Cory Booker big fan of Montclair State teacher’s inspirational messages

to play

Rob Gilbert, a Montclair State University professor who has been leaving inspirational messages on his answering machine daily for 30 years, has legions of fans.

The sports psychology professor, who started recording the three-minute motivational missives for his students in 1992, records thousands of incoming calls every week from around the world, including from celebrities asking him to remain silent on their habit.

But one famous fan is an exception: Cory Booker, US senator from New Jersey. Booker recently shouted out the professor’s mission on social media, and afterwards, Gilbert said, he got so many calls he was afraid the answer would crash his answering machine.

In an interview with, Booker recounted how Gilbert came to Northern Valley Regional High School in Old Tappan in 1987 to speak to his senior class and how his messages have made a difference in his life at crucial times over the past 30 years. last years.

Five years after Gilbert spoke at his high school, Booker was at Stanford University, having earned an undergraduate degree and a master’s degree. “I was in a tough time in my life,” said Booker, who played in college. “My football career was over and I was competing for an international scholarship.

“A friend from high school asked if I remembered ‘that MSU sports psychology professor’ and told me he started something called Success Hotline, where people could call his machine to get answers. motivational messages,” Booker said.

He dialed the number: 973-743-4690. The posts “really empowered and motivated me, and I won the scholarship,” he said.

Booker was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, a graduate of Yale Law School, and elected mayor of Newark, then a U.S. senator from New Jersey.

“I fight to survive”:How This Montclair Parking Lot Is Killing A Beloved Business

In those 30 years, “I forgot the hotline. I didn’t call when I was in law school or when I was a councilor and mayor of Newark — but I wish I had have,” he said with a laugh.

Then, in January, as Booker embarked on a personal training challenge in which he pledged to run every day and then post a motivational message on social media, some of Gilbert’s stories began to tell him. come to mind. “Something made me look for the number,” he said. “I was blown away to find out he was still around 30 years later and has been posting every day since.”

Positive posts can also go viral

Although Gilbert, a 75-year-old Bloomfield resident, isn’t on social media, he quickly discovered the senator featured him on Instagram and TikTok when “hundreds and hundreds” of calls poured in a Sunday, a generally calm day. . Many callers left messages saying they heard about him from Booker’s messages.

Booker said the posts were among the best he’s ever had, with hundreds of thousands of views. It’s “tickled” that Gilbert has gone viral despite being strictly analog. “He’s got a fucking AOL account,” he laughed. “It’s so lovely to me. Before Twitter and Facebook, it was a guy and an answering machine, and it still is.”

(In a concession to digital natives, all of Gilbert’s 11,500+ posts are now available on Apple and other podcast apps as the “Success Hotline.”)

“Everyone should teach motivation”

Gilbert does not understand what it is about. “Everyone should teach motivation,” he said. “A teacher’s #1 job isn’t information – students can get all the information they want on the internet – it’s inspiration.”

He is also a big advocate for teaching stress reduction techniques and offers a free relaxation seminar to hotline callers a few times a month. “Kids have so much anxiety today,” Gilbert said. “Nothing against meds – sometimes you need them – but I like to say, ‘Are you going to learn skills or take pills? Take meds or meditate?’

Pictures:Move-in day at Montclair State University

“My #1 principle is that everything you need is inside of you,” he said. “If you’re anxious, it’s just because you haven’t been taught to relax; if you think you have a bad memory, you just don’t have a trained memory. »

Coming up with ideas to fill a three-minute post every morning – 11,500 posts and counting – isn’t hard, he said: “Nature abhors a vacuum. If I know I have to fill this void every every day at 7:30 a.m. so consciously or unconsciously my mind is still working on it, noticing things and thinking about how to fill that void.”

Early in his answering machine recording, Gilbert invites people to leave a message, and some callers have told him that they called when they were suicidal and that listening to his messages saved their lives.

His proudest achievement, however, is that teachers across the country bring his message to their classrooms every day.

“Now more than ever, there has to be good, solid information, because there’s a lot of bad, not solid information out there,” he said. “Your core beliefs come from who you listen to.”

He is often asked how he makes money with Success Hotline. “The answer is: I don’t. I don’t even want to make money from it; it’s my gift to the world,” he said. “I am fortunate to be a college teacher who has been supported for the past 43 years by Montclair State. They have given me the opportunity to teach these wonderful children. The least that I can do is spend three minutes a day giving back.”

For subscribers:The co-developer joins the Garden State Plaza transformation project. Here is the continuation

Unsurprisingly, Gilbert was mentored himself, while earning a Ph.D. at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. On a whim, he had taken an undergraduate course with the father of sports psychology, Walter Kroll, and was hooked. Kroll continued to watch over him until his death three years ago.

Gilbert’s uplifting and supportive approach is something Booker tries to emulate.

“Divisive rhetoric is one of the great threats to our country,” Booker said. “We denigrate people who don’t vote like us. As Lincoln said, ‘A house divided against itself cannot stand.’

“But our division is not as strong as what unites us,” he continued. “I’m very committed to being a champion for infrastructure, the child care tax credit, common sense gun safety and more. But I also want to change politics. My plate -shape, my message, is about kindness and common virtues; it’s not about tearing people down, it’s about lifting them up.”

Gilbert’s work shows that positive posts can also go viral, Booker said. “The more good he does, the more empowered he is to do good. For 30 years he has touched people with his incredible stories, and in return others have shared their stories,” he said. “It’s this wonderful virtuous loop, a contagion of kindness.

“People plant seeds in your life and consciously or unconsciously you reap them, and Rob Gilbert is a great example of that. Now I find myself doing something this man has done for over half my life, plant stories and highlight them.

“Rob Gilbert is a gem of craziness, negativity and world division,” Booker said. “But a culture of contemplation is growing. It’s a voice that speaks of virtue, that speaks of the unifying themes of humanity, and that speaks with love. I want more people to hear voices like that. I want be a voice like that.”

A technique guaranteed to motivate you

Here is a recent inspirational message from Rob Gilbert:

You have reached Success Hotline, message 11502. I am Dr. Rob Gilbert.

Have you ever been attacked by the I-don’t-want-to-it? I don’t want to go to work. I do not want to study. I don’t want to train.

Well, I learned this secret many, many years ago when the great Tom Fleming, one of the greatest marathon runners in the world, came to my class. And he told my students that he trains by running 135 to 150 miles a week. I don’t even drive much and he runs so much! Then one of my students said to me, “Coach Fleming, do you still want to run? And he said something very revealing.

He said: “Most of the time I don’t feel like running until I start running.” This is the key. See, your thoughts are not going to motivate you and your feelings are not going to motivate you. Your actions will motivate you. Your actions will change your attitudes, your movements will change your emotions, and your movements will change your moods.

You cannot trust your thoughts. Are you in control of your thoughts? For example, if you say, “Don’t think of a pink elephant,” what are you thinking? A pink elephant!

It is much easier to act yourself in a certain way of feeling than to feel yourself in a certain way of acting.

So if you don’t feel like working out, go to the gym. If you don’t feel like studying, go to the library. Do it and the feelings will appear.

Act as you want to become and then you will become as you act.

It won’t let you down.

Absolutely positively guaranteed. Post finished.

Comments are closed.