Archives For Goals

There is such a miss conception about our circumstances. It is so easy to think that life would be different if ___ changed. To even utter in this time of depression that our outlook on life is what affects our moods is so obnoxious. Unfortunately or fortunately however you look at it is true. Our attitude determines more of our direction in life then we want to admit. The battlefield that rages in the mind is a fierce one and often times it is one step forward two steps back. Thoughts translate into words which breed life.

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Photo by: http://kcnewmanphotography.zenfolio.com/

This week I want you to try something that I heard while listening to Zig Zigler. I’m going to focus on your job, but it translates into any area of your life.

Step one is to write down things you like about your job. No matter how much you hate your job, if I made you write down your likes what would you say? Here is a list of mine:

  1. I like my job because I get to run my own business.
  2. I like my job because I affect other people’s lives.
  3. I like my job because I work with fun people.
  4. I like my job because I get to meet neat people.
  5. I like my job because I lead people.
  6. I like my job because I get to serve people.
  7. I like my job because I make money.

Step two is to look into a mirror so you can look into your eyes and say with feeling this list except change “like” to “love.” I know this sounds cheesy but just try it. See if your attitude does not change over time. Our attitude determines whether we rise or shrink back.

Let’s use our words for good. Focusing on the life around us instead of the death. If we are not faithful in the season we are in, we are not going to enjoy the next season. So take control of the battlefield now. Move past hate and fall in love. Change your surroundings by changing your mind. He who is faithful with little will be given much.

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Money is not a complicated thing, however, our actions with money can be very complicated. Many times we over complicate it and add drama. The truth is if we did three simple things we would have enough money and would not let dollars and cents be a stronghold in our lives. This post is not about investing and borrowing. To find out more on those decisions click hereThese 3 things should be lived out daily with finances.

Free-money1

1. Give 10%. We must be giving. We should not be closed fisted, but instead have an open hand. This is impossible to do unless you are giving part of your money away. Giving frees up the heart, kills envy, and renews the mind to remember that life is so much more than money. Like anything in life this is a muscle that needs to be built. If you have not been giving it will be a stretch for you, but it’s worth the effort to lower your lifestyle to have money to give.

2. Invest 15%. Are you planning for your future? How are you going to eat when you can’t work any longer? How are you going to pay for unexpected bills? I know these are not things that are fun to think about so we usually don’t until it’s too late. We need to be putting away at least 15% of our income and build savings and retirement. If a couple hundred-dollar bills ruins your life there is a problem. There is a level of peace when there is more than a few dollars in the bank. You will make different decisions and get better sleep.

3. Live within your means 75%. It is your choice whether this includes debt payments or not. My wife and I have decided to stop borrowing money on anything other than our home. It may take us longer to become wealthy because of a lack of leverage, but I believe the freedom and peace is worth the sacrifice. If this is not the choice you make that’s okay, but at least make sure that you don’t pass the point of bills being more than income. That is not a fun place to be.

I know that these three things are not earth shattering, but most things in life that are simple are where the real change happens. If you have gotten yourself upside down with bills it will take a lot of effort to dig out of them, but in the end it will be worth it. Give, save, and live within the rest. This is the key to a life of freedom and peace with finances.

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When there is a bend in the road we need to slow down. The only way the road ends is if we don’t turn with it. I love country drives when I don’t know where the road goes. Simple turns take the road in a direction that I never imagined. Jon Acuff refers to these moments as “hinge moments.” When we look for huge changes in life we miss the small things that will really change our world. Most of us want to believe that we run along and jump onto another road. This is not how effective change usually happens. The only way to be able to see these hinges is if we are not rushing through life. I need to slow down. Do you? I get into the doing in life instead of the being. I can be extremely task oriented, pushing harder and faster until I run off the road. These 4 things help me to slow down so I see the “hinge moments” in my life.

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1. Be still. It is hard for me to sit at the feet of God with no agenda. No praying or music. The amount of time is not as significant as just some time. If you are like me two minutes feels like two hours. Just sit and listen. If God brings something up, put it at the foot of the cross and go back to listening. He is the still small voice. We need to plan in time to just listen. Most of the time we give Him our requests and praise instead of listening. Maybe He wants to say something?

