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How To Fight The Good Fight Your Entire Life
Feb
24

How To Fight The Good Fight Your Entire Life

In doing work that matters, longevity is the ultimate goal

I'm not the hardest working person in my industry, not even close. I don't get up at 5:00am to bike 30 miles. I don't drink wheatgrass everyday. I don’t put in 60 hours a week at the office.

I’m ambitious, sure, but my goal isn't to be the best, or even the most successful. My goal is to have staying power. Through rain, sleet, and snow, I aim to outlast everyone.

In doing work that matters, longevity is the ultimate aspiration. Because it is in decades of work that you’ll have the most impact...


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The Top 5 Best Blogs of 2013
Jan
01

The Top 5 Best Blogs of 2013

A great year of writing at JustinZoradi.com

2013 was a great year at JustinZoradi.com. I’m honored by the terrific response to many of the blogs as well as the success of my little book, Doing Work That Matters, which was downloaded thousands of times by people all over the world.

As we gear up for 2014, I wanted to track back the Top 5 best blogs of the year. These five blogs were not only the most popular posts of 2013, but they also had the most impact on me personally...

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Calm In The Storm: How I Found Happiness In An Unexpected Place
Dec
27

Calm In The Storm: How I Found Happiness In An Unexpected Place

It’s one of those days where everything sucks.

Portland has hit freezing temperatures all week. I’m scraping ice off my windshield, trying to warm up with reheated, 3 day-old coffee. The holiday season has barely begun and already, I’m hit with a tidal wave of work and stress.

I’m in my car, driving and beyond pissed. Anxiety, fear, fatigue, hunger...


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How An 84-Year-Old Scientist Schooled Me On The Art of Success
Nov
06

How An 84-Year-Old Scientist Schooled Me On The Art of Success

A long obedience in the same direction

I know nothing about physics. My science journey ended in high school after a generous B minus in Chemistry my junior year.

But I was fascinated last week to read the story of Nobel Prize winning physicist, Peter Higgs.

Nearly five decades ago, a young Peter Higgs theorized that there was a particle that acts as the building blocks of the universe. He believed that a subatomic particle must exist that made matter clump together to form everything around us today...


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How To Improve Your Confidence In One Easy Step
Sep
03

How To Improve Your Confidence In One Easy Step

The simple tip with a big impact

I’ll confess: I struggle with my confidence. Perhaps you can relate.

As someone leading an organization with a large vision, being confident in the way I share our story and raise support is a crucial piece to my work. But after all these years, it’s still a daily battle...


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East African Students Receive First Print Release of
Aug
20

East African Students Receive First Print Release of "Doing Work That Matters"

Check out photos from Kampala, Uganda

It brings me great joy to share that the first physical copies of my book, Doing Work That Matters were distributed to 100 university students in Uganda and Rwanda this week.

The books were paired with a leadership curriculum for African students from These Numbers Have Faces, the organization I founded in 2008...

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Why “Grit” Is The Real Key To Success
Aug
14

Why “Grit” Is The Real Key To Success

If you don’t have it, you need to find it

Each summer, about twelve hundred young American men and women arrive at the United States Military Academy at West Point to begin four years of study. But before any of them sees a classroom, they go through seven weeks of Cadet Basic Training. By the time the summer ends, 1 in 20 of these talented, dedicated young adults will drop out...


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How To Survive and Thrive In Your Twenties
Aug
06

How To Survive and Thrive In Your Twenties

An interview with Paul Angone from All Groan Up

I'm privileged to feature an interview with my longtime friend Paul Angone. Paul and I met in college and it's been incredible to see him grow into a world-class writer, speaker, and thought leader. Paul is the author of the critically acclaimed book, 101 Secrets For Your Twenties and he answers a few questions below...



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4 Reasons For Optimism In Today’s World
Jul
23

4 Reasons For Optimism In Today’s World

And why NOW is the time to do something awesome


There is a lot of bad news out there. If you turn on the TV, the stories on the news describe grim economic times, a world at war, the breakdown of society, and a pending zombie apocalypse.

This type of news messes with our belief systems. More than anything it makes us afraid. Unless bomb shelters count, scared people don’t create much. They don’t create because they are pre-occupied with protecting what is closest to them. This is basic human nature...


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Why You Don't Have To Be Radical, Just A Little Different
Jun
25

Why You Don't Have To Be Radical, Just A Little Different

The myth of blazing your own path

Invisible Trails - by James A. Pearson

Follow the invisible paths
Walk upon the high places
The sides of mountains
The edges of planters along the road
And when the trail gets too narrow to walk
Keep your knees bent
And your feet light
And your eyes on what calls you
And dance along its dangers

I love this poem...
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Download
May
27

Download "Doing Work That Matters"

Enter your email, get the book - Free for a limited time!

Part field guide, part art piece, Doing Work That Matters is a behind-the-scenes survival guide to changing the world.

In 2008, with zero business skills, I started a global education nonprofit from the couch of my apartment. Doing Work That Matters features the ideas, philosophies, and practical insights that I wish I knew way back then...


