Orrin Woodward: Life Leadership

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

  • Orrin Woodward

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    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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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Leadership of others begins in the Family

Chris Ashton Kutcher: Build Your Life

Posted by Orrin Woodward on August 16, 2013

I recently received this video on Chris Ashton Kutcher’s acceptance speech. He spoke so truth in an age of lies and didn’t need hours to do so! We need more people learning, speaking, and acting on truth if we intend to build a life, not just live one. This is exactly what LIFE Leadership is – a way to build your own life! I was extremely impressed by what Mr. Kutcher had to say and encourage more people to have the courage to learn, speak, and act on truth. Here is a summary of his talk followed by the video.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Chris Ashton Kutcher’s Speech Summary:

1. Opportunity – Opportunity looks like hard work. I have never had a job in my life that I was better than and I never quit my job until I had another lined up.

2. Sexy – The sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart, thoughtful, and generous. Everything else is crap, that people try to sell to you to make you feel like less. Don’t buy it!

3. Living life – Something I just relearned while making a movie about Steve Jobs. Jobs said when you grow up you tend to get told that world is the way it is and your life is to live your life inside the world and try to not get into trouble. Maybe get an education, job, and family. Life is simpler when you understand that everything around us that we call life was made by people that are no smarter than you. You can build your own life that other people can live in. Build a life, don’t live one!

Posted in Family, Freedom/Liberty | 48 Comments »

This One’s For You Dad: In Loving Memory of Orrin H. Woodward

Posted by Orrin Woodward on August 15, 2013

This Ones for You Dad: Loving Memory of Orrin H. Woodward

I was wrapping up my sophomore year of sports at LakeVille High School. Personally, it was another dismal year as I played baseball and struggled all season. (Later, I discovered my glasses were no longer the proper prescription for my severely degraded eyesight, making me as good as blind, but that’s a story for another day.) In sum, my two years of high school sports had yielded intermittent play on a winless freshman basketball team and benchwarmer status on the sophomore baseball team. I had earned my spot on the bench and my self-talk wasn’t helping. Simply put, I didn’t believe I measured up to the level of competition and I fulfilled my low expectations with amazing consistency.

Nevertheless, I loved athletics and when asked to participate in raising money for LakeVille’s sports programs I readily complied. For this particular year, the track coach had suggested a lap-a-thon contest, where people sponsor the athletes for the total laps around the quarter-mile track in an hour. Although I had never run a mile in my life, I felt I was in fairly good shape (since all I did was play sports when not in school) and set an aggressive goal to help the sports programs. Don’t ask me how I arrived at 30 quarter-mile laps in one hour, especially since I had never run more than 2 laps around the track in my life, but that was the goal I set. Further, I rashly proclaimed this goal to every person I asked to be a sponsor of me in the lap-a-thon.

In hindsight, this was not the best plan of attack. For every single person I asked to sponsor me laughed out loud when I told them I was going to run 30 laps. In fact, most of them degenerated into arguments (my people-skills were non-existent) as I told them unequivocally that they could count on me running 30 laps. This only increased the level of laughter and they sought to reason with me and my crazy goal. The comments from my friends ranged from, “Your crazy,” to “The track stars can barely do 30, so you certainly can’t” and finally “Orrin, you said you have never run a mile in your life, so quit embarrassing yourself by committing to run 30!” Dejected, I went home that day with zero sponsors, zero dollars raised, and practically zero confidence in my ability to run 30 laps.

Fortunately, I sought out my Dad’s thoughts on the unfolding saga and received a kinder albeit tentative response. When he was younger, my dad had been an excellent athlete in the army, promoted to be one of the first Green Berets. However, he cautioned me that running 30 laps with no experience would be a painful ordeal. If possible, he suggested I might want to shoot for a smaller goal. Looking back today, with time, experience, and as a dad myself, his advice was right on the mark. It truly was crazy for me to think I could run 30 laps, risking my health, pride, and peace of mind for this absurd goal. Nonetheless, when I explained to my dad how I had already committed myself to hundreds of people, reluctantly, he agreed to support my efforts. He even agreed to attend the lap-a-thon and time my lap pace to ensure I hit 30 laps.

