Find redemption and get out of your rut with Beyond the Rut, where every story is an inspiring journey of hope and resilience.

Neil Matthews is the host of the podcast Other People’s Shoes, which shares encouraging stories and practical tools to help pull listeners out of their rut into a life worth living. He is a huge UNC fan and uses the metaphor of the 2016 NCAA playoffs to talk about bouncing back from adversity.

Neil Matthews is the host of Other People's Shoes Podcast and we discuss the importance of having a redemption story.

Neil Matthews loves the redemption story found in the Bible and was inspired by his experience watching an NCAA basketball tournament game between the University of North Carolina and Villanova. He saw the loss as a metaphor for life and encouraged people to think about what Chapter 2 is going to be about and to find redemption. He was reminded of the verse “iron sharpens iron” and found that it applied to his own life, as he drew support from a community of people to lift him up and be his best.

In this episode, you will learn the following:

1. What does it mean to find redemption in life?

2. How can a team chat be used to bring a group together and help them achieve a common goal?

3. What does it mean to sharpen one another in life?

Sorry, Neil, I had to share this…

INSERT VIDEO: REDEMPTION

Neil Matthews – Host of Other People’s Shoes Podcast

Neil has always wanted to know the Why? Whenever he is speaking with anyone he wants to know what is behind their action and to know their heart. He has always wanted to be in Other People’s Shoes to be able to understand where they come from, and maybe be able to help them out. 

Being raised in the Rogue Valley there are plenty of opportunities to touch people in his community, but Neil wanted a way to touch the world. That is when Elizabeth Neil’s wife mentioned he should start a podcast, and Other People’s Shoes was born.

Redemption

Chapter Summaries:

[00:01:52]

Neil: I’ve been a North Carolina fan since I was 6th grade. My brother was a Michigan fan. So I thought, well, I’m going to pick this team from North Carolina. And they won. And so my friends tease me like, you jumped on the bandwagon.

[00:07:24]

North Carolina was down to Villanova in the national championship game. What happens next is just so heartbreaking. What are some important lessons for folks to think about or advice that you would give folks when they are faced with that bounce back opportunity?

[00:14:36]

Carolina has played 123456 games once they got into the March Madness tournament. The last three games, though, they won 75 73 on another game winning shot. For anybody, they’ve got to just keep plugging away. There’s that breaking point and then the breakthrough point, I think.

[00:17:48]

Bob Greene: You’ve got a podcast called Other People’s Shoes. The important thing is you interview folks to get an idea of their perspective on life. Why do they look at life with the perspective that they have? Greene: My wife suggested I start a podcast because I needed a verbal outlet.

[00:22:40]

As silly as the question might seem, what are your favorite shoes? You can tell a lot about a person by looking at their shoes. I love that your show brings that out of people.

[00:23:27]

We’re approaching 200 episodes in just about four years. What are some of the memories that stand out to you? Is there a theme that stands out when you’re talking with folks? And last but not least, your walkaway moment.

[00:28:31]

The aglet is that, again, that plastic thing at the end of the shoe that if it wasn’t there, your life would unravel, it would fray. In every episode for the last year, jesus has shown up. My topics tend to sound more secular.

[00:30:29]

LZ: What is the power of listening when it comes to getting yourself out of a rut? LZ: In order to understand somebody else, you definitely have to listen. How many world conflicts can be prevented if we all just learn to listen to each other?

[00:36:04]

Jerry: What would be a book you recommend to folks right now? If somebody is trying to fulfill a 52-book goal for the year that they want to read, what would you recommend?

[00:38:35]

Neil: When you walk in other people’s shoes, you really do get a different perspective on life. I would just challenge somebody today is just really spend some time. Engage in where they are. Thanks for being on this show.

Resources

Subscribe on your favorite podcast player.

Other episodes you’ll enjoy:

Pastor Dr. James Wolfe on Fasting, Redemption, and Every Man’s Battle – BtR 272

Overcome Burnout and Get Your Family Back – Paul Hastings – BtR 310

Cobra Kai Lessons for Life Johnny Lawrence Overcoming Limiting Beliefs – BtR 290

Connect with me:

Instagram: https://instagram.com/beyondtherut

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/beyondtherut

Twitter: https://twitter.com/beyondtherut

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jerrydugan/

Loved this episode? Leave us a review and rating on Apple Podcasts

Transcript

Transcription by Capsho.com
Neil Matthews

You know, I love the redemption story. I think we all do when we we read the Bible where we get excited. So I think, again, for folks, it’s got to be what’s your chapter Two going to be about? Are you going to stay on the ground, or are you going to find redemption and hey, rutter nation.


