Orrin Woodward on LIFE & Leadership

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

  • Orrin Woodward

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

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

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

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Archive for the ‘Freedom/Liberty’ Category

Without freedom, there is no leadership.

Financial Fitness is a System

Posted by Orrin Woodward on January 26, 2017

There are two major paths to financial failure, paths that trap a person in increasing debt and decreasing dreams. The first is to spend money when one should be saving. The second, paradoxically, is to save money when one should be investing. Indeed, practically every financial fitness principle taught in the Financial Fitness Program (FFP) is summarized within these two principles. These concepts that are simple to comprehend, yet much more difficult to implement consistently, for financial fitness isn’t as simple as reading a blog article. In reality, only 1 out of 100 people live financially free (no debts with paid for assets) even though the concepts are straightforward and only demand the discipline to implement. The process of creating wealth (spend less than one makes and accumulate it over time) has been readily available, if not intuitively obvious, since Ben Franklin spelled it out in Poor Richards Almanac. More recently, Warren Buffett, the world’s greatest investor, has taught his principles of financial success (which are captured under the Defense and Offense headings of the FFP) –  1) Defense: “I think the biggest mistake is not learning the habits of saving properly early b/c saving is a habit . . . if you’re smart you’re going to make a lot of money without borrowing,” and 2) Offense:  “The best investment you can make is in yourself . . . the more you learn, the more you’ll earn.”

Financial Fitness Pack

Simple, practical, and available principles from the best of the best and yet repeatedly ignored by 99 out of 100 people, leaving most more financially upside down today than ever before. What is the root of this fiscal malaise?  The answer, after 25 years of mentoring people, and teaching thousands of families how to live their dreams debt free, has become clear to me. For one thing, information without inspiration simply won’t do the job, a job that demands consistent and persistent financial effort, similar to the focus a marathon runner has on the finish line. To make matters worse, for a person who wishes to escape the Financial Matrix, he must run against the grain, enduring the disapproval, mockery, and laughter of the crowd glorifying in their financial enslavement. Perhaps boxer Mike Tyson, although not usually thought of as a philosophical thinker, shared the best wisdom on the subject when he stated, “everyone has a strategy until he is punched in the face.”  Wow! Tyson’s message is spot on to most people’s financial situations, where they have a strategy until life punches them in the face.  Then, the strategy is thrown out the window and debt is used as a drug to temporarily alleviate the financial pain; however, since the debt drug is highly-addictive, before the person realizes it, he is drowning in debt and despair with little hope of realizing his dreams.

Fortunately, the reader does not have to follow the crowd over the financial cliff, nor does one have to live without dreams to stay out of debt; instead, he can pick up the Financial Fitness Program “Green Box” and learn how to escape the Financial Matrix (the playing field designed to profit banks and pauper the people) by playing Defense (spend less than one makes), Offense (increase leadership to make more money) and join a community of like-minded people who follow the “Green Box” principles to financial freedom. There is NO other program on earth that provides all four essential features to achieve financial freedom. After all, most financial programs only teach the Defensive principles, selling tons of programs but falling short of the advertised results because partial information, insufficient inspiration, and a non-existent community is a recipe for failure. As a matter of fact, even if another program did exist that taught the Financial Matrix playing field and the Defense/Offense, it would still fall way short of the mark because it lacks the “secret sauce” essential for any programs that requires habit changes, namely, a community of like-minded people going in the same direction.

Think about it. Why is Weight-Watchers so effective? Does anyone truly think they have discovered the philosopher’s stone of weight loss? Practically everyone understands that if a person burns more calories than he consumes, he will lose weight. Nevertheless, millions struggle to lose the extra weight and this is where Weight-Watchers comes in, providing a community for association, accountability, and acclamation to build hope that people can complete the process together that overwhelm them alone. Community, in other words, is the secret to success in any information program that demands discipline to follow through consistently. Sadly, many organizations fail, who have good programs, but lack the leadership necessary to build and sustain the proper culture within the community to produce the desired results. This is why information must be supported with daily inspiration and weekly association to help the people maintain accountability to their dreams and goals.