With Dad on my side, I boldly returned to school the next day and announced to my classmate doubters that if they sponsored me and I didn’t run 30 laps, that they would not have to pay the cost of sponsorship. In other words, I would have to pay for everyone who sponsored me leaving me without money or my pride. With this disclaimer, practically everyone volunteered to sponsor me since none of them believed I had a prayer of running 30 laps in an hour without ever having run even a mile previously. I wrapped up the day with nearly $100 (perhaps not much today but around a million dollars for a broke kid!) in sponsorship dollars. Not surprisingly, I became the talk of the high school as people predicted how many laps I would do before collapsing.  In fact, the increasing drama led to higher attendance at the event so they could witness Orrin Woodward go down in flames. Even then, I tended to be a little polarizing. :)

With all the advance hoopla, I realized I should probably practice a little before the big event. Accordingly, the day before the race, I laced up my tennis shoes (that’s right, I didn’t even have running shoes) and ran one time up and one time down my street. This may sound impressive until one realizes that my street dead-ended after an eighth of a mile! In other words, I prepared for this grueling hour long run with a quarter mile jog. Yes, I was clueless on proper running preparation, but with only a day left, I didn’t think I ought to do too much. In truth, there was nothing I could have done to prepare my legs for the physical beating they would endure the next night.

My inexperience led me to make another huge mistake. For some reason I put on a pair of sweat pants underneath my running shorts. This forced me to run the entire race while wearing ridiculously sweatpants despite unseasonably warm weather with start-time temperatures in the mid 70s. Nonetheless, although physically unprepared, I was mentally ready. I took the verbal sparring of my friends as personal challenges which helped me focus on the task at hand. I reviewed each of the names on my sponsor list ensuring I remembered the names during the race. This allowed me to dedicate each lap to different people who sponsored me, especially the ones who told me (along with everyone else) that I would fail.

When the gun sounded, I quickly found a comfortable pace and settled into my routine. I even found a song that I played in my head (for the life of me, I cannot recall which one) and matched the beat of my feet hitting the ground. Lap after lap progressed without incident by dedicating each one to one of my many naysayers. The first 15 laps went flawlessly. I felt great and was halfway home with over 35 minutes to go. The two track stars (predictably) were first and second, but the buzz in the stands (probably fueled by my dad’s enthusiasm) led many to ask who was the kid in third place. I followed on the heels of the two track stars lap after lap as the gathering crowd cheered us on. Do divert myself from the increasing pain of each lap, I focused on how I would feel collecting the nearly $100 dollars from each of my sponsors for the sport programs. The second half, however, did not go nearly as well as the first half. In essence, it became a mental game of pain management, choosing to endure the pain of the laps over the pain of defeat.

The combination of running further than I had ever run before, in sweat pants that refused to release any heat, was debilitating. On top of it all, I barely drank any water because I refused to walk to drink and had no idea how to drink and run simultaneously. Thus, my body was severely overheated, dehydrated, and exhausted. Each added lap narrowed my focus to three options – collapse, quit, or continue. As I ran, I heard my internal voice practically screaming at me to quit and admit that my friends were right. Yet, somehow, deep inside I mustered the mental strength to ignore it, continuing to place one foot in front of the other. Another key was my memorized list of sponsor dedications. Their criticisms kept me going when nothing else did. It helped me focus past the immediate pain and onto the upcoming prize. In a word, I simply refused to let this dream die. Although physically beaten, mentally, I was winning.

