“You don’t have to push back. You just have to stand your ground.” – Matthew Zinman


If you could give one smart advice to your younger self, what would it be? We all have gone through depressive moments in our teenage years. In this episode, Art and Matt Zinman, CEO of The Internship Institute, discuss some life lessons we wish we knew before but still can benefit from today. Matt shares his 2-3 Day Rule on how he was able to overcome his depression, how to use our earned courage to outsmart worry and anxiety, why we should trust our gut, and how to be okay with saying “no”. We also get to peek inside Matt’s book, Z-isms: Insights To Live, especially one chapter called: “Be Aware of Spiders”. He explains the reason behind the allegory and how it can benefit us and the people around us. Tune in and find out who these “spiders” are and how to not get caught in their manipulative web of deception.

Listen to the podcast here:


1:00 Teen Depression & The 2-3 Day Rule To Beat It
09:46 Why You Can Be Sure You’ll Always Get Through
15:22 Believe In Yourself
22:52 Z-ism: Insights To Live By
26:06 Look For Your Earned Confidence
32:16 Be Aware Of Spiders!
38:27 It’s Okay To Say NO


No adversity is easy but you can win each time it pours on you! Join @myexpectation and @MatthewZinman as they discuss how our earned confidence can help us be wiser and stay grounded. #expectationtherapy #podcast #teendepression #challenges #… Share on X





“People who suffer from depression go sinking in the quicksand. And part of the challenge is that  it’s not until you feel better that you realize that you were depressed.”  – Matthew Zinman

“Remind yourself and ground yourself that we’ve all been through our share of challenges in life, yet we always overcome them.” – Matthew Zinman 

“Whatever comes your way, you’re going to deal with it because you always have gotten past it and you always will.” – Matthew Zinman 

“What you expect tends to happen. If you’re putting energy into worrying about something… you could actually be causing it to happen.” – Matthew Zinman

People think that it’s weird to [talk to themselves.] That’s what you’re supposed to do.” – Matthew Zinman

“Don’t let anybody tell you, you can’t do something.” – Art Costello 

“Trust in your gut.”  – Matthew Zinman

“If you’re looking for your sources of earned confidence,… look to your formative years of the things that have grounded you.” – Matthew Zinman

“You don’t have to push back. You just have to stand your ground.” – Matthew Zinman


Meet Matthew:

Matthew Zinman is a Personal Success Trainer. His experience as an entrepreneur, athlete, single parent, caretaker, consultant, and nonprofit founder drive him to be a difference-maker and positively impact as many people as possible. Beyond his earned insights about self discovery, relationships, mindfulness and life enrichment, Matt is the CEO of The Internship Institute which he established in 2007 to bridge the gap between education, active duty, and employment by making experience matter. He is the author of the highly-acclaimed book, Z-isms: Insights To Live, which is based on his experiences. He is also the host of “Insights to Live By,” a podcast that invites guests to share their own pearls of wisdom for others to put into action.



Art Costello: Welcome to the Shower Epiphanies Podcast, my guest is Matt Zinman. He is a personal success trainer who’s experienced as an entrepreneur, athlete, single parent, caretaker, consultant and nonprofit founder drive him to be a difference maker and positively impact as many people as possible. Beyond his earned insights about self discovery, relationships, mindfulness and life enrichment, Matt is the CEO of The Internship Institute which he established in 2007 to bridge the gap between education, active duty and employment by making experience matter.

Welcome to the show, Matt, this is going to be a great one.

Matt Zinman: Thanks so much for having me, Art.

Art Costello: Can you tell us your story?

Matt Zinman: Well, right where to begin, you start at the front end or do you work backwards? Generally speaking, just to bridge off of your introduction, and then I’ll rewind. I founded a nonprofit called The Internship Institute in 2007. I’ve done a lot of work with college students with disadvantaged youth, with military and transition. And a lot of what we’ve done have also involved employers setting up programs so that they’re valuable for everyone, for the importance of having it, and for everyone participating, and through that experience and others. Cumulatively in my life, I felt a personal responsibility to write the book, Z-isms: Insights to Live By. I know we’ll come back around to that, but part of it has to do with what I wish my younger self knew. In terms of working with the students, it’s just evident that they don’t have the exposure. They don’t have the opportunity to really adapt to the work world in terms of soft skills and things like that. And certainly, a lot of the book has a lot to do with helping anyone at any age. So we’ll come back to that. So that’s my modern story. And in my recent years, I’m in my 50’s here so it continues back. I grew up around Philadelphia and I’m the youngest of four. I have disclosed some things in the book and certainly happy to get into them here. One of the things that define my childhood is that I had to contend with depression in my teens and that’s certainly defined me at some points and in different parts of my life. Fortunately, it’s not really been an issue for some time, but something like that really drives how you manage yourself. From there, I attended, actually I was raised Jewish and I was the first Jewish kid to go to the Catholic diocese in Philadelphia, in part because I play ice hockey. There’s a lot going on with high school I transferred into, and then the Archbishop school that I went to was a big hockey team so that led me into Temple University. Ice hockey spent a huge part of my life as well, that certainly defines me. I was captain of Temple. We were undefeated champions in my senior year. And I’ll stop there, I’ll just take pause so I don’t continue here.

