Archives For Excellence

Who’s Fault Is It?

Zechariah Newman —  September 23, 2014 — 9 Comments

You don’t understand! No one will help me. They got lucky. These are all the thoughts I have had. Protecting and defending my choices and actions can be a full time job. Even my sin I can shove aside as a generational curse or wounds of another. I have no responsibility for my actions. I am a victim to the failures and sins of others.

It is so easy to blame circumstances outside of my control for my lot in life. Blame for me is not hard to find and I have played the victim more than I would like to admit.

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Photo by: KCNewman Photography

As I write this with tears in my eyes, I am amazed at how I have let my flesh and Satan distract me from God’s purpose. I have been so busy squabbling for scraps that I don’t even look at what I can do! Today no matter what circumstances arise, no matter where we are, we can do something.

If we don’t take responsibility how can we change?

If we don’t admit that we picked it up, how can we put it down?

If we don’t recognize ourselves as a sinner how can we be saved?

2 Corinthians 12:9 states, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.'”

Failures, setbacks and challenges are real. Generational sin and wounds from others affect us, but you and I have a choice to stand and say, “Jesus I need you! Change Me!” Only when we take responsibility for failures, can we have the power through Christ to change. So this week walk in boldness. Be a warrior for Him by being weak and in need of a Savior. Do what you can and give what you can’t to Him. Be blessed on your journey.

How can you take more responsibility?

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I have been making a lot of traction lately. I have a guest post going live on Faith Driven Business today, six podcast interviews in the next two weeks and all while hitting my writing goal of 500 words a day with my book. I am kind of shocked at my small change and the amazing traction. I am thankful that God opened my eyes through my family and friends. Too often we are close to being on the money, but just a little off.

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Photo by: KcNewman Photography

About a month ago I would have told you that I don’t have time for anymore. It is Time Management 101, however, I think overtime we forget. Before I continue remember that time first and foremost must be consecrated to God The only thing I have changed is this. The night before I figure out what I am needing to accomplish and do it the next morning first thing. Figure out the result you need to accomplish and execute it. Then again and again. Small changes over a period of time get massive results.

What I was doing:

I was reading cool blogs and setting Hootsuite for my tweets for the day. What I wasn’t calculating was that I was using the best time in the day for me to write. I was replacing this with promoting and reading other people’s work. Underneath it all I think I was doing what made me feel important instead of what was most important. I have just hit the beginning of reexamining my schedule and I am sure there is much more space. For more on time management here is a good read by my friend, Matt Mcwilliams.

What I am doing now: 

The single thing I am doing is figuring out not what to do, but what I want to accomplish. Then and only then do I plan the activities.

Whether I am excited or not, I am doing what is going to advance my vision first. Right now for me that is two things; reach more people and finish my next book. Each morning I write my 500 words and then either reach out to a few podcasts or write a guest post. That’s nothing thrilling, but it works. What is so strange is I read the same amount of posts and share and comment as well, however, it’s on my time after I have gotten my list done. Figure out what your dream needs most and do it first thing. Try this for a week and let me know what happens.

Whether this is a new concept or you have gotten away from this, I encourage you to begin again. Keep slaying the dragon first thing. Often what we do with twenty percent of our time yields eighty percent of the results. Focus on that twenty percent and do more of it. That will get your dream to another level. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable. It is effective though. Be blessed on your journey.

What small change has given you big results?

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I have been slowing down more, but I have a long way to go. If you haven’t checked out Jeff Goins Slow Down Challenge you should. It is crucial that you chase your dream the right way. I am becoming more effective and getting much better results out of my activity the more I slow down. Now slowing down to watch more T.V. is not the goal. To slow down and admire life while living in the moment is our aim. This beauty of slowing down will propel your dream if you marry the two ideas.

An abundent harvest

photo by: KC Newman Photography

I pray that after last week’s post you have written out your vision so that you don’t waste your opportunities.

Too often we scurry around for what? We know we have to say no to the good things to say yes to the great, however, we still say yes to everything! Get off the hamster wheel!

After praying and seeking God and writing down what He has put in your heart, it is time to breathe life into it. We do this through partnering with God and planting seeds. Slow down and examine your activity. What seeds are you planting? What harvest will you reap?