I distinctly remember finishing lap 29. I was only one lap away from the greatest victory in my young life. Suddenly, from up in the stands, my dad yells at the top of his lungs, “Son you have under a minute left!” Upon hearing the news, my mind and body went to war. Should I just surrender, since its impossible to run a 60 second quarter in my current condition? Or, should I just sprint with everything I have since its crazy to come this close to a goal and miss? Thankfully, I had no idea how fast I could run a quarter mile so I resolved to unleash an all-out final kick sprint! Racing past everyone else on the track, I pushed my aching muscles and at-capacity lungs beyond the breaking point. I feared the gun sound any second, signifying the end of the event, and prayed it would hold off long enough for me to finish the last lap. Just imagine the joy I felt as I collapsed across the finish line for my 30th lap! I was so happy, yet so physically spent that I just laid there with my head facedown on the track wondering why the gun still hadn’t sounded the end of the contest.

The answer wasn’t long in coming. Laying prostrate on the ground, the track coach tapped me on the head, informing me that I still had nearly 4 minutes left. Apparently, the coach had chased me around the track, attempting to get my attention and tell me not to start my final kick. However, I was so focused that I didn’t hear him or anyone else for that matter. I rolled over onto my back and looked up into the stands, trying to understand why my dad had yelled out one minute left. Embarrassed, he explained later that, although the race was supposed to start at 7 pm, it was delayed and didn’t officially start until 7:05 pm. Somehow, my dad had missed the new start time and I lost five minutes on his time watch. My closing kick, in other words, began with 6 minutes to go. Undaunted, yet exhausted, I gathered my composure, stood back up, and proceeded to walk one final lap dedicated to my dad. :) I finished the lap-a-thon with 31 laps and went home victorious, but more importantly changed. I learned a valuable lesson that night, namely, it isn’t what other people believe about your abilities that matter near as much as what you believe. Critics and nay-sayers will always be present in a dreamers life and must be used for inspiration and perspiration, not exasperation. Learn to use criticism as fuel and you will never run out of energy.

Speaking of energy, for the next week at school, I had to hoist myself up the stairs with my arms holding on to the handrail. My legs simply didn’t work. I could barely walk and couldn’t do the stairs without help. Even so, no amount of pain could deprive me of the self-respect I gained from following through on an audacious goal. Furthermore, the collection from my lap-a-thon sponsors was a treat as well. :) That crazy lap-a-thon night was life-changing for me. Indeed, my remaining two years of athletics was drastically different than the first two years as I went on to varsity letter in cross-country, wrestling, and track both my junior and senior years. This culminated in winning the prestigious Garth Yorton award for best male athlete of my senior class. All from a kid who just dared to set a big goal and dare to follow through.

Remember, life is a series of test and no matter how many test one has failed, today is a new day to begin again. My dad and I discussed that lap-a-thon many times over the years. In fact, even after I was in college at GMI-EMI, I visited my dad at work and discovered many of his co-workers knew me as the son who ran the 31 laps. My dad passed away in 2001, but the memories we shared will never pass away. Indeed, hardly a day goes by without my reflecting the many lessons I learned growing up in Columbiaville, Michigan. Thank you dad for investing your time in me. Because you encouraged me to follow through, you had a front row seat in one of my defining life moments. For that I salute you and say – this ones for you dad!

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in Family | 33 Comments »

Absent Fathers

Posted by Orrin Woodward on February 12, 2013

Dan Hawkins shares some sobering thoughts on absent fathers in this video. Dan and Lisa Hawkins are building a large community of entrepreneurs throughout the country. As a featured speaker on the Mental Fitness Challenge, Dan is making a difference around the world. Imagine if every dad learned the principles taught through the LIFE business and nurtured his children to dream and do. The gift of LIFE is given in 24-hour increments. The question is: What are we doing with our 24-hour gifts?

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in Family | 49 Comments »

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! :) 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. :)

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in Family, Fun | 43 Comments »

LIFE EDGE Series

Posted by Orrin Woodward on November 2, 2012

LIFE EDGE Series

Chris Brady did it again. For months, he kept a torrent pace of emails, phone calls, and in-person meetings to influence me on the importance of LIFE skills training for youth. The results of his efforts have blown us all away. The Edge Series alone is surging past 6,000 subscribers! In fact, many of the kids are earning the money and paying for their own subscription. How do I know this? Because anyone 12 years old or above can attend a LIFE event, and the amount of adolescent boys and girls attending seminars has increased dramatically. When I speak across the USA and Canada, I routinely have multiple boys and girls, dressed in business attire, tell me their story as they ask me to sign a book or their Edge Subscription.