Jerry Dugan


Welcome to another episode of Beyond the Rut, the podcast that shares encouraging stories and practical tools to help pull you out of your rut into a life worth living in the areas of your faith, your family, and your career or business. I’m your host, Jerry Dugan. And on this episode, we’ve got Neil Matthews joining me from Not, North Carolina. Even though he’s a huge UNC fan, he is calling in from Oregon, or some of us say Oregon, which I know it’s wrong, but that’s how I say it. I’m sorry. The people of Oregon, I like to say Oregon. It’s just fun, but that’s not the point. The point is Neil, he’s the host of a show called Other People’s Shoes, and what he likes to do is just talk to folks from different walks of life to find about find out what it’s like to walk in their shoes. What we’re going to do today, since he’s a good friend of mine and I like his own story and his journey of getting out of a rut and pursuing the things that matter to him, I just want to share his story with you. So that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to get to know my friend Neil and what is his beyond the Rut story and how he hopes that his show, Other People’s Shoes helps other people get out of the rut. So sit back and relax and maybe check out what shoes you’re wearing and what size they are, because who knows? Maybe you can tweet us and tell us what that sounds weird, never mind disregard that. We’re moving on. But one thing you could do is maybe take a selfie of yourself listening to the show and post it on your social media. Tag beyond the Rut just so that we can kind of spread the love that this show is being heard. But tag beyond the Rut because I want to get in on the action and say, yeah, awesome. Thank you for listening. So speaking of listening, here we go. All right. Hey, Neil, thanks for calling in bright and early. Bushy tailed in the morning from Oregon. How are you doing?


Neil Matthews


I don’t know about the bushy tail part, but I’m here this morning. Yes, absolutely.


Jerry Dugan


I was just thinking, what does bushy tail mean?


Neil Matthews


Sometimes we got to do things that we want to do but maybe don’t necessarily need to do. Or how does that work? I’m not sure.


Jerry Dugan


Yeah, early bird catches the worm or something, man. Yeah, well, self induced here. I mean, for both of us, first thing in the morning, we decided to get together and record. Neil, you had me on your show, other people’s shoes. That was a great experience for me. And then we were chatting the other day and I realized I really have not gotten them on the show. And so we need to remedy this. And so I’m glad you’re here. We’re remedying that.


Neil Matthews


Well, I always think that’s great that podcasters want to kind of do a show swap in some respects. And so I always think that’s kind of fun. Yeah, we had you on. I was actually looking right now. We had you on in our not enough series, which I thought was really a good episode. So, yeah, people can go check it out too, if they want.


Jerry Dugan


That was powerful for me because I never thought about the past I had gone through as being me fighting that idea that am I enough for my family? Am I enough for a good future? And it’s like, wow, that was the uphill battle I’d been fighting. When I was preparing for this, I asked some information from you and one of the things that you sent to me, and I watched it and it was a surprise to me because you’re a big University of North Carolina Tarry Hill fan, is that right?


Neil Matthews


Yes. So let’s dispel this rumor. I did not go to school there. A lot of people think I went to school there. I did not. I wish I had been a better student and probably pursued that, but I truly did not go to school there. But, yeah, so I’ve been a North Carolina fan since I was 6th grade. So what is that, like 1213 ish? And my brother was a Michigan fan, and I actually put this together the other day, actually, truly, he grew up a comic book fan and he loves the character Wolverine. And I think naturally he became a Wolverines fan because of that reason. Rightfully so maybe. Anyway? Michigan. University of Michigan. The Wolverines are playing North Carolina in the national championship in 1993. People can go back. It’s an epic game. Anyway, so I didn’t want to root for said Wolverines. And so I thought, well, I’m going to pick this team from North Carolina. I was born in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, to military base. Yes, I did drink the water. I get asked that all the time, every time I say that. Anyway, and so I couldn’t in good conscience as little brother root for his team. That’s his team. That’s not my team. And so in any event, I picked North Carolina. As they come out in these bright blue archile down the shorts team, I’m like, well, I love that color. All of a sudden, I don’t know, I’ve never seen him before, but I love it. It’s my favorite now. And that’s my team. That’s going to be my team. And they won. And so my friends tease me like, you jumped on the bandwagon. I’m like, okay, fine. I did. I’ll raise my hand to that. But I’ve never gotten off the wagon either. And we’ve had some really good seasons. We’ve had some really bad seasons. And so I’ve been a fan ever since. And so a lot of my wardrobe I’m even wearing a North Carolina shirt today is North Carolina.


Jerry Dugan


Yeah. Fun side fact, I’m reading a book called Everybody Lies by some guy named Seth. I don’t remember his last name because it’s hard for me to pronounce, but he talks about how do you wind up picking who your favorite team is and your favorite sport, and it has a lot to do with what did your local team do when you’re between the age of, like, eight and twelve. And so in your case, it was a localish team, North Carolina, but kind of driven by that sibling rivalry. So that’s just really neat. So really cool book. If I remember, I’ll put that in the show notes, too, so you all can see it and read it. Really neat. It’s about, like, big data and how it gives us a different look at how things go. But you sent me a specific game, villanova versus UNC. It was the NCAA playoffs from 2016, and that did not turn out the way I expected because of you being a big UNC fan. I was shocked. And so then I was like, why did he send that to me? And I’m like, Well, I talked to him tomorrow, so let me ask, so why did you send me that link, of all things?


