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There is a temptation that many entrepreneurs don’t want to mention. That temptation is to ignore your family. Oh, we won’t color it up that way. We will say things like, delayed gratification or it’s a season. That sounds better than I am ignoring my responsibilities as a dad or mom. But let’s be honest a lot of seasons last years. Your kids can’t be raised properly with an absently dad or mom for a few years.
This last weekend my wife went away to a woman’s retreat with our church. I had the whole weekend with my three kids.
No my son is not on fire. He is a good distance away.
It was so fun! We camped out, had bonfires, watched movies, and March Madness basketball.
In my earlier years, I would have miss labeled this weekend an inconvenience. However, this last week is what entrepreneurism is all about. The ability to have freedom of time when you own your company is often overlooked.
When no one tells you what to do and when to do it. You can be the ultimate family man or the ultimate workaholic the choice is yours, and you make that choice whether you know it or not.
I have found there are a few questions to ask when deciding whether to work of be with the family that makes your choice a little easier.
Can they do it? The more people you lead, the more people will ask you to do a lot of different things. Is what is getting asked of you something they can do themselves? Often the answer is yes. Often your team is looking for the easy way out, and that is confirmation from the leader. If so don’t proceed, but through the question back at the team member. If they can’t do it, then move to the next phase of questioning.
Can I help? This question is the most fundamental but crucial. Do you have the time and resources to help or do you merely just want to help? The more people you have under your leadership, the more you need to check your resources. It is important to know that difference. If you have the resources, you will move on to the next form of questioning.
What is the result? This is crucial to answering whether we are helping someone or hurting them. Often we don’t wonder what the result will be of our actions, but it can be helpful or devastating its important to know the difference. Are your harming or hurting is another way you can pose this line of questioning.
Can anyone else do it? In business, there are many things we do, but others can do it. However, no one can be the dad or mom you are supposed to be, or the husband or wife God destined you to be. You only have so much time, and you must use it wisely on things that only you can do.
If you answer all these questions before acting, I am sure the answer will be clear. Most days the choice will be family, but sometimes that choice will be to work a little more. Take each day as it comes, and you will be blessed on your journey.

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As a parent I am very on guard about what has influence on my children. I monitor what they watch, making sure that positive things are going into their little minds. I monitor what music they listen to making sure that they listen to worship music instead of music about sex, drinking, and drugs. I monitor who they play with making sure those families align with our core life principles. I make sure that people who watch them will teach and lead them the way we desire. My wife and I do all this because we are fully aware of how outside forces both positively and negatively influence them. Influence someone long enough and it will eventually affect their choices.

Why do we think adults are different then children?  

We protect what influences our children but all too often fail at monitoring influences in our own life. If you are going to take your marriage, parenting, business, or any other thing to the next level you need to reevaluate what you are allowing into your brain. Make sure that these 4 influences are pushing you in the right direction not pulling you down.

  1. Music. Your music needs to be encouraging you and lifting you up. As a Christian I want my life centered on Christ so I keep my music on worship. Whatever you choose just check the lyrics. Often we allow the worse things into our minds through the music we listen to. Check to make sure your music is adding to your life not taking away from it.
  2. Reading. What are you consuming through what you read? Don’t be passive with this. Make sure that you are reading in an area of life that you want to improve. If you want to improve your marriage make sure you read books on the matter ext. I make sure that I read my Bible every day because I want to grow closer to God daily. Don’t waste this valuable resource of reading by mindlessly dumping things into it. Be intentional with what you read.
  3.  TV. The average American watches over 35 hours of television a week! This is probably the biggest accuser when it comes to dumping garbage into our heads. I would recommend cutting back how much you watch. Turn the T.V. off and have a conversation with your spouse, play with your kids, or work toward your dream. Stop escaping from reality and do something to change your reality.
  4. Friends. Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” This statement rings true for my life. Who are you hanging out with? Do they talk to they treat their family the way you want to? Are they high achievers in business? How is there spiritual life? You are affected by the friends you keep. Make sure to spend more time with friends you want to be like and less time with the friends that are pulling you in the opposite direction.

You are being influenced weather you are aware of it or not. Take control of what is pulling on you and take control of your life. Be blessed on your journey.

Entrepreneurs are go-getters, by nature we work hard to accomplish the vision that is in our heads. We push past pain and discomfort, learn to delay gratification, and many times put ourselves last.