Leadership and life skills are crucial in a person’s life. Why wait until after the school years to realize this? Why not give your kids an EDGE? The first EDGE is parents who model the right behaviors, and the second is the Edge Series delivered directly to the home of hungry kids wanting to learn the principles of success. Packed full of stories from the successful men and women in the LIFE business, along with exclusive interviews with top names in athletics and business, the Edge Series has become one of the favorite products in LIFE. What the Mental Fitness Challenge is to adults, the Edge Series is for youth. A huge thank you goes to Chris Brady and all of the speakers who have made the Edge Series what it is. Below is a video that describes the Edge Series.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in Family, Leadership/Personal Development | 44 Comments »

Chris Brady: A Month of Italy

Posted by Orrin Woodward on June 3, 2012

When Chris Brady called me last year and told me he was working on another book, that didn’t surprise me as he loves writing and has produced a series of wonderful books; however, when he sent me over a draft copy, I knew immediately this one was different. Chris, although certainly one of the top leaders in the personal development field is, in truth, difficult to fit into the typical leadership expert genre.  Indeed, because of his versatility developed through numerous experiences, innovations, and interests, Chris talents flow in so many directions – he’s artistic, witty, philosophical, humble, and the most creative person I have ever met!

Chris applies all of these qualities in writing this book. In fact, Laurie and I have toured Italy several times in my life, but we felt reading A Month of Italy was as enjoyable, if not more so, than us actually being there. How is that possible? Because Chris, through his creative writing style, gives you a seat in the Brady mini-bus as they tour the Italian countryside. In addition to the informative history and gut-splitting humor shared during the day trips around Italy, Chris will also have you pondering the finer distinctions in life, like the difference between the urgent and important, as you “experience” renewal within the context of the Brady family vacation. I laughed; I cried; I thought; but most importantly, I changed after reading this book. Below is Chris’s description of his new book.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Italy Book pictureHave you ever felt overworked, overstressed, maxed out, and out of focus?

Have you ever needed a break from it all, and by that, I mean something more than a frenzied weekend or busy plastic vacation?

Have you ever had enough of your cell phone, emails, social networks, texts, and the like?

Have you ever felt like you were out of balance and needed some serious restoration?

Have you ever considered the fact that you could take a career break – a sabbatical – to allow you to clear your head and restore your focus?

Have you ever dreamed of traveling through the back roads of Italy and seeing the famous Tuscan countryside?

Have you ever wanted to sample Italy’s cuisine, sunsets, culture, art, architecture, and history?

Are you entertained by humorous narrative and adventure stories?

For anyone who can answer “yes” to even one of these questions, I am happy to announce that my latest book, A Month of Italy: Rediscovering the Art of Vacation, is set to debut this July. For just a little taste, here is the dust jacket inscription:

What can possibly be said about Italy that hasn’t been already? Primarily, that you can enjoy it too! Refreshingly relate-able in a genre previously populated by wealthy expats and Hollywood stars, this book chronicles an ordinary family taking an extraordinary trip, and most importantly, paves the way for you to take one of your own! With hilarious wit and fast-paced narrative, Brady thrills with honest commentary on what a “trip of a lifetime” actually feels like, and most endearingly, he succeeds in convincing you that not only should you take a similar one, but that you will!  Within a few pages you’ll be visualizing panoramic Tuscan vistas and breaking open the piggy bank, laughing as you turn the pages and dreaming of your own escape.  This story is one of going slow in order to go fast; it’s about rediscovering and brining back into favor a lost art, namely, the art of vacation, and it is, or rather should be, a story about you.