Be specific when sowing seed. Could you imagine a farmer grabbing random seeds and tossing them out all over the ground? He would reap a harvest, but it would be weeds, flowers and a crop. However, if instead he maps out his property deciding what to plant and where to plant it, he will receive a harvest that can support his family. The farmer is just as active in both scenarios, but with drastic differences. Make sure that your activity is aimed at your vision.

Focus on the planting. When a farmer is planting his field he sows many seeds. Your dream will be the same way. You will sow many seeds to turn it into reality. The temptation is to plant a seed and see if anything happens. It is a big temptation for me to post a blog and then stare at the analytics for a few days. My activity and planning slow way down to watch to see if a seed sprouts. Rather, I should post the blog and move onto something new right away. Planting with a purpose, then another and another. Focus on focused activity.

The only way to change your life or to have new breakthrough is to do things differently than you have done them. Slow down, take your vision and create action steps to turn it into reality. Remove the bad or good seeds and plant many great seeds with purpose and vision. Be blessed on your journey.

 What are you sowing this week?

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Focused Energy

Zechariah Newman —  June 10, 2014 — 18 Comments

I have a 16 month old little girl named, Hope. She is our third little bundle of joy and she is busy. She has learned how to walk and now gets into everything. If she is awake, she is going from one thing to another. Toys capture her attention, but overtime she is bored and she has moved onto the next thing. If we are not careful she will get into the garbage or toilet if we don’t shut the bathroom door. Good and bad things occupy her day.

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How many of us never mature beyond this? Always on the go and when someone asks how we are we say, “busy.” It’s like the American answer to give. Rarely focused; just an object in motion. Occupied by the silliest things. Your dream won’t come easy. You need to cut out a lot of the distractions in life. Your dream will require you to focus on one thing for a prolonged period of time. You well could be easily distracted by junk and by good things.

Momentum will happen with your dream over time. It is the prolonged pressure that is required to see your dream through. You must maintain focus on your dream like a magnified glass. The focused energy of the sun through the glass can cause a fire. Our lives, when focused, can have the same effect. When you move the glass around though, there is not enough energy to catch a fire. The lens must stay firmly focused.

At times your dream will feel like it is a million miles away. Keep making small steps in the same direction. The time that it will take is not always fun, however, it is required to become excellent in any skill. Put in focused time and watch your dream take on new life.

When you have success which you will, be careful on how quickly you layer things on top of your beginnings. One of the biggest times for business failure is actually bred out of success. Don’t expand too quickly, rather make calculated moves over time.

So again focus your energy over time and allow God to multiply your dream. Patience is not easy, but it is worth it. Your reaction to distractions will determine whether you will achieve what God has put in your heart. (Tweet it) Be blessed on your journey.

How do you stay focused on your dream?

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The Pain of Progress

Zechariah Newman —  February 4, 2014 — 3 Comments

I wish our dreams just happened. Don’t you? I wish that when I decided to do something new it was easy. That life itself was easy, but it’s not. Getting up at 5:00 am this morning was especially tough. My bed was warm and it was cold out there. I did not sleep well, however, I have a packed day today so no snooze button for this dream chaser. Isn’t that how life is? Our current situation feels comfortable. It doesn’t matter what it is; whether it is good or bad at least we know what it’s like. We could be sitting in a wet or dirty diaper, but it’s comfortable. Putting a clean one on requires a few seconds of cold and discomfort. (Can you tell I have young kids?) Getting out of bed, though I was excited to write, was going to require action that was uncomfortable. Here is the truth about progression. Without the struggle there is no progress.

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It is in the low valley where we grow and are shaped. I wish that it was the mountaintops, but it’s not. The struggle shapes and cultivates us to become better. It is in failure, loss, and heartache that we are shaped and catapulted into a new and better season. It is too easy to become bitter and look at the failures, however, there can be a better life if we embrace the pain instead of run from it.

I struggled for years trying to figure out what to do with my life. Now I am writing, speaking, and leading others to follow their God-given purpose. I am honored to help others figure out and pursue what God has for them in their lives. I couldn’t do this if I didn’t understand the struggle. Could you imagine someone teaching about chasing dreams and the challenges people face when they don’t understand the pain?   There were tears of pain and confusion trying to figure out what I wanted to do. It has not been easy, but through the confusion and pain there has been a beauty. Through the pain I have found my purpose and calling. Your dream will be the same way; the pain forges the dream to new heights. The lowest of lows is what creates the mountaintop experiences.