  “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”~ Psalm 46:10

2. Turn off technology. It is sad how hard this is for me and many others. No computer, phone, and t.v. Schedule it in if you have to. The world will get along just fine without you for an hour. Be present with your kids, spouse, friends. Nothing is more obnoxious than pouring your heart out to someone and they look at their phone.

3. Exercise. Sometimes you need to do some intensive cardio to free up your mind. If you exercise regularly it will change you mentally more than physically. This decompresses my mind so I can relax. I look at the world more confidently and see things I didn’t see before.

“Leave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which are as necessary as reading. I will rather say more necessary because health is worth more than learning.”~ Thomas Jefferson

4. Margin. We need to plan margin into our day. Some days I’m rushing from the moment I wake up to the second I go to bed at night. How are we going to hear or see any whispers from our heavenly Father or turns in the road with no space in our schedule? Plan time of space into your day.

Slow down and enjoy your life. Stop doing and start being. If you don’t find healthy ways to slow down, your body will eventually make you slow down. Life changes too fast so we need to be in the moment. We need to flex and turn with life by adding stillness and margin. Caution: there are curves ahead.

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The way circus elephants are trained demonstrates why we struggle with breakthrough. When young, they are attached by heavy chains to large stakes driven deep into the ground. They pull, yank, strain and struggle, but the chain is too strong. One day they give up, having learned that they cannot pull free. From that day forward they can be chained with a slender rope. When this large animal feels any resistance it stops trying because it believes it cannot break free. How often are we like this? We have failed, therefore we don’t get back up. We are defeated before we start. I heard someone put it this way. We don’t fully believe we can attain that which we are working towards so we give half effort and get half results resulting in a stronger belief that we cannot.                         Photo By:      http://kcnewmanphotography.zenfolio.com/1069189_120665741437120_47305734_n

Belief is so important because our minds are always deleting things. I have said this before but it bares mentioning again. Have you noticed when you buy a new car, all of a sudden you see your car everywhere? How did you not see this before? Because our minds are constantly deleting things. It is important to have an attitude of HOPE for this reason. The reason why most of us don’t accomplish our dreams is because we set our goals inside our mental barriers where it’s safe. What if you stretch out to new thoughts of possibilities? A sure-fire way to know you are headed in the right direction is if you are doing something beyond yourself. Something that needs divine help and other people to come alongside you.

Think of how many other barriers have turned out to be only mental obstacles:

  • “Landing and moving about on the moon offers so many serious problems for human beings that it may take science another 200 years to lick them.”~Science Digest, 1948
  • “Rail travel at high-speed is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia.”~Dr. Dionysus Lardner, 1793-1859
  • “Heavier than air, flying machines are impossible.”~ Lord Kelvin

Restore your mind. Stretch what is possible. Don’t be like the trained elephant. Open your mind to how big the possibilities God has for you may be. Our attitudes should be; if God can bless anyone and make anything happen, He can make it happen for me. I choose to believe that God has a destiny for me. I refuse to feel tension and shrink back. I will continue to hold tight to that which He is calling me. Will you hold tight to where He is calling you?

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People often say that money doesn’t make you happy. I believe that this is true, but I also believe that a mountain of debt is a sure-fire way to be unhappy. Debt is one of the deep dark secrets that no one talks about. I’m not here to convince you not to borrow, though I think you should think about it. Debt is a current of water pushing against you. Everything you do requires an amazing amount of effort and energy; nothing is easy. Investments are different. They are like you are going with the current making everything easier similar as it is paddling down stream. Debt robs you of these three things!

1. Hope. I remember when my wife became pregnant. It was our “plan” for her to stay at home. I say “plan” loosely as it was more what we wanted. We couldn’t make it on my income alone because of debt payments. Even though we knew the whole time we wanted her to stay home when we had kids, our choices didn’t all align with that. We had no hope until we stumbled upon Dave Ramsey! Mountains of debt robs you of the hope to have what you desire. It is like a thief in the night, causing our minds to see all the negatives with money and none of the positives. Restore your hope. It is possible to pay off debt. We made a plan and she went back to teaching for nine months when our oldest was one and everything she made went toward paying off debt. It was the longest nine months of her life! My wife is now at home with our three kids. We did it because of Hope!

