The Exciting Journey of Podcasting: From Curiosity to Global Impact.
T.D. Jakes Shares This One Secret for Leveling Up Your Communication | Impact Theory | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "T.D. Jakes Shares This One Secret for Leveling Up Your Communication | Impact Theory".
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Our country's in trouble right now because we're not listening. We're talking, we're all talking. We've got every kind of gadget imaginable to help us to talk, but we're not listening.
Communication And Audience Engagement
The power of a microphone (00:11)
So we talk at each other and not to each other. Cost you your job. Cost you your company. Cost you your marriage. Call us you your son. Cost you your daughter. That's too expensive. This is not just about being a great or a writer on a stage or doing a TED talk. This is the survival techniques that you need to sustain the things you love about your life will only be sustained through what you say out of your mouth. Hey everybody. Welcome to another episode of Impact Theory. I am here with the extraordinary Bishop, T.D. Jakes. Thank you so much for joining me today. Well, Tom, I'm pleased to be with you and thanks for having me. Man, of course. And I'm super excited to talk about the new book. Don't drop the mic a truly legendary orator stepping up and giving the recipe, as you call it, for how you do what you do. I know you were really apprehensive about writing the book and trying to put sort of a scientific language behind it. But the book ends up being extraordinarily powerful in that it felt like a sermon. If I'm completely honest, it was so full of parables and stories. And one thing that really stuck out to me is this idea of the power of a man with a microphone. Talk to me about that and what made you want to write the book? You know, it started for me as a little boy, born in the hills of West Virginia, on the side of a mountain. My mother was a school teacher and my father was a janitor. My father ended up opening up a business with 52 employees, but he started with a mom at a bucket. So he was working all the time. He was seldom home. And when he was home, he was generally sleep. This particular time he was awake and the six o'clock news was on and Dr. Martin Luther King was on. And I kept looking at Dr. King and what he was doing with the microphone. And I kept looking at how my father was looking at him. And I don't know what you move me the most, the admiration and gaze of my father or the articulation and the in-depth way in which Dr. King had that cadence, that cadence, a way of speaking, you know, that mesmerize the country. Even people who didn't agree with him had to listen at him because he was such a tremendous orator. At that point, it planted the first seed of the power of a microphone. And I mean that literally, but also figuratively, the power of a platform in general and understanding the dynamics of the breadth of that platform and how more things have happened when you think of Mahatma Gandhi, when you think of Nelson Mandela, when you think of people down throughout the ages that have changed the world, more things have changed with the mic than have with the gun. And I think it's so important for us to share. Yeah, you know, and while we deliberate about guns and gun rights and what has really changed the world the most was an unrelenting welding of the microphone. And if we have one, if we have a platform of any kind and we understand the power of that platform, we have the power to change the world. And I wanted to start from there and talk about communication in every aspect, not just from comedians to litigators to preachers to exegetting attacks to trying to communicate with your wife, you know, you know, we say communication is critical for marriage, but nobody tells you how to do it. And nobody tells you how to do it. Understanding the audience and that the rules change as the audience varies. And and that the art of being an effective communicator is predicated in part on your ability to translate your thought into the language that your audience understands, whether it is in Poland or Australia or in Washington or sitting across the dinner table from your wife or in an interview. And so don't drop the mic really started out from that perspective. And then grew out from there. Right.
