Orrin Woodward: Life Leadership

NY Times/WSJ best-selling author Orrin Woodward shares his life leadership secrets.

  • Orrin Woodward

    Orrin Woodward is a NY Times bestselling author of LeaderShift, Launching a Leadership Revolution, and sold over one million books on leadership and liberty. His first solo book 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 has co-founded two multi-million dollar leadership companies and serves as the Chairman of the Board of the LIFE Business. 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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The Federalist Era

Posted by Orrin Woodward on February 6, 2014

I am reading a fascinating book on the Federalist Era by John Miller as part of my new book for LIFE Leadership. Miller does a great job of showing the strengths of both the Federalist and anti-federalist positions. The Federalist wanted a consolidated government to end state induced chaos. This was the right course, but in their haste to ratify the Constitution, they permitted the Power Pendulum to move further into coercion than most understood. In fact, the Federal government immediately began usurping sovereignty from the states beyond its written limits. Sadly, this dispute between those who supported Federal sovereignty and those who supported state-sovereignty was not resolved until America’s Civil War.

What is surprising to me is that the issues fought over during the Civil War were clearly present as early as 1790! In fact, Alexander Hamilton, the leader of the US treasury, drove three key issues through Congress – Debt Assumption, The US Bank, and Protective Tariffs – that were all designed to move power from the states into the Federal government. Let’s  study the history and see what leadership lessons we can learn from the Founders experiences. Here is Historian John Miller’s explanation of Hamilton’s vision:

Federalist Alexander Hamilton on Government

Federalist Alexander Hamilton on Government

In they heyday of their power under the Articles of Confederation, some states had assumed part of the federal debt. Now, in 1790, Hamilton proposed to turn the tables by assuming the state debts. As he visualized it, such an assumption would serve as a double-edged sword with which to strike at the roots of state sovereignty. In the first place, it promised to bring within the orbit of the Federal government all the state creditors, the most influential part of the community; secondly, it would relieve the states of the necessity of levying taxes, for if the Federal government took upon itself the payment of all the debts, it must perforce have all the revenue – and possessing the whole revenue it came into possession of the whole power of the Union. Deprived of the support of their wealthiest citizens and unable to exert their authority by means of taxation, the states, Hamilton fondly imagined, would gradually wither away and their strength would be absorbed by the Federal government.

Interestingly, Patrick Henry predicted the North’s banking and manufacturing interests plan of action during the Virginia ratification debates. He outlined the North’s plan for consolidation of the states into the Federal government well before the Constitution was ratified when he argued, “Not satisfied with a majority of legislative councils, they must have all our property. . . This is a contest for money as well as empire.” Henry, surpassed all the other founders in his knowledge of human nature. He intuitively understood that human beings run governments; therefore, governments cannot be given absolute power without endangering the life, liberty, and property of society’s members. In the Founders haste to ratify the new Constitution, few, if any, stepped back from the precipice to ponder why one of the greatest leaders of the recent revolution was against the Constitution. Indeed, had they truly listened to the Anti-Federalist main issues, American history would be radically different. Unfortunately, one of life’s key lessons is that one cannot beat something with nothing. Although Henry clearly delineated the Five Laws of Decline opening within the proposed Constitution, he did not offer a viable alternative.

In consequence, shortly after the Constitution was ratified, the issues Henry pointed out reared their ugly head within Congress. John Miller wrote, “In November, 1790, the Virginia legislature sent a Protest and Remonstrance to Congress in which assumption (of the state debts) was pronounced to be ‘repugnant to the Constitution of the United States’ and the funding (protective tariffs) system ‘dangerous to the rights and subversive of the interest of the people.’” Alexander Hamilton was upset at Virginia’s state-rights stance and responded accordingly as Miller wrote, “This development strengthened Hamilton’s conviction that a decisive showdown struggle between Virginia and the national government was inevitable, ‘This is the first symptom of the spirit which must either be killed or it will kill the Constitution of the United States,’ he told John Jay. Instead of sympathizing with Hamilton’s eagerness to force a showdown upon Virginia, Jay advised him to wait for the healing effects of time and statesmanship to demonstrate the benefits of the Constitution.’”

