How to Overcome Conflict – Part One

Conflict! That’s something that we would like to avoid as much as possible – right? Well maybe. You see a lot can be gained through conflict. It can either put change in your leadership pocket or leave you with a deficit. Worst case, it can leave you bankrupt!

How you choose to handle it will determine your worth. So it is that I begin a multi part series on conflict resolution. Each time I’ll offer one solution for you to consider and practice.

Let me preface this with the fact that I am a minister and do my best to practice Matthew 18 as my source for conflict resolution… Not familiar? Basically if you have a conflict with someone, go talk to them if you feel it will help…

“If you feel it will help”… And there lies the problem for many… And this is the lesson for today for overcoming conflict. The old song lyrics, “know when to hold them and know when to fold them” offers great wisdom in conflict resolution.

Just because something gets under your skin and ruffles your feathers doesn’t always warrant a confrontation with someone. Many times you just need to “hold them.” You need to determine what the win is before bringing your issue to someone. Sometimes the best way to resolve the conflict within is to just take the high road and do nothing.

I realize this sounds counter intuitive but it’s an often overlooked option to conflict resolution. Why? Because too many times people take an item off the value menu and supersize it to the point they take change out of their leadership pocket.

Determine if the issue is just spilled milk or one where the ship has already sailed. Determine if it’s just something that ruffled your feathers or just got under your skin. Determine if it just hurt your pride a little and nothing more.

One way to resolve conflict is just to know when to hold them and know when to fold them. Know when to just leave it on the value menu and move on. Know when to take the high road and do nothing. And that’s the lesson for today. Often overlooked but a valuable tool for your conflict resolution toolbox.

In “How to Overcome Conflict” part two we’ll learn about “couching.” This method of conflict resolution will help you get your way by “couching” the conversation with the right questions and statements. This will be important when the conflict moves past “hold them” and moves to where you need to “fold them” by laying all your cards on the table.

If you’re not a subscriber, be sure you subscribe today so you’ll get part 2 before everyone else.

So What Happened the Year I was Born?

For no good reason today I decided to see what all transpired the year I was born.

For starters it was a Tuesday in 1962 when I was brought into this world. The month would have been October.

And a lot of things happened that year that I was oblivious to at less than a year old…


  1. Marilyn Monroe is found dead…
  2. First Beatles single “Love Me Do” is released…
  3. Cuban Missile Crisis…
  4. John Glenn Orbits the Earth…
  5. First Wal-Mart store is opened…
  6. Average Cost of a New House – $12,500…
  7. Average Cost of a New Car – $3,125…
  8. Gas was 28 cents a gallon…
  9. President Kennedy Proposes a Consumer Bill of Rights…
  10. Seattle’s Space Needle is Completed…
  11. Spiderman Makes His First Appearance in a Comic…
  12. US Navy Seals are Created…
  13. First Kmart opens…

Leave a comment with the date you were born and something significant that happened that year…. You can’t get that information at

5 Habits of Happy People

While not all inclusive… Let’s get to it… These come to you from with an occasional comment of my own..

  1. Make good friends. No brainer right? Wrong! We all know people who drag us down yet we still hang out with them. Don’t be rude, but pick your friends wisely or they’ll drag you down.
  2. Actively express your thankfulness. Send a card, take someone to lunch, send a special Email to show your thanks.
  3. Actively pursue your goals. Unfortunately too many people have no goals in life. They just live each day as though they are phoning it in. Meeting goals can give us the sense of accomplishment which can lead to happiness.
  4. Do what you excel at as often as possible. This can give you the satisfaction of a quick win.
  5. Don’t single-mindedly chase stuff. At some point in life it’s contentment that will bring more happiness not the endless pursuit of more…

Want to read more including two bonus habits then click here.

Rockstar Man Gifts!

Looking for those man gifts that will leave you looking like a Rockstar?

Here is my list of 5 that will do just that. #4 will be controversial, trust me most men will love you forever or it!

5 Rockstar Man Gifts

  1. Big Green Egg or equivalent.
  2. Weber Kettle Grill – in a man’s world it must be a “Weber”.
  3. Tickets to the Honda Grand Prix at Barber Motorsports Park or any other race of choice in your area.
  4. Gift Certificate to Larry’s Pistol and Pawn or any gun store of your choosing.
  5. Amazon Gift card – many men love choosing the gift they desire and not the one you think they want.

Choose any of these 5 and your man will be treating you like a Rockstar if he isn’t already. If he already is, you move into legendary status!

Men, leave your idea of a Rockstar gift in the comments! Who knows, your lady may read it and receive Rockstar status in your eyes if she’s not already – and she should be for even considering a gift for you! 🙂

Parents – Hard Thing Rule

I was recently reading a book by Angela Duckworth that had an interesting concept called the Hard Thing Rule.

Before I get to that, here is Duckworth’s bio: Angela Lee Duckworth is an American academic, psychologist and popular science author. She is the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, where she studies grit and self-control.

So what about that Hard Thing Rule for parents?