Art Costello: To me, athletics and going through, as you said, that depression as a teenager, I think, by the way, my son is a big hockey player in Colorado in Boulder.

Matt Zinman: Oh, nice.

Art Costello: He’s your age and he plays all the time. Great sports. Pretty rough, but great sport. But I think that when you have these challenges as a young person, I don’t know how much you know about my story, but at nine I was abandoned and had to figure out life on my own. I did not have anyone and baseball was my, I mean, I lived and breathed baseball and when it was pulled from me because of a situation, we were isolated and didn’t have anybody to play baseball with, I became very depressed at nine.

Matt Zinman: Wow.

Art Costello: I had no one to lean on to tell me how to get out of it, and that’s how everything came about for me. I had to figure it out, and that’s my point. When we’re put in these positions, we either figure them out or we don’t. We succumb to, and we let them be this. And I think that that’s the thing that kids need to learn today, they don’t have to be a victim to what happens to them, take it as a learning experience. Everything that happens to us is meant to teach us lessons, and that is the big thing. So what you’re doing with it and what you learned from it is really the greatest gift you can give back to children because they become extremely, when they identify with it, they know what’s going on. You could tell, probably tell me some of your experiences that you’ve had with kids, and what they’ve said to you, and what they have, how they’ve come up to you after you’ve spoken, or read your book or, however it works.

Matt Zinman: Well, nice to say we both made it from those early experiences. I’d like to talk a little bit about that while we’re on the topic and how important it is. One of the things that’s challenging with depression is number one, no one knows, especially at the beginning that you’re experiencing it, even if you don’t know that you’re experiencing it. Things you kind of get sluggish or what have you. People get down, that’s just a natural part of life. People who suffer from depression and actual chemical imbalance go lower and lower, it’s like sinking in the quicksand. And part of the challenge in that mild level is that it’s not until you feel better that you realize that you were depressed, we’re the loneliness and things. So for anyone who’s experiencing that, I’d just like to encourage them to create structure, move, keep moving. While my book covers a lot of ground, I did feel a responsibility in touching upon this, almost as an educational chapter called minding the mood scale and developed this almost like a thermometer that shows, in the middle section of what people might consider normal or whoever defines normal. But to show what it’s like to sink down into that quicksand and the practical rule that helps me, I mean, I experienced this in my teens, it certainly had a major impact on my adult life too at times is the two to three day rule. If I start sinking myself, feel that sinking, it gets to one day it’s like, okay. And then two days, it starts to get their momentum. If you get to three days, you have to take action. It’s hard, super hard because you’re not feeling well, but it’s just essential that that means get to the gym. So working out, getting sleep and structure are the three best weapons against depression. And ultimately, if it’s a chemical imbalance, medication.

“People who suffer from depression go sinking in the quicksand. And part of the challenge is that it's not until you feel better that you realize that you were depressed.” - Matthew Zinman Share on X

Art Costello: One of the things that I’ve learned through my own experience, I think there’s stages that we go into before we get to depression. One of them where, because my expertise is in expectations and I believe that all anxiety and stress comes from unmet expectations. Could be social, could be, I mean, expectations cover such a broad area, but then we go from those unmet expectations. If they’re continually unmet and we don’t take care of them, then we go into stress and anxiety. When it’s not taken care of, we go into depression. Then we go into the chemical changing of the body and the mind how it just takes over us. And when you start moving, start exercising and being involved in sports or even walking down the street, it makes a huge difference because those chemicals are outlook, we feel like we’re doing something. I always teach people, and I learned this when I was in the Marine Corps, the first thing I do every morning when I get up is make my bed. I make my bed.

Matt Zinman: You can bounce a quarter off of it, just like you were taught.

Art Costello: Yup. Just like I was talking, you make the bed every single day. Because it starts out the day with, I’ve accomplished something, I’ve done something. It builds that discipline and it’s a ritual to do. Yeah, it just does. And I’ve never failed. I mean, I’ve been out of the military now almost 50 years.