To be sure, there are examples of highly-disciplined people going it alone and achieving results, but they would miss out on one of the greatest blessings in life, namely, the joy of community and the association, accountability, and acclamation that is included when connected with others on a similar journey. While a person can achieve independence by himself, he only achieves the leadership level of interdependence through community involvement. What make the Financial Fitness Program so effective is it’s the only program that has an ongoing community, where one can set financial goals with mentors, attend get-togethers to gain more information and celebrate each other’s achievements to fuel the inspiration to apply the principles. This is the power behind the “Green Box” financial revolution that is setting people free! Why live life in quiet financial desperation when one can purchase the “Green Box” and learn the information, live the inspiration, and love the association within the community escaping the Financial Matrix.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward: LIFE Chairman of Board

LIFE Financial Convention

Posted in Finances, Freedom/Liberty, Orrin Woodward | 13 Comments »

Merry Christmas: Spiritual, Economic, and Political Freedom

Posted by Orrin Woodward on December 24, 2016

From my perspective, a perspective developed over twenty-five years of leading communities, mankind’s thirst for freedom is unquenchable. Unfortunately, however, in an effort to quench this thirst, most people grab the freedom glass from the wrong end, inadvertently losing the liberties they long for. The people, in a nutshell, chase political freedom through political messiahs rather than start with the root ingredients, namely, spiritual and economic (financial) freedom. Despite repeated political failures, the undaunted people merely double-down, pursuing the prize with more zeal (a zeal without knowledge) until society’s freedom is poured out in an orgy of political Statism. While I am all for an honorable and just political system, I do not believe any politician, regardless of their specific political affiliation, can ensure my (or the readers) spiritual and financial freedoms. In fact, I would argue that these freedoms are precursors to political freedom and where people are enslaved spiritually and financially, inevitably, they will be in political bondage as well. 

5342dbee172190c875477beb4f0e0b91Be that as it may, the Christmas season is about Light shining into darkness, a season where people should pause and ponder the message of Jesus Christ. In essence, Jesus Christ is God’s Christmas gift to us, a gift of Peace with God and Freedom from Sin – the two greatest blessings God could offer mankind. Indeed, the story of Christmas is about God intervening in history to send his Son (the God-man) to earth to fulfill the law’s punishment and free ruined sinners like us. This is the true revolution unfolding within the world and it produces real change that makes society great again. It has turned the world upside down (providing freedom for mankind) everywhere Jesus Christ is worshipped as Lord and Savior.

One of the greatest questions a person ponders in life is his accountability to an Almighty God. On one hand, because God is justice, He cannot simply ignore violations against His Law, and still be just. On the other hand, because God is love, how do we experience that love if we receive what we deserve (darkness and death) rather than the mercy we need? How, in short, can God be both just and loving at the same time. The answer, an answer that turned the tide of history, is the Holiness, Grace, and Mercy of Jesus Christ, the true reason for the Christmas season. I pray that every reader, during the hustle and bustle of the CHRISTmas season, experiences the peace that surpasses understanding along with the corresponding freedom to become what God intended us to be.

This is the Gospel message – we end our rebellion against God and accept the unmerited favor of Christ’s act of grace where He freely takes our sins and we accept his righteousness through faith in Him. Who has ever heard of a love so grand, a peace so sweet, a gift of mercy so undeserved? 

Not surprisingly, the anti-Christ spirit does not want people to hear this truth. Instead, it encourages enslavement through its ubiquitous glorification of sinful passions, rather than Godly principles. Satan understands that people cannot endure conscious inconsistencies between their stated beliefs and actual behavior. Predictably, as a result, when a person’s behaviors become sinful, his beliefs will soon follow. In contrast, when a person accepts by faith the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, he repents from sinful actions to follow his new world-view, sanctifying his life by following his Savior’s example.  

This is the war between the Christ and anti-Christ spirits in the world. A person is either following Light or groping in darkness. Don’t be fooled by the media’s anti-Christian lies; instead, read the Bible for yourself, preferably starting with the book of John. See for yourself how Light shined into darkness and freed the enslaved from sin. True freedom, in other words, begins with the freedom to serve God and others without guilt or shame, knowing we are sons and daughters of the King.

Needless to say, however, just because Christians have grabbed the freedom glass from the proper end, does not, by itself, indicate the war is won. If anything, the real war has just begun, for now the person must live his Faith before a watching world. After all, now that he is spiritually free, it’s time to tackle the next freedom – economic (financial) freedom. Curiously, many Christians behave as if the gift of spiritual freedom does not come with corresponding responsibilities, but the Bible teaches to whom much is given, much is required. Certainly, a spiritually free person should progress to economic and eventually political freedom, for what is the purpose of freedom if it doesn’t glorify God and serve others?

Christians must live their faith by applying Biblical principles into their personal finances and achieve financial freedom, giving them a bigger platform to serve God and man. Indeed, I believe one of the greatest indictments against the Christian church today is its failure to be Salt and Light in the world possibly because it is too much in love with the world.  The Bible does not teach Christians to immerse themselves in the world’s ways, but rather says to be in the world but not of the world, shining Light into the darkness. Sadly, many Christians have surrendered their Light to the anti-Christ agenda and entrapped themselves in the Financial Matrix despite the Biblical admonition that borrowers are slaves to the lender. Does anyone think the world will take Christians serious when the talk about Christian liberty when they sold themselves into financial slavery for material things? 