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Photo by: KCNewman Photography

I run two restaurants, groups director at my church over 42 groups, speaker, writer, husband, father, son of God, and oh yeah I am also Zech Newman. You see a lot of times the last thing I acknowledge is myself.  I have been pouring from an empty cup for a while now and Tuesday I suffered through a full on panic attack. Trying to catch my breath was impossible and if I hadn’t known better, I would have thought I had a heart attack. My health has deteriorated, and my blood pressure is at its highest. I put health as the least priority, and it’s caught up with me.

Guilt has been my motivator for far too long. Guilty about which vocation is getting the least of me. Guilty about not giving my wife enough one on one time or guilt about not spending enough time with my kids. Either all in at work and skimpy at home or all in at home and skimpy at work. I go back and forth missing the beauty of today and exchanging it for guilt. Constantly being stretched starring into the mirror at the bloodshot eyes wondering why I can’t get it right.

Times on my blog that I sound like I have it figured out I am sorry. The truth is I am a man trying my best and failing forward a lot. Life’s busyness gets the best of me just like I know it does for you. You are not the only one who struggles with balance, priority, patience, and gratitude. You are not alone in your struggle with impatience, anger, and depression. You are not alone in dropping more balls then you successfully juggle.

At the root of it all is a shift of perception that we all need in identity and goals.

*These ideas I read from Victory Over The Darkness by Neil T Anderson

Identity: You are a son or daughter of the King. You are righteous because of what He did not because of anything you will ever do. God looks at you the same when you sin as when you don’t. You are saved because you believe not because you behave. There has been and never will be anything that will make you more qualified to be His or less qualified. Walk out your identity instead of trying to earn it!

Goals:

Success is accepting God’s goal for our lives and by His grace becoming what He has called us to be.

Significance is what we do and say for Christ in this world, no matter how insignificant it seems it will last forever.

Fulfillment is edifying others and glorifying the Lord with my uniqueness.

Satisfaction is living righteously and seeking to raise the level of quality in relationships, service, and product.

Happiness is wanting what you have.

Fun is uninhibited spontaneity and unconcerned about what people think.

Security is relating to the eternal instead of a temporal mindset.

Peace is establishing internal order.

I don’t know about you, but my goals didn’t look like that, and my concern about performance and what others think was robbing me of peace. I was killing myself to meet unspoken expectations that I had made up in my own mind. I am recommitting myself to living from priority and letting the chips fall where they may. Coming from success and significance. Because in God’s eyes, I am His. I will live out the priority of God, health, husband, father, and last vocation. Will you join me? Be blessed on your journey.

Have you had a panic attack?

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Smiling at everyone as I walked in the doors with my well dressed and put together family. “I’m good. How are you?” “Good.” The response always comes back. Person after person smiling face after smiling face the responses always the same. A church full of people who are doing Good. My wife and I drop our kids off at Sunday school and we take our places in Church. Singing along to “I surrender all” and many other songs that frankly I am singing words and that is it. But no one knows that. No one knows what is going on underneath the surface in my mind and heart. I must maintain the good little boy image. I must not admit to any struggle. I must have it all together.

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In the Church or at least in my own heart we are free to admit the need of a Savior before we except Christ but afterward that is a whole other matter. After the acceptance of Christ we fall into the lie that we are now perfect. We wouldn’t say it like that but we forget that we will never arrive. We forget that we will always need a Savior.  We often take this beautiful gift we are freely given and morph it into a show of falseness.

A few years ago I had enough and got to the end of myself. Though it didn’t fix me I now have an authentic vibrant relationship with my Heavenly Father and His broken followers. I’m still tempted to hide but the freedom of authenticity is too great to ever go back. There are many areas of my life that are not “fixed” and I have become ok with that. These 3 steps are key to an authentic Christian walk.

Honesty. Admitting the problem is always the first step. The first point at which we are cleansed is the point that we admit there is something to clean. Removing excuses and being real about where you are is the only way to true change. It is not saying your struggle is ok but just being authentic about where ever you are. Admitting that you are powerless against a struggle is the only way to allow God to work.  He will always work when you are honest though it may look different then what you think it will. Honesty is needed to live an authentic walk.

