The man, the myth, the legend-- Bob Freaking Goff came to Fishers today. Usually his events are publicized and people show up in droves, but today's engagement was a bit more low key. Put on by a few banks, I got an invitation a few days ago asking if I would want to come hear Bob speak. I've seen him several times now and he never fails to inspire. Of course I immediately said yes.
There were several groups of people in the room when I arrived but the front two rows were still completely open. I snagged the front row with Haleigh for the rest of our friends that would be coming soon. We stopped to talk to Bob in the hallway as soon as we spotted him. This guy really is the best.
I mentioned to the Love Does girls on Monday that I would be hearing Bob Goff on Tuesday. Claire's mom worked some magic and got four spots for the Shumaker girls and Brynn. Claire and Brynn went right out to meet Bob, have him sign their books and then gifted him with a friendship bracelet and friendship bracelet necklace. When he came up on stage to speak a few minutes later he was still wearing them and told the whole crowd, "Look at these cool things my friends Claire and Brynn just gave me. Aren't they just awesome?" Then he wore them the whole night.
It feels like Thanksgiving and someone else is going to do all of the dishes.
I'm from California and I travel a lot. My wife doesn't know that I'm in Indiana right now, I just left! People ask her a lot where I am and you know what she tells them? "He's on his way home." She's right. I'm always on my way back home. I'm not trying to be intentional in the way I love my family. I'm just trying to be present.
This isn't a talk. It's an intervention. The people who love you most are dying to be with you. They want to do stuff with you and give you stuff.
You know how people ask you, "How are you doing?" all day long? When people ask me that I think about how my wife is doing, how each of my kids are doing. If I'm not sure if one of them is ok I pick up the phone and call them. I'm only ok if they're ok.
Most of the people who taught me the most in life didn't teach me anything, they were just my friends. Figure out who the 8 people you want around your death bed are going to be. I've actually text mine and said, "1 in the 8." They say, "What does that mean?!" I tell them not to worry about it. Then just surround your life with those 8 people. I got mine jerseys.
If you're curious about everything it'll spread like a cough. I was curious and found this town in Northern, CA called Goffs. It's abandoned and run down. So I put in an offer on it for $7,500. It's a steal! Now I've got a town.
There are some Young Life friends here tonight, I met a couple earlier. I love those guys. I was a leader for Young Life for awhile. After college I raised my support to try to go on staff but they said I couldn't do it. They thought I wouldn't be a good speaker. Later I told them I'd be their lawyer for free but my law firm said I couldn't work for free. So I quit! But you know what? I don't think I'm a winner when people say yes and I don't think I'm a loser when they say no. That's all junk mail. I've just decided not to read it.
I got asked to speak at a men's conference and I'd never been to a men's conference before. What do you bring to one of those things? A spear?! Well before I started I found this 8-year-old boy and gave him an 8-ft helium balloon bass. I told him to release it half way through my talk. So I start talking and then there's giant bass floating in the room and everyone can't stop looking at it. That's our problem. We've got one eye on the bass.
I wrote this book awhile ago called Love Does and we've sold over 1 million dollars and we gave all the money. It was awesome. We're starting schools all over the world with the money. It's hilarious because my worst subject in school was school.
I'm having trouble with my eyes and I've had a couple surgeries. And I asked my doctor what's going to happen and he told me, "Bob, you're going to see more." And because he's someone I trust, I believe him.
Friends-- you're going to see more. You'll see more love in your life the more present you are.
Every time something went well at work when I was working at that law firm I'd buy 100 acres of land up in Canada around this Young Life camp. I just kept buying 100 acres at a time and now I own it all! We can turn the water off at the camp if we want! Something happens every morning, these kayakers from the camp come right by our dock. So do you know what we do? We go out and we throw salt water taffy at them. We just throw candy! And sometimes we use a sling shot.
Something happens when we love people extravagantly. I've really had everything-- I used to have a plane when I had two eyes, I have a dog I don't even want. It won't die! It's supposed to live for 10 years and it's 15! And when you have all this stuff it's comfortable.
But I'm trying to learn this idea of being not so comfortable. So I'm going places I'm not comfortable. Our next school is in Mogadishu, Somalia. Not a single person in Mogadishu looks like me. When I first got there this Somalian man came up to me with a machine gun and I said, "Wanna take a selfie?!" Don't worry about what will happen when you get there-- just get there!
Do you know what's really scary to a terrorist? A girl with a book. So we're teaching girls to read.
What if we all gave extravagant love?
I think we do it just by being with people.
I'm one of those people who listens to Christmas music in July. Do you know what they call Jesus? Emmanuel. God with us. Just with. If I got a tattoo I think that would be it. With.
Adam, my son, has taken up sky diving. It's really scary because he's so forgetful. But I take him to the airport every weekend and drop him off to go jump out of a plane.
But I got him good. I took lessons for a week while he was at work every day. Then the next weekend I went to drop him off and just threw on a suit too. We went up in the plane and he jumped out first.
I wanted to do this with him. So I jumped out too.
People usually say, "How's your life working for you?" But I think we can ask a better question. Instead I think we should say, "How's your life working for the people around you?"
Remember these Polaroid cameras? (He gets one out and snaps a picture of the crowd.) We have to wait for the image to develop right? And shaking it won't actually make it happen any faster.
I think there are things developing inside of you and the people around you. I don't get all the answers-- God hasn't said a word to me, he hasn't even given me a vowel. Because I don't think God passes us notes, he passes us people. We just have to be there as things develop inside one another. Who is God putting around you right now?
