Tommy Newberry Interview
An interview with the best-selling author.
BY: Gayle Trotter
“The top secret conversations you hold in the privacy of your own mind do not stay confidential forever. These thoughts will eventually be revealed for everyone to see. A dream, a business, or a marriage dies first in the mind.”
Gayle Trotter: I am speaking with Tommy Newberry, New York Times bestselling author of 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life. Tommy, what prompted you to write this book? Did you already have these insights and you needed to share them, or did you feel like life taught you a lesson at some point?
TN: Probably both. 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life is a sequel to another book called The 4:8 Principle which I wrote four years ago. The message of Philippians 4:8 is really the essence of what the 4:8 Principle is. The Apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 4:8 to focus on what is lovely, pure, true, gracious; to focus on the good things. The message of the original book was so strong that it just seemed appropriate to do a sequel that emphasized how you can actually practice the 4:8 Principle better. We came up with the idea of a 40 day game plan, breaking the message of the 4:8 Principle down into 40 bite size pieces so that it is easy to implement, but short enough with 40 days, that you can see the finish line from the start line. The concept as a whole, though did grow out of my grandmother sharing this Bible verse, Philippians 4:8, when I was probably 14 years old.
It stuck with me. When I started coaching entrepreneurs, and then couples and families, I found that this one verse that some people are familiar with, but it is not a real prominent verse, is so powerful in human relations and for understanding human emotions. Many people were experiencing less than what God intended for them because they were not able to control their emotions. Here is this little nugget, buried in the fourth chapter of a short book in the New Testament, and it is very, very powerful. It gives us the secret to not only disciplining our mind, but to experiencing joy the way God intended.
GT: You recommend writing notes of congratulations to friends, acquaintances, and strangers alike when they win or accomplish something noteworthy. Why?
TN: We need to encourage others first and foremost. To have a 4:8 mindset where we are focusing on the good in others, we need to acknowledge the strengths, the victories, the wins, and the progress in others. When we see people succeeding in ways that are admirable and ways that we would like to see our own kids succeed and prosper, we should congratulate them. When we do that, I think it helps us on the inside to get rid of any sort of envy or resentment or jealousy that can really eat away at our joy. I have done that with strangers. I read an article in the paper or online about somebody, and I will take just a couple of minutes to try to track down their address and send them a note. We all need encouragement, so now more than ever, people need to be encouraged. “Encourage” simply means to infuse somebody with courage. None of us is strong enough by ourselves to be the best that we can be. You can be an encourager or a discourager. You can be a dream builder or a dream killer. We often express one way or the other with our mouth in the way that we communicate with people, or with a pen or with an email. When you encourage people, you are building up their potential to do great things for God.