The Cross. If you accepted Christ it always has been and always will be about the cross and the redemptive power of it. In surrender to God all things are possible the problem is that most of us Christ followers start to rely on our strength and might instead of staying in a place of reliance in God. The redeeming power of the blood of the lamb is enough for what you did before Christ and all that you have done and will do after. The price is paid and it does you or Him no good to beat yourself a little longer.

For years, I thought that beating myself up for my imperfection was part of the retentive process. The main problem with this is that it takes our eyes off of God and puts our eyes on our humanity. This form of sin repentance leads to hiding and a false humility.  Believing the Cross is enough is crucial to an authentic Christian walk.

Confession. I wish that confession was not part of the solution but unfortunately it is. From experience, this never gets easier. The more hidden and ashamed the sin the harder it is to look into another person’s eyes and admit where you come up short. In James 5:16 it states, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

Confession to a small group of trusted individuals is part of the healing process. In this moment of confession I am the most aware of dying to flesh. In those moments I think we say I care more about my Relationship with my King then I do about what other people think of me.

An amazing thing happens when we confess sin to people going the same direction as us. They hold us accountable, grieve with us, and tell us who we are in Christ. They remind us that the sin does not define us but our relationship with Christ that defines us. Confession is necessary to a vibrant authentic Christian walk.

An authentic life is part of the freedom that God gave us. You will never be perfect but in a state of perfecting until you die.  We are made righteous in Christ but many of us confuse this with perfection. Trust God to shape and mold you into His image and embrace the fact that arrival is a myth. Embracing our imperfection is part of enjoying the journey God has you on. You and I will always need a Savoir and we will always fall short. Be real and honest this is something God can always work with. Be blessed on your journey.

Do you struggle with being authentic?

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You are on the earth for a reason. You doubt that’s true, but it is. You doubt that you can follow that calling because of what you’ve done. You think sometimes that you are unqualified. You question whether you are worth anything in the shadows of your mind. You may wonder if there is a God and if He loves you. Doubt, fear, unworthiness are emotions that are ok if you just visit them. But don’t stand and camp there. We will either visit faith and live in doubt or visit doubt well we live in faith. You will have bad days emotionally where you feel as worthy as an ant and yet the Word explicitly states otherwise. In Romans 8:37-39 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

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photo by: KCNewman Photography

That is the truth. You may not feel mighty, but you are MIGHTY. A warrior who is courageous walking in the footsteps of David, you are a giant killer. No giant can stand or mountain can’t be moved. You may feel inadequate but in Him, you are more than a conqueror. Do you believe that? You don’t have to gain or prove something it is just the truth. It is the truth when you accept it as such. You don’t need to earn a thing the Creator of the universe loves you flaws and all. He is mighty to save; He is the answer to every need you have. He is the way the truth and the light. He is the light that drives out the deepest fear and darkness. All things are made new in Him. That includes you.

Do you trust Him?

Isn’t that what it all comes down to in the end? Trusting God even if we are scared and shaking. Courage in spite of how we feel. Moving when God says to move. We will always have a choice to choose God’s ways over anything that we have planned. Or the other option is to shrink back into comfort. Shrink back into familiar even if it’s a warm diaper full of crap, at least, we know what it is. Shrink back into false humility saying we aren’t able. Are eyes are on the wrong source are eyes are on ourselves.

By grace, you have been saved. Do not accept less than His best. By grace, you have been made whole. Do not merely do enough to get into heaven. Live life fully and flowing over. Live in courage out on the edge of discomfort. Because that is what He made you to do. You were meant to fight on the edge of light and darkness. Fight with love, mercy, and grace. You were made to take back land that the enemy has stolen. Made to seek and save the lost. You are made for a purpose. You were made to spread the name above all other names. Made to spread the name of Jesus! He will give you what you need when you need it. Just trust Him and take a step whether it is bold and courageous or shaking like a leaf. Trust Him and He will take you places you never thought possible. Be blessed on your journey as you follow the one that makes you brave.

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Pursuing your calling is hard work and at times it can feel more like a cursing then a calling. We say things like, “chase your dreams, and don’t settle, and God has a plan for you.” These are all true, kind of. Yes there is a plan for you, but if you fall for myths about your calling you will get discouraged.  Often discouragement can lead to giving up and a heart that is jaded to the world. We can fall into the blame game and blame God for not coming through.

