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.

  • Orrin’s Latest Book

  • 7 Day Free Access to Leadership Audios!

  • Email Me

  • NY Times Bestselling Book

  • Mental Fitness Challenge

  • Email Subscription

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 2,445 other subscribers

  • Categories

  • Archives

Seek Wisdom

Posted by Orrin Woodward on May 15, 2014

Life is less like a box of chocolates and more like a box of jalapeños. If you don’t apply wisdom, what you do today may burn your butt tomorrow.

I read a tweet recently from Brian Powers on life, chocolates, and jalapeños. I changed the quote slightly to tie it to the importance of wisdom and the quote above resulted. Life truly is about gaining wisdom in the 8F’s so that one can learn to handle any situation with peace and grace. Since everyone experiences the ups and downs in life, wisdom is the key delineator between successfully navigating the storms of life or being added to the growing list of shipwrecked lives.

Relativism = Value Free

Relativism = Value Free

The Free Dictionary defines wisdom as the ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting; insight. If wisdom requires on to judge between truthfulness and rightness of one’s actions then one must believe that there is truth and right in the world. After all, how can one discern truth and right when one is a relativist and rejects the notions of good/evil, truth/error, and right/wrong?

LIFE Leadership begins with this foundational principle to seek wisdom. The Bible states, “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind” and the transformation for many begins with the recognition of a moral order in the world. For without this moral order, seeking wisdom is a fools errand as one would have rejected the goal (discerning truth) before one begins the journey.

One of the many things I love about the LIFE Leadership community is it is difficult to remain a relativist when one attempts to lead. Leadership, at its essence, is buying into one’s purpose/vision and then selling it to others. This purpose/vision must be inspirational and rational in order to be bought into with conviction by the community. However, a relativist struggles with conviction. This isn’t surprising when one considers that a relativist’s statement of faith centers around, “nothing is true absolutely.” Of course, my quick rejoinder is, “are you absolutely sure that nothing is true absolutely?”

This is the quandary for all relativist who attempt to lead a community. If he answers my question by saying, “I am absolutely sure,” then he has disproved his own statement of faith. If he says, “I am not absolutely sure,” then I say, “great, let’s help you start reading, listening, and associating, so you can be sure about what you believe.”

At the end of the day, it’s the leader’s certainty, and the conviction that comes from this certainty, that creates the passion around the purpose for other’s to follow. Thus, knowing why you believe what you believe is foundational to all leadership.

How has LIFE Leadership helped you develop wisdom in life and discern truth and right in today’s relativistic age?


Orrin Woodward

35 Responses to “Seek Wisdom”

  1. Danny Kellenberger said

    Great post Orrin! Quite easily explains why there are so many people out there with burning butts! I know, I had one before I joined Life Leadership. At least now it doesn’t get burned nearly as often. Thanks for creating a company that allows me to receive tiny bits of information that I can apply daily over time to achieve a desired result. The renewing of my mind has been a gradual process, but I am seeing the results which makes me more excited to keep reading, listening and associating. Thanks to you and all the wonderful leaders!!

    Danny Kellenberger
    Carpe Diem

  2. Scott Staley said

    Great post Orrin. As always, this is a thought provoker! The question(s) of why do you believe what you believe is one that I was shown here, to help me come to terms with my thought processes. I quickly discovered that many of my ‘beliefs’ were based on nothing more than a passing comment, or a newspaper article – and not based upon my own study, understanding and reflection on the subject. In many areas of my life – my personal beliefs and values almost felt like a copy of a copy (100’s of times over) and nothing stood out about me as I was incapable of rational thought processes and actions based upon deeply help personal convictions and beliefs.

    Thank you for creating an environment where I don’t have to be a watered down ‘copy of a copy’ any more, but can grow and become the original as God had intended us to be.

    • Orrin Woodward said

      Well said Scott!

