Jon Gordon: Stop Complaining
By Zsa Zsa Palagyi
The 700 Club
“I believe every one of us has a choice between two roads - the positive road and the negative road,” Jon Gordon said. “The positive road leads to joy, success and fulfillment and the negative road leads to failure, negativity and despair.”
Author and motivational speaker, Jon Gordon has been down both roads. Today, he coaches huge corporations and national sports teams about the power of positive thinking. But awhile back, nothing but negativity filled his mind. Within six months he lost his job, almost went bankrupt and almost lost his marriage.
“I was so emotionally immature,” he said. “Didn’t know how to deal with my stress. Didn’t know how to deal with my fear. Didn’t know how to deal with the pressure of being a young dad with two kids and a wife to support.”
Before this, Jon had always been a big success.
“I was the guy who when I was in my 20s, people said, ‘Wow, you have the world ahead of you, so much potential.’ I was 24-years-old and I was considered one of the up and comers in Atlanta, a rising star - someone that was really making a difference in the community,” Jon said.
So when things started falling apart, Jon didn't know what to do.
“Everything was about always accomplishing something and now I wasn’t accomplishing anything,” he said. “I was failing in everything so I blamed everyone else. I blamed my parents, my upbringing, my biological father who left when I was one. I blamed my wife. I blamed the fact that I had these kids and that was the reason I was not living the life that I wanted. So it was everyone else’s fault but mine.”
“There was just always nitpicking, always something that he was noticing that we weren’t doing right,” Jon’s wife, Kathryn said. “I told him I’d rather live alone and struggle and try to make ends meet than to live with you and deal with this kind of negativity. I pretty much said I was going to divorce him.”
That got Jon’s attention.
“Couple days later, I got this sort of eureka moment,” Jon said. “Writing and speaking just came to me. I started to research positive ways to change my own life.”
Kathryn decided to stay in the marriage. And Jon started writing and speaking about positive energy. He became known as "The Energy Guy." His teachings came from a number of religions and beliefs.
“My belief was that all paths led to God and that Jesus was just one path - that through Buddhism, you can get there as well; through Hinduism, you can get there, and just through having a spiritual relationship with Father God, you can connect,” Jon said.
Jon shared his insights with corporations and professional sports teams. He even appeared on The Today Show. Then his success came to an end.
“The sales just stopped. Speaking sort of dried up,” he said. “But it was during this process that God started to change me and know that there was something more.”
Jon grew up in a Jewish Italian family. Apart from being bar-mitzvahed, he never went to temple or church.
“Organized religion was, to me, a bunch of people getting together and practicing things that really didn’t do anything. It was a lot of hypocrisy to me,” Jon said.
Then a good friend gave Jon some sermons about Jesus on CD.
“I never used to think that I needed saving; but now I was introduced to the idea that God came here to save you. And it was after listening to those CD’s that on my walk of prayer in the morning, I said, ‘God, if there is something to this Jesus, if he is who they say he is, just show me the signs. I’m open to them. I’m open,’” Jon said.
“So I’m on my way down to Orlando to speak. I’m on I-95 South, and I’m looking to the left, and I just heard this voice,” Jon said. “And I turn and I look and I see this sign that says Jesus is the Answer. And in that moment I knew it was a sign from God meant for me.”
While Jon was meditating, he started seeing glowing crosses. He told a Buddhist energy healer about all these things he was seeing and he was surprised at the Buddhist’s response.
“He said, ‘Christianity is like spiritual cheating.’ He said, ‘You just believe and then you receive,’” Jon remembered.
“I had tried everything before that to get rid of this burden, to get rid of this knot that I had in my stomach, this constant anxiety, this fear, this anxiousness that was just sort of in me at all times. Every technique, every new age process - didn’t work,” Jon said.
“As I was taking a walk, I just said, ‘Jesus, I make you my Lord and Savior. Please save me. Take my burden; take my pain. I can’t do it alone.’ He just started to change me in a lot of ways: a better father, a better husband. I started to judge others a lot less. I used to have a lot of judgment. And also I was very controlling; and I started to surrender a lot more. I also, more importantly, started to realize my own imperfections,” Jon said. “I used to try to cover up the imperfections with pride and beating my chest, of you know how great I am. But actually, God started showing me how imperfect I was and how much I needed him.”
Jon was baptized on Palm Sunday 2007. So Easter is a very special time for him.
“Through the resurrection, it cements everything I believe as a Christian,” he said, “that Jesus came here. He came to teach us. He came to die for us, and most importantly, He came to give us life. God just loves me for me. I don’t have to do anything to get his love.”
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