So don’t run from, cover up, or hide your failures. Learn and grow from the struggle. Then teach others and show them the hope on the other side. God has so much for you. Hold on to hope and push through the struggle and discomfort. Be blessed on your journey.

How do you get through the discomfort and struggle?

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Sowing and Reaping

Zechariah Newman —  January 28, 2014 — 7 Comments

I had a great opportunity this last weekend to go to a men’s retreat with my church. I had a great time resting and getting to know the men at my local church. What have you been up to?

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One of the men from my church brought up the act of sowing and reaping. This is important for dream chasing and life in general. I have seen men and women lose the faith because of a lack of understanding of sowing and reaping. It is as if we all think, I have done what I am supposed to do. Where is my reward? It is easy to give up on the dream because you have been working on it and the results are not what you have liked.

Honestly this is how I have been lately; trying to figure out things that are not in my control. How about you? I expect things to happen too quickly no matter what I am doing. I create no space for God to work. I plant and then obsess over the germination time instead of going on to the next seed to plant.

We will not merely plant one seed and then miraculously everything will change. In Galatians 6: 7-10 it says, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

“In due season” are the words I want to focus on today. It is simple to look at a short section of our lives and assume that the act of sowing and reaping does not exist. In the physical world and the spiritual world there are different types of seeds. Sometimes the act of sowing and reaping is like grass seed. There is a seven-day germination cycle. Other times it is like some pine species that take the act of fire to scorch the cone before they germinate.

I want to encourage you to never grow weary of doing good. Do not grow weary of pursuing your dream. In due season you will see fruit of the seed you have panted. Do your part in taking action, which is planting seeds. Let God decide when the harvest will happen. Be blessed on your journey.

How do you stay focused on your part?

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Are you planning and waiting on an event? I was listening to Eric Thomas and it led me to some conclusions. It is so tempting to plan. This is a dangerous mind-set and I don’t recommend it. Dream chasers cannot event plan, rather we have to fall in love with the process. This is what causes us to wait till the last-minute to write an essay in school. We wait till it is due to do the work. If the due date is changed we merely put off working on it. There is no way it can be at its best with this perspective. I used to wait till one or two days before my posts were due to write them as well. Consequently my creativity was bogged down and I didn’t have time to listen to God on what to write. I have switched my process and I think it is the only way for us to chase our dreams with excellence. It is the only way to be the best you that you can be.

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Focus on the process not the event or destination. You and I don’t know which things in our life that seem meaningless will affect our future. That person you meet could be the gatekeeper to your dream. That post you write could be the one that goes viral. That interview you gave could be the one to put you over the top. Are you ready?

Here is an example from my life right now. I am doing two things. I am writing a little bit everyday. Little by little I have improved. No matter if one person reads it or one hundred thousand I try to be faithful with it. I am focusing on the process of writing daily. The other thing is reading. I am reading so that I have things flowing into me. Reading daily has given me things to say. The process of learning and teaching is where my focus has been.

This may not seem major, but it is one of the things that separates the average from the great. The great practice the craft they have whether they feel like it or not as well as if they think it will affect them or not. You never know who is watching and or what thing that seems meaningless will unlock the gate to your dreams. I don’t think that the shepherd David knew that killing lions and bears with a sling would play such a crucial role in him becoming king.

So stop planning for an event and start doing what small things you can do today. Live a life of excellence today. One day turns into a week of excellence which turns into a month of excellence and so on. Be faithful with little and fall in love with the small process. Your big dreams will happen in these little days. Be blessed on your journey.
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You Have Made It

Zechariah Newman —  December 17, 2013 — 9 Comments

What does success look like? Is it a specific amount of money, freedom, number of kids, or a certain vehicle? This is often the thing that people don’t think about, even dreamers. It is just this vague sense of not being there. We have failed yet we don’t know what success looks like. The problem is that as humans we are wired to be visionaries and we will always be going somewhere. Since we are always headed somewhere we can easily lose track of how far we have gone that we almost forget where we started. Today I want to encourage two things if you feel like you don’t measure up.

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1. Write it down. Write down what you think success looks like and be very specific. Don’t write what someone else thinks, but what you think it is. Write it all down. Amount of money, perception, things, etc. What is it to you? Here is what I realized. First, I didn’t know exactly what success was to me. It took me a long time to write something down. Next was that my measurement was unrealistic. I would guess that these things are true for you as well. We usually have a vague feeling of unworthiness of not measuring up. What this exercise taught me is where I was. This is important when you are going somewhere. You need to know where you are to figure out where you are headed.

