Archives For dreams

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.

road-sign

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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When did we start caring so much about what other people think? I love watching my kids and think, “I love that they’re unashamed.” They tell me what they want when they want it. They also have no problem telling me how they feel. When they holler that they have to poop or stick their finger up their nose to get a booger makes me laugh. Don’t get me wrong, we are teaching them manners, but it is the spirit in them that is awesome. The world has not laughed at them and has not told them to be ashamed. These 4 things help me to be authentic like my kids.

You are unique. Play the music of your life loudly and proudly be unashamed. (tweet it)

Photo: Having fun editing  :)

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1. Know who we are in Christ. Do we really know who we are? Sometimes I forget, do you? We are made righteous through the shed blood of Jesus. Yes, we still screw up. God sees us as perfect. Jesus stood in the gap and said give me that sin. It’s mine! Give it to me! We need to recognize and know that we are a new man or woman. The old is dead. Live like it.

2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

2. Be you. I’m not like you and you are not like me. We need to be comfortable in our own skin. When I’m not free to be me I feel phony because I am being phony. When do we forget this simple thing? Don’t attempt to be different like some do. Just be you.

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” ~Dr. Seuss

3. Hang around the right people. I say this a lot because it affects so many things. You will be who you hang around with. Hang around people who challenge you to be better, but love the core of who you are. It’s the spirit man who should remain the same and the fleshly man who should change. The more we die to the flesh, the more we will change and be a light to the world.

“It’s difficult to soar with the eagles when you’re scratching with the turkeys!” ~Unknown

4. Focus on your strengths. Manage your weaknesses and put everything in you into your strengths. Don’t be like Rudy, instead be like Michael Jordan. The difference is, one didn’t have the natural gifts to play the sport so played for 2 seconds in college and the other was a sports super star.

“My success, part of it certainly, is that I have focused in on a few things.” ~Bill Gates

So walk with your head high. Don’t be embarrassed when you fall. Just say, “I bonked” like my kids say. They fall, get up and keep going. Focus on your strengths, on who God made you to be, and surround yourself with people who believe in your awesomeness! Be authentic!

What are some ways that help you to be authentic?

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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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Who struggles with feeling like you are not good enough? I do. I love to work at several things and I have moments of confidence and moments where I feel like I suck at life. Speaking and writing are such vulnerable things because you are putting a little piece of yourself out there each time. Rejection of a piece I wrote often feels like rejection of me. We all long to be accepted, championed and for someone to tell us that we are special. The problem is that every person is going to be rejected and ridiculed. These 4 things keep me confident!

“If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint,” then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”     ~Vincent van Gogh

1. I’m made for a purpose. Sounds cheesy, but it’s true. Every Veggie Tales show ends in, “God made you special and He loves you very much.” We tell our kids this, but have you taken ownership of this for you? You are an intricate part of His plan designed for a special purpose. Hold on to this even when you can’t tell what the heck He made you for.

“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.”~ William Shakespeare

2. Delete the bad. Our minds are always deleting things. 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. Let’s continuously delete the bad. I had five comments this past week on how much my writing has impacted different people. How cool is that? I also had one person telling me my advice was terrible. I will choose to delete that one!

“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” ~ Aristotle Onassis

Photo By: KCNewman Photography

 

3. Save the good. The Israelites were instructed to build monuments of remembrance at different points in their journey. We should do the same. This will help us remember when we were unsure and it worked out. I’m going to start writing down positive comments, answers to prayer, victories, and hopeless situations that became victories. There is good and bad that happens daily; choose to save the good.

4. Set a timeline. When you are starting something set a timeline. You are going to do the new task until a certain date then check if it is fruitful. If you don’t, a negative comment can derail you especially early on in the process. I have decided to write twice a week for a year and check if there is fruit of the effort by the end of the year. It really helps when I have a blog post that gets two views or a few hundred. Both have happened. The timeline has helped me to keep going when I had two views on a post.

“Our  greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always  to try just one more time.”            ~ Thomas A. Edison

This subject is so important because if we don’t have confidence we are going to hesitate and give a half-hearted approach. This will lead to a less than desirable result, reinforcing the unbelief in ourselves. Restore your hope and faith! Take a note from the Veggie Tales saying, “God made you special, and He loves you very much.” Now act like it!