    • Matt Mielke said

      Scott, that is exactly what I was thinking!! To add to your comments was the message that Life leadership was not here to tell us what to think, but to teach us to learn how to think for ourselves while creating a foundational framework of biblical values to filter everything through. What an awesome journey!

      • To piggyback on what you’re saying, Matt, I am continually thankful that “biblical values,” as you put it, are the foundation for all the principles of wisdom that are taught within the LIFE Leadership community. It may at times make us an organization that not everyone out there will want to join, but we understand that welcoming the 10%ers will often necessitate a leaving out of those whose values aren’t aligned with us yet, and, as it pertains to their beliefs, we’ll just get busy praying that God works on them separately. One day, though, everyone will hopefully come around to seeing what’s available here. God bless Orrin, Chris, and the rest of the PC of Life Leadership for fighting to keep this organization Bible-based and integrity-heavy!

  3. Orrin,

    I’ve learned the value of thinking through new experiences tied in with my reading, listening and associating. I’ve learned that almost all of my first, knee-jerk reactions about anything are 95% incorrect. Knowing that has allowed me to keep a proper perspective under almost all circumstances. I’ve learned that thinking on your feet is a skill that is not taught in society, mostly because so few people know how to do it! I’ve learned the value of resilience, and that it’s time to get moving when my journey gets difficult.

    Mostly, I’ve learned that living the life I have always wanted is next to impossible to accomplish with out a mentor.

    Truth and freedom are worth dying for. However, I never would have known that without seeking wisdom. I’ve learned that the answer to an impass with your spouse rarely obvious. (Ie) if her love language is acts of service, then I need to shut my mouth and do the dishes or something to communicate properly… That is rarely obvious to me!

    I’ve learned that I will believe more lies from the world than I would have ever anticipated, unintentionally. And that those less will come close to destroying my life; and they almost have

    I’ve learned that Jesus is real, and alive, and that because of His finished works on the cross I may have eternal life.

    Seeking wisdom seems to accomplish so much more than gaining knowledge.

    I hope to seek wisdom until the day I meet Jesus.

    Thank you for providing the best Avenue for gaining wisdom for the world. Your difference you have made will be greater than anyone can fathom. I’m just glad to be a part of the movement.

    In Christ,


  4. Provocative post, towards thinking
    How has LIFE Leadership helped you develop wisdom in life and discern truth and right in today’s relativistic age?

    Yes Life Leadership has helped in gaining wisdom there are a few things that work together to assist me and those would be the Materials and the positive examples of the leaders within the team – When we combine that with the great associations available via the Seminars and events it just make it a total package.
    I believe the one largest factor is truly the desire to assist that comes from our leaders and mentors. For in Life one cant exhibit false passion and concern long term.
    In Life Leadership, the folks Do what they Say they are going to do. How refreshing is that?

  5. Elaine Mallios said

    One of the most important lessons for me was learning that action conquers fear. Just dive in the pool! Another huge action is to replace the negative thoughts with positive input. I never knew I was so negative. Learning to reserve judgment in any and all situations was also very valuable to me. I have been so impacted by the information in LIFE that my life has improved in all areas of the 8 F’s Certainly have far to go, but reading, listening and associating is the key. I am so excited to grow faster. It will be so fun to be free of my work so I can rearrange my schedule to include more learning and growing.

  6. LIFE Leadership has helped me to have a venue to apply the theories I’ve been studying for years and be able to grow my understanding of truth and right by application. When you are working directly with people and their different points of view, making obscure platitudes about right and wrong becomes less likely and making observations about the lives of people you grow to care about and relate to, become much easier.

    When outsiders judge LIFE Leadership based on the fruits (by their fruits ye shall know them) instead of the rumors, whining, gossiping and speculations of critics and cynics, they will come to realize what an amazing organization it is. Thank you for your leadership and example of integrity and courage.