As a result, the main undercurrents of the issues that led to open conflict in the Civil War – slavery, Federal usurpation of state sovereignty, and the unfair distribution of taxes and rewards (tariff and National Bank stocks) – were at work by 1790. Since Jay believed that time was on the Federalist side and eventually would overcome state resistance, Jay counseled Hamilton to pursue his policies with caution and patience (not an easy course for the aggressive Hamilton). Disastrously, however, time did not heal the riff between the North and Sought. Indeed, both sides rejected compromises and the injustices mentioned above continued until the Civil War ended slavery. Because the Founders did not address and resolve the inconsistencies inherent within the Constitution, their sons and grandsons died in droves in the Civil War fulfilling Hamilton’s prophecy as Miller wrote, “While Hamilton reluctantly agreed to hold his hand, he was never persuaded that there was any permanent solution to the problem short of carving up Virginia and other large states in smaller jurisdictions.” This is exactly what occurred in the Civil War when West Virginia separated from Virginia. Unfortunately, the others (Federal control over states, central banking, and oppressive taxation) were not ended. In fact, the Federal government invented new forms of tyranny as their funding grew and the realism of the anti-Federalist proved more accurate than the the idealism of the Federalist. American oppression grew to levels inconceivable by even the most fearful of anti-federalist.

The genius of Alexander Hamilton was to recognize the incompatibility between a nation with divided sovereignty. True, a nation can divide the spheres of sovereignty, but it cannot have two parities (Federal and states) responsible for the same sovereignty issues. Hence, the Constitution was created with the seeds of its own destruction. Curiously, the American Founders, although they studied the Roman Republic extensively, missed the main lesson to be learned from them. Indeed, the Roman Republic failed because of the divided sovereignty issues between the people supported  Tribunes and the aristocratic Senate supported Counsels. They both, in essence, attempted to lead Roman society and the political conflicts eventually led to civil war. In the Roman Republic’s example, Caesar resolved the conflict in the people’s favor against the Senate. Strangely, America followed a similar course in its divided sovereignty issue between the states and federal government. The political conflicts of 1790 were resolved in America’s Civil War of 1860 when Lincoln settled the disputed sovereignty in the Federal government’s favor. In both instances, the republics ended and the empires began.

I believe the main leadership lesson to learn from the above is that one cannot leave issues unsettled to pass onto the next-generation. Leaders address and resolved issues – that is what they get paid to do. Hence, when issues arise, one cannot pass the buck, hoping some leader in the future fixes the issues. In essence, this is why I created LIFE Leadership because I am sick and tired of watching America’s future be mortgaged through excessive government spending and borrowing at the expense of liberty, prosperity, and integrity. Leaders cannot sit back and wait for others. Instead, they must change themselves so they can play a part in changing society. What part will you play?


Orrin Woodward

Posted in All News, Freedom/Liberty | 16 Comments »

Ludwig Von Mises: Economic Truths that Endure

Posted by Orrin Woodward on April 13, 2013

I am in the midst of an ongoing study on the origins of society and continue to be blown away by the works of the Austrian economist, particularly Ludwig Von Mises. Few scholars have thought as deeply and as intelligently on subjects as diverse and yet so important as Mises. Not surprisingly, Mises was featured in my All-Time Top 100 Leadership Book RESOLVED under the courage category. I will be sharing a little of my research on society and what it requires to keep society free on my LeaderShift book tour. Oliver DeMille and I cannot wait to see everyone. I am attaching an article from one of Mises’ former students describing this great man.


Orrin Woodward

Economic Truths That Endure
By Alfred Tella

It’s been thirty years since my graduate school teacher of economic theory died, and as I again look over his writings that spanned more than a quarter century, I am reminded how relevant they are to the issues of our day. Some truths are enduring.

He was a slight man with big thoughts. Original thoughts. He was a visionary. When he entered the classroom the students stood up out of respect. He believed economics was a science subject to laws, which he revealed with utter clarity and impeccable logic. A champion of free markets and individual liberty, he extended neoclassical theory in important new directions. He taught economics not as a narrow discipline, but as a comprehensive system rooted in philosophy, human nature, and social structure.

He revealed the requirements of prosperity and freedom, the pitfalls of interventionism, the intricacies of the price system, the workings of competition and the market process, and the social benefits of private property and free trade. He explained the causes of inflation and depression and the role of money, entrepreneurship and discovery in a dynamic context. Not least, his work was a devastating reply to the theories of Karl Marx.

His lessons remain a guide to present and future economic policies. Here are a few of his words.