The power of a platform and a microphone. (04:55)
I definitely want to get into. I feel like an alternate title of your book could have been true communication and we will get into that. But we're I want to stick with this idea of the power of a person with a microphone or a platform in today's vernacular. We're there. I can't get this verified. I have heard that there is a Chinese curse, if you will, where they say, may you live in interesting times and it is meant to be this unnerving thing that you would wish for somebody. And we're all living through interesting times right now. I think that that can be said without a shadow of a doubt. And this idea of you creating a book that comes along right at a moment where certainly not in recent memory, has there been something has there been a moment so in need of people that know how to wield a platform and know how to lead people to something extraordinary. And I'm going to put words in your mouth. You tell me if these are accurate. So I'm not a religious person at all. But when I was researching you, it's sort of inevitable that I spent many, many, many hours listening to your sermons. And it feels like spiritually, exactly the same thing I'm trying to do, where you're using God, I'm using biology. And so I really felt this deep kinship with somebody that it surprised me a little. How much I was like getting the chills. I'm like, Oh my God, like this guy is really on to something. This is so powerful. Thank you. So how do people get to the point where they have something to say? I think that we all have something to say. The struggle is figuring out how to say it. You have to be emotionally safe in order to add vernacular to feelings. And when we speak out, we ventilate the soul, the mind, the memories, the past. And to be able to give verbiage to that is very therapeutic. If you go to a therapist, one of the things that I have you doing is journaling. Journaling is getting out of you, what's down inside of you. And so I think we all have something to offer, but we don't always get it out. And if you don't get it out, it turns and eats you up on the inside. And I think we have something to say, whether it is you can't live life and not gather experiences. And out of those experiences come conclusions. And to share those conclusions is to create growth. The more you give away, the more you get back given it shall be given unto you again. And so in the cross-pollination of people talking and what to be honest with you, that wrote the book, the pandemic hit something I'd never imagined in all of my life. The racial tensions broke out something that was like a reminiscent of the sixties when I was born in '57. So I grew up in the sixties of Vietnam War and Woodstock and Jimmy Hendricks and all of that error. And here we are back there again. And everybody's communicating and talking at each other, but not to each other. The difference however he is now we have the ability to to to hunker down into the solos of our choice and only interact with people who think like us, dress like us and feel like us. And as we become more tribalistic, we become more animalistic. And the challenge became in the book and don't drop the bike is that we have to keep talking to each other. It's very appropriate that you're a person not a faith. I'm a person of faith. We need to talk to each other because you found out we had more in common than we did apart. That's true of everything. That's true with a wife. That's true with a life. That's true across the races. That's true with all of humanity. But we allow ourselves to live behind the walls of the labels we put on ourselves and deny ourselves of the great opportunity that comes from cross-politization. And particularly in this country, which is becoming increasingly more and more cosmopolitan, you can either use that to horrify you and drive you further into seclusion, or you can come out of your cave and risk talking to somebody and learning something new or eating something new or tasting something new or wearing something new and become a much more interesting person. One final thought, nature teaches us that no fruit is born without cross-politization. And we must think about that as humans, that if we don't cause pollinate one with the other, we won't be as fruitful as we would have been had we had the courage. And I do think it takes courage to come out of your bubble and talk and listen and learn and not always show up as a teacher, but to come into the room as a student. Yeah, that was something that came across Latin clear in your book.
Becoming a good listener always comes before becoming a good speaker. (10:30)
We were talking about that briefly before we started rolling. And I thought it's so smart, this idea of if you want to become a great speaker, you must first learn to become a great listener. What are some of the tenets of that? Like how do you become a better listener? If you think about it first naturally and then spiritually, if you lose your ability to hear, eventually it will affect your ability to speak because there is a correlation between what the year hears and what the mouth articulates. On the impetus of that ideology comes this tremendous premise of listening. Every great orator is a great listener. And I think we have lost not our ability to speak, not yet, but we have lost our ability to listen because the only thing we do is pause while we formulate our next approach to attack. Okay, and that's not listening, that's strategizing. But if we actually take the time to listen, most of us all want the same things. Most of us want to be loved, most of us want to be appreciated, most of us want to be accepted flaws at all, most of us if we have children want what's best for our children. Most of us are scared, most of us are anxious and I'm worried. Why can't we be friends? Why can't we communicate? We're better together than we are apart and we don't have to agree about everything. But in the process of meeting, I found it's hard to hate somebody you understand. And in the process of meeting your perspectives broaden, sometimes to the point that you are ejected from the tribe because people who are not exposed are intimidated by people who are exposed. But people who are exposed, it's worth it to lose the sanctity of your citizenship and the tribe of how you describe yourself to enter into the broader world of a human experience before you die. I would hate to die in a zip code having never left the neighborhood that I was born in mentally and not experience the world. The world, France and Ethiopia and Australia and millennials and boomers and Gen Xers, there's something to be learned and people of faith and people not of faith. We need to communicate to survive as a species. And I want to drive this point a little bit deeper. If you're going to be successful in business today, you cannot build your business around people like you. You have to build your business in a very broad eclectic way because the world is becoming broad and eclectic. And a narrow mind also causes you to be less successful at the end of your career because you're niche marketing and an item that could have a broad appeal if you didn't think within the prison of your own experiences. Wow, within the prison of your own experiences, that is a really eloquent way to say that idea.
