Orrin Woodward on LIFE & Leadership

Inc Magazine Top 20 Leader shares his personal, professional, and financial secrets.

  • Orrin Woodward

    Former Guinness World Record Holder for largest book signing ever, Orrin Woodward is a NY Times bestselling author of And Justice For All along with RESOLVED & coauthor of LeaderShift and Launching a Leadership Revolution. His books have sold over one million copies in the financial, leadership and liberty fields. RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions For LIFE made the Top 100 All-Time Best Leadership Books and the 13 Resolutions are the framework for the top selling Mental Fitness Challenge personal development program.

    Orrin made the Top 20 Inc. Magazine Leadership list & has co-founded two multi-million dollar leadership companies. Currently, he serves as the Chairman of the Board of the LIFE. He has a B.S. degree from GMI-EMI (now Kettering University) in manufacturing systems engineering. He holds four U.S. patents, and won an exclusive National Technical Benchmarking Award.

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Grandfather’s Letter – Climbing from Peak to Peak

Posted by Orrin Woodward on January 31, 2008

I read a great short story by Steve Brunkhorst called Grandfather’s Grandfather with Grandson picture
.  What incredible nuggets it had for climbers in life!  Steve’s points out that in order to climb from peak to peak—we must endure the valley between the mountains. It takes courage to step off the peak and descend into the valley in order to climb the higher peak on the horizon.  I
feel many of us have walked through a valley for the last 5 or 6 months and are
starting to ascend to another peak.  This is the year to count your blessings, break camp and start the climb to the top!  Enjoy this wonderful story and follow the advice of Grandfather’s letter.

One day, a young man was cleaning out his late grandfather’s belongings when he came across a bright red envelope. Written on the front were the words, “To my grandson.” Recognizing his grandfather’s handwriting, the boy opened the envelope. A letter inside read:

Dear Ronny,

Years ago you came to me for help. You said, “Grandpa, how is it that you’ve accomplished so much in your life? You’re still full of energy, and I’m already tired of struggling. How can I get that same enthusiasm that you’ve got?”

I didn’t know what to say to you then. But knowing my days are numbered, I figure that I owe you an answer. So here is what I believe.

I think a lot of it has to do with how a person looks at things. I call it ‘keeping your eyes wide open.’

First, realize that life is filled with surprises, but many are good ones. If you don’t keep watching for them, you’ll miss half the excitement. Expect to be thrilled once in a while, and you will be.

When you meet up with challenges, welcome them. They’ll leave you wiser, stronger, and more capable than you were the day before. When you make a mistake, be grateful for the things it taught you. Resolve to use that lesson to help you reach your goals.

And always follow the rules. Even the little ones. When you follow the rules, life works. If you think you ever really get by with breaking the rules, you’re only fooling yourself.

It’s also important to decide exactly what you want. Then keep your mind focused on it, and be prepared to receive it.

But be ready to end up in some new places too. As you grow with the years, you’ll be given bigger shoes to fill. So be ready for endings as well as challenging beginnings.

Sometimes we have to be brave enough to move from the familiar to the unfamiliar. Life isn’t just reaching peaks. Part of it is moving from one peak to the next. If you rest too long in between, you might be tempted to quit. Leave the past in the past. Climb the next mountain and enjoy the view.

Dump things that weigh you down emotionally and spiritually. When an old resentment, belief, or attitude becomes heavy, lighten your load. Shed those hurtful attitudes that slow you down and drain your energy.

Remember that your choices will create your successes and your failures. So consider all the pathways ahead, and decide which ones to follow. Then believe in yourself, get up, and get going.

And be sure to take breaks once in a while. They’ll give you a renewed commitment to your dreams and a cheerful, healthy perception of the things that matter the most to you.

Most important of all, never give up on yourself. The person that ends up a winner is the one who resolves to win. Give life everything you’ve got, and life will give its best back to you.

Love always,


5 Responses to “Grandfather’s Letter – Climbing from Peak to Peak”

  1. M. Fitzgerald said

    Challenges aren’t there to stop us. They give us a chance to see how badly was want something. Onward and upward!

  2. Tracey said

    Wow!! What an incredible letter!! So many truths spoken..peak to peak is certainly the way to go, and we need to enjoy the view from every one!! Thanks Orrin!!

  3. Debbie Miller said

    Love this statement: “Remember that your choices will create your successes and your failures.” Thanks for sharing!

  4. I love 98% of this letter — except for the part about rules.

    There’s “rules” and then there’s “rules”. Some rules are best to be obeyed, because they truly make life better for everyone. But some “rules” are made to be broken.

    Every innovator in history has broken the “rules”. Socrates, Copernicus, Galileo, Newton — Jesus, for that matter. The key — the wisdom — is in knowing which rules to follow and which ones to break, because their time has come.

    One could argue that it’s a matter of semantics — that what many people consider rules are really just “norms” or “guidelines”.

    Suggested reading: “First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently” by Marcus Buckingham.

    • Orrin Woodward said

      Scott, As one who has broke many “rules,” I agree wholeheartedly. If the rules don’t represent God’s created order, then they should be broken as they are hindering the progress of humanity. If the rules does represent God’s order, then society declines until it adjust or collapses. The rise and fall cycle throughout history has many similar patterns in many diverse cultures. 🙂 thanks, Orrin

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