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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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Are you living your dream or the dream of your parents, coaches, peers, or mentors? It is easy to get pulled on by the people we respect and start living a life that we were not born to live. Sometimes it is a minor twist that years down the line you wake up and you have a life that was not what you wanted. Most people don’t pause long enough to look and see if they are headed in the right direction. These 4 things help me to make sure I’m living the dream God gave me and not what others force on me. 

“If you don’t know what your passion is, realize that one reason for your existence on earth is to find it.” ~Oprah Winfrey

1. Quiet time. At five in the morning I wake up to get time alone. You can read about that here. I spend time alone with my God reading the Bible and journaling. Sitting quietly at His feet. Seeking His plan, not the plan of those around me.

Photo: It really was wonderful!http://kcnewmanphotography.zenfolio.com/

2. Why do you want to be that? The why in life is the sweet spot. You have to stay in the sweet spot of life. The more I stick in my talents and abilities along with the why behind it, all the more my life is moving in a direction that I’m proud of. It really doesn’t matter what others think as long as I’m staying in that connecting area.

3. Dread going to work. If you continually dread work, you are not living out your dream. Start changing! The average American watches seven hours of television a day. Use some of that time to change careers. If you are having a bad day read this, otherwise change jobs.

4. You chose a career for the money. If you chose your career for the money you are probably running the wrong direction. When you are in your passion and skill money will flow. If you chose a career for the money that will not take you as far as connecting with your passion. Chase your passion first and the money will follow. This order is crucial to fulfillment.

“People can’t live with change if there’s not a changeless core inside of them. The key to the ability to change is a changeless sense of who you are, what you are about, and what you value.” ~Stephen Covey

I think internally we all know whether we are living our dreams or someone else’s. Stop. Life is so much more alive when you chase what you were wired for. I can’t operate in the gifting of my wife as she is full of mercy. She can’t walk in mine which is exhortation. I would be miserable in her environment and she would miserable in mine. Live the dream of your life!

 What keeps you on the path you are suppose to be on?

 

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When headed toward a dream or goal we will almost always hit a rough patch. In these times it is hard to tell whether that is a light at the end of the tunnel or a train coming to run us over. This can be so scary in the moment. The bigger the dream or goal, it seems the potential train is ginormous and the small light of hope is tiny. These 4 things help me to figure out whether to hang on to hope or jump out of the way of the train.

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1. Why were you chasing the dream or goal to begin with? Has anything changed since you started chasing the dream? The last five years have changed dramatically for me. In that time my wife and I have had three kids. Just a little different life now. From two incomes and no kids to just one income and three little ones that take time and money. Don’t get me wrong, they are such a blessing but they changed our world. My goals and aspirations have changed with my life. How about you? What has changed?

“Your dream is not big enough if it does not scare you.” ~Unknown

2. What is the worse that can happen? Chase your dream! Chase your dream with wisdom. I have to go slow with anything new. Life is full and I’m sure it is full for you too. If you are the sole financial provider, probably not a good idea to quit your job and start a business you have never run before. It could go great or it could be an ugly baby. Come on now, who thinks they have an ugly baby? No one, but there are lots of them out there.

3. Are you good at it? I’m not talking about going from zero to pro. But with time, are you developing into being good at the dream? I have never sang professionally before and even with hours of practice it still wouldn’t be pretty. On the other hand, running a business is different. I am better now with nine years of experience, but I was decent out of the gate.

4. Is it too narrow? Sometimes we pick a thing instead of the why behind it. Expand your vision. I love to restore people which is my why in many different areas, however, only one is paid. I am not providing for my family with this. It is just a way to expand my vision to encompass restoration into more of my life. If I said I am going to just write and that’s final, that is a big fat train.

Hopefully this list helped you to think about the light at the end of the tunnel with a fresh view.

What are ways you figure out whether to hold on to hope or jump out of the way?

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Anytime you are pushing toward a vision for your life you will face adversity and flat-out opposition. There will be challenges both inside your mind and externally. The question is, how will you respond? When these things come in our path we will react like a honey badger or an opossum. An opossum when scared often times plays dead. If I just lay here maybe I won’t be touched. Maybe the opposition will go away if I do nothing. The honey badger is quite different. It is aggressive and it doesn’t really matter how big the attack, it goes on the offense. These 5 things make us like a honey badger pushing through adversity to see our vision.