She notes the Hard Thing Rule has 3 parts. The first is that everyone – including mom and dad has to do a hard thing. A hard thing is something that requires daily deliberate practice. She practices yoga. Dad runs. The second part – You can quit. But you can’t quit until the season is over, the tuition payment is up, or some other “natural” stopping point has arrived. In other words you can’t quit when the teacher or coach yells at you, or you lose a race, etc… You can’t quit on a bad day. Finally, you get to pick your Hard Thing and no one else gets to choose it for you.

As I read about this I felt it had merit. How many times have we seen parents living through their kids in some activity that the kid has no desire to be a part of. And worse, is berated if they mention quitting or show a lack of desire. On the other hand, there are those that allow their kids to quit when the going gets tough, creating a society that would never make it through another great depression when shear grit and determination were the keys of the day.

I’m thankful that my parents practiced the Hard Thing Rule long before it was a thing. I give them credit for my grit and determination that has led to my Walter Mitty life that you can read about here. I believe that the Hard Rule Thing is something all kids and parents could benefit from.

Seriously parents, when is the last time you took on something that was seriously HARD as an example of grit and determination for your kids?

Me? I ran 72 miles in a 48 hour endurance race. Leave yours in the comments.

10 Things Men Want From Their Wives

Most know that men and women are wired differently! It’s unfair to hope the other will just guess what you’re thinking or wanting. So, in this post I thought I’d take the guesswork out of things when it comes to what your man may be thinking and wanting from you but is not telling you.

While you can find many lists and varying thought, this list from is pretty solid.

Here is the summary version and I’ll leave a link for the full version at the end.

10 Things Men Want From Their Wives:

  1. Affection
  2. Belief in his capabilities
  3. Understanding
  4. Appreciation and affirmation
  5. Acceptance
  6. Less chatter
  7. Respect
  8. Free time
  9. Trust
  10. Companionship

Maybe you already knew many of these but just needed a reminder.

Want to read the short article? You can do that here.

10 Ways to a Happier Family

Family is extremely important! Many worth while things in life require work to keep it healthy and happy – family is no different. Unfortunately too many take their family for granted. Secondly, some of the things we do as families may not be the best for creating strong and healthy families.

I recently read an article at that I thought you might benefit from.

Here are the 10 Ways to Build a Healthy and Happy Family in a condensed form.

  1. Be there.
  2. Express affirmation, warmth, and encouragement.
  3. Build healthy morals and values.
  4. Discipline with consistency.
  5. Ruthlessly eliminate stress.
  6. Communicate well.
  7. Play together.
  8. Love your spouse.
  9. Remember that the best things in life aren’t things.
  10. Energize your family’s spiritual growth

You can read the entire article here, and If you’re pressed for time, then I found #5 and #10 to be a good 5 minute read.

WordPress Menu Tabs

Tried adding tabs to your Graphene themed WordPress site lately? While I was able to create tabs when I originally created allthingstonyj but years later I drew a blank.

Then I found this video and thought it might help you too – in case you forgot…

Just click here and your troubles are over.

Podcast Coming Soon…

The allthingstonyj podcast will be coming soon!

12 Habits for a Healthier Marriage

While we may not want to admit it but marriage is work. If you want a healthy marriage. You need to be continually working on your relationship to make it better. Otherwise you may begin to take one another for granted.

Something that I have found to work to help keep my marriage healthy is to constantly ask, “Would I do this if we were still dating and I wanted her to marry me?” Do I still open doors, say thank you, clean the house, make the bed, go on dates, etc…

Continually working on your marriage will usually bring a lot of value to your relationship. In fact if you can get to the point that these become habits maybe all the better.

Marriage Dynamics seems to agree with many of my thoughts and developed 12 habits for a better marriage. Check these out and see how many you can apply to yours, I find number 6 one often overlooked…

12 Ways to Build a Strong Marriage Relationship:
  1. Always answer the phone when your spouse is calling. And, when possible, keep your phones turned off when you’re spending quality time together.
  2. Forgive quickly. This sounds simple, but it is one of the most challenging parts of a marriage relationship for many. On the flip side, when you’ve made a mistake, admit it and humbly ask for forgiveness.
  3. Surround yourself with friends who will strengthen your marriage. Don’t spend time with people who will tear down your marriage or may even tempt you to compromise your character.
  4. Make sex a priority. A good marriage relationship is built on more than sex, but it is an important element of a strong marriage.
  5. Keep communication lines open. Don’t assume you know what your spouse is thinking or feeling. Ask them, and listen attentively when they are talking.
  6. Join a thriving community of faith. A good church and regular fellowship with other believers can make a huge difference in your lives.
  7. Pick your battles. Don’t waste time on nitpicking. If you believe the issue is truly important, discuss it in a respectful way with your spouse.
  8. PRAY together. It is one of the most intimate acts a couple can experience together, and it will strengthen your bond.
  9. Try to be the biggest servant in the house. Don’t keep score of how well your spouse is serving you. Instead, ask yourself how you can better serve your spouse.
  10. Remember that your spouse can never meet all of your needs—they were not designed for that. Look to God as your source of satisfaction, and build friendships with others who will support your marriage.
  11. Keep in mind that you don’t always need to offer solutions for your spouse’s problems. Sometimes a hug and a listening ear communicate more love than your advice.
  12. Remember that even in a strong marriage, it is rare that both spouses are feeling strong at the same time. It’s normal for husband and wife to take turns being strong for each other in the moments when the other feels weak.