Matt Zinman: Thank you for your service. My wife is a vet. She was in the army and she was actually counter-intelligence, which is all I can know about her. She’s on the 40 year plan of knowing nothing else. What I can say is I have no problem agreeing with her quite often. How she does it, I’ll just leave it at that. I want to come back to something that you said that is just so essential. One other comment I wanted to make actually is with the social distancing, and the challenge being isolated and how much more of a challenge that is for people to work, those depressing feelings. Again, you just have to be proactive. You’ve got to get on the phone, who do you talk to and reach out to that lifts you up, and makes you laugh, and get on the video calls and just stay connected. That’s just so essential. You had talked about worry and anxiety, and one of the anchoring concepts and really more than that that drives what I’m talking about in the Z-isms is something called earned confidence. It’s actually the first chapter. So if anyone goes on the look inside on Amazon, you just go and read this for yourself and know if it’s for you. But the principle of it is that it’s a way to outsmart worry, anxiety and stress. And how it works is to remind yourself and ground yourself in the fact that we’ve all been through some of the things that you described, our share of challenges in life. Most of the time, we don’t have a choice yet we always overcome them. We’re still standing, we’re right here.

“Remind yourself and ground yourself that we've all been through our share of challenges in life, yet we always overcome them.” - Matthew Zinman Share on X

And as hard as our past and those challenges have been at this point, even really at any age, a young person has that earned confidence to know that, whatever comes your way, you’re going to deal with it because you always have gotten past it and you always will. So knowing that, it’s really about stopping yourself from worrying because worry, anxiety and often stress have a lot to do with those expectations, those things that you don’t want to happen, and you’re no longer in the present. If you stay present in the moment and just deal with the real, you can wash away those worries. And when someone’s worrying, because people get hard wired in the way that they’re brought up to them. Their parents were worriers so I’m just a worrier. Stop it and really take this, and challenge yourself. And one last thing that I’ll say on this point is that, let’s say that you worry about something, an event, of course it’s something that hasn’t happened yet and then that event never happens, that’s when you have to look back and say, what I do to myself? All that negativity, that was for nothing. Who else did I inflict that negativity onto? Your family, the energy of that, it’s a major, major quality of life issue. It’s something I really encourage people to take a fresh look at. And the logic of it is really irrefutable. You’ll get through whatever comes your way.

“Whatever comes your way, you're going to deal with it because you always have gotten past it and you always will.” - Matthew Zinman Share on X

Art Costello: Absolutely. I mean, that’s one thing that I teach, I think that we’re very much in alignment with is that no matter what in the world happens to you, I mean, in 2006, I lost my wife to ovarian cancer and three years, as much as I prepared myself for that, I still wasn’t prepared when it happened, but I knew in the end that no matter what it was, everything was going to be okay. That I was going to be okay, that my kids were going to be okay, we’re all going to be okay. Doesn’t mean that you can’t grieve, doesn’t mean you can’t mourn any of those things, but if you keep, you’re so right on this, if you keep in your back of your mind that no matter what goes on in your life, no matter what, you know, I speak in prisons, and in guys that go to prison think their life is ruined. It’s only ruined if they let it ruin them. If they rise above it and start working towards achieving and reproving themselves, we’re pretty good about forgiveness. We’re a pretty good society about forgiving people and letting them reprove themselves. But if you continue to go down that path, and keep hanging with the wrong people and doing the wrong stuff, you know?

Matt Zinman: The same things will repeat in that way. It’s interesting to connect a dot, you were talking about expectations. And the book kind of builds one on the other and starts to get into things around managing energy and swimming with the current, going with the flow and amplifying gratitude. I would say that, if you’re somebody who likes Malcolm Gladwell or Rhonda Byrne of The Secret which is a very much an inspiration in those later chapters around amplifying gratitude, this is a book I think that loves. And one of the core messages of it quite simply is, what you expect tends to happen. And that is really a summation of the law of attraction. So when we connect that back to worry, if you’re putting energy into worrying about something, the irony of that is that you could be actually causing it to happen.

“What you expect tends to happen. If you're putting energy into worrying about something… you could actually be causing it to happen.” - Matthew Zinman Share on X

Art Costello: Oh, absolutely. I don’t have any questions about it.

Matt Zinman: Sure.

Art Costello: And you know, there’s a lot of science behind this. There’s a lot of science coming out about what we think really matters. You know what the biggest part of what you think about yourself is in your health.

Matt Zinman: Right.

Art Costello: I have a friend in Toronto who’s doing research right now on cancer patients. She’s a cancer patient that comes in with negative attitudes, and cancer patients who come in with positive attitudes. It’s amazing how the positive attitude patients overcome the cancer actually begin to heal themselves.