10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

1. Know who you are. Well, Ephesians 2:10 kind of sums it up. You have a mission. Don’t let doubt, circumstances, or other people stop you. You have strengths and weaknesses. Be comfortable in your own skin.

2. Exercise. Exercise changes how we feel. It gives confidence and a boldness. When I’m exercising I have more endurance and a better mental attitude. It takes a lot more to get me down. When I am not exercising, I tend to be a little too sensitive to everything in this world.

3. Scripture. It is not enough to say, “Don’t think negative.” We need to replace the detrimental thinking with positive things such as scripture. Here are a few verses for you to look up: Romans 8:37, Philippians 4:19, 1 Peter 2:9 and Deuteronomy 28:13. These are just a few verses that get me in a positive state of mind.

4. Positive people. I made a decision a while ago that has helped me tremendously. I don’t allow people with stinking thinking in my inner circle. That’s not to say all of my friends are positive but the ones close to me are. I don’t have the energy to be close to people who are dragging me down. It is like carrying around ankle weights.

5. Write the dream down. Write the dream everywhere. If you truly believe that you will achieve the dream, other people’s opinion and your own self-doubt matters less and less. Until then convince yourself through seeing it. When I was training for my first marathon, I had the date of the race written in a lot of places. It became a given.

Learn more about writing dreams and goals down here.

These are just 5 things that help me with my tenacity. These turn me from playing dead to being fully alive! Don’t rock vanilla to the grave. Be special; turn and fight for that which is worth fighting for.

Learn more about achieving your dreams here.

What are ways in which you fight opposition?

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Achieve Your Dreams!

zechariahnewman —  June 10, 2013 — 4 Comments

“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” These lyrics by John Lennon described my life. Now I’m a recovering dreamer going toward a visionary. It seems as if most of us are dreamers. We go around with grand dreams saying things like, “If I win the lottery” or “if only I get a shot.” The problem is if my shot comes now I’m not ready. We see shows like American Idol and Hells Kitchen thinking how lucky they got picked and now life is great. This is not reality; the reality is it takes work and those people have put in a lot of time and effort before that brief shot. They were ready. These 3 contrasts helped me discover I was a dreamer and set my course towards visionary!

1. Victim thinking Vs. Empowerment. I didn’t even realize I was being a victim. Pretty sad yet the truth. I blamed other circumstances for different things. For example,          (1) when my pay check wasn’t what I wanted, (2) the economy, (3) those employees, (4) competition, (5) industry, (6) family, and (7) God. When we say, “Why God why, when God when?” I believe this is the heart of a victim, at least it was for me. Empowerment is different as it takes personal responsibility. If finances are bad, I’m to blame. If relationships went sideways, what can I do? If God is quite, did I do the last thing that He told me to do? It is completely focused on my part. In relationships, whether it is man or God, it focuses on my part of the partnership.

“Visionary people face the same problems everyone else faces; but rather than get paralyzed by their problems, visionaries immediately commit themselves to finding a solution.” ~Bill Hybels

2. Passive vs. Active. I was passive waiting for my fortune to turn. When you sit passively life happens to you instead of you happening to life. Reading my Bible was about as active as I got. Even waiting on God is supposed to be an active stance. What we really mean when we say this is, “I’m going to sit here and do nothing.” Active is uncomfortable; it is where do I want to be and how do I get there? It requires change in action. Change in thinking. Change in the questions we ask. Visionaries focus on what needs to change to fix the problem.

“Let your actions betray your uncertainties. Be not afraid.” ~Bob Goff

3. Not paying attention to the present vs. Realistic about present. This is what dreamers do. Someday mentality. They may say, “Someday I will have time to workout, fix my finances, eat right, be a good spouse, parent, write a blog.” Someday will never come. Today is never focused on and tomorrow the dreamer will focus on the next day. Visionaries are all about today. Focusing energy and passion into the day while still being focused on the vision yet paying attention to the steps today to create that vision. For the lives of great men and women are made up of many days.

“You have to be brutally realistic about your present circumstances and wildly unrealistic about your future circumstances.” ~Jon Acuffhttp://kcnewmanphotography.zenfolio.com/

So if you realize you are a dreamer instead of a visionary the first step has already happened. Your eyes are open! A choice lays before you. Do not let the sun go down without making a decision. Do you keep dreaming? Or do something now and change your today. Do what God has called you to today. Make small choices that affect your individual calling today. Be weird, become a visionary!

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