Neil Matthews


Well, first off, full disclosure, I’ve only watched that link one time, and that was when it was live. I’ve never gone back and watched the highlight. I’ve seen them start the highlight, and I’ve changed the channel even, because that’d.


Jerry Dugan


Be hard to face as a UNC fan.


Neil Matthews


I know this sounds crazy to some because they’re like, I’m not a sports, and I don’t follow sports ball, so they can’t maybe get into my shoes, as I often say. But for me, when I watch that game, it is so much of a metaphor or an analogy. I always get those two confused, too, kind of of life. Like, you fight your way back, you get into that moment of life where you’re on the biggest stage, you have that biggest moment, and you take the lead. They took the lead on a Marcus Page shot. It was a pump fake shot. I mean, the shot in general before the other shot was monumental. And I remember watching it firsthand, thinking, oh, my God, we’re going to win this game. We fought our way back. We’re going to win this game. Villanova was a great team. Nothing against them. Great team that year still is a great team. J. Wright always had his guys together. That’s the coach of Villanova. Well, he just retired, but any event and then what happens next? The sequence is, well, people can go watch it. I don’t want to spoil it. But what happens next is just so heartbreaking, and I feel like that’s life, too, sometimes, is, in a moment, it can all be gone in a moment, it can all be taken from you on one stupid decision, one stupid shot. And so I think, for me, when I think of as we talk about, as you talk about so often being out of the rut and getting out of the rut, how do you come back from something that catastrophic? And I know, again, some people are like, It’s just a game, but it was a big deal for those players. They had worked really hard to get there. They put in a lot of work. And to have it all gone in a matter of seconds is incredible.


Jerry Dugan


It’s just an amazing battle because UNC was down. This is for the folks who haven’t seen it or they haven’t gone to the show notes yet to see the video replay there. But, yeah, UNC is down, and it’s like a six or seven minute clip, and you just see this battle where they’re within one to three points, just right behind the heels of Villanova. And that shot you describe, it looks like the most weirdest shot ever, because the guy is in the air. He’s doing a pump fake, and you realize, oh, no, I can really take the shot because I really faked everybody out, and I’m in the open. And so before he lands on the ground and gets that up and down call, he fires the shot off, and it sinks. And now it’s like, what tied right or close to it? And you’re just like, wow, this is amazing. But then Villanova at the very end with, like, less I think it’s, like, 1.3 seconds left. Some guy from Villanova throws up that three pointer, time runs out, balls goes through the hoop, and they celebrate. And then the referees even check just to make sure that there was still no time on the clock and confirmed. So I remember getting excited, like, oh, this is it. This is really realized. There’s, like, a half second left on the clock, and then UNC ties it, and it’s overtime. But, no, it truly was a win for Villanova. And I love that you use that as a metaphor. You still, I guess, haven’t watched, other than when you found the clip and sent it to me. But that metaphor of bouncing back, we do get hit with something, whether it’s a layoff, maybe it’s a recession, maybe it’s a spouse saying, I want to leave, or a child that stumbles in life. Whatever it is, the question for ourselves is truly, how do we bounce back? And I love that you brought that up. What are some important lessons for folks to think about or advice that you would give folks when they are faced with that bounce back opportunity?


Neil Matthews


Well, I would say you have to really think about what you want to do. And I guess what I mean by that is the next year, if you go Chapter Two, if you will, chapter One is the Villanova loss in some respects. And maybe you scratch out Villanova and you put your name in there, what your loss was, whatever that is. What’s Chapter two going to be about. Well, to kind of finish that story, north Carolina the next year goes back again to the national championship. And they play a team actually here in kind of well, sort of here, the Northwest Gonzaga. They’re the bulldogs.


Jerry Dugan


Oh, yeah.


Neil Matthews


And they’re typically really good, too. There’s a lot of really good teams in college basketball, but the Gonzaga Bulldogs are right there. And they started a team chat prior to the season. I found this out through actually a player that was on the team, and I had a chance to interview him. So that was kind of cool, especially being a North Carolina freak that I am. But they called the team Redemption. And for me, as a Christ follower, as a believer in Jesus, I love the redemption story. I think we all do when we read the Bible where we get excited. So I think, again, for folks, it’s got to be what’s your Chapter Two going to be about? Are you going to stay on the ground or are you going to find redemption? And even to this day, I have a bracelet, actually. I don’t know if it’ll come through on the camera. Oh, yeah, it says redemption on it. Now, obviously, that Redemption word for the Carolina faithful is about that season, 2017, when they come back and win it, spoiler alert, they beat Gonzaga. But the team had started a team chat called Redemption. And so they would just continue to encourage each other. Maybe they had a down day or hurting day in practice and they’re like, no, but remember, redemption is coming in March. And so for me, when I hear that and I think about that, I think that’s what folks probably should try to remember. I say try because there’s only will or do. We probably shouldn’t try. We should just do, yoda, I messed up.


Jerry Dugan


Do or do not. There is no try.


Neil Matthews


Yeah, there is no try. You have to do this. You have to have a chapter two. When you face that kind of adversity, there needs to be a Chapter Two. Where do you find that? Where do you get that? That has to come, I think from inside.


