“If you could only choose eight people to be around your death bed, who would they be?” -Bob Goff
I listened to a few more sessions from the Influence and Impact Summit this week. I am kicking myself for not making time for all of them. Instead I chose to watch Gambit (aka the worst movie of all time). Actually, I forgot that they were closing the videos today. Darn it.
I was able to listen to five more conversations between Michael Hyatt and the dynamic people he invited to take part in the conference. Two speakers really resonated with me: Bob Goff and Fawn Weaver.
Bob Goff is one of my most favorite people on the planet. He is a lawyer turned global philanthropist. He wrote the funniest, most inspiring book I’ve ever read: Love Does. He is currently the American ambassador to Uganda (when they called to ask him he thought it was his friend playing a trick on him). He believes in being available to people, like Jesus was. This led him to put his phone number in the back of his book so that people could call and talk to him if they want- and he always answers! He’s the best kind of crazy there is. He’s fun and he DOES what the Bible tells him to do: he loves.
Some of the advice he gave (between cracking jokes) was to be more afraid to succeed at what doesn’t matter than to fail at what does. Cut out the unimportant. Go for what lasts. Love. Be available. Be welcoming. Surround yourself with people who make your words better. Be helpful, not popular. Point to something beautiful. Be very picky about what you say. We become who people say we are. Affirm and encourage people so that they can begin to see themselves the way you do. Really pour your life into about eight people..because that’s all that can fit around your death bed. Who do you want in the room with you?
This last question made me think. Who should I be invested in? Who are my people? It’s an exciting question. Who’s going to be family? Who points me to Jesus? Who do I laugh with? Who has a Costco membership? These are all important things to consider. I know a few, but there are definitely slots open. Apply in the comments section if you’re interested.
Fawn Weaver is a new voice for me. I’d never heard of her before, so I’m thankful and glad I chose her video. She, though a very busy wife and general manager of a large hotel, felt God leading her to share a message that was near and dear to her heart: “Marriage can be beautiful.” She was fed up with seeing marriage portrayed as the playing field for insult, neglect, infidelity, and dissension. Numerous television shows, magazines, and books all scream at women that marriage isn’t all it’s cracked up to be,and that husbands are cheaters, jerks, and largely absent. Fawn’s experience has been completely different. Her marriage is loving and safe, and her husband supportive and encouraging. She wanted to let find other women who were happily married and create a community where marriage was celebrated and people were encouraged to keep at it. She created a wildly popular online group called “The Happy Wives Club” and has written a book by the same name (which I am now reading because I want to prepare my heart and mind to be a blessing to my husband and to make our marriage a beautiful, encouraging, fun relationship that can weather any storm. So what if I’m not dating anyone.).
Fawn, like so many other successful writers, was not known overnight. It took work, failure, rebooting, and recommitting herself to the message God had entrusted her with. She had many times where her blog went unread, or her content fell flat. Her advice was ” Even if only five people are blessed by what you write- it’s worth it. If you truly believe your message is valid and helpful- keep going.”
I have been so blessed by all the messages I had the privilege of listening to, and am glad that these people chose to keep going. I am encouraged and motivated. Thank you, Michael Hyatt, for such a great idea and for sharing so much wisdom and experience with all of us! You rock!