How can a spiritually free person, a Christian, believe God wants him to sell himself into the anti-Christ financial system that enslaves billions of people? This is the absurd and the epitome of the double-minded hypocritical person James reproached as unstable in all his ways. What material thing, after all, is so important that one should become a slave to own (or should I say borrow) it?  Let each reader examine himself. Debt is nothing less than a financial cancer eating away at the household’s financial health and anyone who willingly introduces cancer into his family is not leading in a Biblical fashion.

To be sure, a mortgage may be necessary temporarily to obtain a housing, but why compound the debt further by leasing cars, accumulating credit card debt, and buying other toys on credit. To be fair, I don’t believe most Christians intend to be hypocritical; instead they simply have not studied the good Book enough to realize they are violating many of the financial principles present.  Christian pastors, as a result, must not only share the good news of spiritual freedom, but also how the spiritual freedoms lead to economic freedoms, which finally produce society’s political freedoms. This is the historical path to political freedoms and repeated attempts to grab the freedom glass from the wrong end will inexorably lead to more Statist’s tyranny until the people repent of their folly.

Unfortunately, today’s Statist anti-Christ rulers have no interest in people seeing the Light and escaping the darkness because it’s the people’s uncontrolled passions that lead to the elites absolute power. This shouldn’t shock Christians, for the Bible clearly describes how the rulers conspire against God and His anointed One. Thankfully, their plans will be foiled as they break themselves upon the Rock that cannot be broken. The world, in reality, is a great cosmic drama where history unfolds between the powers of Light defeating the powers of darkness in a war with no-quarter. Each person must identify which side he is on in this war and then determine the role he has been called to play.

As for me and my family, we have been called to set people free (spiritually, economically, and politically), knowing that spiritual freedom is the ultimate freedom. With that said, however, we have found the easiest place to start is by teaching people financial freedom. For once trusts is gained in the area by showing the effectiveness of the financial principles, the door is open to share the truths of freedom in all areas. We spend our lives teaching people about spiritual, economic, and political freedoms while encouraging others, others who are tired of living lives of quiet desperation, to do the same by coming into the Light. When enough people turn to Light spiritually and financially, the political changes needed will occur as the spiritually and financially free people demand to live politically free.

LIFE teaches people how to live financially free through utilizing our best selling product, the Financial Fitness Pack. The information inside the green box revolutionizes a person’s finances, and in the process, exposes him to truths in others areas. The goal is to set him free so he can then help others get free. Indeed, LIFE is not our business built on purpose, but rather our purpose built on business. This Christmas season, don’t just open up gifts; instead, open up the gift that endures forever, the saving faith in Jesus Christ. By grabbing the freedom glass from the proper end, freedom will prosper in all areas as we spend the rest of our lives reflecting His Light in a dark world.

The Woodward family wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and proclaims Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in Faith, Freedom/Liberty, Orrin Woodward | 33 Comments »

Here in the Real World

Posted by Orrin Woodward on October 30, 2016

Yesterday morning, I woke up with a song playing in my head, a song from country music singer, Alan Jackson, I hadn’t heard in years. Curious, I went up to my office and searched the words and realized this song fit perfectly with my studies on the Financial Matrix.  I believe more than ever that the greatest impediment to world freedom is the current money system that enslaves everyone who is tempted into debt.

My life’s purpose and the LIFE company are so closely intertwined because I want to help people live their dreams while being debt-free. Naturally, this will it take a longterm focus, disciplined effort,  and the support of a community, but the results are worth the time invested. After a few hours of playing with the lyrics, I changed the words to fit the story of the current money system. George Guzzardo’s fascinating new book The Torch of Freedom shares the story of freedom in an engaging style. To live a life of liberty, however, a person must free himself from the Financial Matrix debt system.