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Photo by: KCNewman Photography

When I started chasing my dreams I expected support from everyone and encouragement from everyone. It was unrealistic and it set up those in my life and I for failure. I felt more like the Psalms crying out to God. Asking through tears, why did you give me this dream! I fell for four myths which were what was causing so much pain. I constantly have to remind myself of these myths because each time I am frustrated I have bought into one of these lies.

4 myths to calling

Vocation is calling. I believed the lie that there would be the perfect job for me. Frankly a job where my identity would lie, but calling is way more than a job. If it were just a job it would be easy. Your calling in some way shape or form must do two things, love God, and love others. Your calling will include a vocation but it’s what’s under the vocation that really matters. For example, I feel my calling is to restore. I own pizza parlors I write, coach, and speak as well. All of these activities are from a place of restoration. Your calling is hidden in the very actions you do both at work and at home. What bring us to life? Pursue those things that energize and light you up. That is how you will pursue you’re calling.

Calling happens fast. I haven’t yet found a story in the Bible and I haven’t yet found a person that something just happened. Trust me I wish things happened as quickly as I wanted them too. We humans are terrible judges of time. Before you begin to see the dreams that are in your heart there will be a big span of time between now and then. God will be shaping you and molding you the whole way. Buckle up trust God and do what you can today. We may wait months or years longer to see some of the dreams for our lives that are wrapped in calling. We confuse calling as a destination but it’s a journey. God will use all journeys two chisel and shape us in His image, embrace the time.

 Our calling is about us. This can get confusing because are calling will fill us up energize us and use our skill, talent, and ability. In the end it’s not about us, it’s about Jesus. It’s easy to tangle the two and make it about you. I have done that more times than I can count. I have made my calling my identity. I have focused on myself and what I get. Refocus on God daily and serve others to avoid the myth of YOU. Your calling is to serve others and point the way to Jesus it always comes down to that.

 Our plan is perfect. We get these great grand visions of zero downside and that’s not reality. The reality is you’re calling will be difficult it will be hard, but it will be worth it. Make plans but hold them loosely. The main hindrance of this myth is that we are taking our eyes off God and putting our calling in our hands. There might be a left turn that you’re not expecting. If you hold tight and be rigid you may miss a course full of adventure. Trust God and have faith then when you get to the other side you look back at your life and see the reasons for the left turns. God is the one with the perfect plan not us.

God will use your calling both to shape you and affect others. The shaping is painful at times and other times its complete joy. Trust Him, make a plan, and do what you can today. Focus more on the Creator instead of a constant self-discovery and you will live a life of calling whether you see what you envision or not. Be blessed on your journey.

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When you are first chasing your dream nothing is more frustrating than having something to say and feeling like no one is listening. I remember writing for six months, twice a week and seeing no results. I had seven email followers after that time. Five were family members and one worked for me. I had one person that didn’t know me after writing 24,000 words.

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Photo by: KCNewman Photography

I felt wonderful! Okay, maybe not. I felt like a failure. I felt as if I sucked and I should give up. People talked about converting traffic and I just wanted traffic. Just read my article, I kept thinking. How hard is it to press the blue thumb up on Facebook? I was losing the battlefield of the mind.

I just kept posting on my site thinking that I would get organic traffic if I kept writing posts. This never really happened. If you are waiting for people to find your thing, it won’t happen either. These 4 things will help you to go out and get traffic.

1. Radioguestlist.com. This site is pretty cool. It is a list of some podcasts that are looking for people to be on their shows. You just search for podcasts that are looking for someone like you. If you have a book, it makes it easier to get on a lot of them. These are smaller or new podcasts, but you get backlinks, practice and exposure.

2. Guest posts.  If you don’t have people reading your material, go to where they are. This is not a magic bullet. The more accurate you are with your niche, the more traffic you will generate. I have gotten many of my email followers from doing guest posts.

3. Social media. This is not a plug to share this. The more you are generous with others’ work and sharing what is important to them, the more they will likely share yours. Don’t be so self-focused that you can’t help others with their causes. This should not be favors, rather read and share who you like. Reach out and help someone.

4. The platform builder. This isn’t really on growing your platform, but in remembering the purpose. If God is part of your life, it is Him who we should chase. My walk with God is more important than people listening or not. I trust if I try with all my might and if He wants me to have a platform that is as big as I envision, it will happen. The same is true for your business. Trust God to make your dream known and have patience.