“If taxes grow beyond a moderate limit, they…turn into devices for the destruction of the market economy. The more taxes increase, the more they undermine…the system of taxation itself.”

“The long-term and semi-public credit is a foreign and disturbing element in the structure of the market society. The financial history of the past century shows a steady increase in the amount of public indebtedness.  …Sooner or later all these debts will be liquidated in some way or another, but certainly not by payment of interest and principal according to the terms of the contract.”

“Selfish group interests may impel a man to ask [the government] for protection for his own firm. …The only effect of protection is to divert production from those places in which it could produce more per unit of capital and labor expanded to places in which it produces less. It makes people poorer, not more prosperous.”

“Profits…benefit the common man twice. First, in his capacity as a wage earner, by raising the marginal productivity of labor and thereby real wages…. Then later again, in his capacity as a consumer when the products manufactured with the aid of the additional capital flow into the market and become available at the lowest possible prices.”

“Politicians…pretend that their own approach to economic problems is purely practical and free of dogmatic prepossessions. They fail to realize that their policies are determined by definite assumptions about causal relations, i.e., that they are based on definite theories.”

A few of my old professor’s pronouncements went down hard with his students. I was fascinated with the blossoming of quantitative economics, but he would say: “There is no such thing as quantitative economics. All economic quantities we know about are data of economic history.” I sighed and went on to be thoroughly seduced by econometric modeling.

My teacher was a great man, a person of uncompromising intellectual integrity, a giant of the Austrian school of economics. He authored many pioneering books on subjects ranging from the theory of money and credit to socialism to economic epistemology and influenced a generation of economists. If his name is not a household word, his ideas have permeated popular thinking and become part of the conventional wisdom. His master work was Human Action (1949), which enlarged the field of economics by presenting a general theory of choice in all human action. It should be on every congressman’s bookshelf. Today there is an institute and university located in Auburn, Alabama which bear his name and nurture his legacy.

I am grateful to and miss my old New York University professor, Ludwig von Mises.


Alfred Tella is former Georgetown University research professor of economics.

Posted in All News, Freedom/Liberty | 17 Comments »

All Grace Outreach: Ligonier Ministries

Posted by Orrin Woodward on March 3, 2013

All Grace Outreach

I watched a cool video this Sunday morning on RC Sproul’s Ligonier Ministies. RC is making a huge difference in the world by keeping the main thing the main thing – God’s glory. Ligonier is one of the ministries that All Grace Outreach supports because it is getting God’s word out to the people around the world. The LIFE Business give 100% of corporate profits of the LIFE Faith series to various charities selected by the LIFE PC. I love our motto, Have Fun, Make Money, and Make a Difference and this is exactly, by God’s grace, what we intend to do.


Orrin Woodward

Posted in All News, Faith, LIFE Leadership | 21 Comments »

Personal Responsibility: The Key to Leadership

Posted by Orrin Woodward on January 24, 2013

Dan Hawkins has mastered personal responsibility. In fact, he is in the process of mastering the teaching of personal responsibility to others. In this video, Dan shares how he applied the PDCA process to his life with specific intent. Life doesn’t get better until a person develops a plan to get better. Dan started as a mechanic and now has a nationally recognized blog, financial and relationship success, and a bright future. This is what happens when a couple like Dan and Lisa Hawkins develops personal responsibility. On the other hand, when a person blames others for his or her life, life gets worse. Think about it. Name one winner you know that goes around blaming others for his or her situation. Nada, zip, zero! Why? Because winners refuse to make others responsible for their personal change. The LIFE business PC leaders are a group of men and women who hold themselves responsible to grow and change, not shrink and blame. Imagine a community of winners who create a LeaderShift within our culture, and you have the purpose of LIFE. Each reader must choose which path to take in life. Here is Dan describing the steps of real change.


Orrin Woodward


Posted in All News, Leadership/Personal Development | 40 Comments »

LIFE Business: One-Time Cash Awards (OTCAs)

Posted by Orrin Woodward on January 9, 2013

The LIFE business has a goal to be the best entrepreneurial start-up company for budding entrepreneurs. By providing life-changing information in the 8Fs and the top-paying LIFE Business Compensation Plan, we are well on our way. For 2013, LIFE has announced that the One-Time Cash Awards (OTCAs) have been increased at nearly every level. Because LIFE flows so much of the profits back to the field Members, our goal is, as we grow, to increase the bonuses offered to Members for customers and communities. What other company does that? Here are the details.