Play the song and read the new lyrics below to sing the new song. For that matter, if one is in a creative mood, feel free to suggest more verses that fit into the song. 🙂

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

“Here In The Real World”

Cowboys don’t cry, and heroes don’t die
Good conquers evil, again and again
Freedom, the sweet dream, that always comes true
Oh if life were like the movies, I’d never be blue

But here in the real world, it’s not and justice for all
Big Banks and inflation, cause real dreams to stall
The system is sad but true, making money indebting you
It’s why the people don’t ever get debt-free, here in the real world

I gave you my labor, but that wasn’t enough
To hold my income, when booms turned to busts
And tonight on that silver screen, it’ll end like it should
Light will cast out darkness, like we hoped it would

But here in the real world, it’s not that easy at all
With banks too big to fail, its real jobs that fall
And although it’s sad but true, there’s still one thing that we could do
Put an end to the Financial Matrix fraud, here in the real world

 

Posted in Finances, Freedom/Liberty, Orrin Woodward | 31 Comments »

Casa della Vita & Dream Builder Yacht

Posted by Orrin Woodward on October 28, 2016

Casa della Vita is one of the ways that LIFE lives its motto of Have Fun, Make Money, and Make a Difference. Top performers qualify to enjoy three days and three nights on nearly nine acres at Casa della Vita with a private chef, access to two fishing boats and the Dream Builder Yacht. Nothing expands the vision of what is possible like an all-expenses paid vacation to Casa della Vita. From the moment an achiever arrives, he will be treated to first class accommodations and service by the Casa della Vita staff.

Before I started building communities, I used to spend Saturday mornings watching fishing on TV, dreaming about catching the big ones in the ocean. Now, through the Casa della Vita rewards program, business builders can experience it first hand. Some of the best fishing in the world is minutes from Casa della Vita resort in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Further, a private chef can prepare your catch as an appetizer for your next meal. LIFE doesn’t ask where a person started in life, only if he is willing to grow and change to become all that God intended him to be.

Laurie and I dreamed of creating a retreat to reward top performers for their impressive results. Thanks to the excellent estate management of Mike Oppenheiser, the amazing interior design work of Anna Huber, and the experienced fishing skills of Captain Bill Howard, the dream has come true for all with the courage to act. Up to nine couples per team can spends three days of fellowship together while enjoying separate bedrooms and bathrooms at night. All of the above, of course, is paid for by LIFE as a reward for business achievement. LIFE provides the vehicle for a person to live the life he’s always wanted by eliminating the debt he’s never needed, through learning the defense, offense, and playing field of finances.

In addition, when Laurie and I are in town, our goal is to crash Casa della Vita on Surf and Turf night! Our hope is our generous and relaxed neighbors will be so kind as to share their private chef with their hungry neighbors. 🙂 We have had several groups down so far and the night with our neighbors has been nothing less than amazing. What a great way to get to know the teams better in an island-time atmosphere. Case della Vita is another dream come true where Laurie and I can bless others with the many blessings God has given to us. Come join the dream by setting your goal to be here next year. Get with your support team to determine how you can qualify and we will see you on surf and turf night! 

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward: LIFE Chairman of the Board

Posted in Freedom/Liberty, Fun, LIFE Leadership | 10 Comments »

SailFish: Persistence in PDCA

Posted by Orrin Woodward on September 28, 2016

The longer I live, the more I realize the importance of a concept seemingly forgotten in today’s post-modern age, namely, experiences are many but principles are few. Persistence, for instance, is a principle that winners apply to many different experiences. After all, it takes time to master the thinking and skills necessary to produce excellence in any area. To use one example, true love is rare because it is not a wild flower blossoming overnight; instead its the fruit produced after years of cultivation through serving and encouraging another human being. Unfortunately, the principle-centered perspective, to put it mildly, has fallen on hard times.

Indeed, one of the greatest insights on my leadership journey was learning to view particular experiences through the lens of the underlying general principle. That is to say, although a person has a myriad of particular experiences throughout life, he would be surprised how few underlying principles are involved in all of the experiences. In fact, the reason I wrote RESOLVED, was to reveal how 13 Resolutions can apply to practically any experience a person has in life. Once understood, the thousands of issues a person faces in life can be boiled down to principles to be applied consistently. This is revolutionary for mastery of 13 resolutions (and the few principles behind the resolutions) is much easier than memorizing the proper course of action in the thousands of individual experiences without the master code.

Not surprisingly, these concepts are not new, for over 2,000 years ago Plato explained in his cave example how most people merely look at shadows reflected upon the wall rather than turnaround to see the actual objects. Plato, in short, taught a person to look for the underlying principles within reality to stop merely living a life of shadows. I explain all of this as background information to one of the greatest fishing experiences that occurred in my life last week.

