When Jordan was a kid, his dad had a daily routine. He would leave his home office early, change from a suit and tie into athletic shorts and a t-shirt, grab a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and head down the hall to the garage where Jordan had loaded their navy Suburban with cones, nets, and balls and got the engine running. He wasn’t just Jordan’s dad. He was also his soccer coach.

look for the lesson in all experiences

Harry Demos would spend the twenty-minute drive to the fields every day with his black Motorola flip phone pressed between his ear and shoulder (usually with his customers in Asia or Europe), while holding his PB&J in one hand, tying his cleat with the other, and driving with his elbow. He was saving every minute he could so that he could pour into Jordan and the rest of his players. He was always intentional about his time. Because of that, on the way home each night, he shed his distractions and he and Jordan would talk about life.
Big things. Little ones. Whatever was on his dad’s mind or heart to share. Sometimes it was nothing. One time, in particular, though, it was life-changing. Simple. But significant. The best golden nuggets of advice are. His dad said, “Son, if you can just learn one thing from every person you meet every time you see them, think about how much wisdom you’d have that you’d otherwise have missed out on.” He emphasized to Jordan the importance of taking advantage of learning opportunities whenever he could, and to look for the lesson in all experiences.

The longer we live on this earth, the more we’ve really taken that advice to heart. And the more we’ve noticed that other successful writers, speakers and teachers who we admire share the same philosophy. It seems to be one of the running themes. Truly successful people are never disillusioned to believe that they have it all together. That they’ve “made it.” They never stop learning. And never stop growing. So how can we train our brains to approach our everyday life with this philosophy?

We had to rewire our brains. When we’d go to a conference and hear a photographer give a talk they’d given before, or we’d go to church and the pastor would preach a sermon we had sat through before, or we’d see an author we admire give a presentation on a book we’d already read, instead of checking out and thinking to ourselves “Well… I already KNOW this!” or “I’ve already heard this!” we instead had to intentionally train our brains to think, “What new thing can I glean from this that I missed last time?” or “How can I take this information and directly apply it to my life in a new way?” We started to realize that every interaction we had with a person, whether they were a “teacher” or not, could teach us A LOT. And if we just looked intentionally enough, it could radically enhance the way we do something in our life. That principle that Jordan’s dad taught him as a kid is one of the reasons why we believe that our business is thriving today. Not because we’re awesome, but because we’ve surrounded ourselves with wisdom, and the perspective that each person we come in contact with can teach us something valuable. And not just about business. About life!

Right now, we’re in Nashville soaking up wisdom like a sponge at an educational summit that we still can’t believe we get to be a part of. We look around the room at the people we’re sitting next to, and are just blown away that we have the privilege of learning from some of the industry’s top leaders, and we just couldn’t be more thankful to have these few days here. We LOVE teaching, and we know we’re being called to it, but we also know that as teachers, a big part of our responsibility is to continue our own learning. To invest in growth. To get poured into, so that we can pour into others. And what we’ve realized about this industry is that we will never reach the point where we feel like we’ve made “it.” There is no “it!” “It” is a myth! But if we can remember the wisdom that Jordan’s dad shared with him all those years ago, we will be better, stronger, wiser and more equipped to empower other people, and THAT is one thing that will always be worth pursuing.

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If you’d like to know about more ways we invest in education to grow our business, check out:

How to Grow Your Business in 15 Minutes a Day

Sharpening Our Minds in 20 Minutes a Day


filed in: Education