Orrin Woodward

Below are the ranks and respective OTCAs for 2013:

Leader 6

receives $3,000. (As an aside, if a Member is Trip Tracking, he will have received a free vacation earlier as well.)

This means you have to qualify as a Leader for six months out of the year with at least three consecutive months.

There are two ways you can qualify as a Leader:

1. Have a total of 15,000 PV or more with no downline Members with 15,000 PV or

2. If you do have a downline Member with 15,000 PV in your first Team, you must have 6,000 PV outside of your first Team, which includes all outside Teams, personal volume, and customer volume.

Leader 12

receives $12,000 (up from $8,000 last year). (Trip Tracking Leader 12′s receive another free vacation)

This means you have to start qualifying in January, so you can qualify for all twelve months of the year.

Coordinator 6

receives $6,000 (up from $4,000 last year).

Coordinator 12

receives $15,000 (up from $10,000 last year).

Sr. Coordinator 6

receives $15,000 (up from $10,000 last year).

Sr. Coordinator 12

receives $25,000.

Life Coach 6

receives $50,000 (up from $30,000 last year).

Life Coach 12

receives $100,000 (up from $80,000 last year).

Executive Life Coach 6

receives $100,000 (up from $50,000 last year).

Executive Life Coach 12

receives $150,000 (up from $125,000 last year).

Double Life Coach 6

receives $150,000 (up from $75,000 last year).

Double Life Coach 12

receives $200,000.

Triple Life Coach 6

receives $200,000 (up from $100,000 last year).

Triple Life Coach 12

receives $250,000.

Posted in All News, LIFE Leadership | 27 Comments »

LIFE Leadership Conventions

Posted by Orrin Woodward on January 5, 2013

It’s a beautiful Saturday morning and I just finished watching a superb video on the impact of the LIFE Business Leadership Conventions. Rob Hallstrand and his LIFE staff are knocking the ball out of the park on the recent videos. Indeed, the LIFE Convention video captures how a person can change from the inside out. In fact, it’s the only way true lasting change occurs. When a person thinks differently, he begins to act differently, thus producing different results in his life. Twenty years ago, I made one of the best decisions of my life by starting a personal growth journey.  Just like everyone else, I changed my internal thinking which led to external changes. For twenty consecutive years, I have read 10-15 books per month. But, I didn’t just read them, I applied them within the leadership communities. Over time, this reading and daily application led to amazing changes in who I am and what I see for the future. The same opportunity to start your journey is available at the LIFE Business Conventions around North America later this month. 2013 is the year to launch your LeaderShift! Here is the new video.


Orrin Woodward

Posted in All News, Leadership/Personal Development, LIFE Leadership | Tagged: | 66 Comments »

King Pyrrhus & the Rise of the Romans

Posted by Orrin Woodward on December 31, 2012

Here is the beginning of my study of the Roman’s. King Pyrrhus  was the first to learn that the Roman city-state was different than its Greek forerunners. In a similar fashion, the LIFE Business is different than its community building forerunners. Offering a product that every single person in the world needs, regardless of whether they realize it or not, the LIFE Business is quickly becoming the highest quality and best value leadership answer for corporations, churches, communities, and individuals. 2013 is fast approaching, be sure to make this your personal best year. This can start the moment you choose to turn off the TV set, turn on the CD player and press play. Here is the story of King Pyrrhus and the Romans.


Orrin Woodward

King Pyrrhus & the Dream of Empire
King Pyrrhus dreamed of conquering the known world. Indeed he had the ability, as he is considered one of the three greatest military commanders of the ancient world along with Alexander the Great and Hannibal. Consequently, when he received a request from Tarentum (a Greek city in Italy), to help defend the Greek cities from the advancing Romans, he happily complied, believing his moment of destiny had arrived. Cineas, however, Pyrrhus friend and wisdom-filled counselor, who had mentored under the Greek orator Demosthenes, responded stoically, seeking to comprehend the king’s thirst for empire. According to Plutarch, Cineas reflected:

“The Romans, O Pyrrhus, are said to be good fighters, and to be rulers of many warlike nations; if, then, Heaven should permit us to conquer these men, how should we use our victory?” And Pyrrhus said: “Thy question, O Cineas, really needs no answer; the Romans once conquered, there is neither barbarian nor Greek city there which is a match for us, but we shall at once possess all Italy, the great size and richness and importance of which no man should know better than thyself.” After a little pause, then, Cineas said: “And after taking Italy, O King, what are we to do?” And Pyrrhus, not yet perceiving his intention, replied: “Sicily is near, and holds out her hands to us, an island abounding in wealth and men, and very easy to capture, for all is faction there, her cities have no government, and demagogues are rampant now that Agathocles is gone.” “What thou sayest,” replied Cineas, “is probably true; but will our expedition stop with the taking of Sicily?” “Heaven grant us,” said Pyrrhus, “victory and success so far; and we will make these contests but the preliminaries of great enterprises. For who could keep his hands off Libya, or Carthage, when that city got within his reach, a city which Agathocles, slipping stealthily out of Syracuse and crossing the sea with a few ships, narrowly missed taking? And when we have become masters here, no one of the enemies who now treat us with scorn will offer further resistance; there is no need of saying that.” “None whatever,” said Cineas, “for it is plain that with so great a power we shall be able to recover Macedonia and rule Greece securely. But when we have got everything subject to us, what are we going to do?” Then Pyrrhus smiled upon him and said: “We shall be much at ease, and we’ll drink bumpers, my good man, every day, and we’ll gladden one another’s hearts with confidential talks.” And now that Cineas had brought Pyrrhus to this point in the argument, he said: “Then what stands in our way now if we want to drink bumpers and while away the time with one another? Surely this privilege is ours already, and we have at hand, without taking any trouble, those things to which we hope to attain by bloodshed and great toils and perils, after doing much harm to others and suffering much ourselves.”

Plunder over Peace – Bastiat’s Law
The reasoning of Cineas, although accurate, did not convert Pyrrhus to peace. Instead, it merely troubled him by pointing out the great happiness he was sacrificing to pursue objectives that could only result in enduring conflict. Bastiat’s Law, in other words, was so deeply embedded within the would-be conquerer, that renouncing his plans for war and plunder wasn’t feasible, despite believing Cineas had spoken truth. Interestingly, even though war and plunder has produced the same bitter fruit since the beginning of recorded history, few seem to learn from this lesson. As a result, the Five Laws of Decline has tempted each generation of leaders to plunder his neighbors for personal gain, ruining the peace and prosperity of all.

To add insult to Pyrrhus’s perceived injury, Latin Italy, despite the Roman’s suffering defeats in several contested battles and Pyrrhus marching into Latium (40 miles from Rome), refused to abandon Rome’s cause. They remained loyal to the Romans because the Romans had not plundered the allies, but instead had treated them as equals with full rights within Latium. Consequently, the peace offer delivered to the Senate by the Pyrrhus’s confidante Cineas was rejected, mainly through the resolve of the blind Appius Claudius, who reminded the Romans that they had never treated with an enemy on their soil. Inspired, the Romans refused further negotiations and nobly returned the 2,000 Roman prisoners that Pyrrhus had released in anticipation of an amicable settlement. Cineas, in awe at the nobility and bravery of the Romans and its allies, returned to Pyrrhus, declaring that the Roman senate was an assembly of kings. Indeed, the Roman senate’s treatment of defeated cities, forming alliances, not subjects, was a huge competitive advantage of Rome over its various enemies. Historian Tenney Frank explains:

The liberal behavior toward subject states was one of Rome’s first contributions to civilization and marks a great forward step in the history of government. We need not assume that this liberalism was based on sentiment or emotion. It was rather due to wise insight into human nature. The Romans somehow learned that subjects can readily be ruled only by fair treatment. It was the example set by these great legislators that made Rome the first city-state capable of building an enduring empire, and it is a pity that we do not know their names.

Rome, Allies, & Pyrrhic Victories
Because the Romans had not plundered their allies, they remained, for the most part, loyal during the crucial early wars with the Etruscans, Greeks, and Carthaginians. In a word, the Romans just treatment of its allies kept the five laws of decline in check during the formative period of the Roman city-state and allowed them to defeat enemies with greater wealth and resources, but less trust amongst its allies. Evidently, honesty, integrity, and character are essential for building trust, that in the long-run, is the key difference maker. King Pyrrhus, after another hard fought victory over the Romans replied to one of his men when he announced they were victorious over the Romans, “one more such victory would utterly undo him.” Pyrrhus realized his key commanders and soldiers were either wounded or dead and would be difficult, if not impossible, to replace. In contrast, Rome and its allies, because of the trust built within the alliance, had a practically unlimited supply of talented commanders and men to replace their losses. In other words, even in defeat, the Romans were gaining victory. Pyrrhus predicament is what led to the term “Pyrrhic victory,” defined as someone who wins a victory, but the price paid is so great that it negates any sense of achievement or profit. Eventually, King Pyrrhus exited Italy and returned to Epirus, realizing he could not defeat the unified Romans with the constantly bickering and dis-unified Greek cities of Italy.