Jerry Dugan


Yeah. And, you know, it wasn’t like they just snapped their fingers and they were propelled forward in time to the 2017 playoffs. They were twelve months between or less than twelve months between that loss in 2016, starting that group chat, going to practice, going to workouts, they had their down days. And I love that just in that kind of progression for them. There’s a number of things that stand out for me. One, they rallied together with a common purpose. They all want to come back and redeem their season, so they all have a singular purpose together. And so any given day throughout that year, somebody’s going to have a down day where they don’t want to put their best effort in or they don’t feel like they deserve to be on the team. And he got the rest of this team in this chat picking them back up, saying, hey, snap out of it, we’re redeeming ourselves this year. And I think that also is a really important metaphor for our lives. There’s that cliche verse that Christian men specifically like to quote to each other as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Well, what does that mean? It means just what these guys on this team did, that they lift each other up, they sharpen each other, they push each other forward to be their best. In what ways have you seen that verse applied in your own life and changed it for the better?


Neil Matthews


Well, again, I think it goes back to that. Some people call it a tribe, a community accountability group, men’s group, whatever analogy again you want to use, I think for me that is a foundational piece to my life. I was actually talking to a friend at work the other day and he’s one of our technicians. I work at a auto body shop, so cars are coming in all the time, damage, and we’re repairing them. Speaking of restoration and restoring, I see a lot of that every day where a car is broken and then by the end of the week it’s now pristine and brand new again and almost, almost like nothing ever happened. So that’s kind of fun. But I was talking to one of the texts, I said, hey man, did you play with Legos as a kid? And he goes, that’s a weird question. Yes, I did. He goes, Why do you ask? And I said, Your brain just works different than mine does. I didn’t play with Legos. I don’t know about them. I know what they are, but I never really played with them. He goes, Why? And I said, It’s just not good at building stuff and not get it fixing stuff. And he goes, well, you might not be able to fix stuff with your hands, but I’ve heard you fix stuff with your words. Interesting. And I think for me, again, that comes back to who’s in your corner, who’s fixing you and who are you willing to fix? Like, again, I can’t fix things to save my life. Couldn’t you ask me to go point out a transmission in a car? I’m probably not going to be your guy now, but if you need some encouragement, if you need somebody to kind of cheer you on or spur you on, or maybe give you some insight or some words of wisdom, I might be that guy. And I think to me going back to your verse and the point is, I think that’s how iron sharpens iron. But I want to close our Carolina thought, if I can interject. So they played once they got to the tournament, they played 123456 games once they got into the March Madness tournament, as many of people have discovered. The last three games, though, they played Kentucky, who is their arch rival, who they lost to earlier in the season, and they won 75 73 on another game winning shot, by the way. They beat Oregon, my home state school, which is about 2 hours from me. They beat Oregon 77 to 76, and then they beat Gonzaga 71 76 or sorry, 71 65. So very close games is what I’m saying, is anywhere along the way that could have been derailed even more. And so that’s the other thing I would want to stress is the fact that it’s not going to be easy. That chapter two, that redemption story. It’s not going to be yeah, I.


Jerry Dugan


Mean, you’re talking about fighting for every point and maybe you’re in a deficit and you’re trying to regain that ground and you got to keep plugging away. And there’s going to be those moments where, again, you’re just discouraged, like, oh, we’re not going to those thoughts just start to seep in. We’re never going to catch up. We’re never going to get to that break even point. And whatever the action is that is repeatable, that’s going to build that momentum. I think, for anybody, they’ve got to just keep plugging away, plugging away, plugging away. Having that faith that if they keep plugging away and they’re doing the right thing, they’re on the right track, they’re going to have that breakthrough moment. It may not be in the timing they think it is, but it is going to happen. And a lot of folks that have been on this show, that’s what we’ll find out, that they had that breaking point and then they just had that break through point, and it was like they never look back after that. They’re winning all the time in life, whether it’s in their faith walk or their family life, their career, anything. There’s that breaking point and then the breakthrough point, I think. I don’t know where that came from. That’s kind of I better write that down.


Neil Matthews


That’s really good.


Jerry Dugan


I know, right? Jerry’s going to patt himself on the back. Now you’ve got a podcast called Other People’s Shoes and I love it because you ask people about what their favorite shoe is. No, I’m kidding. That’s not the reason why I love that shoe. That is a question you ask. And it always threw me for a loop. I’m like, I don’t know, whichever one is fit because I’m a little guy with big feet and they’re wide. And so finding ten wides in a store is almost impossible. And then to find something that looks good on me. Anyway, that’s not important. The important thing is you interview folks to get an idea of their perspective on life, like their why? Why do they do what they do? Why do they look at life with the perspective that they have and tell me a bit more about why you started that show and why it’s just so beneficial to understand somebody else’s why?