Entrepreneurship, risk, products, & loss (14:06)
But I want to go back to what you said because I think this is part of what traps people. So I don't know how much you know about my background, but I worked in the inner cities a lot. And so I've dealt with people that are so bright, smarter than me, more entrepreneurial than me. I've heard you talk about drug dealers in the same way I do, which is they are like entrepreneurs, but they don't understand that essentially their product is risk. And so they've taken this category of good that they're selling, but they have to deal with employees, profit, loss, and it's crazy. So anyway, I'm dealing with these people, some of whom are smarter than me. Have more entrepreneurial experience to me, but they're not going anywhere because they don't have the right frame of reference. So I go to these guys and like, look, you guys are killing yourselves to help me build this business. I'm going to return. I will teach you anything you want to know about entrepreneurship, anything. I'll teach you how to build a competitive company, whatever, like I want to make sure you're getting as much out of this as I am. And so I would go in early, stay late, whatever, trying to build these relationships. And I would get him turned on to books. And so there was this one kid grew up in the hood, his whole life drug dealer. And he got in a fist fight over the fact that he was now reading and people were like, you've changed. And I remember him. That was so foreign and so bizarre to me that he would have to fist fight with his friends over the fact that he was now reading books. And that being ostracized, losing your citizenship, as you called it, that's hard to overcome. How do people lean into that courage that you talked about? How do they find it within themselves? What is the reward that awaits them if they do it? And underserved communities, we have not marketed being smart as being cool. And anything that's not marketed, it's not going to be purchased. That's one thing. The other thing is, I don't think that inner city kids don't know, they don't, some of it is that they don't know, but some of it is that they don't have access to capital. They have not experienced any world other than their own. They feel isolated into the broader community. So you develop a subculture and that subculture becomes your reality, and hence it becomes your world. And out of it was born, not only drug dealer, hip hop, which went around the world is a prime example of something that was born in the hood. So when you start talking about people having something to say, if I can start going hip hop in my garage and end up with people in Switzerland listening at beats, then that proves the fact that everybody has something to offer that crosses culture barriers of all descriptions if we would mentor each other by you being a part of the general populace, you become a gateway into a world that he would never have. But by the same token, if you were taken out of your world and had to go live in his world, he would have to teach you how to do it. So we need people who mentor us into the next dimension of our lives, regardless of our perspectives or our backgrounds, and understanding that, embracing that, and resisting the gravitational pull to condescend to what is acceptable by a few and miss the broader populace of entering into the mainstream of possibilities that die beneath your potential is a tragedy, a man of proportion, because you're not just burying the person, you're burying the potential. And a lot of people, black, white, brown, rich, poor, listening at us right now, run the risk of dying the death of being normal or average, rather than being exceptional and being fruitful to the full extent of your potential, wherever that takes you. It's not about necessarily being rich. It's about being fulfilled or filled full to the fullest of the highest expression of yourself. And so I think that that's something important. It's frustrating no matter where you park your car and no matter the square footage of your home to pull into the driveway or the carport or or the sidewalk and feel like I never got to be as far as I could see. And I think we need people to stimulate us and I wrote, "Don't drop the bike." In part to challenge people to keep wrestling with this and talking about this and doing what you did, talking to people out of your circle. I tell CEOs, "You can't just build products for people who are like you. You have to be build products for everybody. You have to have everybody on your board because you will innocently offend somebody and spend more money in damage control than it would cause you to hire somebody who would say, "Oh no, don't make that t-shirt because in my culture that same word means such and such a thing."
Hard conversations (19:23)
And in the book I talk about, I did it myself. I inadvertently offended the Kenyans and I used a term that over here doesn't isn't a negative term but over there, I got three days of being cursed out in Swahili. You know? And I thought, I never even meant to do that. I had a choice at that point. Either withdraw and not talk to them anymore or to say, "I got that wrong. That's not my heart. I am so sorry I offended you. I absolutely adore you and show me a better term." And I handled it that way. And I'm telling you, in these hard conversations we're having in America right now, we have to keep talking even though we're uncomfortable and even though we get blow-back and even though we get the pull where you're going to be disowned by your fellow citizens, don't stop because somebody says, "You don't belong over there." Don't drop the mic because destiny is in front of you and history is behind you.