Here are some of the early reviews:

“I was intrigued from the first sentence clear through the book! It teaches so many life and leadership lessons—about family, relationships, learning, improving, and becoming better. I’ll read it again and again, and I’ll read it on the plane on every vacation I ever go on.” – Oliver DeMille, NY Times best selling author of A Thomas Jefferson Education, Freedom Shift, and 1913

“A beautiful story and pivotal idea for a book!” – Richard Bliss Brookeauthor of Mach II, The Art of Vision and Self Motivation and The Four Year Career

“With humor, Brady guides you through heart-warming history, incredible beauty, the most gracious people, and of course, the world’s most delicious food and wine! After reading his entertaining work, you will be charting your own course to Italy.”  -Sharon Lechter, Co-author of Outwitting the Devil, Three Feet From Gold and Rich Dad Poor Dad

 “Extremely engaging and delightful – a well told story!” – Chris Gross, CEO Gabriel Media Group, Inc., cofounder of Networking Times.

 “This is a book every traveler should read and bring along in order to experience the best of Italy.” – Dr. Gaetano (Guy) Sottile, President and Founder, Italy for Christ, Inc.

“Witty, funny, and at points downright hilarious, but mixed with profound truths shared in a way that makes one pause and ponder.” – Orrin Woodward: Winner of the 2011 IAB Top Leadership Award

“A spell-binding lesson in learning how to live again, with real purpose. You can’t stop turning the pages . . . .” – Art Jonak, founder MastermindEvent.com

“I have never read a book that teaches so much while being this fun at the same time.” – Tim Marks, best-selling author of “Voyage of a Viking”

“This is the best work Chris Brady has written to date. If this is a vacation handbook, it has redefined the vacation experience.” – Venkat Varada, Silicon Valley Executive

“Vacationing truly is a lost art, and Brady poignantly and beautifully illustrates why it is so vital for driven leaders. A timeless treatise on ‘sharpening the saw,’ A Month of Italy is a book I will sip and savor, ponder and reflect on time and time again. Not only are Chris’s insights powerful and refreshing, but his vivid and witty writing is simply a pleasure to read. Reading this book is a charming vacation itself, and it will inspire you to vacation deliberately, effectively, and joyfully.” – Stephen Palmer, New York Times best-selling author of “Uncommon Sense: A Common Citizen’s Guide to Rebuilding America”

“In our hectic lives we are rarely 100% present in any situation. Chris Brady shows that with proper play time, our work time is so much more effective. He has freed my spirit!” – Jason Ashley, country singer/songwriter (Texas Songwriter of the Year 2008)

“Italy is unique. Moreover, it is a country where the traveler can en- joy the most various experiences. Chris Brady’s book has the ability, astonishing even for an Italian, to convey to the reader that variety, that richness of feelings, sights, perfumes, tastes . . . and people.” – Senator Lucio Malan, Senior Secretary of the Presidency of the Italian Senate

In early July, look for it in bookstores and online stores everywhere, and of course, here. I sincerely hope you enjoy it!

Chris Brady

Posted in Faith, Family, Fun | Tagged: | 81 Comments »

LIFE Island: Family & Friends

Posted by Orrin Woodward on April 6, 2012

In 1998, I got this crazy dream. I had had many dreams that others thought were crazy at the time, but I had always believed they were fairly reasonable. Yet even I knew this particular dream was crazy! However, an important point about life is that if you’re not willing to dream crazy dreams, then crazy dreams will never come true for you.

Anyway, as an engineer at Delphi, a division of General Motors, I placed pictures on my cubicle wall of an in-house movie theater, houses on the lakes, properties with forests, and yachts, to name just a few. Each of the pictures was courageously pinned on the wall. I say courageously because when new engineers joined the Delphi division, they were given a tour of the facility. Without fail, one of the last stops was my cubicle to show them the crazy pictures I had on the wall. Sure they laughed at me while the tour guide explained again why engineers don’t live like this. I didn’t like it, but it only steeled my resolve. I figured that it was better for them to laugh at me while I kept my dreams than for them to stop laughing because I had surrendered my dreams.