“Never spend your money before you have it.”~Thomas Jefferson

2. Peace. Do you remember what it was like to have no debt payments? Ever lose sleep because of debt? I have too. It is such a nasty destroyer of peace. It creeps into your mind and worry sets in. Worry is the opposite of peace. Sometimes when we have had debt around for so long we have grown accustomed to the feeling of worry. This is not the way it should be. There is a better way. It requires sacrifice and hard work.  What is your peace worth?

“Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.”~Warren Buffett

3. Freedom. Do you remember the scene from Brave Heart? The one in which William Wallace yells, “Freedom!” Financial freedom allows for so much. To give like no one else can give. It allows you to be spontaneous to go when you want to go. When you  have the pounds of pressure that debt brings, you lose a lot of your freedom. My wife had to go back to work when she didn’t want to. We couldn’t give as much as we wanted to give. Our money was all chained up to bills with other people’s names on them. What freedom would you have with no debt?

I believe debt can steal these three things from you. Debt stole these things from us. James 1:5 states, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” I believe that this is true. Ask God and He will show you the way. Remove the chains of bondage. Be free!

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God made you for a purpose. When I hear this most of the time I think, “When do I get to start living that purpose out.” I believe that this is a common mistake. We put the purpose of our lives at some distant point in the future barely out of our grasp. Our whole life can go by before our eyes without even knowing it while waiting for our purpose to be here. What if your purpose is now? When can you start enjoying your life? Life should be like running. Your eyes are up, you have a route, but you focus on one step at a time while you take in the surroundings. These 3 things help me to enjoy the day.

next step!

1. You are preparing for something. (Eyes up) To continue to use running as an example, when you are training for a marathon you have to put in a lot of hours of training. I don’t enjoy every training day but I have learned to enjoy it most of the time. It is preparing for the race that gets me most of the time, not the race itself. So find something in what you’re preparing that you enjoy. I like seeing the wildlife when I run, the feeling after running, and I think creatively when I run. Enjoy this time of preparation in your life!

2. You have a route. When I take off running, I have a route designated and a time that I am trying to be done by. This rarely happens exactly as I plan, but I leave with an idea of where I’m going. This does not mean that I am not enjoying the run, in fact it frees my mind up because I don’t have to think about where I’m going. I can just be in the moment. Areas in my life that I have decided to go on a certain path I have peace. It’s those areas of my life that I have put off decisions are where I struggle with joy. Decide a path and go. If it’s wrong you can redirect, but stop taking up today wondering.

3. This day is the only day like it. (Focus on the step) Enjoy the insignificant days. As my family, business, and church involvement grow, I always think I wish I would have enjoyed _____. You never know what is happening today that you are going to miss. Even the things that seem like a pain will be missed. It is a pain some nights getting my kids ready for bed when I’m exhausted, but I’m 100% sure I will miss it. So even when I am exhausted, I think “I’m not going to be able to do this much longer.”

So be like a runner with a focused gaze on the finish line yet living out each step. Don’t wait to start living. Be fully alive today by charting your course, preparing, and taking it one step at a time.

What things do you do to focus on this step?

 

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I have sat here and worked on my opening paragraph for about an hour trying to figure out what to write about. The thing that keeps me going is passion. I would love to get paid to speak and write but if that was the reason behind my actions I would have stopped by now. What are you passionate about? This is the only thing that will keep you going when everyone else quits. Life is not a straight line. There are ups and downs. Your dream will take more time and energy than you ever thought possible. Some days you will want to throw in the towel so you need the passion behind you to keep you going. These 5 things will keep your passion alive to achieve your dreams!

1. Have a routine. I hate routine but the truth is we need one. I am writing this because I routinely post on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s. So I am staying up late simply to get this ready for Tuesday morning. Growth comes when we push through the hard times. It is easy to write when inspiration hits, but to grind it out is what the pros do.

“The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.”~ Mike Murdock

2. Greater calling. You need the greater why behind it all. Writing to hopefully write books someday is not going to cut it. I write to inspire and change people’s lives. Now that keeps me up writing. To restore and encourage growth that is what brings me alive. Think about it. What is your great calling?

