Don’t just respect your elders. Listen to them.

Don’t just respect your elders. Listen to them.

“I dated Ava Gardner….for about a week.”

Jerry (82-years-old) casually dropped that nugget on us one day at the poker table. I don’t know if it’s true, but I believe him.

– Jerry also jumped out of airplanes in Korea.
– Traded oil futures in Texas.
– Was in a movie with John Wayne.

Jerry did it all.  And I just thought he was some quiet old guy from Texas.

One of the perks of playing poker for a living was all the crazy conversations I got into.

The poker table brings a whole collection of characters out of the woodwork.

Want to know who always had the best stories?

Who’s done cooler shit than you?

Who’s just waiting to open up?

The old timers.

Quiet, patient, they’ve seen it all.  

Get them talking though…and you’re in for a treat.

I don’t know why it took me years to figure this out, but if you ask people to tell you about their lives — their jobs, their travels, their kids, their wives (and their ex-wives), their stories — and you shut the f up and actually listen.

It takes discipline to shut up and just listen.  To hold eye contact.  To fight the urge to interrupt and talk about your stories.

The payoff is so worth it.

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