How to Excel in your Destiny (20:40)
And why would you live in your history when you can excel in your destiny? Yeah, that's such a powerful idea. So you started for 10 years, you were preaching to less than 100 people, which I think is such a powerful part of your story because people see the after photo now with the mega church and just the insane success. But you said, "And tell people learn to honor and invest in the 40. They'll never get to the 40,000." Now on the journey, I have to imagine that people came after you, told you you weren't good enough, you're not the right person, you shouldn't be doing this wrong message, whatever. How did you stay focused, develop the courage to handle the slings and arrows of that kind of climb? Because I think that people today, the temptation of course is to stop when the world slaps you hard enough and says, "We don't want you to succeed." Most people do stop. So what is it that you learned that would be useful to other people on the come up? Oh, that's a good question. That's a good question. Kudos. First of all, I found out it is not what they say about you that limits you the most. It's that you might believe them and start saying that to yourself. And there were many, many, many people who said that I would never be anything. I just chose not to be one of them. Yeah. And as long as it's not your mouth that says it, you can overcome theirs all day long. The thing that's interesting about me was even as a man of the cloth and as a pastor and as a magma church leader, most people describe me that way because that's how they met me. As we speak, I've got two films coming out on Life time. I've done five movies with Sony, grossing $500 million at the boat's home. Through a for-profit company. I've written 40 books, 10 of them have been on the New York Times bestsellers list. Don't, when I'm getting it, I'm not breaking, I'm going to make a point. Don't let people describe you because if they do, they will incarcerate you. And it's all right to say he's a preacher. But if you put a period where I believe God put a karma, you limit me down to how you understand me. I'm a person. And a person has more than one gift, more than one talent, more than one pursuit. And if you've got a great job, that's good. But there's more in you than what you do. And to explore all of the possibilities and all the potentials, I opened up a foundation, I opened up a real estate ventures company. We're doing community development. We're doing mixed income community development with some mixed use development in opportunity zones and underserved communities. Do everything, do everything, and do it scared. Because you're going to be scared. Every time you get out of your comfort zone, it is horrifying. But it is also titillating. And it is also inspiring. And it is also nerve-wracking. But you are never more alive than when you're outside of your normal. You're glands secrete different types of hormones when you're outside of your normal. Your brain starts spinning, your blood starts rushing, you're adrenaline and increases. Most of us are dying aboard them. There are people listening on me right now who drive home and circle the block two or three times before going in the house. We're dying of routine. And we were made to be adventurous. We don't roar like the lion. We don't move like the jackal. We don't move. We don't slither like the snake. We don't bite like a viper. Our only weapon that's been given to us is our brain. And we're the only species that has developed languages and written languages and spoken languages and read languages and built buildings and built ships. You don't see ants anywhere driving around in automobiles. Our brain is our weapon. And when your brain gets locked down to living within the confinements of other people's expectations, it starts to wither. It ceases to be. I had a therapist tell me one time, your body will do everything that it did when it was a baby. The reason you can't do it as you get older is that you stop doing it. And so when I say don't drop the mic, I guess I'm kind of saying don't stop doing it. Keep moving into awkward positions because if you do, if you don't do that, your body will freeze to the level of its usage. That's true of your brain too. That's true of your innovation. That's true of your creativity. So when I'm talking about don't drop the mic, get scared sometime. Get where you're not the boss. Get where you're walking to a room where you're not the teacher. Walk into a place where you don't know the rules because then you become broader and you become more interesting and you become more global and more usable in diverse circumstances and situations. The way that I talk on Sunday morning, as you know, would not be the way that I talk in an interview, would not be the way that I would get on Larry King or whoever it is, Bloomberg report. But I would go all of those places.
What is Articulating to Your Audience? (27:23)
I spoke for the Senate. I spoke for the White House. I spoke for non-Heds who stayed around the world. Don't let people limit you to what they think is appropriate for you. Do everything that you are gifted enough to do. Now there are some things I will never do. I will probably never conduct a symphony. You know, I won't. I made straight A's in music theory and I love music, but I probably would never conduct a symphony. But whatever is in your inventory is all you can produce. And so the book is encouraging you to explore yourself, explore your world, and to articulate to your audience, not just understanding your text, but also understanding your audience, because your audience is different. And you cannot be a great communicator if you only understand your material, but you don't make it relative to your audience. Connecting is the art of the game. Communication is about connecting with other people. And in order to do that, you have to listen, learn, and understand that your preferences, culture, ideas, and concepts are not the only ones on the planet. And if you're going to be effective at reaching more people, you have to be broad enough to at least embrace the notion of how they hear what you are saying. There's a big difference between what you intend to communicate and what is heard. And the only thing that matters is what is heard.