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”  ~ Oscar Wilde

3. Be yourself. I am not you and you are not me. Be yourself in your unique gifting. If you are trying to be someone you are not, you are going to be to tired and worn. Be yourself so you can chase after what is really in your heart. Stop wearing a mask.

4. Exercise. We all need it. Make it a priority. I get almost all of my creative ideas when I run. This is a must in my life. If you haven’t exercised in a while start slowly. To give you some hope, I couldn’t run a quarter mile without stopping two years ago and in the fall I ran my first marathon (26.2miles). You can do it!

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” ~ Jim Rohn

5. Eat healthy. I struggle in this area the most. What we eat is fueling our bodies. Eat meals that give you energy, not ones that take the energy out of you. It takes more time but it’s worth it. Let’s make a pact to change one eating habit this week.

I hope these quick tips help you to have a greater level of passion so you can do what you are called to do. Change is not easy, so focus on your passion and change the little behaviors. In time these little changes will change your life!

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When we hear of rip off financial systems or bad investments they all have one thing in common; the promise of quick money. Most of us have very little patience and this is the hook in our mouth. We never hear the term, “get rich slow schemes” as this would allow time to think. In the children’s fable, The Tortoise and The Hare, we learn that the tortoise always wins. My brother once said, “I just wish my tortoise was faster.” Isn’t that the truth? We want to grab our turtle and strap a rocket to its back. This is the point at which I have made my worse financial decisions. These 5 steps help me to avoid my share of stupid tax.

Picture by http://www.flickr.com/photos/epsos/

1. Breath. There are many studies that show deep breathing allows for better decision making. Give your brain full oxygen and lower your blood pressure. Breath down through your belly button then slowly exhale. Yes, using your brain helps to avoid bad decisions. It moves us from emotion back to logic.

2. Can you teach it? We must be able to explain the investment idea to others. If you can’t do this don’t put money into it. Only invest in things you fully understand. Know how it could make money as well as how it could lose money. Everything has an opportunity cost; know what it is. Fund managers and investment help is great, but don’t let that be an excuse for not paying attention and understanding what they are doing. As Dave Ramsey says, “They must have the heart of a teacher.”

3. Prayer. Pray about it. I have not invested in certain things because I didn’t feel comfortable about them after praying. The burden of proof is on the side of investing in something new. One instance of this was a company that got all of its assets frozen. I wanted to invest, but after praying I didn’t feel right so I didn’t do it. Glad I didn’t now, although at the time that was a tough decision. A lot of people I knew were making good money with little effort. I love the people who lost money in the company and my heart aches for them.

“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”~ James 1:5

4. Counsel. Always get counsel from those that do well financially. Get counsel from the ones that will challenge you, not the ones that will be “yes” men and women. Another chance to teach that person about your investment or purchase idea. They will open your eyes to things that you have not considered. You have to be open to being wrong. Don’t get argumentative and stay open to critique.

“Through presumption comes nothing but strife, But with those who receive counsel is wisdom.” Proverbs 13:10  

5. Long term vision. Some won’t like this but I don’t prescribe to market timing short-term single stock investments. It feels too much like the hare in the race. I’m going to hold for the long-term. This helps to avoid microwave thinking and sets my life up to be like a crock pot. No adrenaline rush but highly effective. Investment strategy should be boring.

So if you have made your share of oops financially, join the club. Knowing what to do and doing it are two separate things. Don’t look back except to learn. Look forward, learn your lesson and take your time making decisions. When all else fails ask more questions. With most things we come to decisions too quickly and don’t have enough information. So breath, ask, pray, and ask some more.

What are some things you do to make better financial decisions?

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Are you lusting after your dream? I do sometimes. Lust is an overwhelming desire or craving. I believe pursuing our dreams turns to lust when we can’t be happy with our life until we achieve what great grandeur is in our minds. I’m trying to put the dream in its proper place but to be honest it is hard to do. I have found certain things to be successful in increasing patience which leads to me putting my dream in its proper place instead of lusting after it. These 3 things help me to chase my dream and not lust after it. 

