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How to Have a Positive Impact on Others with Matt Zinman

How to Have a Positive Impact on Others with Matt Zinman

by | Jun 29, 2020 | Q&A

Experience teaches us a lot of lessons in life. Trials will always be present, but one roadblock is never a dead end. Through good and bad, it’s always important to remember that life is a matter of perspective. Having a proper outlook would help us live life with less anxiety and more positive impact.

In this episode, Matt Zinman shares about his life experiences, which led to the birth of his book, Z-isms. The book is a fulfillment of Matt’s mission of passing his life learnings to succeeding generations. It tackles personal development that can surely help people from all walks of life. Aside from his book, Matt also shares stories from his childhood in Philadelphia, his journey as a hockey player, and his family life.

This episode will be helpful for everyone who seeks to have a positive impact on others, so make sure to tune in!

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

  1. Discover Matt’s journey as a writer in pursuit of his mission to leave a positive impact on his readers.
  2. How can you see life’s challenges with a new perspective?
  3. Learn how to manage your mood and emotions during difficult times. 


Episode Highlights

[01:57] Getting to Know Matt Zinman

  • Matt founded the Internship Institute, a nonprofit organization.
  • He wrote a book that tackles personal development: Z-isms Insights to Live By.
  • His son is 19, and his stepdaughter is 15. Matt also shared that he recently got engaged.

[05:07] Matt and His Expertise on Internships

  • An internship is work-based learning suitable for students who want real-life experience. 
  • Matt himself was an intern when he was in high school and college.
  • Internships play a role in landing your first job. 
  • Matt used his experience as an intern and turned it into a business opportunity. 
  • In 2007, Matt started his nonprofit internship program.

[07:30] Internship vs. Apprenticeship 

  • The difference between internship and apprenticeship depends on your place of origin.
  • Students learn through experience. 
  • Listen to the entire episode to fully understand how different internships are in America and Europe. 

[11:53] The Positive Impact of Hockey in Matt’s Life

  • Matt is not only a big hockey fan, but he plays the sport too. Quitting was not an option for him, even after seriously breaking his jaw.
  • He built strong friendships through hockey.
  • Matt persevered to prove himself in the game through the years.
  • He was part of Team USA, representing the country in international competitions.
  • He values the opportunities that opened for him because of hockey. 

[15:00] Things Matt Learned While Growing Up in Philadelphia 

  • Philadelphia taught Matt how to be compassionate. 
  • A similar passion for something creates a bond in a community.
  • The change of seasons and the need to shovel snow are disadvantages in living in the area.

[16:47] Matt and His Low Points 

  • Matt has been battling depression since his early teens. 
  • Listen to the full episode to hear about the challenges he faced when his brother, David, had problems with opioids. 
  • Matt faced difficulties after his mother accidentally contracted HIV after surgery. 
  • He’s stronger because of the low points in his life.

[20:06] Going Above the Threshold

  • He has a degree in Journalism. Matt considers writing a book a simple endeavor because of his 15 years of experience.
  • Matt believes that he has a personal responsibility for sharing his story through writing.
  • Learn to define your whys.
  • Writing about personal development is a unique and challenging process. It took Matt a year to complete and be satisfied with his work.
  • Progress inspires him to keep on writing.

[25:06] Matt As A Reader and Thoughts on His Audience

  • Matt is too preoccupied with his nonprofit work and writing to read for pleasure.
  • His busy schedule was an advantage to keep his book unique from other books in the same genre. 
  • Matt is grateful to his readers. His purpose in writing a book is to have a positive impact on as many people as possible. 
  • More than profit, Matt writes to simply get his message across. 

[28:06] Z-ism

  • Matt shares the origin of the book’s title.
  • The book talks about personal development, personal discovery, and relationships, among others.
  • Listen to the full episode to discover the topics discussed in Z-isms.
  • His book’s positive impact on his readers is to enrich their life action plan.

[32:35] Growing Up in a Catholic High School  

  • Matt also had difficulties while in high school. After moving, Matt had to adjust to a new environment. 
  • He was the first Jew in the archdiocese, and hockey made his transition to the new school easier. 
  • Matt is grateful for both the academic and disciplinary lessons he gained from the school.  

[35:38] Parenting

  • Parenting styles change over time and differ for everyone.
  • One of his motivations for writing Z-isms is sharing what he wished he knew when he was younger. 
  • A parent’s role is not to make their children’s life easier but to teach their children to be self-sufficient. 
  • Parents should be able to tell their children to “go figure it out.”

[41:31] Feelings Aren’t Facts

  • We are always capable of overcoming any trial thrown at us.
  • Learn to differentiate the truth from your interpretation.
  • Two people may be correct, even if their opinions completely differ.
  • Listen to the entire episode to hear how to put things in perspective and handle your problems.
  • It’s vital to learn to compartmentalize different aspects of your life.

[47:41] Outside of Your Comfort Zone 

  • Matt’s advice on battling depression is to approach it head-on and learn how to manage your mood.
  • Listen to the entire podcast to learn about his two- to three-day rule to avoid sinking deeper into depression.
  • Discover a coping mechanism that works for you.
  • You have to keep moving, things will be better.

[52:36] Advice During the Difficult Times 

  • Learn to focus on swimming with the current.
  • Ask yourself, what does giving up mean? 
  • Be realistic and always think of survival.
  • Walk toward doors opening to opportunities. 
  • You are never alone. 

[56:57] Expecting Things to Happen

  • Law of attraction: what you expect tends to happen.  
  • Worrying could be causing something that you don’t want to happen. 
  • Always be present. 
  • You are capable, and there’s no other way but through.

[1:01:14] Letter to His Son

  • Listen to the entire episode to understand why he chose to write a letter to his son. 
  • Just make smart and right decisions.

5 Powerful Quotes from This Episode 

“It just comes down to surviving—we’re survivors. How can we be resourceful? How do we turn that difficulty into the opportunity of ‘where is that door that can open for me if this one is shutting’ and start moving in that direction? Because that’s where the hope is.”

“We are talking about perception itself. It is just a matter of trying to be objective and recognize, stepping back, and ‘how do I take in information?’ We have a constant flow of information, we’re bombarded at all times.”

“There’s no such thing as 100% truth because our perception—with all that’s coming at us all the time—can’t possibly do a hard stop.”

“Put that in the context of earned confidence—that we’ve always made it through everything we already have—whatever this is, we’re gonna make it through this too.”

“Your perception might be twisted because of the mood imbalance. Things actually might not be as bad as they seem, and even if they are, things will be better.”

About Matt

Matt Zinman wears many hats. Aside from being a loving father, he is an author, entrepreneur, athlete, consultant, and founder of a nonprofit organization. 

Matt is passionate about personal development. He wrote Z-isms to share his insights about self-discovery, relationships, and life enrichment. Moreover, he also founded a nonprofit group called The Internship Institute in 2007. The organization aims to cultivate opportunities for students and connect them to businesses who may continue to hone the students’ skills through experience. 

To know about Matt and his advocacies, you can leave him a message, or you may also reach him through LinkedIn or Twitter.

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