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.

    This blog is an Alltop selection and ranked in HR's Top 100 Blogs for Management & Leadership.

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Turn Rejection Into Energy

Posted by Orrin Woodward on December 1, 2012

In the tenth grade, near the end of the school year, LakeVille Schools had a Lap-a-Thon contest to raise money for the sports programs. Since I intended to play sports, I volunteered to gather sponsors who paid me based upon how many laps I could run. Having never run a mile in my life, I had no idea how many laps I could run. I have no idea what mental calculations I performed to arrive at this number, but I set my sights on 30 laps. Why a 16 year old kid, who had never ran in his life at that point, believed he could run 30 laps is beyond me! Furthermore, when all my classmates told me unequivocally that I would never run 30 laps, feeling I would be lucky to run half that many, it really upset me. Remember, its not the size of the man in the fight that counts, but the size of the fight in the man. The more they said I couldn’t do it, the more inspired I was to do it. I committed to all my sponsors that if I didn’t run 30 laps that they wouldn’t have to pay, leaving me with a serious debt to the school on behalf of my sponsors. Talk about having a strong reason why! πŸ™‚ With no practice, outside an 1/8 of a mile jaunt up my dead-end street, I went to the track resolved to run 30 laps or die trying. Here is the video to explain the rest of the story. πŸ™‚


Orrin Woodward

44 Responses to “Turn Rejection Into Energy”

  1. Orrin, I was there live for this talk. It was funny & very educational at the same time! Thanks again, Joce

  2. Carla Girard said

    Orrin, this story is so inspiring to me, as it just goes to show you that whatever you set your mind to do, it’s done! Even back then, you were a leader, backing your talk with action!


  3. Anna Walsh said

    I’ve heard this story many times and still laugh every time. Amazing account and awesome message. Thanks!

  4. I love this post. The will to win!

  5. Beth said

    That’s awesome!!!Thank you for sharing your stories and inspiring me to keep on choosing life…4 LIFE!!! the only thing we need to do better is to figure out who puts the close captions on these videos because they are not typing what you guys are saying–they are giving a wrong message to anyone who watches the captions :/ we need to fix that because the Deaf and interpreters need to get the TRUTH of your messages too!

  6. Cindy Dillon said

    you have a great way of turning things around to motivation!

  7. Kody Ellis said

    I love this story Orrin! Just keeps telling me to get back up and fight for my victory. No matter how many people tell us that what we are doing is not worth it, just spurs me on more. I can’t wait to see what happens in a year when everything they have said isn’t possible comes true!

    Thanks for everything!

  8. Ken McVicker said

    I love this story!

  9. Justin Stevens said

    Awesome as always

  10. jimmy varghese said

    was going through the 6 pack of cds and listened to this over and over and it was so motivational! what a change in thinking! thank you Orrin and the team for such inspirational wisdom! fired up1

  11. Maura Galliani said

    Love your tenacity, Orrin. And as always, you are incredibly inspiring … fired up!

  12. Jammie Fisher said

    I love this principle and the story/video you use tp illustrate it. Thanks!

  13. peter metcalf said

    Orrin, You are funny! Shall watch the video later!

  14. Tim Marks said

    I love The way you tell this!! We can all learn from this story that: we all have a little more inside of us. Sometimes much more!

    God bless

  15. Elaine Mallios said

    Love this story! Its like the book “Talent of Overrated”. Its just the “do” factor.

  16. Jeff Darling said

    I love this story Orrin! It really gets me thinking of how much more we have in us to push forward. Thanks!

  17. CJ Calvert said

    One of my favorite talks of yours, Orrin!

  18. Dave Nelson said

    Orrin you are amazing. The energizer bunny is a couch potato compared to you. Nike should sign you because you are the most “Just Do It” person alive today. I appreciate what you do and say. I pray GOD continues to bless you and your family.

