The Most Important Thing I Have Ever Learned…

Posted On: March 24

Recently I was deeply honored to be asked to give a TED talk at the University of Florida TEDx event. Ben Erez and his team did an amazing job setting up the event and brought in a sell-out crowd of 1,600 TED fanatics. I thought since I was a “Top 100 Business Thought Leader” they would ask me to speak about business excellence or leadership… but Ben had a different idea in mind for what he wanted me to talk about!  I truly hope you enjoy this video and PLEASE share it with as many people as you can – I think there are a few very good ideas here. Enjoy!!

I hope that if you found value in this video –  that you will take a moment to leave a comment AND share it with everyone you feel might enjoy watching it – thanks so very much — John

John Spence is the author of “Awesomely Simple – Essential Business Strategies for Turning Ideas into Action.” He is an award-wining professional speaker and corporate trainer, and has twice been recognized as one of the Top 100 Business Thought Leaders in America and also as one of the most admired Small Business Experts in the nation.

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  1. That was an excellent speech and I’m very glad to have watched it. I particularly enjoy the bit at the end about who you spend your time with and the “shared” focus. I hope to see you in person soon, Kind regards, Jake

  2. I’ve heard your message before John but it is reinforcing to hear it again. Isn’t it interesting that in the past number of months we have witnessed people of success who surrounded themselves with questionable people which led to their lives spiraling out of control?

    Apparently it works both ways.

  3. Awesomely Simple really isn’t it. Thanks again for another practical talk that will be going straight to my kids at college. Keep sowing the seeds that will be trees that someone else sits under. Hmm “Where did I hear that recently”?

  4. I teach 8th graders and shared this video with them. We are constantly telling them to prepare for 9th grade. There are so many comparisons with what you went through in college. Thank you for the encouragement and honest, candid comments.

  5. John, Right on point, brother. Asking for help is particularly hard for most of us. It’s weird since those of us who struggle with asking the most are the ones who will break our necks to help others.

    Keep up the good work!

  6. John, you are a Human-Based Leader extraordinaire. It’s not only what you say and do…it’s the core of who you are. Your story in Leaders, Their Stories, Their Words has inspired people around the world. This talk is yet another indication of how deeply and profoundly you impact people. It’s an honor to know you.

  7. Excellent speech John. It’s refreshing to see that someone can still succeed in life after initially falling down. I see too many young kids today that give up after an initial failure, and I hope this can motivate them to try again…harder.

  8. Of all your talks, John, this has always been one of my favorites. There are so many valuable lessons packed into this one little story. Over the past, gee, has it really been 14 years?!, listening to it has repeatedly sparked in me an idea on how to accomplish something I’m interested in doing or given me a fresh insight into the nature of resilience. I hope you never stop sharing this one. Thanks!

  9. John,

    What a great inspiration you are to those young people at this talk AND to the rest of us. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I am glad you are able to share the human side of success. It’s not all about money or success in business, it’s REALLY about success as a human. As you so aptly put it at the end of your speech, it’s about love… and living your life with love in it. Thanks for being you John.

  10. One of my favorite presenters in one of my favorite web forums (TED), how cool is that?
    John, one of the many things I value so much about your teachings, is that no matter what the topic, you always manage to connect it with your deeply held humanistic values. Like you said’ “at the end of the day, successs in life (and business) is not measured in houses and boats, but the quality of your relationships along the way. I hope many of the kids in your audience got the message and make a choice, about what they occupy their minds with and who they spend their time with. As usual, you made the profound “awesomely simple.” Thank you

    1. Thank you Markus – very kind words — it was an honor to have the opportunity to share these ideas and advice. I appreciate you – and everyone else – taking a moment to leave a comment.

  11. I’ll be sharing this! Very encouraging that a “Top 100 Thought Leader” sums up what’s important with the words “It’s not about boats or houses or planes. The most important thing is to live a life of love.” Profound truth – overlooked by so many.

  12. John – Congrats on the TED talks and Top 100 Bus Thought Leaders! And, thanks as always for sharing your wealth of knowledge with… everyone! It’s so great to see your audience growing exponentially.

  13. Finally got a chance to see your presentation. LOVED IT!! Thanks for sharing John. You have been a tremendous influence on my life and my career. It is a true blessing that our paths crossed. Thank you for continuing to share your knowledge.

  14. Congratulations John!!! I have to say, I’m a huge fan of the TED talks (been catching up on Science channel) and, of course, as a big fan of John Spence, I can’t imagine a better combo!!! Hooray!!
    I always seem to share your email/blog nuggets and I assure you this video will be getting the same treatment 🙂
    thank you for reaffirming goodness and sharing your knowledge. Many hugs!!!!!

  15. John,
    I am an elementary school teacher, currently getting my specialists degree in brain-based teaching and teacher leadership. My assistant principal shared your link with me, and it was most inspiring in a number of ways. I can’t wait to let my teenager hear this. I will be gettng your book soon, and I am eager to dive in. Please continue to encourage us.

  16. Hi John, when I click play on the video, I get a message saying “This video is private” so I’m unable to view it. Any ideas or links you can send me where I can view it? Thanks, Judd

  17. Loved the UF TED video “The Most Important Thing I Have Learned”! Sadly, it seems it is no longer available. Was hoping to share it with the young people in my life. Such a great message. Is it/Will it be available elsewhere? Thanks so much!

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