On a sunny Saturday morning, Captain Bill Howard was readying the DreamBuilder II for our fishing expedition while my beautiful daughter, Christina, and I discussed our plan for the day. She had taken the day off to go fishing with her dad, hoping to finally catch a Sailfish, a fish that had eluded us for over ten years. Of course, even if we didn’t catch one, we would still settle for some big Mahi-Mahi like I had caught the week before. Still, the dream was centered on catching a Sailfish, the fish that built the reputation of Stuart, FL, as the Sailfish capital of the world. What makes the Sailfish so special? For one thing, Sailfish are the fastest fish in the ocean reaching speeds in excess of 70mph. For another, Sailfish have incredible aerial acrobatics and will fight with everything in them to escape. The typical south Florida Sailfish averages 7ft in length and weighs between 35-40lbs; however, the big boys can surpass 8 feet and weigh over 50 pounds. 

Clearly, the odds were against us. Despite fishing on average five times per year during the Sailfish season, I had NEVER caught a Sailfish, not even one. A cynical person would suggest I had no business taking my daughter out fishing for the dream fish since I had no results, but I knew the underlying principles in the quest. For past failures are not defeats but merely repeats with better information. Over the ten years of failure, Captain Bill and I had practiced the process I teach in RESOLVED of Plan, Do, Check, and Adjust, making every failed attempt a teachable moment on our way to victory. Between a better dredge line (fake fish that stir up the water while trolling), better bait, improved knowledge of drag settings, proper trolling speeds, and the best equipment money can buy, we had PDCA’d nearly every step of the process in the over ten years of failure.

Still, the facts were that after nearly fifty attempts, thousands of dollars of gas, and hundreds of hours, we had zero results. This is where another underlying principle of success comes in, namely, God’s delays are not God’s denials. Many times in life, the best things take time and God delays results until the principles are mastered. Because I understood this, I did not feel defeated nor dejected. If anything, I was more excited than ever, because I knew we had the best process yet to catch Sailfish. After catching a King Fish, a Blue Runner, a Sea Bass, and a baby shark, Christina and I asked to go trolling for the big ones. Early on, I knew something was different because we ran into a school of some mysterious fish that destroyed thee of our five baits. I say mysterious fish because I had caught plenty of Mahi-Mahi and had never seen us go through a school without a hooking up at least one.

8'2" Sailfish

8’2″ Sailfish

Undaunted, we reset the baits and speculated on what type of fish we had run into. I asked Cap if he thought maybe it was a school of Sailfish. In his mid-sentence reply, we received our answer. One of our lines was hit with such violence that I though we would lose the pole. Line ripped out of the spool as I grabbed the pole, realizing this was something special. The speed and force of this beast sped away from the boat is indescribable! However, I still wasn’t sure if I had a Sailfish or a massive Wahoo, but my answer was not long in coming. After spooling out over 400 yards of line, an 8’ 2” Sailfish proceeded to leap out of the water, its majestic sail fin stretched to the max as it arched though the sky. Pandemonium is the only word I can say to describe the next 35 minutes as the Sailfish repeatedly  jumped out of the water (seven times in total), rocketing itself into the air and dancing on its tail to escape the hook.

Thankfully, the drag was set properly, the correct hook was used, and the best pole was employed to help me bow the pole when the Sailfish launched himself into the air. The only problem was my left forearm exploded to twice its normal size as I sought to maintain the grip on the pole during the fracas. Fortunately, Cap gave me a ten minute breather in the middle so he could also experience the completion of a ten year plus dream. Finally, I was able to bring it up to the boat and Christina took several stunning pictures before we released him back into the water. The dream fish swam off and my  thoughts drifted back to the underlying principles behind this amazing experience.

To achieve this dream, Cap and I applied several principles of success. First, anything great, anything truly worth accomplishing, demands persistence. Quitting is not an option for winners. Second, since Cap and I were not going to quit, we might as well improve from our failures. The PDCA process is the most honest process because it admits failure is a necessary for all success. In fact, show me someone who is not willing to fail and I will show you one of the biggest failures. In contrast, if a person refuses to quit and constantly changes to improve, then he is a walking success bomb, eventually exploding onto the scene even though it actually took years to do so. Learn the PDCA process and persist in life’s worthwhile goals and the reader will meet with a level of success few can even imagine.

How did a kid from Columbiaville, Mi, with no money, no connections, and no confidence escape the Financial Matrix and live the life of his dreams? Simply stated, I learned and applied great principles by studying great people. Coach John Wooden, for example, taught me persistence when I learned he coached for over twenty-five years before he won his first NCAA tournament. Sure, he won 10 NCAA championships in his last 12 years, but do you realize it took 27 years to win his first one? Everyone seems to remember the last twelve years, but few realize his first quarter century of failure made him who he was. The same is true for the reader. Do you have a dream and are getting hit with failure after failure? GREAT! You are right on track compared to my Sailfish experiences and Wooden’s coaching experiences.