Intention & Understanding (29:02)
How do you get better at that? I think a great sentence to ask is after you say something, what is to ask the other person, trusted person, what did you hear out of what I said? You be shocked the difference between what you said and what they heard. And if you don't believe that, get married. All you got to do is get married three months, and you will quickly find out that you are angry with each other over something that I never intended. But what she heard versus what I said were two different things. And you struggle to communicate with this person who thinks differently. And after while, the only way the relationship survives is if you learn her language and learn to communicate in a language that she understands, which in the book I talk about being bilingual. And I'm not just talking about learning other languages. I'm talking about learning the language of the hearer so that you are not turned off by somebody who's really crying out for help. I had a guy send me a note on Instagram. And I mean, he let me have it. He disgusts me out, said all kinds of stuff. And I'm an easy-going guy, but there is another person sitting in here. So my first instinct was to come right back at him and not curse him out, but let him have it. You don't understand me. And some said, wait a minute, you're not listening. He's cursing because that's how he communicates. If he were ordering a hamburger, he would curse. That's how he communicates. He's really asking you for help, but you can't hear it. And when I heard it that way, I realized that he wasn't attacking me. He was attacking being stuck where he was, and he didn't think I could relate to it. And it was really a crowd for help. And I think our country's in trouble right now because we're not listening. We're talking, we're all talking, we've got every kind of gadget imaginable to help us to talk, but we're not listening. So we talk at each other and not to each other. Cost you your job, cost you your company, cost you your marriage, cost you your son, cost you your daughter. That's too expensive. This is not just about being a great orator on a stage or doing a TED talk. This is the survival techniques that you need to sustain the things you love about your life will only be sustained through what you say out of your mouth. Wow. You have an uncanny ability to understand other people.
Be a great listener (32:17)
I saw an interview you did with your daughter, which I thought was really powerful. And you were going back and forth between, you know, look, guys are like this and women are like this and being able to bridge the two is incredibly important. And I thought that the breakdown of the different sort of archetypes and look, you're, you're very careful to say, nobody's monolithic. It's not all guys are exactly the same. All women are exactly the same. Races are exactly the same. So we'll set that aside. But there are certainly archetypes within those that are very powerful to understand. And I'm curious to know, is it just through the interaction with your congregation over 40 plus years that you've come to have that deep understanding? Or is there a way that people can learn it without having access to the kind of people and intimacy that you have access to? You know, I became a great counselor when I became a great listener. And it's not so much what you do on stage, but counseling couples will teach you to be a great translator. You know, she's not saying that. What she's really saying is, you know, and I found myself like I was in the United Nations translating between two people who live together. They live together, they sleep together, they have sex together, they make babies together, but they don't talk together. And a lot of times they that's why divorce is so painful. Because sometimes you divorce over what you didn't understand, not because you didn't care. And it's a very, it's a slow, painful death that takes longer than it does for the ink to dry. It's going to go on for a long time because you often walked away from somebody who had what you needed, but they didn't know how to give it or didn't understand that you needed it. And I've watched this happen so much that after you bury enough relationships and bury enough people, and then you had to realize that I see people when life gets serious when a baby's born mongoloid, when somebody's dying of COVID, when somebody's about to get married or somebody's about to get buried. And there's something about those types of situations where people get real. So I don't meet your pretender, your ambassador, your representative, your facade, your camouflage, how you get to meet you when you're raw. And that helps a lot. So you don't have to necessarily go out here and be a preacher to do this. But when people are raw, don't run. Most of us, when somebody's really hurting or somebody died or they're going through a divorce, we run. Don't run from them. Run into them. And don't come to fix them just to listen. Because the best thing you can do as a friend is to listen. And I guarantee you, your words of encouragement will be helpful in whatever you do will be nice. But you will lead with more than what you gave, because you will learn something about the human experience that you can use over and over again. And that will help you with your own pathology and your own issues. Because we're not far removed from each other, not nearly as far removed as suppress would have us think. We live in a polarized society where I didn't come up in that way. We had the six o'clock news. Everybody heard the same news. Everybody was exposed to the same truth. We might have had different opinions about it, but we had one centralized feeding station. Now you can get news in your flavor. It's like Maskin Robbins. So you can get news. You don't like Rocky Road. Come on over here against some of the strawberry. And then the worst part about it is then you think that that strawberry is absolute. And because we have 24 hour news cycles, because we build a world that technology begins to follow you and through algorithms association with your interests, it starts pushing to you. Information that further supports whatever you were googling about until after a while, this false reality, like the whole world thinks this way. And then when you get out there and you're not and the cookies aren't directing certain things to you and you run into the real world, you're a gas. How could you think that? You know, look at how many things we have created to divide us and how few things we have created to unite us and communication actually unites us. So when I say don't drop the mic, if women had dropped the mic, they wouldn't have had the right to vote. If Dr. King had dropped the mic, we would still be living up under Jim Crow. If Abraham Lincoln had dropped the mic, we would still be in slavery. You know, look at all the times that somebody saying something changed our reality and our perception of normal. Now that's so important. I want to stick on this theme of translating for people. There's, you really go into depth about this nuance that I think is important.