  19. Hey Orrin, I love being negatively challenged as well, and rejection has always fueled me to move forward and add to the fire. Your an amazing example of giving it all you got, or die trying!!! You’ve come out on top of many negative situations, and it has inspired so many to fight through the rejection and make it happen anyways.

  20. Hilary Dorr said

    This cd was such an inspiration. Thanks Orrin!

  21. Scott Staley said

    That’s 1 of my favourite story cd’s, after watching the talk – I have to say, mabee some of the story cd’s need to be redone as DVD’s!


  22. This story is so good. I’m surprised Orrin did tell it years ago. Thank you to Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady, Dan Hawkins, Claude Hamilton, Bill Lewis, George Guzzardo, and Tim Marks for being so inspirational in my life.

  23. I meant, didn’t tell it.

  24. Tim Samuels said

    Orrin, Incredibly motivating story.

  25. J & P Harteis said

    Would love to hear what your kids said when they heard this story for the first time, Orrin! What a great thing it is for all of us to be reminded again, that true inspiration, the kind that motivates us to action, comes from the inside!

  26. Neera Puri said

    Wow, turning rejection into energy. What an inspiring and enjoyable story. Thank you.

  27. Ken McVicker said

    Thanks, Orrin! I need to get better at applying this truth to my life.

  28. Alison Ruhlman said

    Thanks for sharing — I love this story for so many reasons!!!

  29. Joanne Brandtjen said

    Love this story! Never gets old! Thanks for the wit and wisdom!
    God Bless!

  30. I remember doing something similar for my hockey club as a youth, except it was called a skate-a-thon. I was the top pledge and lap getter 10 years running.

  31. Peggi Kern said

    Thank you Orrin! When I first began my education with Team LIFE, your lessons on turning rejection into energy helped me to re-frame the negative self talk that comes in the face of rejection and turn it around to create the fuel needed to accelerate the journey! Through time, I’ve realized that when I avoid the activities that bring rejection from critics, I am only cheating myself of the greatest lesson of all. When you live a life of purpose, rejection is a guarantee. Because of the wisdom and mentoring of Kristine Militello, her re-framing refines the journey to create the greatest lessons on the journey.

  32. Such a fun story! I love the teaching in this! Thanks Orrin!

  33. Such a fun story! I love the teaching in this!
    I am so amazed at how you drew out an experience from your youth, that I imagine these thoughts didn’t cross your mind then, but later when studying… You realized what was being professed. Either one of those options, or you were just way wiser than I was as a youth… πŸ˜‰ either way, this is fantastic!
    Thanks Orrin!

  34. Jim Croyle said


    Back when I was training other Sailors how to become instructors, I distinctly recall telling them that anybody could spew facts about a subject and that anybody that could maintain their intellectual influence over the student after the student has left the room will become the great instructors. You are a master at teaching through stories. I love your stories I use them often to feed the elephant.

    Thanks for leading the charge.

    God Bless you and yours.


  35. Nicole said

    orrin, this story just fires me up.. everyone tells me i can do the life business and the more i run with it.. i am not quiting this ever!! thank you for showing me the way..

  36. This is one of my all time favorite CDS of yours. How you handle rejection is a big part of success. Thanks Orrin!

  37. Tammy Darling said

    LOVE IT!!! One of my favorites!!! Thanks Orrin! πŸ™‚

  38. Jason Dames said

    I love this story Orrin!!!

  39. Tim Johnson said

    What a great story!! Very inspirational! Thanks for sharing, Orrin!!

  40. Bill Eder said

    This story is a classic. Just love it you are an awesome story telling leader. Many people learn for stories and you do it so well. Thanks again for your leadership.This one will never grow old.

  41. Kim Decker said

    This is the hardest part in all our lives on not only turning rejection into energy but also having a positive attitude in all situations. I practice these many times a day as I work in the corporate world and OH MY the negative from people is beyond what I have ever seen in my life before. I am in the fight till the end and I WILL WIN. Thank you again

  42. David Kangas said

    This story is right up there with the Brady kids lemonade stand; too funny but valuable lessons.

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