The question is: are you getting bitter or better? Winners get better and losers get bitter. Losers, in other words, aren’t people who lose, but people who react wrong to losing. If you are losing and getting better, then your victory is nearer today than ever before. Because I learned the underlying principles involved, no matter how many failed Sailfish attempts I experienced, I knew I was closer to victory than ever before when I took my daughter out for a Saturday morning fishing excursion. The results speak for themselves.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward: LIFE Chairman of Board

Posted in Freedom/Liberty, Orrin Woodward | 21 Comments »

Self-Betrayal: Sabotaging Success

Posted by Orrin Woodward on August 6, 2016

The fatal flaw to success, a flaw so personal and painful that most people avoid its truth at all costs, an avoidance that derails more dreams than all other obstacles combined, is self-betrayal. Of all the challenges facing leaders today, perhaps none has more impact on the community’s success than personal character. After all, leadership is character in motion and how can someone have character if he betrays himself?

Self-Betrayal to Self-Deception

Self-Betrayal to Self-Deception

Self-betrayal begins the moment a person does not follow through on his personal commitments. This type of betrayal is so difficult to detect because its so subtle. For instance, maybe the reader set a goal to get up early and study or exercise before work, but when the alarm went off, you quickly shut it off and rationalized you needed sleep more than following through on your commitment to yourself. Of course, this “little” lie fuels further compromises and before long lying to oneself has become a habit. In fact, any time you make a commitment to yourself, and do not follow through, you have taught yourself that lying is acceptable. This is where most people fail – personal character to one’s self. I know. I know. No one likes to be called a liar, but how many times have you committed to do something and didn’t follow through? I’m not talking about commitments to others, but rather personal commitments.

I still remember the day, reading underneath a huge maple tree at lunch, when Stephen Covey kicked me below the belt. He said, “Many times success begins with mind over mattress!” Ugh! That one hurt, because I had made hundreds of excuses for why I just couldn’t be more disciplined in Bible studies, believing I had too much work to do. Covey’s statement changed my perspective, helping me realize that my self-betrayal had already progressed into self-deception – where I convinced myself that lying was ok if it was only to myself. In reality, however, if one cannot tell the truth to himself, he stands no chance of telling the truth to others. Internal character, in a word, always precedes external character.

At the risk of saying too much, for today’s age doesn’t like self-analysis much, probably because these matters hit too close to home for most people and if thought upon for long, they would have to address some of the personal issues. Nevertheless, I believe self-deception is the biggest killer of dreams in the world! People deceive themselves to avoid changing, but the price for this avoidance is their own success. The self-betrayal blooms into self-denial and then people become offended if others dare to question their impeccable character. 🙂 Most people react defensively, thinking, “How dare anyone question my character when I have spent years rationalizing it to myself?”

In all seriousness, I have never given a talk, nor written an article, without the guns first being directed at myself. I, along with every other human being, cannot live our ideals 100% of the time. I am in need of the grace of Jesus Christ just as much, if not more, than you are. Still, why get offended at truth? How is this going to help you change? Indeed, when a person gets offended at unpalatable facts, its a sure sign that self-betrayal is leading to self-deception. Truth has been sacrificed on the altar of personal ego.

If the reader will grant me just a little more time, I would like to suggest a remedy for self-betrayal. The Bible states, “those who are faithful in the little things will be faithful in the bigger things.” Did you catch that? Character begins by being faithful in the little things that if avoided, no one would know but you. Many believe this is ok, since you didn’t let anyone else down, but this is a lie from the depths of hell. For a person that would have no qualms about lying to himself, a self he typically loves more than any other human being in existence, will not be a truth-teller to others. Internal lies lead to external ones. If anything, compromises in personal character lead to greater compromises in one’s relationships with others.

Consequently, true character begins with character to self. Once the war for personal character is accomplished, the authentic individual is now ready to treat others with the same level of character. Not surprisingly, in today’s self-betrayal and self-deception age, it’s pretty much a given that leaders with character will suffer attacks from those who have self-betrayed themselves. Since leaders with character grow big communities, simply by the law of averages, they will have people who perpetually lie to themselves join their community. Naturally, albeit ironically, the people who have cheated and lied to themselves the most are the ones who shout the loudest that others have lied and cheated them. Playing the victim, evidently, is their key strategy to not have to address the lies keeping them from success.