Translating through seasons and ages (37:32)
And one of the things that you called out is it may be someone that you know and understand well, they think like you, but you're in a different season than they are. And you gave a pretty powerful example of you could be talking to somebody who's as devout as you are. And you don't want to hear about God in that moment because that's not the season that you're in. And when you've got two people, explain that to us, this idea of seasons and how even that can create misunderstandings. Oh, I'm a completely different person from 40 years ago. You know, when you're in, I have the same DNA, I have the same fingerprint, I have the same voice print, but I don't have the same experiences. So at any particular moment, it's not, can you go with me? It's, can you grow with me? And so at any particular moment where we may have shared philosophies, the season will change the reality. You know, right now I'm sitting in Dallas and it's 80 degrees outside. A month ago, it was below zero, though I'm in the same place as different based on the season I'm in and understanding that. And this is important. I think this is really important, especially for men, but maybe for women too. We keep trying to hold on to our last season without discovering the beauty of the season we're in now. We're in the gym, we're running, we're doing everything we can to hold on to 20. As if something were wrong with 40, instead of exploring 40 and re pivoting is the word pivoting into the beauty of 40. There's a beauty at 80. If you sit down and talk to an 80 year old man who was happy, there are things that he's happy about that a 20 year old man hadn't even touched yet. He doesn't even have a clue. He doesn't even know that exists yet. So seasons, stages and ages have repercussions on how we get along. And so we are constantly in motion, we are constantly evolving, we are constantly becoming and we must not despise that transition. Because number one is inevitable. It's going to happen anyway. And number two, you will miss the beauty of wrinkles, of gray hair, of love to wrinkle eyes. You will both talk your way into missing what the beauty that comes to be a grandmother. There's a beauty and a charm and a finesse and a wisdom, but we are so obsessed with what was. And I think that it's something to be said, if you are leading and if you are living, we have to deal with cross generational realities, even though we might all be people of faith, or we might all be atheists or agnostics or whatever we are. We're at different stages of life. Putting yourself in fouls where you describe yourself this way or that way is a limiting idea. Because I am a person of faith does not mean that I don't have moments of doubt. Because you are a person of doubt does not mean you don't have moments of faith. It took faith to sit out in that chair. You didn't look up under it to be sure it would hold you up. You just plopped yourself down in it, believing it would hold you up. You cannot exist without faith. It's impossible not to have faith. You don't send somebody out to see if your car will start before you jump in. So we're not that far removed from one thing or the other, but once we learn a label and we teach what that label means, now we're trying to live up to being in that label. And you might be at a different stage where your soul opens up to an idea that you never thought. You never thought you could listen at a black guy from Dallas who's twice your size, ball headed, gray-haired, preaching and get something out of it. That's what the book is about. Keep talking to somebody listens. Keep singing until somebody claps. Keep painting until somebody stares. You have a gift and don't lock it up inside the convenience of a small group of people. All right, so let's talk about building those gifts. You have an idea that, man, when I say it gave me the chills, I wrote it down.
Making something of your gift (42:32)
I was like, this is amazing. And it is, everybody is praying for a table, but God doesn't make tables. He makes trees and the rest is up to us. I was like, oh my God, that's so good. So how much, you know, when you think about people actually making something of their gift, doing something in the world, living through this interesting time, trying to unite people, bring them together, finding their voice, leveraging their voice. Like, what is that? I mean, maybe responsibility is not the right word, but how do you get people to build the tables? First of all, you have to recognize you have a tree and stare at the tree till you look at what it could be. It's much like raising a child. You look at a child, you look what it could be, what she could be. And then finding out what your responsibility is to take what you have been given and turn it into something that it was not when it was originally handed to you, you know, and to shape that and mold it and sand it and nail it and glue it and put it together and work with it. That's the work of men. But that process sounds hard. That process sounds hard. It isn't hard is creative. It's innovative. It's mastering something. It's miraculous. It's it's it does require an investment and it doesn't require a commitment, especially when you come up in an age that everything is controlled by a button process sounds hard. But the best things in life require process. And if you run from the process, you alleviate the promise. In order to get to the promise, you have to go through the process and in the in the process of going through all of that, guess who gets the most? It's not the table or the tree. It's the person who shaped it because you say, Oh, I could I didn't know I could do that. Maybe I can make a chair. Maybe I can make it automobile without what I'm talking about. We wouldn't have airplanes. You know, we we we wouldn't have spaceships. We wouldn't have television. We wouldn't have we wouldn't be zooming. We wouldn't be communicating like we're doing right now through all of the various if somebody hadn't taken what they were given and making something more out of it. Everybody listening at us right now has been given things that if you can either leave them as trees and sit up on them and drink lemonade or you can say, I could make a house out of this. Our forefathers took trees and built houses and chairs and tables. We cannot be the generation that suddenly says, that sounds hard. And we stop being innovative and we stop being creative because if we do that, we will lose respect for ourselves because we didn't make a difference and we left it as a tree. Man, I wasn't sure where you were going to go with we will lose like where the respect was going to be lost but pointing it at ourselves.