2. Change your measurement. This will not happen all at once; it takes time. We need to measure ourselves by a different standard. The king of the universe knows your name and called you for a specific purpose. You don’t need to prove anything. You are made perfect in Him. He makes you whole. He calls you His son or daughter. You measure up and are successful in Him. It is not through our own self effort that success should be defined, but Christ in us.

This is so important. We need to come from a place of completeness. You will not earn God’s love. You will not earn grace. That is silly yet we often times act in this manner. We need to be real, authentic people. The only way this happens is if we put on the identity that Christ gives us. Otherwise we become fake and hypocritical wearing a mask for the world. If you have accepted Christ you are a success. Continue to progress and grow in Him. Come from this place of not trying to prove yourself to the world. Progress and move in this freedom. Be blessed on your journey.

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What If I Am Wrong?

Zechariah Newman —  November 28, 2013 — 9 Comments

What if I think I know which way I should be going and I am wrong? This is what I want to share today because it is a fear that goes into my mind a lot and I am sure that you have these thoughts if you have taken any action toward your dream. Here is the thing about this fear; it is kind of silly because it doesn’t really matter, yet this fear never fully goes away. Everything that you do contributes to the person that you become.

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Let’s stop for a second and think. How could the dream you are chasing or the goal positively affect your life even if it doesn’t come true? I will use myself as an example. If writing and speaking doesn’t pan out, it is making me a better husband, dad, boss, and person. Everything I do, both mistakes and failures, I dissect and try to figure out what went wrong or right. I am learning to trust God more. I am learning to be ok with rejection. I am growing constantly and am learning to pursue life despite my fears.

I wish that I had the secret of knowing what to do all the time, but there is no such thing. We do the best with what we know. Focus on growth and living today as efficiently as possible. Most importantly submitting to the will of God. Trusting in God is not a one time event, rather a daily submitting to His plan. This in time will lead to a life you never imagined. The path may weave all over the place, but it is the process that should be enjoyed not the destination.

We will never arrive. There will be another obstacle and more mountains. Once we get to where we think we want to be, God opens our eyes to so much more. Do not be disheartened or discouraged because the God of the universe knows all that will happen. He will direct your path even if it doesn’t make sense to you. Listen to that still small voice. Be blessed on your journey.

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What makes us worthy to go for broke with our dreams? If we are honest, most of us even us dream chasers, hope that we will make it but don’t fully believe it. I had a huge eye-opening experience and I would like to share it with you. I have been practicing this dream for a long time now, well at least it feels that way. Fifteen hour weeks on top of my forty-five to sixty hour work week. I have been believing this dream more and more. I talked with my friend and fellow writer Kimanzi on Monday. He said, “Hey you should get a hold of John Lee Dumas at Entrepreneur On Fire. I think you would be a good match and it would get you in front of a lot of people.” I thought, “No way am I worthy enough to be on a podcast that reaches 450,000 downloads.” Well I ignored the thought and reached out to John and I will be on Entrepreneur On Fire early in 2014. I feel beyond blessed and humbled.

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“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”             ~Thomas A. Edison

Your dream is the same way. Do you really believe enough to ask gatekeepers to let you through? Have you asked? Have you built relationships with them? Celebrities in our eyes are nothing more than human. The God of the Universe knows you by name. He calls you His son or daughter. You are worthy and you are good enough. Will you believe it? Will you risk your reputation and admiration to shoot for the stars? Are you willing to be a fool?

“If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.” ~Jim Rohn

Mistakes are no more than learning. We want to avoid fatal failure. Other than that we want to fail a lot. If you are falling flat on your face, it means that you are stretching to new levels. I don’t know if I will knock it out of the park on John’s show. I do know that I will prepare and it will stretch me for the next interview. Get out there and fail. Fail forward, grow, and fail again. You will look up and be amazed at how far down the path you have come.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”~ Winston Churchill

I want you to start stretching your mind to what you think is possible. Your dream should be more than something you are able to do on your own. Have you taken action since the last post? Continue to spend 15 minutes working on your dream today. Action is what separates the dreamers of the night and the dreamers of the day. Step out into the deep end; the water is fine. Be blessed on the journey.
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