Neil Matthews


Well, first off, I think that’s a great question because for me, the show Genesis, as I often say, is such a weird thing. So I have grown up in the church for maybe your listeners. So I was an awana kid. I walked the aisle at a Southern Baptist church. Don’t throw rocks. I remember going to Awana and then into youth group and then out of youth group, and I just hung around the church and going back to your iron and sharpening iron verse. I think that’s why I stayed in the church is there was this need and this void in my life that church filled and God filled, right? Rightfully so, I think, in some respects. But in any event, in that I got involved in youth ministry at 19. I’m 42 now. And at the time of this recording, I just got back into being in youth ministry after probably out of five year sabbatical in some respects, because our church went into direction in the youth ministry that I wasn’t a fan of, just not at all. I thought, this is not going to work. Like, I’m old school youth. This still works. And this method does work. And they’re like, Nah, it doesn’t. We don’t think it does, and it’s not working. We’re going to try something new. I don’t like what you’re doing, so I’m going to take my red ball. I’m going to go play somewhere else. And I left. I didn’t leave the church, but I stepped down from youth. I’m like, I’m out. I’m done. Hashtag done. And in that, my wife’s like, you need something. You need a verbal outlet. And I’m like, I don’t know what that is. What does that mean? And she goes, well, I don’t know. You’re pretty smart. Go find out what that means. That’s terrible. I feel like I’m on a scabbard. And so some time passes, and she said, well, have you found something yet? And I said, no, I’m still looking. And she said, Well, I think you should start a podcast. What do you think about that? I was like, well, first off, I don’t even know what a podcast is. She’s like, well, again, you’re smart. You’ll figure it out. We were driving somewhere someday, and she said, hey, you should listen to this podcast. And this gal, Jamie Ivy, is telling how she started and all this stuff. So I listened, and I was like, oh, it’s like a radio show. She’s like, yeah, kind of. I was like, well, I could do a radio show because I used to make mixtapes to her when we were dating in high school. So I’d come on and I’d be like, so it’s the surgery hour and.


Jerry Dugan


Children, that’s how bad you’re making.


Neil Matthews


Who is this? Going out with love from Neo. Kg is the best mix of music and more of it. And so people have always said I kind of have a radio voice, and I’m not really sure what that means or I have a face for radio, even. I just thought, well, okay, I’ll start. And so at the time, I was trying to be a worship leader. I bought a guitar I had every Aspiration to play, by the way. This is like the 7th guitar or 12th guitar I’ve bought in my lifetime. So I thought, why am I trying to be somebody I’m not? And so I started the show. We didn’t know what we were going to call it. I say Weak as my wife kind of helped in that brain start. And she said, well, you have a lot of shoes. Why don’t you call it something about shoes? And I was like, well, I don’t know. We kind of hemmed and han. She said, Well, I think empathy is a thing that people are missing. And I was like, Why aren’t you doing this? You should do this show. And she’s yet to be on the show, by the way.


Jerry Dugan


Oh, wow.


Neil Matthews


In any form or fashion. Not been ever been on the show. And so we started thinking and so we kind of brainstormed out other people’s shoes because we thought empathy was something people were missing. And so we thought, okay, perfect. And so I joking around. The first person I ever interviewed was actually an old boss of mine back in the Quiznose days. Yeah, that’s right. I worked at Quiznose, too. Anyway, he came on and I jokingly said, well, if we’re going to be on your shoes day, tell me what kind of shoes you have. And it kind of just stuck. And so I’ve used that ever since. It’s kind of the opening line. But yeah, it’s all about empathy. It’s all about being in their shoes, their perspective, their point of view, kind of what they walk through.


Jerry Dugan


So, yeah, I love it. As silly as the question might seem, what are your favorite shoes? Or what are your go to shoes or what shoes are you wearing right now? Which, depending on how you say it, can sound a little weird. But people start to unpack why they like those shoes. If they say it’s Air Jordans, they’ll tell you the story why or their first pair of Air Jordans. If it’s Penny Loafers, they’ll tell you why. And it’s kind of like the Forest Gump. You can tell a lot about a person by looking at their shoes. And in a way, you kick off that who is the person behind the name that we see, whether it’s your boss, whether it’s your neighbor, whether it’s that expert on child development, whatever it is, I love that your show brings that out of people. And you start with something as simple as tell me about your shoes. That is so wonderful. Now, since you’ve been doing the show, what are some of the memories that stand out to you? Is there a theme that stands out when you’re talking with folks? Yeah, let’s start there. And I guess anything that’s surprised you from doing the show.