Pick up the pace (45:51)
That that to me rings so true. And getting people to understand that, look, you have two phrases that you use which give me the chills and they're so powerful. Get ready and pick up the pace. And hearing you repeat those from the stage is so moving to me because, look, I don't want it to be hard either. I want abundance just to rain from the sky. But for whatever reason, we have to shape the table. We have to build this stuff. We have to go through the process. We have to put in work to respect ourselves. Like it's not about anybody else. Like if you want to be enamored with you, you've got to do this stuff such as the nature of the human experience. I want to deal with both phrases. Part of writing don't drop the mic was to say to the next generation, you're not next, you're now. The fathers and mothers that built all of that amazing things that this country, this world, this society are dying. You can't run around with your thumb in your mouth saying, I don't know what I want to be. It could be this. It could be that. No, it's not optional. You have to get ready because the time is now. And I could not have written this book until I got in my 60s. I couldn't have written it until I got about 60s. I was 40 on Monday and I was 60 on Tuesday. It happened so fast it was frightening. And the reason I'm yelling back at you and saying, "Hairy up," is because while we're talking, your hair is grating. While we're talking, calcium is gathering in your bones, developing arthritis. You're going to blink, you're going to blink. And this precious commodity that all you've ever done is youth is going to be gone. And the comfort of getting old is not wasting your youth. And the power of being a father is to tell your son, "Fran, do it now. Go for it. Go after it right now because tomorrow you'll be in another season and you will only eat in that season what you plowed in this season." And so when I pass the mic to the next generation, I'm telling them, "This is not a rehearsal. This is your recital." So when you hit the piano, give it hell because everybody's listening right now. And I don't think that we always tell the next generation how much it costs and how little time you have and how important it is that you don't spend your life crying about how you feel and who wasn't there and who didn't do this or that. You don't have time to allow that pull to pull you back down backwards. You have to be looking forward, building forward, thinking forward, going ahead, looking at your trees, sizing up what kind of table you're going to make. Is it going to be round or square? What tools do you need? What relationships do you need? The currency of relationships is your greatest resource. It's better than any dollar amount in the world. You can have all the money in the world. You have no relationships. You're a poor man.
Legacy And Online Presence
If you have all the relationships in the world, you don't need any money because everything you need will come through your relationships. We have not been taught to value the currency of human resources, relationships, because everything you're going to be is incubated in the cocoon of who you're around. Being able to have those conversations and interact with them, this is my way of doing a legacy book. To say who's up to bat now, you know, swing that thing with all you got and run like everybody's chasing you because this counts. This matters. You will never have this moment, again, not with your children, not with your wife. They may be there, but not in the same way they are in this season. You get it? Oh, yes. Yeah. No, I think that's incredibly powerful. And to me, it ties into this idea that your dad started with a bucket and a mop and ended up with 52 employees, but it started with a bucket and a mop. Talk to me about work ethic and about you said, I'll paraphrase. This isn't the exact quote, but you said, don't beg anybody for anything. Go out and create it yourself. And I thought, Oh my God, like that's so good. Like even even in the face of like there are people and I don't just mean it a societal level at an individual level that have suffered true injustice, abuse, being abused, I mean, just like horrendous, horrendous things. And my question then is like, that fucking sucks. I am horrified beyond all measure that they've had to go through that. But now what? Like you've got more life, you've got light to give, you know what I mean? And so this is your bucket at a mop moment. And what do you tell people at that point? Your future is never predicated on what you lost is predicated on what you have left. If you spend all your time in doing inventory on what you lost, you will never count up what you have left. What you have left is enough to build something greater than where you are. And you have all the rich experiences that come through the atrocities you survived. You're stronger, you're wiser, you've proven things to yourself that you couldn't have learned any other way, that you could overcome everything that happened to you, gives you confidence that you know, if you went through all of those things that you said really sucks, then you know this interview is not going to kill me. So you can walk into that door with confidence and say, good morning, Mr. Shelton, how are you today? My name is Pauline. You can do it with confidence because this can't be any worse than that. So start looking ahead, nobody draws forward looking in the rear view mirror. And so understanding that and surging ahead with what you have been given this gift. See, the other thing that I didn't share, my father was dying. And I was raised by a dying man. And one of his greatest gifts to me was to appreciate time. He had a work ethic that was incredible. I have a work ethic that they say is exemplary. I mean, I can hang with the best of them when it comes to doing what it has to be done. But I got it from watching my father well and then sick. He kept going. He kept moving. He kept producing all the way out, you know, and I tend to do that too in some way and some capacity. And it ceases to be work ceases to be work when you start to love it. When you love what you do, when you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life. So you love it. That doesn't mean you don't get tired. That doesn't mean you shouldn't take big cases. That doesn't mean you shouldn't have self care, all that. But self care, you're gonna only have so much after a while, you know, you get tired of that saying on your back, you say, okay, I gotta do something because we were made to be productive and creative and resourceful. And I want to tell every entrepreneur listening at me, if at first you don't succeed, try try again. And if you don't succeed that time, try again. And if you don't succeed that time, try again. And if you don't succeed that time, write a book about what you learn from how you feel. You know, there's always something to do with what you have experienced. Yes. All right. So you've written this book, it's meant to be a legacy book. What exactly do you want your legacy to be? You've done so much films, entrepreneurship, multiple companies, you've got not not for profit for profit international relations, advising presidents.