As I reflect back, every single picture pinned on that wall came true. In fact, many of the PC members have accomplished the pictures today. Ok, there is one picture that still hasn’t been accomplished. It’s not that it hasn’t come true; it’s still just a work-in-progress. :) Some of you may have already guessed what that dream is: LIFE Island. I remember hesitating when I placed the island picture on the wall; I didn’t take placing a picture lightly because I knew it was a commitment made to myself to follow through, and this island picture was a Big Hairy Audacious Goal, or BHAG (as Jim Collins calls it). Many times, I stared at that island dreaming of the day when a fleet of yachts would travel from Florida (yes, I had a Florida property on the wall) to the island.

There are two types of people reading this article. The first group will think I am crazy to dream a BHAG of this magnitude, believing there’s no way the LIFE community can achieve that. The ones in the second group, in contrast, will study the picture and feed their elephant minds. This group understands Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s proclamation, “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” This article won’t teach a person how to build a LIFE business; instead, it is an expression of fourteen years of longing for an island to enjoy with my family and friends.

Can anyone else imagine the evening picnics at the beach park, cookouts, volleyball, horseshoes, and late-night conversation around the firepit all while enjoying the beautiful views and listening to the ocean surf behind us? Community and fellowship are essential for the picture I have envisioned. I can see the fleet of PC yachts making its way into the LIFE Island harbor. Laurie and I greet people as they disembark from their private yachts and ready themselves for several months of R&R on the island. As you step off your yacht, you realize that every plan, every challenge, every year was worth the effort required to achieve this victory.

The aroma of freshly grilled steaks, chicken, and fish permeates the air as you mingle among friends. Freshly squeezed fruit juices tease your taste buds as you recalibrate yourself to the island tempo. Imagine Chris Brady, Tim Marks, Claude Hamilton, George Guzzardo, Bill Lewis, Dan Hawkins, and their lovely brides looking you in the eyes and welcoming you to the dream-come-true LIFE Island. Later, many will walk the island trails for the first time—speechless as they realize that the dream they have yearned for, the dream they have worked for, the dream they have struggled for has finally come true.

I know; I know—I must be crazy. I have been hearing the same thing for years now. However, if there’s one thing I’ve learned about BHAGs, it’s that if it doesn’t take your breath away, then it’s not a BHAG at all. This dream has always (and still does) taken my breath away! Today, by posting this picture, I am officially launching the quest for LIFE Island. Consider this blog as my new office wall. Go ahead and look at the picture. Now that you have seen it, here is my question: Which group do you belong to? One group will laugh now but live with the pain of sacrificed dreams later; the other group will sacrifice now but live with friends on an island of dreams later.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Walker Cay picture

Posted in Faith, Family, Finances, Freedom/Liberty, Life Training, Orrin Woodward | Tagged: , | 62 Comments »

Lindsay Lohan – Vanity of Fame, Fortune, & Power

Posted by Orrin Woodward on April 5, 2012

It was another typical morning; I wrapped up my Bible studies and sat down to briefly (all the news in five minutes or less) review today’s current events. However, today’s news really got me thinking. Yahoo had posted a video of child-star to troubled-teen to drugged-up-diva Lindsay Lohan. Watch the video and then let’s talk.


I don’t know her background. I don’t know her movies. But I couldn’t help but feel her pain. How many people must go through the same storyline before the world wakes up? All that glitters is not gold! Solomon said it most succinctly when he proclaimed, “All is vanity.” Do not be fooled by the world’s definitions of success; fame, fortune, and power do not satisfy. Examine the lives of Marilyn Monroe (fame), J. Paul Getty (fortune), and L.B. Johnson (power); they each had what others crave, yet they died alone, unhappy, and practically friendless. I could go on; anyone ever hear of Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, or Whitney Houston?

History is full of the vanity of fame, fortune, and power, and yet each year millions more chase the illusion. In my personal life, I have experienced my share of each of these “false gods” and I can speak from first-hand experience that all is vanity. Does this mean we shouldn’t strive for excellence, or that we should settle for mediocrity? Of course, it doesn’t. However, it does mean we should begin with the end in mind, and fame, fortune, and power are terrible ends with which to start.

