Lessons Learned from Bob Goff

Lessons Learned from Bob Goff

Bob Goff is an incredible human and I have learned several amazing things from this marvelous man. After reading Love Does, I began to view life in a new, radical way – as a grand adventure. Ever since, I’ve listened to numerous talks and podcasts with Bob. This man is incredible (secretly). If you haven’t heard of Bob Goff, you must live under a rock.

Be secretly incredible.

Being secretly incredible means doing amazing things without praise, even when nobody is looking. Even if no one knows, you’re going to do the right thing. God acknowledges every secretly incredible thing you do. Being secretly incredible is about how you live every moment of your life.

Be available & be present, God uses ordinary people.

Bob put his actual, personal cell phone number in the back of Love Does. That is bold and unheard of. This man gets 40+ calls a day and answers them wherever he is. If he’s teaching a seminar or giving a talk, he’ll answer and say that he’ll call back later. The point is that Bob cares, and he is present and available to people. That goes such a long way to say, “I’m here, I care, I’m devoting my time to you.” The action of being present shows others that you care, just like Jesus does.

“You don’t need a plan; you just need to be present… Whimsy doesn’t care if you are the driver or the passenger; all that matters is that you are on your way.  

“I learned that faith isn’t about knowing all of the right stuff or obeying a list of rules. It’s something more, something more costly because it being present and making a sacrifice. Perhaps that’s why Jesus is sometimes called Immanuel – “God with us.” I think that’s what God had in mind, for Jesus to be present, to just be with us. It’s also what He has in mind for us when it comes to other people.” 

“God usually chooses ordinary people like us to get things done.” 

“I used to think you had to be special for God to use you, but now I know you simply need to say yes… It has always seemed to me that broken things, just like broken people, get used more; it’s probably because God has more pieces to work with.”  

Be spontaneous. Make the most out of life.
Rather than talking or worrying about life, go live it. Bring everything you have and make the most out of the life that God created you to live. Stop trying to shape your circumstances and let them shape you. Do the unexpected. Don’t wait for doors to be opened for you, get read to kick a few down. Say yes, and see what happens. Go on spontaneous adventures. 

“I used to think I needed an invitation to get into most places, but now I know I’m already invited.”

“Being engaged is a way of doing life, a way of living and loving. It’s about going to extremes and expressing the bright hope that life offers us, a hope that makes us brave and expels darkness with light. That’s what I want my life to be all about – full of abandon, whimsy, and in love.” 

Get uncomfortable. Nothing is impossible.

You have to stand on the “edge of Yikes” and leave your comfort zone to achieve your dreams. Fear is what you make of it. With this mindset, nothing is impossible. 

“You’re going to get beat up in the process – I can tell you that – but at least you’ll know who you are by the end.”

Be authentic, transparent, and real.
Admit that you don’t have it all together and you’re not perfect. The thing is that no one is perfect because we are not God. Do not try to fit the formula or mold, as you were not created to. Sync who you are on the inside with what you show the rest of the world on the outside. “Find a return address” when insecurity enters your thoughts, and find its source.

“What Jesus said we could do is leave typical behind. Jesus lets us be real with our life and our faith.”

Put others first. Release judgement & lose your pride.
Go out of your way to bring joy and happiness to everyone you meet. Bob Goff finishes a book before he titles it. When we move out of judgment and hatred, we create the opportunity for others to surprise us. When you lose your pride, you’re slow to judge.

“I used to want to fix people, but now I just want to be with them.”

“Actually, the real game of Bigger and Better that Jesus is playing with us usually isn’t about money or possessions or even our hopes. It’s about our pride. He asks if we’ll give up that thing we’re so proud of, that thing we believe causes us to matter in the eyes of the world, and give it up to follow Him. He’s asking us, “Will you take what you think defines you, leave it behind, and let Me define who you are instead?” 