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The Simple Step To Become A Remarkably Likeable Person
May
07

The Simple Step To Become A Remarkably Likeable Person

Why You Need To Stop Talking and Start Asking

I recently met a local Portland politician for lunch whom I’ve respected for a long time. I went into the meeting planning on asking him about his political career and to get some tips on a few communication questions I had. Basically, I was planning on talking about him for an hour.

Then something incredible happened...
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How I Flunked My 10-Year Reunion
Apr
03

How I Flunked My 10-Year Reunion

...and why I'm happy I did

I recently attended my 10-year high school reunion and couldn't believe just how much I’d forgotten over the last decade. I consider myself a very intentional person, but I was blown away by how many names, people, and events had completely slipped my mind.

One event that baffled me to no end was when I found out I had wronged someone I cared about in the fall of my junior year. Apparently, I didn't stand up for her when I should have, which hurt this person’s feelings because she considered me a friend. My lack of conviction made a lasting impression on her...


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Why Comparing Yourself To Others Will Ruin You
Feb
18

Why Comparing Yourself To Others Will Ruin You

"Comparison is the thief of joy." - Teddy Roosevelt

Every so often, I’ll get an email from someone that goes like this:

“Wow, I’ve seen you’ve been doing X, Y, and Z. Awesome. Have you ever heard of blank organization or blank writer? They basically do the same thing you do and are really successful. Maybe you can learn from them?"


When I’m at my best, I can learn something from them. But more often than not, every time I read that email, I just feel horrible about myself.

I feel terrible because I start comparing the beginning of my journey with another person’s middle or end. I compare another person’s best attribute to my very worst...


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People Aren’t Thinking About You
Feb
04

People Aren’t Thinking About You

Using the narcissism of others to your advantage

There is a funny cartoon of a group of people mingling at a party. Above each of their heads is a thought bubble that reads, “I wonder what they are thinking of me?”

This silly cartoon sheds light on the fact that, for the most part, people aren’t thinking about you. They are thinking about themselves.

This is frustrating, but it should also be liberating...

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Don’t Just Hum The Songs - Live The Story
Jan
01

Don’t Just Hum The Songs - Live The Story

Why Les Misérables Should Shape Your 2013

For as long as I can remember, my family has gone to see a movie on Christmas day. Normally we debate on which film to see, but this year, it was unanimous - Les Misérables.

Despite Russell Crowe’s subpar vocal abilities, I loved the film. But as it ended and lights went up, I was taken aback by just how many people were crying in the theatre. It was something I’d never seen before.

A few days later, this video hit the internet of a young man filming his parents in the car on their way home after the film...

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The Top 5 Regrets of The Dying
Dec
09

The Top 5 Regrets of The Dying

And what you can do to live differently

Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse who spent several years caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives. As many of her patients approached their final days, she would ask if they had regrets or things they would do differently.

Ware was so surprised by the phenomenal clarity of vision people gained at the end of their lives that she began documenting their responses...


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Don't Follow Your Passion. Follow Your Time.
Nov
27

Don't Follow Your Passion. Follow Your Time.

It's time to dispel the myth that your passion is enough

I’m just like you. Constantly searching, forever scanning, continually hunting for purpose in life.

But here’s a tip: Stop believing the secret is to just “follow your passions.” People will tell you that and you’ll believe them. But it’s not entirely true.

Because if you really want to know where your destiny lies, look at where you apply your time...
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Defeating The Liar (and why your future depends on it)
Nov
06

Defeating The Liar (and why your future depends on it)

Paul Angone Guest Posts on JustinZoradi.com

All great works hinge on one single thing: Your ability, or inability, to defeat the Liar.

Because whenever you are doing something worth doing, the Liar’s going to attack. Every. Single. Time. And the Liar is playing for keeps.

As Stephen Pressfield writes in The War of Art, "Its target is the epicenter of our being: our genius, our soul, the unique and priceless gift we were put on earth to give and that no one else has but us."

Who’s the Liar?

The self-helpers might call it negative Self-Talk.

The spiritual might call it Satan.

Creatives might call it Resistance...

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This Is The Most Powerful Image You Will See All Week
Oct
03

This Is The Most Powerful Image You Will See All Week

The family of a car accident victim forgives the drunk-driving teen who killed their son

On May 20th, 18 year-old Takunda Mavima was driving home from a party when he lost control and crashed his car into an off-ramp near Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Riding in the car were 17 year-old Tim See and 15 year-old Krysta Howell. Both were killed in the accident. Takunda Mavima lived.

Last week, Mavima pleaded guilty to all charges and was sentenced to between 30 months and 15 years in prison...


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What To Do In Your Times Of Unbelief
Sep
06

What To Do In Your Times Of Unbelief

In our darkest hours of doubt, how then should we live?

Every journey has rocky paths, dark valleys of uncertainty, and stretches of disillusionment.

In our most desperate times of unbelief, how then should we live?

I recently stumbled upon a reflection on the legend of Saint Christopher that I've found comforting...