  7. Shari said

    This is great. Thanks for being our leader

  8. Loved this article. Thank you Orrin. Upon reflection, LIFE Leadership has absolutely strengthened my convinction to listen to God and follow my divine purpose. Wisdom for me has been wholeheartedly accepting the unique space God creates. Listening, reading, associating … Strengthened the ability to access God’s calling on my life, no longer influenced by approval or disapproval of man. Yet rather influenced by the silent, meditative place instead.

  9. Orrin Woodward said

    Michael, Elaine, Ammon, Shari, and Dr. Neera, Excellent thoughts. I love the statement, “people of integrity expect to be believed and when they are not, they let time prove them right.” Time has been good to us because we have redeemed the time. I am so impressed with the thinking developing throughout LIFE and know that God has something bigger in store for us than we even realize. God Bless, Orrin

  10. Orrin, you’ve nailed it once again!

    I simply love what LIFE Leadership had done by putting incentives, community, mentors, and so much more in place to help a guy like me do what the Bible says to do anyway. I love the book of Proverbs and one of my favorite parts is found in chapter 4:5-9. I believe it sums up what LIFE all about.

    5 Get wisdom, get understanding;
    do not forget my words or turn away from them.
    6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
    love her, and she will watch over you.
    7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get[a] wisdom.
    Though it cost all you have,[b] get understanding.
    8 Cherish her, and she will exalt you;
    embrace her, and she will honor you.
    9 She will give you a garland to grace your head
    and present you with a glorious crown.”(biblegateway.com)

    The importance of Wisdom and gaining understanding is quite clear when it says “…THOUGH IT COST ALL YOU HAVE…”. I am very glad to say that a person does not have to “empty his purse” as Ben Franklin put it “into his head”. Quite the opposite, however!

    When I first saw LIFE I was working a ton of hours and would come home, turn on the TV and XBOX, grab a beer and play HALO or Call Of Duty sometimes literally ALL NIGHT! It drove my wife bonkers! LIFE Leadership put Orrin’s RESOLVED book in my hands. It took me two months to read it but when I had finished it, I realized that I had a renewed hunger to learn! Over two years and 50+ books later, EVERY aspect of my life has changed radically!!!!!!!! Between reading the best books (including the BIBLE),listening to CD’s from some of the best speakers, and associating with the most incredible people on the planet, I have a more solid grasp of what AND why I believe what I believe. My convictions and passions are more solidly set in my purpose which has become clear for the first time in my life!

    Hosea 4:6 is appropriate to mention here: “6 my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” This is where I was headed before LIFE back in 2011, It is also where our nation (and Canada) are headed if we don’t reach 1 million people and beyond!

    I have found my calling, my purpose, and an answer to years of prayers!

    Thank-You Orrin!!!!!!

    In His eternal love and grace, Philip Brittain

  11. Elizabeth Sieracki said

    LIFE Leadership has helped me develop wisdom and discern truth by constantly inputting positive, morally sound information in my head. I feel like it’s the story about the fish being the last one to realize he’s in water. There is so much negativity and misinformed people and information out there. We need to constantly battle against that so we don’t become a part. LIFE leadership does that for me everyone I listen to an audio, read a book or am around the community I am reminded of what’s true.

    • Orrin Woodward said

      Elizabeth, Now as parents, you and Keith can pass on the wisdom modeled in your life to your children. Very proud of you guys! 🙂 God Bless, Orrin

  12. Steve Meixner said

    Great Post Orrin, and I’m fortunate enough to be working with that BP guy you mentioned eariler! Having Mentors to follow is possibly the Greatest asset of being a part of the Life Leadership company and I’m following some Good ones. Tim Marks says, “Know why you believe what you believe” That has helped my Thinking Tremendously in the Faith area! I could probably go through all the Leaders and recite Quotes that have helped me in all 8 F’s. The History that you continue to post is Great! Having served my Country in the Military I am Very Patriotic and love to read about the past and you continue to Teach me more! I am Very Thanfull to be a part of this Company and will be for the rest of my Life!! Thank You,

  13. Bill Yontz said

    Thanks to Life Leadership and the guidence of Many, especially Brian Powes, my marriage was saved and my personality improved.
    I married my wife 28 years ago because I LIKED her. Over time and situations my personality changed and we grew further apart.
    With Brians leadership and the copletely positive atmophere that Life Leadership radiates, I am proud to say Jen is my best friend as well as my wonderful wife.
    Orrin, you and the policy council are setting a high standard and I am proud to keep reaching for my personal best.

