Jon Dorenbos spent 14 seasons in the National Football League, including 11 seasons with the 2017 Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles. He became the longest tenured player with the Eagles and made 2 Pro Bowls. His NFL career ended in 2017 due to a life-threatening heart condition. Dorenbos grew up in Woodinville, Washington. After a tragedy struck his family at the age of 12, Dorenbos turned to magic as an escape during a time of mourning. Last year, Dorenbos finished 3rd in the Finals of America’s Got Talent. He has been regularly featured by Ellen DeGeneres on The Ellen Show. Dorenbos reflects and shares several motivational life lessons in this episode including the power of forgiveness.
The Lesson That Changed My Life
Jon: I was able to ride with the wind beneath my wings for 11 years. I get traded to the New Orleans Saints to have a doctor from the Saints save my life.
Reed: Hey, John. Thank you for doing this.
Jon: Hey, great to see you man. Thank you, I appreciate it. I lived in Woodinville, Washington with my family. My dad was at Microsoft branched off to Oracle. And out of nowhere he murdered my mom when I was 12. So he got sentenced to second degree murder, went to prison. My sister and I went into a foster home for a while and we eventually were adopted by my aunt who was my mom's sister. And so my sister and I went into therapy and you're embarrassed, you're 12 years old, my sister was 15. And I didn't really know what to do. And, you know, I would go to school and people would stare at me and you kinda feel awkward and then you learn. I realized that they weren't staring at me because I was different, they were staring at me because they didn't know what to say. I learned what forgiveness was young, I learned that it's up to us to figure out what's going on inside of us and internalize it and get past it and move on to basically, find happiness.
I think, if we can all find closure in certain things and we can all understand or kind of have acceptance which, again, this is just what's worked for me. That there are times in our life that are great and there's times in our life that are bad. And the great ends, and the bad will soon end. But it's up to us to kinda internalize this and have closure with it. And be okay with closure, and be okay with just moving on, and being okay with change. And realizing that...an example, you get married, you get divorced, "Oh, my gosh! So I was married and divorced, I get it. But guess what, it's all good. I wish no ill will. Peace out, you and I just weren't meant to hang. And that's okay, that was a part of my life that's over. It's time to move on." But whoever that person is that used to be in our life, even my dad, I do everything I can that they don't affect my life going forward. I do everything I can that I don't lose days thinking about those people. If they betrayed me, if I betray...it doesn't matter because it's over, it's all good.
Don't hate, don't blame, forgive. May we all be Super Bowl champs. Keep on giving, keep on rocking this world...
It's closure, it's forgiveness, it's about losing ourselves and finding ourselves and don't hate, don't blame and forgive. Life is magic. And it's not just tricks man, it's us all being here in the same room. It's us connecting, we don't even know each other and here we are. We've got so many things in common and we each have a platform that we can reach people and share our stories to impact the world. That's the magic of life right there.