Posted in All News, Freedom/Liberty | 25 Comments »

Bill Lewis: Thinking Before Speaking

Posted by Orrin Woodward on December 29, 2012

Bill Lewis, my good friend and LIFE Founder, shares his wisdom on thinking and speaking. It’s almost 2013 and this is the time of year that people set New Year’s resolutions. What areas of life do you want to change next year? Bill’s thoughts on thinking before speaking would greatly improve the relationships in your life and business. I know that pausing before speaking is one of the biggest areas I work on everyday. In fact, before blurting out anything, I ask myself – is it worth it? If the outcome for saying the remark is detrimental then why say it? Bill shares many key nuggets in this short video that relate to this. The LIFE Business is your personal wisdom developing machine if you will apply the principles being taught. Remember, principles are proven through performance, so you will know its a good principles by the changes in relationships and results you see. 2013 is going to be a great year for LIFE and I pray it’s a great year for you!


Orrin Woodward

Posted in All News, Leadership/Personal Development | Tagged: | 36 Comments »

Private Achievements Lead to Public Achievements

Posted by Orrin Woodward on December 26, 2012

I received the following email from Vivian, the wife of my good friend Michael Holloway. A year ago, they joined LIFE (thanks to Laurie sharing LIFE materials with Vivian) to improve their marriage, finances, and friendships. This emails confirms the first year was a HUGE success. Interestingly, what makes the LIFE Business so different than conventional network marketing companies is the product is a better you. This can be achieved even if the person doesn’t become a celebrated millionaire. In fact, the whole purpose of LIFE is to help people achieve personal goals, whether these goals revolve around having fun, making money, or making a difference is up to them. Michael and Vivian started the business with Mike recently out of work. However, they didn’t use lack of money as an excuse not to read, listen, and associate. Indeed, with the finance pack, family pack, and Mental Fitness Challenge, they transformed their home life, leading to rewards greater than any dollar figure.

Mike and Vivian are champions because they are leading their families based upon principles today. The LIFE Business didn’t change their lives, but they did by using he principles learned from the business. Mike applied the PDCA process to acquiring his GED and received his high school diploma, ending year of living with regret for not finishing school. Moreover, he changed his leadership methods and joined the coaching staff of the local soccer club. In truth, his leadership and encouragement of his team was nothing short of amazing and made me proud to be one of the LIFE Founders because I could see firsthand the effects it was having on Michael’s life, and through his changes, he changed his family and community. Today, Mike is gainfully employed, reducing his debt monthly, and experiencing the inner joy that leads to peace. When a person changes his life, he subsequently changes the lives of everyone around him. This is why the LIFE Business is changing the world one person at a time! I am so proud of the Holloway family for living the Biblical principles that lead to real growth and change! Here is the heartwarming email from Vivian.


Orrin Woodward

This email has been a long time coming. My husband Michael is an amazing man. I don’t believe I could have said that and meant it a little over a year ago. Last year he recommitted his life to Christ and through prayer we were led to you and LIFE. Today, Michael has his high school diploma, has read countless amounts of books and we couldn’t be more proud of him. Through the material he has learned so much that he now has a real relationship with our daughter. Who would have thought that a man that didn’t like to read would learn patience, understanding, about relationships and so much more through Books and CDs’?

As you know he was coaching Steven’s soccer team. Due what he has learned it turned out to be a wonderful season. It was great watching other coaches yelling and getting upset and my husband would smile and say something like “that would have been me a year ago”. He is continuously confronted with situations that he would have handled in a completely different way. We all saw the changes in the players and the team as a whole through the encouraging emails he would send the players weekly. He was able to use what he had learned to boost the teams’ confidence. Even the parents requested to be copied to the emails. It’s was amazing to see the mutual respect that they developed over time.

