Be you at BU: Bob Goff wraps up Career and Calling Week

Turns out, the secret to being an honorary consul to Uganda, a New York Times best-selling author and a lawyer is the last thing you’d expect.

Be childlike.

At least that’s what Bob Goff–who is best known for his book “Love Does”–expressed to a full Massey Performing Arts Center Friday morning to cap off Career and Calling Week.

“Want to go change the world? Just be you,” Goff said. “Go be the creative, childlike version of you.”

Indirectly citing the Gospel of Matthew, in which Jesus instructs his disciples to have faith like a child, Goff structured his seminar around the notion that people tend to overcomplicate God’s message.

“Love everybody always,” he said.

And as the title of his book “Love Does” would suggest, it is not about what people think, but rather what they do which defines that love.

Goff shared with his audience anecdotes of his experiences from founding a children’s justice organization in Uganda to something as small as taking care of a sick neighbor. Through his stories, he outlined what he believes doing love looks like.

He also displayed what it is to be childlike as he maintained an energetic, giddy demeanor, an attitude he recommended students take to their vocations.

Goff also provided more practical advice which would be applicable in any aspect of life, including: letting go of certain things, allowing failure, being more humble, not being so busy and, of course, loving people.

“People believe a lie that we’re defined by our failures and successes,” he said. “We’re defined by our love.”

Additionally, he encouraged students to be “extravagantly available,” a point he illustrated with a story of accepting every call he received. In true Goff fashion, he made it memorable with the idea of just saying “hello” to people.

Just like Shane Claiborne, who spoke on Monday, most of Goff’s ideas were decidedly unusual compared to standard career advice. But also like Claiborne, this was exactly Goff’s point.

Instead of pointing students toward comfort, he told them to “live right on the edge of ‘yikes’.” Goff also instructed the students how to embrace failure instead of avoiding it.

And most importantly, Goff encouraged students to be childlike instead of growing up and losing their senses of creativity and wonder.

“Don’t let other people decide who you are,” he said. “Become the next version of you.”

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