Neil Matthews


Well, we’re approaching 200 episodes in just about four years. January will make four years. So in that it’s hard to narrow down, like, five or four or three. That is probably the hardest question for me ever to answer, because I’ve had friends, people I’ve met, different people, oh, what’s your favorite show? And I always say, well, how many kids do you have? And they’ll generally tell me, you know, two, three, whatever, four. They’re like, okay. So I think for a second I say, well, what’s your favorite kid? Who’s your favorite kid? And they’re like, well, I don’t know. They’re all kind of Johnny, of course. Yeah, right. Here’s why. For me, that’s, like, the hardest question to answer is, well, it depends on what show I’m on. So my show is a little different than some. My show goes in seasons, and so in seasons, I come up with a different theme for each season. So if you’re a church person, kind of like a pastor, does he’ll do a sermon series? Kind of. Same idea. I kind of stole that a little bit from the church. But in that we’ve had seasons about the struggle. We’ve had seasons about where people have left church, youth kids that I reconnected with when I first started the show on why they left church. Was it me? I know that sounds a little bit like you’re so vain, you probably think this is about you. Well, I kind of thought it was about me. So we’ve also talked about people walking through perseverance. We’re talking about you being beyond the rut and getting out of that rut, that perseverance, that push story. Little did I know in 2020 that we’re going to be talking about vision and cost, and that was right at the start of the pandemic and identity. So we’re kind of all wrapping those into one, people searching for things. What happened when I took a date, a specific date that somebody had in their life that really kind of changed them forever. And so we talked about that exact date. Like, I got nitty gritty. So as an example, December 12, 1997, I can tell you exactly where I was at 815 in the morning and tell you exactly where I was at the moment it happened. So people want to know about that. They can go, listen, that if the shoe fits right. Getting beyond that stuck. Moment, kind of like you in that respect. We should have had you on that season in hindsight. But anyway, that’s okay. Are you enough? We’ve already talked about that was your season. Shadows, which I was just kind of scrolling through a canva one day, and I saw this picture of a shadow and the groundhog happened to fall on a Wednesday Groundhog’s Day. And I thought, how many people have dealt with like a shadowy figure or a shadowy moment in their life where they kind of had to walk away from that? And then we talked about an Aglid, which for those that don’t know Finnish and Fur stole that from them, the Aglid is a plastic thing at the end of your shoe that kind of keeps it from unraveling. So what obviously has kept people from unraveling and then last but not least, number twelve, your walkaway moment. And so that has some kind of hidden, maybe arteria motives, I don’t know, but some have shared already, like their walkaway moment. We actually had an interview with Amy Krisman. He was in the band for him, or the men’s group for him, kind of the first boy band. He jokes on the episode or man band. I think he’s really off man band.


Jerry Dugan


He’s like, it was on a boy band.


Neil Matthews


Man band. But anyway, so he was on. So that was kind of cool. And then in Aglin, we had finished out our season, john Michael Summer from Cutlass. So we’ve had some big names. And then being a sports guy, I’ve had some Carolina players come on. So those were fun episodes as well. But probably if I was going to pin it down to one, Jerry, you’re going to pin me down to one? I’ll give you one that probably is still one of my favorites. And it was in your season, and it was with Todd Muranovich, who was a USC quarterback stand out. His dad had raised him from birth to be this prototypical quarterback. That’s what his dad trained him and programmed him, in a sense, to be. And he gets to USC and he finds cocaine.


Jerry Dugan


Oh, man.


Neil Matthews


And he gets flunked out of school and then he goes on to the Raiders because his dad had some NFL ties. And he gets drafted in the first round by the Raiders late in the first round, but still gets drafted in the first round and only plays a couple of seasons for the Raiders because guess what? He’s doing cocaine and all kinds of other drugs again. And so he gets washed out of the NFL. And he’s just had a tumultuous life as far as like, recovery and then falling and recovery. ESPN did a documentary on him called Marinovich Project. Folks can check that out as well. So that’s probably still one of my favorites because of how I found him and because of his willingness to come on and just talk about anything.


Jerry Dugan


A lot of courage and vulnerability. I don’t know why whenever somebody mentions cocaine, I’ve never done cocaine, but my nose starts to itch and I don’t know why, but it does. Maybe it’s so I watched Scarface one time too many, but I love that. I mean, you’ve pulled off twelve seasons in in what, four years, you said. And so it’s not like time bound, it’s more topical. And I think the, the curious question I’ve got, though, is how do you deal with season on aglets? Like, what what is the real theme behind that? Because I don’t think you talked about, like, lacing your shoes for all those episodes.


Neil Matthews


Yeah, I know. So the aglet is that, again, that plastic thing at the end of the shoe that if it wasn’t there, your life would unravel, it would fray. And so kind of centering around that idea, like, hey, what is keeping you from unraveling? What is keeping you from fraying? And a lot of people said faith. I mean, that’s kind of the easy answer. And so I would push on that and say, okay, well, not that we’re saying that it needs to be Jesus and something else, because it shouldn’t be. Jesus can be the answer, but a lot of people would say, well, obviously Jesus isn’t the number one, but if I was going down, he’s the foundation, so he’s not there. Okay, I’m going to unravel. But if this other thing wasn’t there, I think I would probably unravel, too.


Jerry Dugan


And also, like, because of Jesus, why is this other thing here in the first place? And that you’re able to realize that’s the thing that helps you. So it’s really cool to unpack that. I love that.