Riding in the car with him is no longer stressful because, I know that he is not going to yell at another driver. He now smiles and makes some funny remark. He no longer agrees with us to keep the peace he truly listens to us. Life at home isn’t perfect but through the materials we are able to see where changes need to be made and because of what Michael has learned we make adjustments. Instead of thinking that he knows everything he constantly tells me that he still has growing to do. One change that has really made a big difference in our marriage is that he no longer tries to fix things or find solutions when I tell him about a problem. He just listens and supports me and that means a lot.

FYI, we still have more PDCA on our family meetings but we do not give up. We thank you and Laurie for allowing us the opportunity to help ourselves and others.

Vivian Holloway

Posted in All News, Leadership/Personal Development | 55 Comments »

Dan Hawkins: Shark Fishing

Posted by Orrin Woodward on December 22, 2012

Captain Bill Howard and I took my friend and co-founder of the LIFE Business, Dan Hawkins, on a shark fishing expedition earlier this week. I like to catch and release the big boys after getting them up to the boat to marvel at their power and design. I have caught Reef, Nurse, HammerHead, Tiger, Bull, and even had a Mako Shark on the line; however, this day 0f fishing would be unique. Incidentally, it was unique for Cap Howard as well and he was a fishing guide in the Dry Tortugas for over 15 years, helping to catch 18 foot Tiger Sharks, monster Hammerheads, and beastly Bull Sharks. Rarely, in other words, is something going to surprise him.

Nevertheless, less than two hours into the trip, I set the hook on what seemed a mild bite and handed the top of the line, practically unbreakable pole, to Dan Hawkins. Dan was not able to make up any ground on this shark, so, assuming he wasn’t applying the proper pressure, I started fighting it. After an hour of making no headway, exhausting myself in the process, I realized this Bull Shark was bigger than any other shark I had ever faced. I surrendered the pole to Cap Howard, who for the next 45 minutes battled the beast to a standstill, but no progress. He simply could not move the Bull Shark’s head in the slightest degree in our direction. In fact, he exclaimed in all his years of fishing, that he had never seen a shark of this bulk and power. Indeed, the longest shark ever battled on the Dreambuilder II required less than two hours to bring into the boat (a nearly 500 pound HammerHead), but after three hours and counting, we resembled spitballs hitting a battleship. :)

Finally, at the 3 1/2 hour mark, and the fish made another huge run, taking out 200 more yards of line.  I set the pole in the rod holder, hoping to rest a bit as we strategized how to bring in this potential world-record Bull Shark. Curiously, in the Florida Keys this summer, a researcher tagged a 1,000 pound Bull Shark, shattering the previously believed world-record of 700 pounds for a Bull Shark. Evidently Bull Sharks are much bigger than previous research indicated. Without exaggeration, I am convinced we had a Bull Shark of this on the line. Nonetheless, Cap and I had no idea how Dan could get this monster up to the boat to take a picture.  As we contemplated our options, the shark dove down to the bottom, snapping the base of the pole while in “rested” in the rod holder! Literally, the force of this fish bent the pole with such energy that it snapped my lifetime guaranteed Ugly Stick. Now, things were getting desperate.

With no ability to rest, we took turns fighting the increasingly upset shark, ultimately requiring two at a time -  one, fighting the shark’s power and the other reeling in when possible. Meanwhile, to make matter worse, the weather turned uncooperative with the wind and waves picking up, making it difficult to maintain our footing and hold the pole. Knowing we were now in a race against weather, time and wills – the Bull Shark against ours – we tightened the drag to the breaking point. At the four hour mark, we optimistically believed the shark was running out of gas. The attack intensified as we flexed the pole and line to its limits in the hope of breaking the shark’s will. Instead, we  helplessly, watched the shark, who had fought twice as long as any other shark in my fishing history, strung an awe-inspiring run of another 150 yards! Cap, Dan, and I, at that moment, realized we had, in reality, not caught the Bull Shark, but that it had caught us!

Needless to say, we didn’t catch this unbelievable fish, for not long after this run, he frayed the 220 pound monofilament line and convincingly swam away. The shark simply refused to be caught. Thankfully, however, it’s still out there, just outside the Port St. Lucie inlet, waiting for you to be invited fishing. I am calling for reinforcements to help us catch, take a picture, and release this and other sharks. :) Any volunteers? LIFE is great!  I love the Christmas season because we can gather with family and friends and dream together. Merry Christmas everyone and if you dream of helping me catch the big sharks, be sure to start working out now!


Orrin Woodward

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