  14. Orrin,
    Awesome post!!
    I’ve realized that the truth doesn’t look like the truth when one doesn’t know the truth (if that makes sense). Most of us are deceived for so long into believing lies because we don’t know what the truth actually looks like; such as this quote, ‘a crooked line doesn’t know it’s crooked until it’s compared to a straight line.’
    For me, it was watching people in LIFE model the Truth that led me to start believing in it AND inspiring me to seek more wisdom into knowing it. Instead of people telling me that ‘there is a God’ – (but then living a life that didn’t glorify Him), people in LIFE leadership started to show me that He was real by serving and loving like only God does – much different than what we see in today’s relativistic age.
    I am so eternally grateful for this community and for you and Laurie! Blessings to you always!

  15. Chad Waters said

    Hi Orrin,

    Great blog and a topic I believe anyone in Life Leadership could write pages on. Life’s 8f’s have done so much from teach me to read to understand my customers and my families perspectives instead of my own, or to at least consider theirs as a 40 choleric. Life has taught to adjust me on a path and purpose of a life time of improvement of a project that will just never be completed.

    We all have challenges. Sometimes are barriers are so big and hard to understand but with Life Leadership and the community it helps us to get out of the picture and take a second look and gain a different perspective. One day from stage many will here the story behind that, the story still going on. The key point is it’s moving forward with Life Leadership and without it I can fathom what the results would have been a few mere years ago.

    God Bless

  16. Chad Waters said

    Hi Orrin,

    Life is a series of battles that God uses us to learn and educate for our path and purposes. Life Leadership is a tool he is using to bring many of us together to help on that path together and individually!

    God Bless

  17. Shaun Bushey said

    You nailed it Orrin! That’s been my response to the relativist for years.

  18. Maura Galliani said

    I’m not sure how a person can grow in wisdom and learn to live a life of truth and biblically-correct principles without the right thinking … and heart. Accepting the Lord, then joining the LIFE Leadership community introduced me to that, to unconditional love, and pointed to the correct path that is leading me on a journey of positive thinking and unlimited potential. 🙂

  19. So let me ask the tough question…

    Let’s posit that there is such a thing as absolute truth.

    1. Is it possible for us as humans to know it?
    2. How do we know when we know it?
    3. If it is possible for us to know it, and to know we know it, why are there so many discrepancies and disagreements even between people who think they know it?

    I believe there is absolute Truth. I have a strong sense of faith and a strong personal relationship with God. But I know other people who do, as well, and yet, their truth is very different from mine. As a practical matter, how do we deal with that?

    In way too many cases, people get up in arms — either figuratively or literally — fighting over their differences of opinion about Truth.

    Another approach is to say, “I love them and tolerate them, even though they’re wrong and I’m right.” Maybe this is the right approach, but if both people are saying that, at least one of them actually IS wrong. Isn’t it arrogant to think that it’s always the other person? And this certainly doesn’t lead to greater understanding in the world (assuming we value that).

    Another is to “agree to disagree”. A slight variation, but only very slight.

    Or maybe we simply say, “It’s unknowable,” or, “God is big enough for us both to be right.” It’s a position I’ve heard before, but my logical mind resists that. God gave me a brain and told me to use it, and if there is absolute Truth, then it must be logical — by definition!

    So back to the original question, how do we reconcile these differing human ideas of the Truth, without at least some small admission of the possibility that we might be wrong?