Neil Matthews


It’s the thing that people thought it was crazy. Like everyone I pitched it to every potential guest, some that didn’t. Come on. I just can’t see it. I can’t get where you’re going because I don’t just have people of faith. Come on. Again, anybody’s shoes, we’re going to be in. I mean, we’ve had a lesbian come on. We’ve had some Mormons come on. I’ve had some Muslims come on. So it doesn’t matter. My show doesn’t have I don’t feel has those restraints that maybe other shows might.


Jerry Dugan


So, yeah, it’s one of those things where it’s like, the host is Christian, but I don’t have to have my guests also be Christian. Yeah, same thing for me. My topics tend to sound more secular, or at least I intend to when I go into them. But I think in every episode for the last year, jesus has shown up like, all right, cool, yeah, I’m not going to kick him out. I know, right? Yeah. Because then that changes the whole purpose of my show. And let’s see here. Now, one of the things that we wanted to also talk about is like the power of listening. So your show is really about listening to that other person’s. Why? What drives them? Why is it things are going well for them? Why is it something went wrong for them? Why is it they have been able to pull life back together, all those things? What is the power of listening when it comes to getting yourself out of a rut?


Neil Matthews


Well, I think it was my grandmother, might have even been my mom, and it might have even been they stole it from somebody else. But somebody once shared with me that we have two years for a reason, and we have one mouth for a reason, so we should listen twice as much as we’re talking. And as folks can probably tell, I’m pretty good at talking for the most part, but I’m really bad sometimes at listening. And I think listening is the key to this whole world that we’re in, this little globe marble ball that we’re all a part of. Joe Diffie said Third Rock from the sun. Whatever. But for me, again, I think listening has to play just such an integral role of life, because if you’re not listening, if all you’re doing is talking, you’re just going to miss so much stuff. You’re going to miss the moments in life that are so powerful. And I think to me, again, if we’re not listening, we’re really not hearing, if that makes sense, because I think you can listen to something like, I can listen to something and be like, okay, cool, whatever. Back in the day, I’m embarrassed to admit this, but back in the day, I used to listen to Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre and NWA and things like that, but I didn’t really listen. I just liked the sound. Now, it wasn’t until I discovered PC Talk and Toby Mac and people like that that I really started hearing and listening at the same time, because again, I can hear something. But I think listening implies intent to hear and to really learn. And so for me, I think that has to be the key. And I think that’s been the key to doing this show. I hope the greatest lesson I’ve learned is the idea that I’ve really become a better listener.


Jerry Dugan


Yeah, what’s that phrase? First seek to understand, then seek to be understood. And I think in order to understand somebody else, you definitely have to listen. Not just hear the words coming in, but really process it, get the person’s intent. And I think that is that distinction. Hearing is like a sensory thing. I heard a noise. I heard a dog bark. I hear my cat trying to scratch to get into the podcast studio right now. Those are hearing things. Listening is the difference between a marriage falling apart and a marriage healing from the same event. It’s the difference between preventing your team from falling apart at work to having that one moment that rips it apart. I’ve heard people say, I hear you, I hear you, and then immediately go into making their case why they were right anyway. And then it’s clear they didn’t listen to you. They didn’t understand why you said what you just said and why that person’s actions made an impact. They just want to be heard. They’re flipping it. They’re first seeking to be understood. They kind of don’t care if they understand you or not. And I think what you’re saying is, no, you got to seek to understand, folks, and to do that, you got to listen. I love that.


Neil Matthews


I think that’s just the key.


Jerry Dugan


How many world conflicts can be prevented if we all just learn to listen to each other?


Neil Matthews


I think that’s the problem, right, is we don’t want to listen. We think immediately. I think it’s even called pseudo listening. If I’m remembering this right, pseudo listening is the idea that I’m listening and then while you’re hearing me now talk, you’re immediately defending or coming up with your defense while I’m talking. Yes, or what you’re going to say while I’m talking. Maybe it’s not even a defense, but while I’m talking, you’re thinking, okay, what am I going to say next? You’re not really hearing me. Yeah, I think so often we do that. Yeah.


Jerry Dugan


And we look at the polarization of the United States right now. I think even then there’s a lot of hearing and a lot of reacting, but not a lot of truly listening. Like, why does this side take such a strong stance here? Like, what is the core value behind that and that’s listening? What is the core value behind that stance? What is the core value behind that stance? I’m not going to go into specifics because that’s not this show. So I’ve loved the conversation we’ve had. Now I know people can find [email protected], so other people choose Podcast.com. Ops podcast sounds really cool, too, when you say it that way. You’re on Twitter. You’re on Facebook. Instagram. YouTube. Where else can people find you?


Neil Matthews


Well, they can find me in Oregon. Oregon?


Jerry Dugan


Yeah.


Neil Matthews


All the North Carolina stuff. I do live in Oregon, so it’s very weird. Again, still for some. But no, those are the main places I always like to say it’s at on the social medias at Ops podcast show. It’s a little different than the website, but yeah, that’s the main places. I like to hang out on Instagram probably the most just because I like looking at pictures and it’s kind of fun. And Facebook seems really weird, and I know they’re owned by the same company. Now, Meta supposedly owns Facebook and Instagram, but I don’t know, it just seems to be more exciting on Instagram and Twitter. I rarely am there, so you can tweet me if you want. I will respond to anything that we get from you. But yeah, most of the time it’s by Instagram.