Each of these “false gods” turns a person inward, making him focus more on himself, his needs, and his desires – a sure recipe for unhappiness. The saddest day in a star’s life is when he has accomplished everything he aimed for only to discover it is all vanity. The endless displays, divorces, and drugs are all attempts to mask the emptiness of the accomplishments. For most superstars, the results were not worth the investment; for in order to achieve the prize, the stars had to sacrifice themselves.

Fortunately, there is a path out of the dilemma. Jesus Christ stated the two greatest commandments were to:

1. Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.
2. Love others as yourself.

In truth, a person finds his life when he loses it in a worthy cause. What, in other words, are you willing to sacrifice your life for? Every single day, you pay for the twenty-four hours provided to you by sacrificing another day of your life. In your life, has the investment been truly worth the sacrifice? If not, why do you continue in that direction?

The greatest return on investment is when a person fulfills God’s plan for his life. Serving God and others is the only path to true fulfillment. In RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE, I share the principles that helped me stop chasing an illusion and start living my destiny.

In this Easter season, Lindsay Lohan’s video reminded me how thankful I am that God saved a ruined sinner like me through the finished work of Jesus Christ. I pray that someone close to Lindsay Lohan can share the same message of grace, hope, and mercy with her.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in Faith, Family, Finances, Freedom/Liberty, Leadership/Personal Development | 23 Comments »

Chris Brady, Tim Marks, and LIFE: Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Posted by Orrin Woodward on April 4, 2012

As I sat at my desk this Easter season morning, my eyes spanned across the beautiful St. Lucie Bay while I reflected on the life I have been blessed to live. Here are just a few of my thankful thoughts:

1. I am married to an amazing Christian wife Laurie Woodward who has consistently loved me through years of growth and change. Add on the fact that she has mothered four super teenagers, and I cannot imagine a better family life scenario.

2. I am in business with my best friends – Chris Brady, Tim Marks, George Guzzardo, Claude Hamilton, Bill Lewis, Dan Hawkins, and Rob Hallstrand – who are not only great encouragers, but also wise and highly skilled businessmen. For instance, Tim Marks’s wisdom is packed full in his new book Voyage of a Viking being released this month, and it will be a blessing to so many who are in the process of changing their scripts.

3. The LIFE community is prospering at a faster rate than at any time in my 18 years of community building. Our community numbers at seminars across North America have increased over 5,000 people since the November 1, 2011 launch, just missing 20,000 people in attendance at the March seminars. That’s nearly double the numbers from one year ago! The community has grown over a 1,000 people at events each month since the launch of LIFE.

4. I have watched many business partners experience some tough financial challenges because they stood on principles. Thankfully, they endured, got back up, dusted themselves off, and ran again to freedom. Many, in fact, are making more money today than at any previous time in business. Everybody gets knocked down in life, but like I have said for years, “Those who stay will be champions.”

5. The LIFE Business Compensation Plan is rewarding people at unprecedented levels. With 95 percent of the people receiving a check monthly, LIFE is fair, equitable, and affordable to even the most strained of pocketbooks. LIFE is about receiving an opportunity, not a handout. One must work to win at anything, but the goal of the LIFE founders was to ensure that real work receives real rewards quickly.

6. LIFE is rapidly closing in on 4,000 customers! That’s 4,000 people choosing to purchase LIFE materials with no thought of further compensation. The LIFE founders studied the industry and refused to move forward unless they had a product that was in-demand at the retail price in the marketplace. With almost a 1,000 new customers a month, I think the task was accomplished.

7. LIFE, because the value proposition for customers is correct, has grown its member base accordingly. For example, if a customer loves the product and loves the community he is associating with, it’s only natural that, at a future date, he may choose to become a member of the compensated community. The added benefits of being a member (world-class compensation and business training) make this move a no-brainer for any person looking for financial rewards.

8. At the Major coming up in Columbus, LIFE is going to unveil Phase II, including the personalized websites for online customer and member signups, details to challenge your mental fitness, and improved community bonding with our leadership materials. Leadership is the application of proper knowledge. LIFE provides the knowledge, and the community provides the environment for application.