I hope these four things help you build your platform. Remember, dreams that matter take longer than we want and are harder than we want. Stick to it and keep your priorities inline. Be blessed on your journey.

What message are you trying to spread?

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Today I am excited and privileged to announce a partnership with Break the Chain Apparel. Break the Chain is a clothing and racing team with a voice speaking out against the chain that holds people down from domestic violence all the way to bullying and verbal abuse. Visit their website here. You can also follow them on Facebook. Break the Chain has created a unique way for you to speak out by wearing clothing with a voice. Their clothes bring a much needed awareness to all of the major “chains” that are unfortunately not talked about nearly enough.

break the chain

This evening spotlights why a clothing line like Break the Chain is needed. Tammi Burns, owner of Break the Chain Apparel, is heading up a candlelight vigil in Turner, Oregon tonight at 7 pm. This vigil is for a young woman who was only 23 years old with a two-year old little girl. She was shot to death while running back in the house to save her little girl. It is a heart breaking story and unfortunately it isn’t a rare one.

Often the poor, the addicted, and the abused get reminded of their past over and over again. These things get hidden in the darkness. Break the Chain helps to bring these things to the light. Things that are in the shadows come into the light because only in the light can this chain be lifted.

We all have fallen short and if any of our past short comings and sins were shown to the world we all would be embarrassed and ashamed. In Romans 3:23 it states, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” That is why grace is so important. Tammi exclaims, “If I continually get judged by my past, what incentive is there to push through the pain? How do we let them know that they CAN break the chain?”

One of the things I love about Break the Chain Apparel is all of the resources. If you go to their site, you can see for yourself resources for sex trafficking, alcoholism, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, racism, child abuse, suicide, bullying, domestic violence, and drug addiction. Clearly this is a company that is more about helping people than making a dollar. Consider buying and wearing clothing from this great company to help bring awareness and spread light to the darkness. Join the Break the Chain movement and SPEAK OUT NO MATTER “WEAR” YOU ARE!

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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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In October I ran the Portland Marathon. I felt great and wanted to set up my next marathon. I signed up and paid to run the Eugene Marathon that was in April. Rachel said, “Are you sure that’s a good idea? We do have Hope due in February and you will be pretty tired. Are you sure you will have enough energy to train?” Rachel mentioned this right before I finished filling out the entry form online. Well, this was offensive to me. “She doesn’t think I can do it,” I thought. “I will show her and signed up anyway.” Surprise! She was right. I wasn’t even close to ready and didn’t run the race. As I discussed in 5 Steps To An Awesome Marriage, I have a tendency to not follow through and my wife is great at following through. I learned these 3 things from my failure.

Proverbs 31:10-11

10 A wife of noble character who can find?     She is worth far more than rubies. 11 Her husband has full confidence in her     and lacks nothing of value.

1.Truly listen to your spouse. I heard the words that she was saying, but I wasn’t listening. I had made up my mind and that was final. She could “support” me or not, but I was doing it. If I believe Proverbs 31:11, I think it would be a good idea to listen to her. I can be stubborn but when the Bible gives a promise, I try to do what it says. Men listen and weigh what your wife is saying.

2. Rely on those with different strengths. I love that my partner in life is my opposite in a lot of ways. I need to weigh what she says even more. She looks at the world through different glasses than I do which gives me a much better perspective. I was looking through the lens of, “This was great. I want to do it again.” She was thinking, “Hello we will have a newborn.” I needed logic, then to weigh out “Will I run on four hours of sleep?” Find someone you trust that has different strengths. If you are a dreamer, find a realist. If you don’t dream, find a dreamer.

3. Failure does not define me. I got knocked down. I failed in listening to Rachel and at running the marathon. I am back on my feet, apologized and acknowledged her wisdom. Also, Hope is five months old so I’m able to have enough energy to run again. I am not defined by this one time of failure. If I let it eat me up, I wouldn’t be running and I may even have resentment toward Rachel for being right. Get back up off the mat if you have failed. Learn, grow, and don’t look back any longer. (Tweet It)

“My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content  with your failure.” ~Abraham Lincoln

If you have failed to listen, join the club of the stubborn. Let’s learn and grow. Actively listen to those with different strengths. Acknowledge that others may be right. Listen to your spouse and move on when you fail.

What things have you learned from not listening?

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