Matt Zinman: Oh, absolutely. The science is quantum physics, I couldn’t tell you hardly anything about it, except that there’s atoms, molecules and things like that involved. That’s really the limit of my understanding, but that’s really the root of the law of attraction, and we are gaining a much greater understanding about that, the vibrations, and the energies and things that we emit and receive. And it wasn’t that many hundreds of years ago that gravity was discovered, these are forces that are always there.

Art Costello: I actually have a personal experience with this. Because when I was nine years old, I went to this hilltop, laid on my back and had a conversation with God, I asked God what was going to happen to me? What was going to become a me? And I made this trip many, many, many times over the course of a few years. And one day I was laying on my back and I heard a voice within me that just said, just do, everything will be okay. Just keep doing what is the right thing and you will be okay. And believe it or not, that’s the thing that has driven me my entire life.

Matt Zinman: That’s one of your epiphanies, for sure. And that relationship with yourself, with too many people just ignored, it’s something that everyone should really be heading in the direction of being your own best friend and all of that. And it’s wonderful that you’ve been able to anchor yourself in that way with what you’ve been through.

Art Costello: Well, I spoke at Harvard and I had a faculty come up to me and said, you know, we haven’t had the chance ever to meet anyone who actually lived the cycle. And I said, what? The cycle. And they said, when you were nine and you laid on that hilltop, and you put out those vibrations of positive vibrations into the world, you have been faithful to them, all of these 60 some odd years, and you’ve come almost full circle by remaining this positive, and we don’t see that very often where people actually follow the cycle is what they call it.

Matt Zinman: Interesting.

Art Costello: I just said, well, I felt that I was compelled to do it. And they said, it’s just really great because we haven’t had the chance to talk to him like that. And I spent a lot of time talking. They were quantum physicists, astrophysicists.

Matt Zinman: Wow.

Art Costello: People had won the nobel prize and they were just kind of, it was almost like an awe.

Matt Zinman: So you were the smartest guy in the room, basically, is what you’re saying.

Art Costello: No, I don’t know what to say. I was the smartest guy, but I think I was one of the most faithful. And I think I’m very faithful to what I believe in what I learned. I think that that’s something that kids need to really, in Expectation Therapy, I teach three things to Expectation Therapy that are so simple. It’s identify, clarify, and solidify with a written plan to get you there.

Matt Zinman: Right. And then internalize it right after that.

Art Costello: Absolutely.

Matt Zinman: So critical.

Art Costello: Yup. And if kids would just realize, if they started identifying and having these conversations with themselves, the answers will absolutely come out of your being. The answers are within us.

Matt Zinman: I think somehow people think that it’s weird to do that. Like, what am I doing talking to myself? No, that’s what you’re supposed to do. For anybody young or anyone who doesn’t do that. You’re the person that you’ve got, so enjoy.

“People think that it's weird to (talk to themselves). That's what you're supposed to do.” - Matthew Zinman Share on X

Art Costello: Yeah. And for me, I learned that because I had no one that I could trust. In my youth, I had no one I could trust so I had to learn to trust myself. That I think was a big key for me is that I started trusting in myself, believing in myself. And it’s a process, it takes a long time.

Matt Zinman: Right.

Art Costello: I’ll tell you, I’ve done some stupid things in my life. I’ve done some really smart things in my life, but it’s all a learning experience and that’s what I’m talking about. You’ve got to always be crying, don’t let everybody tell you, you can’t do something. I believe in the possibility of everything, that’s one of my mantras. I believe in the possibility of everything and everything becomes possible.

“Don't let anybody tell you, you can't do something.” - Art Costello Share on X

Matt Zinman: So important. I love that. Can I attend one of those courses?

Art Costello: Sure.

Matt Zinman: Great.

Art Costello: Absolutely.

Matt Zinman: I’m really interested.

Art Costello: Yeah. It just makes a difference in our mental beliefs of ourselves. We empower ourselves by giving ourselves permission to be who we’re meant to be.

Matt Zinman: Then some people never get that their entire life, it’s never too late,

Art Costello: Many, many, many, many people never get it. And they lived this miserable life.

Matt Zinman: Well, if they’re listening right now to a show about Epiphanies, I think we’ve got a good chance that we’ve got an audience here who get it.

Art Costello: And that’s what it’s all about. That’s why we, you and I do what we do because we want people to not be afraid, and not fear, and take those steps, and move and do something because it’s all possible. Anything’s possible. When I was nine, when I was 20, when I was 30, I never thought I’d write a book. Never in the world would I have dreamed that I would do this, do what I’m doing now. I mean, I had laid some of the groundwork for it because I was a psychology major and I’ve always had an interest in how we work as human beings and what makes us tick, but I never would have dreamt that I would have taken this path at this age. ‘ll be 73 in August.

