Archives For focus

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.

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.



 

 

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?

 

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.



 

 

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?

 

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.



 

 

 

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?

 

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.



 

 

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?

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.