So I'm somewhat new to this whole "reading" often thing, despite having always been a Literature student/major. My thing was always movies, not necessarily books. But in the past year and a half, through all the books I've recommended lately here, I've definitely become an unexpected lover of reading.
I've found that I especially get fired up when I discover books that seem to be talking directly to me in the moment - lifting me up out of my own worry, insecurity, and fear and teaching me a better way to tackle this thing we call life everyday.
Though I've read a lot of great books in the past year or two, I think nothing quite compares on this front to "Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World" by Bob Goff.
So I've got to tell you about it and I've got to tell you how absolutely incredible it is. I mentioned how influential this book was to me when I made the decision to take Greatest Story full time a few weeks ago. "Love Does" is through-and-through all about living a whimsical, adventurous life. Sounds kind of daunting but it isn't, when you go on the journey of the book with its infectious author, Bob Goff.
Bob is a lawyer and somewhat ordinary guy, but the lens through which he views and lives his life is extraordinary to me. For example, the book begins with sharing stories of his office - Tom Sawyer's island at Disneyland. Now, it's not officially his office (it's part of a theme park), but Bob describes it as his own private place that he shares with others and that he has meetings at with big important officials. This is just the kind of whimsy that's unapologetically Bob.
I found this first chapter and all thereafter, inspiring and infectious, for the very reason that Bob is a pretty ordinary guy. Through telling stories of the moments in life where he went right where others went left, I was constantly moved and changed by the power of daring to be different and saying YES to life. There are so many incredible, hilarious, uplifting, and unbelievable stories that he shares as part of a life where these principles of life are embraced. I'd tell you more but I don't want to ruin the fun of enjoying each and every one for you.
Here are just a few other things that really moved me about the stories contained in "Love Does" - next time I see you, I can go on and on with more easily:
- Instead of judging people, be "with" them - sometimes no matter how lost someone seems, words of advice don't help; you need to just be present with them as they figure out the path ahead - Bob says, “Most people need love and acceptance a lot more than they need advice.”
- Failure is part of the process of life - Bob adds, "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.”
- Love "does" - Love takes action, love does something meaningful to make someone's day better; love doesn't worry
- Life is one big whimsical adventure, if you're willing to put one foot in front of the other and do things differently
I should also mention that a lot of this book discusses Christianity as Bob Goff is very passionate about his faith and sees its ties directly to a life of whimsy and adventure. I will say that, even though I'm Jewish, there was so much in the book, even in the bits about Jesus and Christianity that really inspired me about God in general and made sense. I think it's a great book for anyone to read and everyone has something to gain for having an open heart to it.
Lastly, I think one of the greatest things that impressed about this book is that Bob Goff is the real deal. Like, real in such a startling way. Firstly, all the book proceeds go directly to his charity in Uganda so getting buying a copy for paperback or kindle is a win-win for everyone. But more than that, he goes so far as to print his personal cell phone number at the end of the book - you know - in case you want to talk to him about anything. Cause that's totally normal, human, and trusting right? Right. And that's pretty awesome.
If doing something like that doesn't give you a clear picture of what it means to wake up and say yes to great things happening every day, I'm not sure what would. Hope you enjoy it if you pick up a copy!
"Love Does" on Amazon here.