“Unforgiveness is like drinking poison yourself and waiting for the other person to die.”

-Marianne Williamson

Click to Tweet

As a youth motivational speaker, most of the time people come to me for ‘inspiration’. So it was a nice change of pace sitting down with NFL veteran Jon Dorenbos who truly inspired with his story and words. One sound bite that really stood out to me was when he told me this:

“The key to success is simple. You have to work hard and treat people right. If you do that, people will want to see you win.”

Click to Tweet

For some reason, this really connected with me in a strong way. I’m sure I’ve heard this before, from a different messenger, but coming from Jon it really struck a different chord and I haven’t been able to shake it since!

Jon is a stud. I didn’t know very much about him going into the podcast other than some of the highlights: he’s a NFL veteran, a top magician who almost won the show America’s Got Talent and he’s hosted the ELLEN show on numerous occasions!

I was shocked when I heard Jon’s story in person. He opened up about losing his mom at a young age and how he chose to forgive his father and got better not bitter. Such a powerful message and example I came away motivated to not just to work harder, but also wanting to be a better person.

This podcast will make you ask yourself:

What is my excuse? What and who are I blaming for me problems?

How Jon bounced back from his traumatic experience really puts life into perspective and what I really enjoyed about Jon is his ability to find humor in the obstacles that life throws your way. It’s amazing how big of a difference being able to laugh at the bumps in the road makes. Or, dare I say it another way…? Attitude is everything!

I think you guys will really dig Jon and get a kick out of this episode. Jon actually is now recovering from a heart surgery we wish you a speedy recovery Jon! I’m sure you are finding a way to laugh your way through this situation too…’we’re alive baby!’

Whether you are in middle school, high school, college or the adult world remember: Life is pretty darn good, and we all have a lot to be thankful for.

In the full episode, you will learn:

  • The power forgiveness can play in your life
  • How to bounce back from adversity
  • A simple formula for success
  • Tips on finding the right partner
  To follow Jon Dorenbos, click here.
In this blog, we will explore how Jon’s principles of hard work and respect can be integral lessons for teens, helping shape them into responsible and fulfilled adults.

The Importance of Hard Work for Teens

Hard work is more than just a path to achievement; it’s a vital character trait that can influence every aspect of a teenager’s life. Understanding and embracing hard work can set teens up for success in school, in their future careers, and in their personal lives.

Defining Hard Work

Hard work involves commitment, effort, and persistence in pursuing goals, regardless of the immediate obstacles or challenges. It’s about doing the best one can in any situation and continuously striving to improve.

Benefits of Hard Work

  1. Achievement and Fulfillment: Hard work often leads to success in achieving goals, which in turn boosts self-esteem and personal fulfillment.
  2. Resilience: By working hard and overcoming challenges, teens learn to cope with setbacks, building resilience that will help them throughout their lives.
  3. Discipline: Consistent hard work fosters discipline, a crucial skill that applies to academic success, personal projects, and eventually in professional settings.

Teaching Teens the Value of Hard Work

Parents and educators can help instill the value of hard work by:

  • Setting Expectations: Clearly communicate the importance of putting in effort in all endeavors, from homework to household chores and personal hobbies.
  • Leading by Example: Demonstrate hard work in your own actions. Let your teens see you tackling challenges diligently, which can inspire them to emulate these behaviors.
  • Providing Support and Encouragement: Recognize and reward effort, not just outcomes. Praise your teen for hard work, even if the results aren’t perfect, to reinforce the behavior.

Encouraging Persistence

Encourage teens to persist even when the going gets tough. Discuss famous examples of individuals who succeeded through persistence—people like Thomas Edison, whose numerous failed experiments led to revolutionary inventions.

Teaching Respect to Teenagers

Respect is a fundamental value that influences how teens interact with others and view themselves. It is essential for building healthy relationships and fostering a positive social environment.

Understanding Respect

Respect involves recognizing the value of people, their feelings, rights, traditions, and their physical space. It’s about treating others with dignity and courtesy, regardless of their differences or disagreements.

The Impact of Respect

  1. Improved Relationships: Respectful behavior helps build trust and understanding in relationships, whether with peers, family members, or authority figures.
  2. Increased Empathy: Teaching teens to respect others helps them develop empathy, leading to more compassionate behaviors and attitudes.
  3. Better Conflict Resolution: Respect is crucial for resolving conflicts constructively, without resorting to aggression or disrespect.

Cultivating Respect in Teens

Parents and educators can cultivate respect in teens by:

  • Modeling Respectful Behavior: Demonstrate respect in all interactions. Teens will learn from observing how you treat others, regardless of status or situation.
  • Discussing the Importance of Respect: Have open conversations about why respect is important and how it affects relationships and communities.
  • Encouraging Inclusive Behavior: Teach teens to be inclusive and appreciate diversity, emphasizing the importance of respecting all cultures, perspectives, and backgrounds.
  • Reinforcing Positive Actions: Praise and reinforce when teens show respect in their actions and words, making it clear that such behavior is valued and expected.

Addressing Disrespect

It’s also crucial to address disrespectful behavior promptly:

  • Identify the Behavior: Clearly explain why certain actions or words are considered disrespectful.
  • Discuss Consequences: Help teens understand the impact of their behavior on others, encouraging them to consider the feelings and perspectives of those around them.
  • Encourage Apologies and Amends: If a teen behaves disrespectfully, encourage them to apologize and make amends, helping them learn from the experience.

Conclusion: Embracing Hard Work and Respect with Jon Dorenbos

Our conversation with Jon Dorenbos offered more than just a glimpse into the life of a former NFL player and talented magician; it provided valuable lessons on hard work and respect that are crucial for any teenager’s development. Jon’s life story, marked by both tremendous challenges and significant achievements, exemplifies how these values can shape a successful and fulfilling life.

Key Takeaways from Jon Dorenbos

Jon Dorenbos’s approach to life—with a focus on overcoming adversity, embracing every opportunity, and treating others with respect—serves as a powerful model for teenagers. His ability to find humor and joy in the face of difficulties also highlights the importance of maintaining a positive outlook.

Encouraging Teens to Act

As parents and educators:

  • Promote Hard Work: Encourage your teens to see the value in putting effort into everything they do, whether it’s their studies, sports, or personal hobbies. Reinforce that hard work is often behind most success stories, even if it isn’t immediately visible.
  • Foster Respect: Teach teens the importance of respecting others, not just as a social rule, but as a fundamental part of interacting with the world. Respect can open doors and forge pathways that might otherwise remain closed.
  • Lead by Example: Show through your actions how to live a life that balances ambition with humility, and achievement with kindness.

Final Thoughts

Drawing inspiration from Jon Dorenbos’s experiences, let’s guide our teens to build their lives on the solid foundations of hard work and respect. These principles not only pave the way for success but also ensure that their journey is enriching and their relationships are enduring.

Thank you for joining us in exploring these essential life lessons with Jon Dorenbos. Let’s continue to support our teens in becoming the best versions of themselves, equipped to tackle the challenges of the world with confidence and decorum.

Hear the Podcast on Soundcloud

Have you ordered your copy of ‘Among The Giants’ yet? Get your copy by clicking !