The simple, but painful, truth is no matter how much a leader wants to help others, he truly can’t help until they are ready to help themselves. Self-liars must confront reality and admit it’s their own lies keeping them in bondage. For when people resist truth they are also fighting the change that would set them free. Nonetheless, when people have spent a lifetime betraying themselves, giving up for the umpteenth time in life, their self-deception quickly identifies the reason for the failure and they play the victim card once again. Self-deception has so entrapped them in a web of lies that the truth can no longer set them free. Thus, they are sentenced to a life of victimhood unless God’s graces pierces the veil and wakes them up to this eternal truth, namely, as Shakespeare said, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.”

Heraclitus once said, “Character is fate” and I concur. Character is an inside job and only those who develop character will ever see longterm success. Start today! What is a personal commitment one can make to yourself, you family, your community? Make the commitment and keep it! Quit betraying yourself and your dreams! Quit playing the blame game! Get out there and achieve to serve the greater community! This is your mind over mattress, or to add others, life over lies, and purpose over pokemon moment! 🙂

Remember, success is three things. 1) What does one want? 2) What does it cost? 3) Pay it! Only when a person accepts responsibility for his life will he determine what he want, determine its cost, and then pay it! What area of your life are you ready to stop self-betrayal and let the truth set you free? 

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward: LIFE Chairman of the Board

Posted in Freedom/Liberty, Leadership/Personal Development | 51 Comments »

A Tribute to Denny Smith

Posted by Orrin Woodward on June 27, 2016

Today, Laurie and I headed up to Pennsylvania to see some of our best friends and to celebrate Denny Smith’s life. I first met Denny speaking at a conference back in 2006, his hunger to learn was evident from our first conversation, a conversation that would turn into a lifelong friendship. 

Rhino Leaders

Denny, Greg, Orrin, & Tony

Denny soon became a trusted confidante, one who could be relied upon to do the right thing because it was the right thing. He modeled the character, tasks, and relationships necessary for great leadership, leadership strengthened by mentoring with Greg Johnson. In many ways, the relationship these two formed reminded me of the partnership I have enjoyed with Chris Brady, built upon respect, trust, and loyalty.

Greg and Denny joined forces when neither one of them had a nickel to their name. Nonetheless, through the power of dreams, work-ethic, and persistence, these two forged an amazing lifestyle for their families. Denny, the muscular Marine, and Greg, the intellectual Ivy Leaguer, may have started in different fields, but they quickly united around the principles of the American Dream, a dream focused on life, liberty, and the pursuit of their goals and dreams.

These two men accomplished so much and their example has inspired thousands of others to do similarly. Needless to say, I am one of those countless others and one of my greatest joys was spending time with these two men, hearing their crazy stories of how they persisted, despite the pain of the process, to achieve their dreams. Between globetrotting around the world, living in beautiful mansions, and enjoying the time/money to spend with friends and family, these two experienced life like few others. 

Dreams, however, this side of heaven, do not last forever. For every person, whether rich or poor, is appointed to die. Death, in a word, is the great equalizer. Perhaps, no single event turns a person’s perspective from this life to the next faster than the loss of a loved one. Denny’s cancer and death caught all of us by surprise. To say we are going to miss him is a huge understatement. Thankfully, Denny was a Christian who knew his Lord and Savior and even though he enjoyed this life, he also prepared for the next one. I will miss Denny greatly, but I rest in the fact that I will meet him again. This is why I am going up to Pennsylvania, not to mourn, but rather to celebrate Denny’s life.

Denny seemed the picture of health, not only was he the poster-child of positivity, but he also regularly exercised and lived a moral life. Last year, however, he simply could not shake off a bad cough. I remember the day Denny and Donna picked me up in Philadelphia because we had scheduled a morning tour through Independence Hall. Denny and I both loved liberty and history so we did what we always did when we hung out – we laughed and learned. In reality, this was true anytime Laurie and I spent time with Denny and Donna, for both of these two loved to learn and laugh. This is what made them so special to so many.

Denny and Donna Smith

Denny and Donna Smith

Still, something was amiss, I couldn’t help but notice that Denny’s laugh ended in coughing fits. Finally, after practically prying it out of him – Denny never like to talk negatively about anything, especially himself – he admitted he was having difficulty shaking this “cold”. Donna said she had been on him to go to the doctor for over a month, but Denny, the tough Marine, believed he would beat it on his own. I took Donna’s side and asked Denny to get this checked out immediately. Denny agreed and we resumed enjoying the rest of the day.

Several weeks later, I received a call from Denny. He said the doctor had run test confirmed his cough was from an aggressive form of lung cancer and the odds did not look good. Denny’s attitude through all of this was amazing. He spent most of the phone call encouraging me! This is the type of man Denny was. He received bad news and yet he called to encourage me? Who does this? I asked Denny how he was doing and he said he was going to fight with everything he had. I told him if anyone could beat this, it would be Denny Smith, the tough as nails Marine. We prayed together and asked God to intervene for His Glory, no matter what the outcome. Denny then began the fight for his life, knowing, through his faith in Jesus Christ, he would win either way.

