began to control me instead of me using it as a tool.

With a world that never stops, I began to remove all points of quiet out of my day outside of that first few hours that I didn’t have my phone. The phone would interrupt my work, writing, family time, prayer, and other things throughout the day.

I at least, felt a little powerless. I believe most people like me are a little powerless. That is why I have made a choice. I no longer have Facebook and Twitter on my phone. If this doesn’t help I will get rid of my smart phone all together.

Are you present with those physically with you? How many times a day do you check your Facebook or Twitter? Track it for one day. In 2013 ABC did a study that the average user checks 14 times a day. I was checking more than that. Yikes!

I still get on social media to post and respond, but for me, social media plays into a weakness having such easy access. Some are stronger than me and that’s okay. Know yourself; weaknesses and strengths.

The experts would say I am wrong with this and I need to be everywhere all of the time. That is why I haven’t done it until now. My dream was feeling like a nightmare. I have decided my family is more important.

A funny thing has happened. I am now getting more traction now that I am not wasting away my day being interrupted.

What stand will you make? I would encourage you to chase your dreams in a way that makes sense for you and your family. Use Hootsuite to post at certain times and only get on social media when it makes sense for you. Stop being controlled by the tool of social media and take your life back. Be blessed on your journey.

Do you have a problem with your smart phone?

* If you enjoyed this article, share it with someone you think would benefit.

Sign up to receive my blog posts via e-mail and get a copy of my popular e-book, Find Your Path! FREE. Privacy Guarantee: I will never share your e-mail address with anyone else.