Matt Zinman: Wow, young at heart.

Art Costello: Yeah. I mean, I’m just young all throughout my whole body. I’m just who I am. But let’s talk about Z-isms. Did I pronounce that right?

Matt Zinman: You did, you did. And it seemed more of a challenge for people internationally because the Z is only a Z in the US, Zed, Zedisms, it is Z-isms. So I put the phonetic there, you know Z isms, the first thing that people would ask is the obvious question, well, what is that? And a Z-isms as a definition are those pearls of wisdom that we all have that come about through experience or passed onto us from parents or grandparents, things that are going to make a positive impact on others to know, and insights to live by, that’s where the title comes from. So while the book, Z-isms obviously have a thing about the Z, I’ll admit it. That’s never going to go away with my last name. And it made sense, what can I say? But it’s really something that, for example, with the book, there really is no ending in the sense that the readers are invited to join a private group or a reader forum so that they can share their insights, and their pearls of wisdom, and have a community that comes about so early. The book just came out so I’m almost talking to myself in there right now, but I’m looking forward to more coming. In terms of the book, just as an overview so people can understand, it really covers about four different areas that build on one another. First is self discovery. That mindset, that’s where earned confidence is about, talking about perception and things that happen in our heads. I just did a post today, actually have this perception, snapshot tool that’s in the book that’s really well received and experiencing gratitude around the things that you can put in a positive column versus challenging the things that are a negative column.

That’s a depressing thing too, in any given time, you can get the same set of circumstances and see a completely positive or negative. It then gets into personal interactions, so it’s interpersonal growth as well. And some models that are in the book around interacting with people and figuring things out because we are so complex, there are so many moving parts. Then we get into mindfulness, which is what we were just talking about, and health. The mood health is described being the life athlete is a chapter. And then the goal of it ultimately is to be actionable. So it culminates with this life enrichment action plan or leap that anyone could customize from all the things that they’re taking from the book, the experience of reading the book is like having a personal conversation with me. And in doing that, whatever it is that really resonates with any individual reading it is what’s going to shape what they want to come out of the book and do it in manageable steps. That’s really the key on, how do you, so you were talking about, that morning routine. Whatever that is, heading in the right direction and how do you win that battle within that we all face at any given time. So that’s really just a 10,000 foot overview of it.

Art Costello: Yeah. What would you say is the biggest benefit that comes out of reading the book?

Matt Zinman: I have to say, I wholly believe in it. I have a pretty high standard for myself and I couldn’t be more proud of it. I believe I’ve made it impossible for anyone to read this book and not come away from it all the better. I’m in my 50’s, we’re talking about our life experiences. I’ve certainly had my share. There’s not enough hours in life Epiphanies to cover the things that any of your listeners have been through. I really did what I could to take those life lessons. And you know, that part of it, that’s my younger self that’s certainly in there and then getting into some of trusting yourself. You were saying trust yourself, then it’s trusting your gut. And one of the main lessons that I’ve learned in life that I’d like to share here is that whole aspect of trusting your gut and knowing yourself when you are in a situation, whether it’s something you’re trying to achieve or an argument you’re having with someone. It could be very simple, it could be very big, but it’s that feeling of, I’m banging my head against the wall and I’m swimming against the current. Your arms are getting tired, you’re wearing down, try again, stop, stop, trust your gut. Because the energy of what’s happening there is you have to go with the flow. You have to turn around, whatever that means in any given situation. That’s been such a lifesaver for me to have that awareness of it. And the more I try it out, the more I find it works. So that’s one of the insights that I’ve gained. I hope people will give a try.

“Trust in your gut.” - Matthew Zinman Share on X

Art Costello: Those are really important things. Another part thing that really intrigued me in your book was the concept of earned confidence.

