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

My interview with Donald Miller about thriving in conflict

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

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.

I cried because I resonate with Harry.

While there is no murderous wizard hell bent on killing me and all my friends, the last five years of my life have been an experiment in thriving and surviving in the midst of conflict.

The truth: A great story, in order to be great, needs significant conflict. (Click to Tweet)

In June of this year I was invited by my friend Donald Miller to be involved in the Storyline Conference at my alma mater, Westmont College, in Santa Barbara, California. It was a great opportunity for me to share about These Numbers Have Faces, but the bulk of my interview was revealing the Four Secrets I’ve learned to survive conflict in search of a meaningful life.

Listen to my 10 minute interview with Donald Miller. Feel free to follow along with the notes below.

4 Secrets to Overcoming Conflict in Your Search of a Meaningful Life (Click to Tweet)

1. The Revolutionary Act of Showing Up Everyday.

  • When all hope feels lost, there is infinite power in simply getting up, putting on your shoes, and putting one foot in front of the other.

2. Learn To Not Over-Identify With Your Work.

  • You are not your job description.
  • You’ll be paralyzed when you’re over invested in success and over terrified of failure.

3. Learn to Live and Work in the Midst of Fear.

  • If you’re not scared you’re not doing it right
  • Just keep going
  • Fear is an ally and indicator for love. The more you love something the more you fear it because you know it can hurt you.

4. You’re Meant To Do Incomplete Work.

  • Your vision is not yours
  • You will build shaky and underdeveloped structures and need others to come alongside
  • You’re just the worker, not the master builder.
  • Your fumbling process is an opportunity for God’s grace to come in and do the rest

The Prayer For Oscar Romero – Prophets Of A Future Not Our Own

What conflict are you currently facing? What are the steps you can take to overcome it? What's holding you back?

Let's start the conversation.


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Comments (8)

  • Melissa De Soto

    Melissa De Soto

    29 August 2012 at 22:26 |
    A couple of thoughts. It may be hard to imagine this becse you don't have kids yet. As a parent you're showing up every day and it never enters your mind whether you're putting on the shoes on & walking. When little people look up to you, you can't check out. Ever. Their lives are depending on you to keep it together & when it's that urgent, you don't even ponder other choices. I like this way of describing perseverance. in the midst of fear...and, did you say stress? Yes, it's an interesting lifestyle to adapt to. Does all kinds of things to strengthen your character! I recommend it to all. I really like your thoughts about not over-identifying with your work. Why do people want to know within 10 minutes what kind of work I do? I've made new friends & a month goes by without asking them what they do for work. Or, is it becse I'm a woman & women don't really identify themselves by "job status" as much as men do. Lastly, I love that we can remember the vision is not ours, it's God's. That gives us freedom to walk in the fear with confidence and know it's on God's shoulders.
    Thanks so much for sharing, Justin.
  • Justin Zoradi

    Justin Zoradi

    30 August 2012 at 00:31 |
    Thanks for your comments Melissa! Appreciate it.
  • Brianna Mallory (Bass)

    Brianna Mallory (Bass)

    30 August 2012 at 13:30 |
    Justin - you are a young Seth Godin! Simply...brilliant.
  • Justin Zoradi

    Justin Zoradi

    30 August 2012 at 18:52 |
    Wow Brianna. That's one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me. Really appreciate that. Hopefully I can keep my hair however!
  • Paul | All Groan Up

    Paul | All Groan Up

    11 September 2012 at 05:59 |
    Justin, thought I was going to grab a minute or two of this interview, and couldn't stop listening. Some serious wisdom of someone "who has seriously been there" in this interview. Too many good lines to try and quote back at you.

    Dude, keep reading out loud. The world needs to hear it.
    • Justin Zoradi

      Justin Zoradi

      11 September 2012 at 06:05 |
      Paul. Thank you man. Appreciate you listening man. Means a lot. I'll keep working on my reading out loud.
  • Lane Hoffbeck

    Lane Hoffbeck

    13 September 2012 at 17:49 |
    Being present at the Storyline conference in Santa Barbara, and getting to see your interview live was monumental for me. The whole conference was amazing and a life changing event, and your interview was one of my most vivid memories from that weekend...means you must have done a great job. Thanks for putting this up on your blog so I can reference for my own encouragement and give others a quick glimpse into what passion looks like.
    • Justin Zoradi

      Justin Zoradi

      13 September 2012 at 18:24 |
      Thanks Lane! Appreciate this man. Connecting with you and your wife was a huge for me. You guys are awesome. Talk soon

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