What if we were generous with what we're assuming about people? Whatever you fill your bucket with is what you'll become. If you fill it up with arguments you'll become a lawyer. If you fill your bucket with politics you'll become a politician. But I want to become love. So I bought a bucket! $6 at Home Depot. Go get one! I took my bucket everywhere with me for months. Even on airplanes! I'm filling it up with love.
I was too close! Sometimes we're too close to our lives to see what's really going on. We've got to see people not for who they are right now, but who they're becoming. Especially when they mess up. Tell them, "I see who you're becoming." Make your words matter. People become what we say they are.
If love doesn't involve sacrifice and commitment, it's not love.
I got invited to come to this get together with all these Christian radio stations in Disney World. They sent a limo to pick me up at the airport. The guy is waiting for me with my name on a sign and I ran up to him and said, "I'm Bob!" and he said, "I know-- but who are you?!" He was hoping I'd be someone famous. Then we're driving around in the limo and I told him that if someone asked me about Orlando after this trip I'd tell them that everyone is really nice because he's really nice. Once you meet one person you feel like you know the whole place.
I want people to meet you and me and feel like they just met heaven. And they will! Because you're becoming love.
My limo driver told me he'd been driving for 25 years and he was going to retire soon. I asked him if he'd ever ridden in the back of one of these things. He told me no and I said, "Pull over!" I drove us the rest of the way to Disney World. Then I gave him a medal, I always carry some medals with me, and I told him you're kind, you're brave. I told him who he's becoming.
I'm Uganda's diplomat to the United States. The Ugandan flag flies over my house because it's Uganda. If you ever get in trouble you can come seek asylum at my house! We fly under the banner of love. This is who we are.
If you want to give away extravagant love start with your neighbor. I started with Carol. A few years ago Carol was diagnosed with cancer. She called me when she found out. When I went back home I brought a pair of walkie-talkies. Now we only talk on those. It's not as scary anymore. Your courage spreads you guys. I asked Carol what was on her bucket list and she said she'd never TP'd anyone's house. So we went and did it at 4 in the afternoon! The cops came! They couldn't arrest us-- I have diplomatic immunity and she's dead in a week. Be child like. Be care free.
Find the next version of you. Keep passing the baton. But bring the 8-year-old you along-- the playful one.
We have a parade on my street once a year-- everyone is in. We blow up all these balloons and it's really awesome. But this year Carol was too weak to come in the parade with us. So I changed the parade route. All 800 of us walked through Carol's front yard and blew kisses to her through the window. The next day she went to heaven.
I used to fly planes and one day I was flying from San Diego to Palm Springs. I looked up how high the tallest mountain was-- 6,000 ft. So I few at 8,000 ft just to be safe. I got there and then I met these jet fighter pilots who had just landed too. They flew the whole way in the valleys because they wanted to get better. We've got to stop being comfortable.
One time I was flying home, getting ready to land and I only had 2 green lights for my landing gear when I was supposed to have 3. I had no nose gear! I flew by the air traffic controller tower a couple times so he could see if my nose gear was down but it was too dark to see. I could keep circling the field or I could land the plane.
I got the nose up as high as I could, ready to land on the back to wheels. Either there would be a bump as the nose came down or a crash. There was a bump. The light was just faulty. Stop waiting for the last green light and just land the plane.
(Bob's phone rings and he answers it.) "Hello?... Hey I'm with some friends right now, can I call you back in about an hour?" I did think crazy thing when I wrote my book, I put my phone number in the back so people could call me. You know that guy on the other end, he was wondering if this was real, if I would really answer. People aren't looking for vision, they're looking for availability.
A friend of mine bought a town and then he let his kids name all of the streets. This Way. That Way. Any Way. The church is on His Way. The movie theater is on Broad Way. It's the greatest.
Love extravagantly. Give away medals. Fill your bucket. Keep going.
I'm a professor at Pepperdine in CA and I have my office hours at Tom Sawyer Island in Disney Land. A friend came from Uganda to visit me and asked if he could go to my office. I said, "Sure!" So we drove past all of the office buildings and kept driving till we got to Disney Land and parked. I took him on the Jungle Cruise so he'd know what Africa is really like. I got him some of those Mickey Mouse ears. Now back in his office he has picture of his family right beside the Mickey Mouse ears.
Did you know that when they were building the castle at Disney Land they put the top on backwards? Walt Disney saw the mistake and said, "I like it better that way." I brought the blueprints of it so I could see.
There's a difference between building a castle and building a kingdom.
Castles have moats to keep people out. Kingdoms have bridges to let people in.
Castles have dungeons to lock people up. Kingdoms have grace.
Castles have trolls-- you know some of them, they work down the hall from you.
Be a kingdom builder.
The people who helped build Disney each have a window in the park on Main Street. If I got a window do you know what I'd want it to say? With.
When Bob finishes speaking he always stays to hang out with people, sign books and take selfies. We got a group shot of all the pals (KCraig brought Natalie and Gracie, all the Devoe girls, the Shumaker girls and Brynn) plus the Disney Castle blueprint.
We asked Bob a few more questions while we were standing there talking with him.
They've just released Love Does in Russian and they asked me if I have any changes for the book. And I said, "Yeah, I have a new phone number for the back." And guess what I did. I changed it to Donald Miller's number.
I wrote a second book but then our car got broken into and they took my laptop with manuscript. Now I've got to start completely over. But you know I think it's a good thing because most people's second books don't do very well. So this is going to be my 3rd book.
If you want to read more from Bob these are the links to finding Love Does and introducing it to camp, the first time I met Bob, Bob at Storyline in Chicago, when Bob came to Indy.