    One of my favorite quotes about faith is from Don Miguel de Unamuno: “La fe que no duda es fe muerta.” The faith that does not doubt is a dead faith.

    If we do not have at least some shred of doubt, allow some possibility that our current concept of Truth is incorrect — or at least incomplete — how, then, can we grow in our faith? How can we increase our understanding? Learning about anything requires being somehow open to the possibility of some knowledge beyond your current understanding. And while sometimes that is incremental expansion of that knowledge, at other times, it can be disruptive — having to deal with an observed reality that doesn’t fit inside your current concept of the Truth.

    So, I think it’s completely possible — perhaps even beneficial — to be a relativist in practice, but not in principle.

    • Orrin Woodward said

      Scott, without getting into a long dissertation :), here is the answered boiled down into a few simple thoughts I seek to remember. Yes, there is absolute truth ( I believe through the Biblical revelations and fulfillment in Jesus Christ coming to earth, dying on the cross, and His resurrection. No, I, nor anyone else, is without sin or doctrinal error at some point. Hence, the conviction in absolute truth and the humility to realize that no one (except God) owns it all. 🙂 This permits humble people who seek for truth to work together even when they disagree without being disagreeable. This provides conviction in our quest for truth and humility to change and grow when we realize we were in error.

      After 20 years of research on my quest for truth, many of my thoughts have improved with experience and wisdom. In reality, this is the only way LIFE Leadership has reached communities of people who think differently because we all unite around the quest for truth. thanks, Orrin

      • Great answer!! 🙂

        It does present us with the challenge / paradox of living simultaneously in confidence and humility, but that’s a mantle I’ll gladly wear.

  20. Marsha Ward said

    Orrin, once again such amazing insight. And really great comments from everyone. I agree with Chad Waters, God is using you, the policy council, and LIFE Leadership to bring together an amazing community of believers who are already making a blessed impact on a hurting world.
    God lead me to LIFE, and I saw that through the knowledge being passed on in the subscription information, which read and applied, and through the great association, was my best shot at fulling my ultimate dream of world peace. This may sound cheesy, but it is a vision God has placed on my heart from childhood. And the wisdom and vision passed down through LIFE Leadership was the first time I saw, that brought hope into what is God’s will. Thank you again for being AMAZING!
    All For God’s Glory,
    Marsha Ward

  21. Peggi Kern said

    I love the article and you had asked what truths have had the most impact on my life? I believe the information I’ve received in regards to leading and loving people unconditionally, yet holding the bar high by being the change myself. It is so easy to look at all the people in my life and see the areas that THEY need to change, ignoring the areas I need to change myself. LIFE Leadership has offered the community that accepts me, approves of me and shows appreciation for me “just as I am”, so I feel safe enough to work on changing myself. Then, the LIFE information has provided the challenging materials that teach me and give me the practical steps to growth and change. I hope to provide that same “safety” for all those in my life. I have no doubt we will reach and touch millions of lives with this truth! Thank you, Orrin!

  22. Charles Gopez said

    Hey Orrin,

    This may be somewhat irrelevant, but I want to ask you and Chris Brady if anything in this article was true when you both were involved with GM:


    • Orrin Woodward said

      Charles, I left Delphi division in late 1998 and this was 2008 so I don’t remember anything like this while I was there. thanks, Orrin

  23. Caleb said

    Wow! How refreshing to read a well written post that is relevant and insightful at the same time. I can say I’m left with lots to think about. Especially knowing what you believe and why. And the comments from all the other folks are good as well. This is the kind of material I love reading! Thanks, and God bless.

  24. Antonio Rosselli said

    I will compare Life to a caring/loving/tuff parent with many children …

    And this parent is providing all her/his children with a growing environment ( in order to live a true ) …

    Personally … The greatest piece of wisdom learned is the fact that my life was given to me for a reason … Which means my life is my responsibility …

    In the past i used to avoid responsibility …

    I really appreciate the caring …


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.