Matt Zinman: Right, right. So building on the issue of earned confidence and trusting your gut and knowing that you’re going to get through everything. And how do you build that? What are some of the life stories that you can look back to that really instill you with that? And one of the challenges that are given in the book is in your formative years. It’s more really where that’s going to be. So for example, when I was eight years old and I was learning how to play ice hockey, I was at this summer clinic, it was really my first time out, also older kids that were playing and we were in a situation where someone, 17, 18 year old kid took a slapshot, back then there were no face cages. It found its way to the left side and broke my jaw in three places, hashtag, straw, anyone. So I was wired shut for quite some time, and my poor mom, goodness. But going through that so traumatically, other people might say, I never want to do that again. And I got back on the horse right after, after I was better, I wanted to play. It was important to me to continue doing that. And for what you were talking about with your love of baseball, it’s just been that life anchor I’ve talked a little bit about, but it was my source of pride and my getting respect. I mean, being the first Jewish kid in the Catholic School, I wouldn’t recommend it to anybody back then. But playing ice hockey certainly got me a lot of street cred. So that would be one example. And certainly, as I mentioned earlier, that moment of captaining the Temple Team and you being down in that final game, and it totally looked like we were going to lose. We made a late comeback fairly dramatically and it made it that much sweeter. We were just a club team, we weren’t [inaudible] or anything like that, but you would’ve thought we won the Stanley Cup. I mean, all the guys, sticks and gloves, what you would imagine flying everywhere. At that time I had a lot of doubts about myself in terms of friendships and feeling that bond part of that was maybe some of the depression and things that got to me. But that was another example of something that is still me with confidence of being a leader, and those friendships being deepened by that event. So I would say that if you’re looking for your sources of earned confidence, not only the general fact of, I’ve gotten through everything I’ve already gotten through is to look to your formative years of the things that really have ground you in those kinds of things.

“If you're looking for your sources of earned confidence,... look to your formative years of the things that have grounded you.” - Matthew Zinman Share on X

Art Costello: This is going to change gears a little bit, but–

Matt Zinman: Sure.

Art Costello: I had this thought when you were saying about getting hit with a hockey puck. I know that you’re right about being aware of spiders, maybe you’d be aware of hockey pucks.

Matt Zinman: Yeah, I know. You know those things, if you could do it over again, I would have ducked, Art. I definitely would have duck. It was a very fast shot, actually curved. I could tell you that I will never forget the curve. It didn’t look like it was coming at me at first so to my credit, no, I really should have talked. So being aware of spiders, the book’s only been out a couple of weeks, three weeks, really. And it’s interesting because that’s the chapter that I’m finding people really come back to a lot. And to me, it was very hard to write because the book’s very positive throughout, and yet, that’s the chapter that’s really cautionary. And a lot of hard living that went into it, and this is probably a Gladwell type of concept which he talks about in one of his books about what’s called thin slicing. And that means that if you can, in terms of trying to understand something, break it down into this or that, it really makes your decisions understanding a lot easier. And this is about interaction with understanding people’s character traits and the caution of, it’s not necessarily good or bad, it’s just whether people have something in them to do something or not. So we all have a lot of moving parts. And when I look at Be Aware Of Spiders, the name of the chapter, we’re talking about those who will make a conscious choice to manipulate someone else. So you could think about office, politics, whatever that character trait is, you either will do that or you won’t. The conscious effort that a spider defined by someone who does that puts into doing it, while they’re doing it and being manipulative, the individuals who are like most of the rest of us who are non spiders are giving them the benefit of the doubt. And who wants to put energy into that and just kind of, we’re oblivious as well as we should be to a degree. But having that awareness, if you kind of do like a checkpoint and go through your life, and understand who has that you called a gene, called a character trait, but who will do that? It’s not to say they’re a bad person, they might only do 1% of the time, certainly relatives are involved here too. But knowing that about them, just having that one snippet of awareness will help you be just a little bit more cautious around the fact that they might turn that on you.

Art Costello: Yeah. And I think this is a really wise observation that you’ve made because I make the observation on a grander scale. And because I teach people to be aware of what politics, and government, and churches and all of that do. It’s about a power struggle, it’s about gaining power over you. Because once somebody controls your expectations, they control you. Biggest example of it is advertisers. If you would go to a car lot, you would start to walk off and the salesman would always say, that car is going to be gone tonight. If you don’t hurry up and move on this right now, that car is going to be gone. And we can’t let ourselves succumb to that kind of pressure, that subliminal pressure that people put on us, whether it be politics, whether it be church, and they’re all done in good, I don’t know.

Matt Zinman: Intentions?

Art Costello: The intentions are okay, they’re not anything criminal or anything like that. They just want to control you because when they can control you, they can control how things, how the outcomes are going to come. And what’s important is what is the outcome of you going to be? Only you can determine that, only you can control that, and you can’t control that if you live to the expectations of others. Only you can control that when you live to your expectations of yourself. I’m going to ask you a question.

Matt Zinman: Sure.

Art Costello: Going to put you on the spot.

Matt Zinman: Go for it.

Art Costello: Can you identify your three core expectations? What are they?

Matt Zinman: I’m just taking a moment to think about it.

Art Costello: I’ll let you because I have a pretty good idea already.