“And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.” Hebrews 6:15

1. Trust God’s timing. Do you believe God’s plan for your life is perfect? Do you believe He knows you better than you know yourself? Don’t give some religious answer. My first reaction is, “Yes I trust God with my life. Well with this part of my life at least. If I give Him access to all of my life I will have to sell everything, have no friends, and do things I hate. No, no, no, I can only put Him in the church box.” Then I wonder why it’s hard to wait. If we truly are allowing God into all areas of our life He will give us the desires of our heart or He will change your heart. Trust God with your whole life, including the timing.

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”   ~Epicurus

2. Gratitude. If I am lusting after my dream, I am ungrateful for everything in my life. All I can focus on is everything God is not giving me. How could He be so unfair and give other people my dream? Oh the humanity! This is no way to live. When I focus on my three beautiful kids who are healthy, the finances I do have, the influence I currently have, I am excited for the day, energized and ready to go out to the world with a smile on my face. Attitudes of gratitude are attractant. Your dream will happen sooner when you are grateful. (tweet it)

3. God of abundance. God’s blessings are not a finite resource. Other people receiving things earlier than you does not negatively affect your dream. If you don’t understand this, it is too easy to covet and lust. Your friend will buy a big house, expensive car, have kids that listen, a spouse that adores them, and you won’t be happy because you’re too busy wishing it was you. Be happy for them! They are your friend so rejoice in their happiness and triumph. God has more than enough for you to get yours.

“Instead, I have an abundance mentality: When people are genuinely happy at the  successes of others, the pie gets larger.” ~Stephen Covey

These 3 things help me and I pray they helped you. Don’t waste valuable time lusting and start taking footsteps toward your dream. Live life the way God designed it. God’s promises are true; hold on to that. Restore your hope and faith. Trust the one that created you!

 

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Stretching yourself is hard to do but it is the only way to grow. We try to avoid pain and discomfort but the truth is there is only one way to get stronger. I recently went back to my hometown for one of my closest friend’s wedding. I had a great time. I golfed with eleven guys all of which were much better than me. Fine dining with three forks with one above the plate which took me a while to figure out. I knew one person in the wedding party prior to the weekend. My point is, was it uncomfortable? Of course at points I felt left out and like a fish out of water, but I also had a great time. These 4 things will help you push through discomfort so you can grow!

comfort zone 55 Inspiring Quotations That Will Change The Way You Think

1. Everyone is uncomfortable. Do we really fully understand this? We all handle our insecurities differently. Some go, others quit, and some talk non-stop. We are all unique. Stop believing that the person you think has it all together isn’t insecure because they are. We all have something about ourselves that we wish we could change. We wish we could talk less or talk more. Other people are too busy worrying about their own insecurities to even catch yours. Walk in this freedom.

“People are crying up the rich and variegated plumage of the peacock, and he is himself blushing at the sight of his ugly feet.”~Saadi

2. Small victories. Start small. Don’t go from zero to sixty. Build up small experience where you can, push through discomfort and get a quick yes. Isn’t it nice when we push through and get a desirable outcome? If you do this enough, your mind will learn that pleasure comes after discomfort. Often this is enough to push through to bigger victories.

“The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change.” ~ Bill Clinton

3. Practice. This goes with #2. Small victories over time will build and confidence in uncomfortable and new things will be a result. The more I push myself into the uncomfortable, the more my discomfort stops getting a vote. This is only the result of practice. Something else happens. I gain more life experiences and there is less time that I’m feeling awkward. Next time I have three forks I know what to do.

“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.~” Nelson Mandela

4. Eyes on the prize. All of these experiences gained me new relationships and new life skills. Also it reminded me of how other people are uncomfortable around me. It made me think of what made me more confident. Do you want to learn something new, meet new people, meet new business contacts, or share the gospel? All exciting things are also uncomfortable. Keep your eyes on the excitement; the spice of life.

Follow these 4 things to increase your growth! Do not stay where you are comfortable rather branch out to new and exciting things. Break out of the normal routine and change your life one step at a time. A world of opportunity awaits on the other side of discomfort.

What things help you to break through discomfort?

 

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