Tell great stories. Share your story.
Words do not just describe who you are, but they shape who you are. It’s so important to share your life with the right people. After you go on wild adventures, share the stories and inspire others. Share your contagious stories and encounters of love. Share the love to others that God shares with you.

“We need to make our faith our very own love story.” 

Be passionate.
Speak with passion, act with passion. When you do what God created you to do, you’ll leak passion. Put your time into doing your passion, rather than putting it into trying to be someone. You can be multi-passionate; Bob is a lawyer, activist, and NY Times best selling author among many other things.

Love Does.
You can talk about love or dream about it all you want. However, love doesn’t need to be talked about or dreamt about. Love just does, love takes action. Love is an authentic, full contact emotion that can change every aspect of your life. Love is contagious.

“Living a life fully engaged and full of whimsy and the kind of things that love does is something most people plan to do, but along the way they just kind of forget. Their dreams become one of those “we’ll go there next time” deferrals. The sad thing is, for many there is no “next time” because passing on the chance to cross over is an overall attitude toward life rather than a single decision.” 

Do not be afraid of failure, mistakes are valuable.

“And for me, I’ve realized that I used to be afraid of failing at the things that really mattered to me, but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.” 

“Failure is just part of the process, and it’s not just okay; it’s better than okay. God doesn’t want failure to shut us down. God didn’t make it a three-strikes-and-you’re-out sort of thing. It’s more about how God helps us dust ourselves off so we can swing for the fences again. And all of this without keeping a meticulous record of our screw-ups.”  

“The thing I love about God is He intentionally guides people into failure.”  

Religion tastes awful.

Religion tastes awful, especially when you eat the fake stuff. God is calling you into a relationship, not a religion with a set of rules. Every “rule” set in place is to benefit you for your own good, God only wants the best for you.

“I used to think knowing God was like going on a business trip with Him, but now I know He’s inviting me on an adventure instead… Every day God invites us on the same kind of adventure. It’s not a trip where He sends us a rigid itinerary, He simply invites us. God asks what it is He’s made us to love, what it is that captures our attention, what feeds that deep indescribable need of our souls to experience the richness of the world He made. And then, leaning over us, He whispers, “Let’s go do that together.”

“I think God’s hope and plan for us is pretty simple to figure out. For those who resonate with formulas, here it is: add your whole life, your loves, your passions, and your interests together with what God said He wants us to be about, and that’s your answer.”  

“I don’t think Bible verses were meant to be thrown like grenades at each other. They were meant for us to use to point each other toward love and grace and invite us into something much bigger.” 

Here’s what other influential people have to say about Bob Goff:

“Bob Goff is a one-man tsunami of grace, a hurricane of love.  He doesn’t just talk about change, he really is change, as Love Does chronicles in such a vivid way. Yet, Love Does doesn’t leave you feeling like you want to celebrate its author, it awakens a sense deep within that you, too, have an outrageous role to play in God’s unfolding story or rescue and repair.” –Louie Giglio 

“An interesting and compelling story (with Young Life roots) that ends with a practical challenge and punch:  ‘love does’ and God can use you to do it!” –Denny Rydberg, President, Young Life

“This may look like a book. It’s not. It is an invitation to enter into the greatest adventure you have ever known—your life as it was meant to be lived. Hang on!” –Michael Hyatt 

“Bob’s ability to love people brings contagious hope and inspiration wherever he goes. The power of love showcased in this book will surely touch the hearts and souls of many people. Read Love Does and find a friend in one the world’s best hidden secrets, a person who shows how love can create connection and make a difference—even across oceans.” –George Tsereteli, Deputy Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia (former Russian Republic)

I could go on and on about the things I’ve learned from Bob Goff, but you and I would both be here a while. Read Love Does and his latest book Everybody Always to experience Bob Goff for yourself. One of my favorite podcasts, Building A Story Brand, featured a remarkable episode interviewing Bob. Hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to hear Bob Goff speak live one day. Are there any other lessons you’ve learned from Bob Goff? If so, leave a comment! Thanks for reading, much love.

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xx, God Bless,

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