Bishop Jakes Legacy, Advice for 25 Year Olds (54:52)
I mean, it's crazy, crazy what you've accomplished. What, what is the legacy? What do you want people to take away from the fact that you were on this earth? My legacy is you. My legacy is the people that are listening to me. My legacy is pouring whatever I experienced into who's listening. That is, that is my legacy. That's proof that I was here. If, if, if at the end of this interview, and the end of reading my book, I added something to your life that made you build a table out of a tree, then I built it too. Then whenever anybody asks you about the table, you'll tell them about this guy you met in an interview, you know, that that's how we have survived for centuries. That's how my people were still slavery and the atrocities of our lives, because in the midst of all of the horrendous things we experienced, we still clapped our hands and we still sang our songs and we still managed to be creative and we are still here. So, so don't tell me about trouble through, through hangman nooses and rapes and burnings and killings. We sang. And my legacy is, is that you dance and sing and survive and, and do something. I'm not saying that you won't have opposition and trouble and tears. I don't have to write about that. That will find you on its own. Agony will always find you on its own. It's ecstasy that has to be, has to have your address on it. So I'm sending you the potential to, to go beyond agony, to the ecstasy of fulfilling everything you were created to be. And that's my legacy. It's in the people that heard me and read my books and saw my movies and traveled around the world with me. It's in my children. When I'm writing, I'm actually imagining that I'm having this conversation and my book reads like I'm talking, like I'm talking to you. And you know that from reading it, it sounds like we're having a conversation with a friend. I'm actually talking to you. I'm through the book. I didn't drop the mic. And don't you drop it either? And something of what I said will make it into your book and something of what you said will make it into the book of the person who read it. And that's how we have progressed for centuries and eons and millenniums because we passed the mic. We didn't drop it. All right, that was good. I like that.
Where to Find Bishop Jakes Online (57:55)
Cool. Well, for the person that wants to pick up the mic from you, where can they connect with you? Obviously, they can go see the church in Dallas. But what digital they reach you? I'm easy to find. I'm everywhere. You know, I'm in the theater. I'm on television. I'm everywhere. They can go to tdjakes.org. They can find my books in any bookstore around the country, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, books a million anywhere like that. As long as if you can't find me, I died. Because as long as I'm living, I am going to make some noise if it's from a bedpan, if it's from a nursing home, I am going to be fruitful as long as I can move. And I welcome anybody from any stripe and any walk of life. I'm on Instagram @MrJakes. I'm on Twitter @MrJakes. You know, you can't miss me. I'm everywhere except TikTok. I haven't gotten on TikTok yet. I can't figure out what that's about. But everything else, you know, you're doing a little dance for a minute. Anyway, you know, if I figure out something to do with that, I'll do that too. But I'm on social media. I'm on every technological device you can imagine. And I do at daily Christian television shows. I'm everywhere. Whether you're a person of faith or not, come check me out. Follow me. You don't have to agree with me. But I bet you you'll get something that will help you.
Interview Ends (59:33)
I will second that aggressively. Awesome. Well, Bishop, thank you so much for joining me today. This was really amazing. And I thoroughly enjoyed my time researching you and reading the book. I recommend both highly. All right, guys, speaking of things that I recommend, if you haven't already, be sure to subscribe. And until next time, my friends, be legendary. Take care. The speaking industry has been hijacked by people who speak to sell. And it's okay to do that and make money. I speak to change lives because somebody spoke and changed my life. So this is my passion.