Ok, enough of my ruminations. What are you thinking about this morning? I cannot wait to share more details at the Columbus Major. I will see you there as we celebrate the achievers and implement Phase II of our vision to reach one million people.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in Family, Finances, Freedom/Liberty, Leadership/Personal Development | Tagged: , , , | 13 Comments »

Dare to Dream

Posted by Orrin Woodward on March 31, 2012

“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act out their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.” – T.E. Lawrence

All dream; few achieve. Since everyone wants a better life, why do so few accomplish it? The answer: one must solve the problem of pain. It’s painful to dream of a better future and get shot down again and again. Success, although predictable over time, takes a massive amount of persistence to stay the course when results are not forthcoming quickly enough. In fact, I have watched many talented men and women surrender their dreams through the lack of one key attribute – Adversity Quotient (AQ).  These people had all the talent; some even applied themselves for a period of time, but when the chips were down, they quit.

My fourth grade teacher’s favorite maxim, which he repeated daily was: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” I am not sure of its effect on the rest of the class, but as for me, it transformed how I responded to challenges. Any time I ran into difficulties, I reflected back on my teacher’s words. I was fortunate to have parents who taught a similar philosophy to that of my teacher. For instance, most people surrender with little or no fight when they run up against a wall, but not my parents. Interestingly, my mom and dad used entirely different, although both highly effective, strategies in overcoming walls in life. Let me explain. If my parents were taken to a twenty-foot-high brick wall and told they had to bust through it, I am convinced they would both accomplish the task. However, the means to the end would be entirely different.

My mom is a worker. No, that doesn’t quite explain it. My mom is a fanatical worker. In truth, to this day, I have never seen anyone work as relentlessly as my mother on any task undertaken. She would announce a project, dole out various assignments to the five children, and off we went. If my mom needed to get over a brick wall, she would metaphorically lower her head and crash into the brick wall until it gave way. I am not exaggerating here; she would literally will herself through that wall. The amount of obstacles that I saw my mother overcome humbles me to this day. My mom, in other words, would do and then think about how she did it.

In contrast, my dad was a thinker. No, it’s probably more accurate to say he was a philosopher of life. In fact, to this day, I cannot recall an evening where he wasn’t discussing some concept or principle he was wrestling with in his head. I had no idea at the time, but my dad used the Socratic method to draw out how we thought on a multitude of subjects, forcing us to reason properly or be shot down around the kitchen table. Indeed, if my dad needed to surmount a proverbial brick wall, he would state the problem, count the bricks, and form a working hypothesis on how to overcome. Counting, analyzing, and theorizing would be logical steps in the achievement of his goal. My dad, in other words, would think and then act upon what he thought.

Somehow, during the fourth grade, I began adopting my mom’s work ethic along with my dad’s philosophical methodology and combined them together with my teacher’s get tough principle. What an empowering gift these mentors bequeathed to me! My dad taught me to begin with the end in mind. My mom taught me that a job well begun is half done, and my teacher taught me the importance of AQ in any worthy endeavor. I had no idea how revolutionary these concepts were to become in my life.

What does all this have to do with dreaming? Nearly everything! Dreaming is beginning with the end in mind, doing is moving towards one’s goals and dreams, and lastly, persistence is staying tough even when everything inside of a person is screaming to surrender. I have lost count of how many times, when I was on the verge of surrendering, that the winner’s voice inside of me said one more time, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

Do you have dreams? Of course, you do because everyone does. Are you still pursuing them, or have you surrendered to the pain? I say get back up! If you are willing to run for what you truly want, if you are willing to get up every time you are knocked down, if you are willing to persist through every painful experience, then, and only then, will you win in the game of life.

Everyone is born into the race of life. Unfortunately, most have quit because they cannot handle the pain and choose passivity over activity. I, however, encourage you to reenter the race and press on to the end to receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. God gave us the gift of life; do not hand it back to Him unused.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in Family, Leadership/Personal Development, Orrin Woodward | 9 Comments »