Matt Zinman: Well, when you think about things that are, what are your life priorities, that’s where the question immediately takes me. My family is going to come first. So I remarried just three years ago to my lovely wife, Erica. She has a daughter Greta who’s 15, who really keeps me on my toes. And then my son, Jake, he is 19. So I have certain expectations around them, especially the kids and their success in life. They don’t really have to worry about that. So you probably weren’t expecting that one, but I’m going to go, I’m going to go there first. The second one, which I have a lot more control over is the book. It’s important to me not to sound, Oh, my book, my book, and so forth. But I want to make a difference. That was the responsibility that I felt to write it, this was not for my business of any kind. Everything was out of my pocket. And few authors, you don’t write a book normally to make a living at it. But my goal is to positively impact as many people as possible. Yea,. I’m looking to get it out there so I’m aligning that expectation with who I am because that’s completely in my control. Being on your podcast right now, making that happen is part of that equation. So I have an expectation, as long as the odds are, statistically, that I will defy them. And I am relentlessly going to be positive about getting this book out and in the hands of as many people as possible, that they’ll want to do the same when they read it. Okay, here’s the last one. I’m playing ice hockey into my 80’s, how’s that? I’ll go right there.

Art Costello: I understand why you said what you said about your core. Let me tell you what my three are. Mine is integrity, love and compassion. I would think that one of yours that you didn’t mention is dedication.

Matt Zinman: Yeah. You were just looking for a few words? I wish I knew that, it’s a lot easier.

Art Costello: This is what we tend to do as human beings.

Matt Zinman: Sure.

Art Costello: We tend to look to complicate things when–

Matt Zinman: I never do that.

Art Costello: –in reality, if we simplify things and make things simple, much better, it just always works out better. Simplicity is great.

Matt Zinman: Can I rewind for one second and make one point that I want to just round out? The same way we talked about mental health and things, I want to come away from this so that you’re getting the most practical benefit back to the whole spider conversation for just a moment. If you are someone who, this is rooted in self esteem and things like that, but if you’re someone who says to yourself, I really need to learn to say no. If that resonates with you, you are someone who gets victimized, and you are someone who needs to step up for yourself. You might say, well, I’m not confrontational, or I’d rather do this instead of pushback, you don’t have to push back, you just have to stand your ground. Again, as hard as it might be for those individuals who have those character traits to yield, but then feel terrible about themselves because they did to stand up for themselves and see how that feels when they have the opportunities to do that. Because the people who are manipulators, they sense it, that’s why they take advantage of you because you’re prone to be taken advantage of. So I’ve had people in my life that I’ve coached around that topic in particular, so pride instilling when they experience things like, Oh, wow. I said no at that time. And you know, that’s super important.

“You don't have to push back. You just have to stand your ground.” - Matthew Zinman Share on X

Art Costello: Yeah. I think that that’s extremely important. Actually, I think it’s really goes way, way up on the scale of importance because, it’s important it is to be able to identify and say yes to things, it is more important to be able to identify and say no to the things that don’t serve you, or serve others, or don’t fit in with those core expectations of what you want and desire in your life.

Matt Zinman: Absolutely.

Art Costello: And saying no is very, very difficult for a lot of people. They say yes and then they don’t fulfill the expectations of the people they’ve said yes to, and it diminishes their worth in front of other people.

Matt Zinman: Well, if they can say yes and somehow adapt to feeling good about saying yes, okay, that’s fine. But if it’s something where you say yes and you should have said no, and then you feel terrible about being taken advantage, it makes it all the worse.

Art Costello: It happens to a lot of people.

Matt Zinman: Right, right. Are you listening out there, those of you who apply to this? Say no, just say no.

Art Costello: If nothing else you learned today, that is probably one of the most important things you could learn from this whole conversation. It’s okay to say no to somebody.

Matt Zinman: Great. And they’ll respect you.

Art Costello: They will. It’s more so than if you say yes and don’t do it.

Matt Zinman: They’ll respect you more by respecting yourself. That’s really what this is.

Art Costello: Yeah. It is, it is. Z-isms have numerous tools including a self care report card and suggestions for readers to customize their life, enrichment action plan. Hear more about that.