Jerry Dugan


Yeah, I’ve tagged you in so many pictures of my feet don’t get any. Where’d this show go, man? What happened? And what would be a book you recommend to folks right now. I saw that on your website. You’ve got recommended books. Is there one that stands out to you right now that if somebody is trying to fulfill a 52 book goal for the year that they want to read, what would you recommend?


Neil Matthews


Boy, so I started doing that books that I love, I think is what you’re referring to. So when authors would come on, I was trying to figure out a way I could showcase their book and still give them like a little piece that they would always have tied back to us or whatever. Plus, I think it’s just a great way at Christmas time. I’m not a big reader. Still struggle on some levels with that. But for me, man, that’s tough. That’s a tough question, Jerry. That might be the hardest one I’ve ever heard.


Jerry Dugan


It’s easier. Just tell me who your favorite kid is.


Neil Matthews


Yeah, right. Can I go back to the episode thing? Because that was way easier. Well, I really liked I actually read this one. I really liked Mark Victor Hansen’s book, and I got to remember the name of it, but his book was really good. I actually read it, and so people are surprised by that because he actually said I had Dyslexia and I don’t know how to read, so just ignore that. But Mark was pretty good. My wife, if you’re a lady. So that’s maybe for guy fan girls alike trying to remember the name of his book, it should ask The Bridge from Your Dreams to Your Destiny by Mark Victor Hanson. He’s the dude that wrote Chicken Soup for the Soul. Oh, yeah, him and his wife Crystal. Great people. But they wrote that book. So that’s probably my number one. I would say number two. And really it’s probably like a one A, if you will, for the ladies. Esther panterbaker’s book. No thing is pretty awesome as well. So for the ladies, specifically, my wife is actually trying to work through that book right now, and Esther is just a fantastic person, so I would say hers and okay, I’ll throw in one more. I know you only said one, but I’ll throw in one more. Loving Naomi. That’s one of my other favorites that I always recommend for people, too. Dugan wrote an amazing book about OCD, and I didn’t know anything about OCD, so it’s kind of a little bit of a take on her life. So those are my three that I would give you.


Jerry Dugan


Nice. Good selection. I’m going to add probably all three to my goodreads. I was totally asking for a friend.


Neil Matthews


Yeah, of course. And then, of course, the best two at the top with the Carolina Way and Hard Work by Roy Williams.


Jerry Dugan


Oh, that’s right. Yeah. I got to check at least one of those out. Any final words of wisdom for our audience before we head out?


Neil Matthews


I think the big thing I would just challenge people on. I always like to leave a challenge every time I do a show. So I’ll steal your challenge for a moment, challenge time, and just challenge people to say this. As I say, when I close out my show, I say, remember, when you walk in other people’s shoes, you really do get a different perspective on life. Hear those words. What happens if you really get into their shoes? What happens if you really get that different perspective? Because, again, it’s easy to say, but it’s hard to really walk out. And I would just challenge somebody today is just really spend some time. Maybe it’s that coworker that nobody wants to talk to. Maybe it’s that kid on the playground that nobody wants to play with. Maybe it’s that person you see in the coffee shop every day. You go to get your Karma Frappuccino from Starbucks, and they’re just by themselves all the time. Go engage them. I know that seems weird, like you’re a total stranger, but engage in that conversation. Engage in where they are and maybe ask them just like, hey, man, those shoes are really cool. Where did you get those? That is a great lead in. Truly, it is. So any event.


Jerry Dugan


Nice, Neil. Thanks for sharing that. Thanks for being on this show. Always great to talk with you, no matter what, whether we’re recording or not. Always good to talk with you, man.


Neil Matthews


It’s my pleasure. Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it.


Jerry Dugan


I hope you got a lot out of that conversation like I did. That was Neil Matthews, host of Other People’s Shoes. And you know what? If you want to learn more about Neil, just go to the Show [email protected] Three 40. Yeah. 340 episodes. Can you believe that? And some of you have been with me since day one. Episode one, when I was tucked away in a broom closet having to edit this show for Brandon and Sean. Now it’s just me. You’re stuck with me. And I’m glad that if there’s anybody I want to get in trouble with over the next five to ten years, that you’re with me. At least you’re listening to me. Who knows? I don’t think I’m going to prison. I shouldn’t be anyway. Wait, let me double check. Okay. No, yeah, I’m good.


Neil Matthews


All right.


Jerry Dugan


The fact I had a check doesn’t reassure me, but we’re moving forward. So again, the show notes beyond the rut.com. Three 40. There you can learn more about Neil, more about his show, and then links to other episodes, episodes that are related to this one, about pursuing your dream, learning about other people, all those good things. Now, I’m glad you joined me for this episode, and I look forward to coming back again next week and joining you for some more time together. But until then, go live life beyond the rut.


Neil Matthews


Take care.

Redemption: Neil Matthews’ Beyond the Rut Story – BtR 340