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4 Secrets to Overcoming Conflict In Your Search For A Meaningful Life
Aug
28

4 Secrets to Overcoming Conflict In Your Search For A Meaningful Life

My interview with Donald Miller about thriving in conflict

I’d never cried on a plane before. And definitely not while watching a movie based on a children’s book.

But coming home from Rwanda, with the judging eyes of a 17 year-old girl in the seat beside me, I bawled my eyes out at the end of Harry Potter.

In my defense, I was really tired.

We were also expanding our work to Rwanda, I was overwhelmed with how we’d find the money, and I’d just spent a week hearing horror stories from the Rwandan Genocide.

But something about Harry Potter pushed me over the edge. There was so much conflict in the life of this young boy that it dragged me into a weepy oblivion...

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The Key To Happiness? Love Something To The Point Of Ridicule
Aug
14

The Key To Happiness? Love Something To The Point Of Ridicule

A few weeks ago I stumbled upon an amazing video of a guy in New York seeing a limited edition train for the first time.

May sound irrelevant to you and me, but this guy is absolutely obsessed with trains and it makes for one of funniest videos I’d seen in a long time.

Enjoy this wonderful 2.5 minutes...

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Here’s A Little Secret. I Have No Idea What I’m Doing.
Jul
25

Here’s A Little Secret. I Have No Idea What I’m Doing.

And Neither Does Anyone Else

The greatest advice I ever received was from three dear friends in the winter of 2007.

I was caught in a whirlwind of fear trying to start an organization from the couch of my apartment. My only business skills were the C minus I stumbled through in a college economics class.

My friends sat me down and said this:

“Justin. Fake it till you make it. Throw the wings on the plane as it’s going down the runway.”

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When Life Is A Fog, Cling To The Lantern of Light
Jul
02

When Life Is A Fog, Cling To The Lantern of Light

Embracing The Fog As A Confirmation Of Our Calling

I'm in a fog. And not just because I live in Portland. The future of my work in Africa, my writing career, vocation, my role as a husband - it's all steeped in mystery so thick and so dark it catches in my throat and unsteadies my breath.

I know great things lie ahead, but at the moment, I only see a few feet in front of me.

Despite the darkness, I believe this fog is telling me something. It’s telling me I’m exactly where I’m meant to be...


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Why You'll Win In The End If You Make Character Your Career
Jun
19

Why You'll Win In The End If You Make Character Your Career

It doesn't matter what you're doing. What matters is the person you are becoming

I have a lot of conversations with people worried about what they do. Worried they aren’t making an impact. Worried their life isn’t panning out the way they expected.

But I know for a fact that the person you are becoming is far more important than the work you are doing.

This isn’t just my spirituality talking either. I believe good character creates sustainable success...

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Do Not Lose Heart. We Were Made For These Times.
Jun
13

Do Not Lose Heart. We Were Made For These Times.

The Wise Words of Clarissa Pinkola Estés

I often talk to people scared by the state of our world, unsure of their place in it, and overwhelmed by the task of doing something about it.

A friend shared with me the words of poet Clarissa Pinkola Estés and I've found them comforting in times of despair.

Do Not Lose Heart. We Were Made For These Times.

I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world right now...

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Stop Thinking It's About You
May
18

Stop Thinking It's About You

The Real Secret To Doing Work That Matters

In early 2010, after a few menacing weeks in South Africa, I was inches away from throwing in the towel on my fledgling organization. There was just too much evil in the world; too many dark forces keeping the poor in poverty and the rest of us too concerned with ourselves to do anything about it.

What saved me were the words of a friend. “Don’t make a decision in the dark that was inspired in the light.”

While I believe God speaks to us in key moments, much of our success demands the ability to recall and remind ourselves of those moments when all hope feels lost. We can never allow a feeling that was stirred in a high hour to evaporate in times of despair.

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The Day Online Gamers Beat HIV/AIDS and Revealed The Authentic Self
May
07

The Day Online Gamers Beat HIV/AIDS and Revealed The Authentic Self

The Real Call of Duty or Turning Halo Into Humanitarianism

With no background in biochemistry or concrete knowledge of the HIV/AIDS virus, a group of online gamers solved a molecular mystery that had stumped researchers for nearly a decade. Even better, the gamers did it in 10 days.

The breakthrough came through a website called FoldIt whose goal is to ‘solve puzzles for science.’ Essentially, you join a community of gamers and get points if you solve unique puzzles. It’s pure crowdsourcing, but for science. And in the end, rather than just scoring the highest points, you have the potential to save lives. Pretty cool.

But the true genius of FoldIt is that its founders realized that you don’t necessarily need a lab coat or an Ivy League degree to be a scientist...

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Stop Waiting For God To Tell You What To Do With Your Life
Apr
25

Stop Waiting For God To Tell You What To Do With Your Life

The waterbed, the pinprick, and the tidal wave

A friend told me that while he hated bussing tables at the restaurant where he was working, he was still waiting for God to tell him what to do with his life. He believed that if he was patient enough and did his work well, eventually God would reveal his true calling.

I told him I don’t think God works like that.

We all want to do meaningful work and find our passion, but I can guarantee you this: Your purpose in life will never be written on the wall. And it will never be revealed to you in full...

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