Matt Zinman: Yeah, for sure. So actually, the self care report card is on the website for free, but read the book to use this, and that is z-isms.com if I may. And the point of it, this is somewhat rooted in the mood health, and it’s somewhat rooted as part of the chapter of being a life athlete. It focuses quite simply on exercising, and getting enough sleep, and your diet and hydration. And the last category is about stress which is opposite, which is well, did I mitigate stress? And did I have a low stress week? So you can get this daily, or you can do weekly, monthly, super easy. And there’s a weighted algorithm which means points are going to be higher for physical exercise because that’s more important in terms of rating yourself, and then it’s just a rating scale. So when we talk about, as you said earlier, creating habits for ourselves, this is just one of those tools that, you know, try it out. Maybe it’s something that gives you a little bit of a grounding to help you get into better habits. And when you’re ready to take better care of yourself, it’s something that you can lean on. It’s a self accountability tool really. Then the life enrichment action plan is the culmination of the book and it follows the winning, actually the chapter of Winning The Battle Within. It revisits a lot of the questions through the conversation that was had through the book and with the reader, and experiencing about the things that they identify with so they can customize on what am I going to do next? And some of it can be, it doesn’t have to be this big, huge plan to follow. There’s options to remind people what some of those things could be and just do things in little chunks, but it does structure things like week one, part of the book is looking at your tribe and the thought that we become the combined some of the five people that we spend the most time with at any given time. And there’s a positive and a negative question of why are these people feeding you? Are they draining you? Maybe you need the lift of your tribe, but we can’t cover obviously everything in the book here, but that would be an example of something that is part of those exercises. Same thing with the spider identification, same thing with, there’s a chapter actually the elements of fire, water, earth, air. And that’s about category, it’s a model in terms of categorizing other people and yourself and understanding how to interact with them. So I’ll leave it at that, but I think you get the idea that there’s just a structure to it that people can follow if they want and benefit.

Art Costello: Boy, this has been great. We’re nearing time to shut it down. I wanted to give you the opportunity to let people know where they can get a hold of you, how they can get a hold of you, anything that you’ve got coming up. You can take the next half hour and tell us what you’re doing.

Matt Zinman: Next half hour? There’s that struggle, we talked about it and I’ve had this conversation with authenticity and yet I’m trying to win that battle within myself getting this book out there. I’m like, Oh, I’m just talking about this book again. It’s so hard to, as easy as it may have sound, my book, I do find it difficult. But certainly there’s a, if you find Z-Isms: Insights to Live by on Amazon. Easy enough, you can take that and look inside, everyone knows Amazon. Read the first, it’ll tell you all about it. You can read the, probably the better part of the first chapter on earned confidence and then you’ll know, and I’m very grateful for the kind reviews that it’s gotten as well by professionals, professional reviewers. So that’s nice to have that third party. Also go to the website that z-isms.com. You can download the self care report card, you can the first part of the book there and other reviews. Where can you find me? Well, one thing that I mentioned earlier is for those who read the book, there’s almost like a secret password or phrase that gets them into the private reader forum and then we’re going to interact. I want to do Zooms and things, and I can see how that evolves. I want to be able to meet and interact with people who’ve come through the experience of reading it. That keeps me engaged, there are some loose ends in the book and there are some things that I only went into in certain depth that I would be more comfortable going into greater depth in the private forum than I would be just putting it out there in black and white, that’s part of it too. I want to draw upon everyone else’s wisdom and their own Z-isms because everyone has that. They might not have a book in them, or you were saying earlier, and I’ve been wanting to write a book for certainly at least 15 years. I guess I got the seasoning, Art, I guess finally got to that point, but I had actually what it is. I had the freedom, I hadn’t known that kind of a gap where I was able to really make it happen and it just kept going.

Art Costello: Timing is everything.

Matt Zinman: Timing is everything. Yeah. You know, it is? We talked about defining your why, and one of the questions that asked, I asked myself which is, what would you regret not doing? We’re not talking bucket lists per se, we’re talking about life achievement type things. One of those big things in the book certainly came to the top of my mind. I’m really proud of it that people will like it.

Art Costello: You just should be. I think that I’m going to encourage our listeners to go to your website, go to Amazon and get the book, get in with you. I think you have a great fun way of putting things into perspective and into action. That’s the biggest thing with us, it’s always action. Take the action because people sit back and always watch, see what happens. And in the way it works–

Matt Zinman: It doesn’t have to be big. It doesn’t have to be big, just one step and then build on it. Thank you, you’re very kind to say that.

Art Costello: We want you to be successful because I believe in what you’re doing. It’s been a pleasure having you on the show.

Matt Zinman: Thank you.

Art Costello: I want to do it again.

Matt Zinman: Sure. Thanks to everybody who listened through this, it’s been you’re awesome. Yeah, I’d love to do it again.

Art Costello: We will definitely do it again. With that being said, everybody knows where they can get a hold of me, art@expectationtherapy.com is my email, Expectation Therapy is our website. Heather White, go ahead and take this outta here. And Matt, thank you for your Z-isms and we are going to use them.





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