I have many great people in our leadership community, but what Denny accomplished the last 6 months of his life is amazing. Despite investing time to catch up with friends and family, undergoing exhausting chemo-therapy session, and endless hours researching lung cancer, Denny grew his community. Incredibly, while fighting for his life, he went CAB Coordinator, qualified for Operation Advance, and the prestigious Fun-in-the-Sun trip. In fact, the day before he passed away, he was in our hotel suite with 25 other guys. I asked Greg Johnson to give Denny a proper introduction because many of the younger leaders did not know his story. Greg’s introduction made many of them tear up as they realized what Denny had overcome to be there. Not surprisingly, Denny, although short of breath, proceeded to build the dream like few people can. He encouraged everyone to dream bigger and chase down the dream within the time each of us is allotted. 

In my mind, this moment perfectly encapsulated Denny Smith, the quintessential dreamer and doer, who refused to give up. He didn’t wait for life to happen but rather went out and made it happen. One may wonder why a man, so close to death, would share about the power of the dream, but I knew what Denny was doing and I couldn’t help but notice the juxtaposition.  While most people breathe without difficulty, they struggle to dream; Denny, in contrast, struggled to breathe, but dreamed without difficulty. Denny never stopped dreaming. This is his enduring legacy – Denny dreamed while others slept, worked while others recreated, and accomplished while others excused.

Later that day, he was admitted to the Cape Coral hospital and the following day Denny went home to be with the Lord. I know I speak for the tens of thousands of people Denny touched when I say – thank you, Denny, for teaching us how press toward the mark and leave it all on the field even to the last second. And I do mean the last second, for as the doctors hooked Denny’s body up to a breathing ventilator, his lungs shutting down from his lost war against cancer, Denny looked at his friends and family one more time and gave them a thumbs up. What a man and leader. Only a person who was sure of his destiny would, even at this crucial juncture, still maintain his love for others over himself.

This is why I love Denny Smith and this is why Laurie and I are traveling up to Pennsylvania to celebrate his life. If you knew or heard Denny Smith share the dream, I would love to hear how he touched your heart.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in Faith, Family, Freedom/Liberty, LIFE Leadership | 37 Comments »

The Greeks: Freedom and Force

Posted by Orrin Woodward on June 1, 2016

This is Part 2. For Part 1, please click here.

Unfortunately, the Greek miracle does not have a happy ending, but it does have a huge lesson. For the same drive to compete that built Greek society also destroyed it when the positive life-lifting competition in arts, sciences, and sports, degenerated into negative death-delivering competition of military campaigns. Importantly, no one wins in war, certainly the losers don’t, but neither do the alleged winners. The defeated sacrifice many of their best leaders on the altar of a lost cause, not to mention the untold wealth, figuratively and literally, burnt to ashes, and finally the lost freedoms as the “winners” assume control over society. The winners, however, lose as we’ll because many of their best citizens were also sacrificed on the altar of war. Furthermore, they lost the hunger to produce wealth, for why build wealth when you can steal it, and the Five Laws of Decline secretes its poison into society. To add insult to injury, they also lose their liberties by denying others’ the right to enjoy theirs. Paradoxically, the winners must now set up a prisoner society where the defeated are closely viewed, supervised, and cajoled into obedience 24-7. The costs in time, money, and lifestyle lost by the oppressors outweighs the benefit of the oppression, but rare is the State who realizes this.

The Spartans and Helots

The Spartans and Helots

Indeed, Greek history is filled with many examples of this principle at work, where both the winners and losers pay greatly by going to war – the ultimate lose-lose vehicle. Perhaps the Peloponnesian war is the best example of lose-lose but there are many more. For instance, just a cursory look at the “victorious” Spartans in the Messenian War will reveal the Spartans lost as much as the defeated, for boys under 10 were forced to live in military barracks for the next twenty plus years, suffered under an oppressive form of socialism, and lived in a state of constant state of paranoia, fearing the Helots, who outnumbered the Spartans by as much as 20 to 1, would revolt. To deny freedom to others, in other words, one ends up destroying his own. Of course, if this was the fate of the winners, imagine how much worse the fate of the Messenian Helots. Unfortunately, no one seems to learn from history. This is why, although I support our national military, my dad was an elite Green Beret after all, its function should be defensive, protecting against foreign aggression, not offensive, expanding into foreign territories; otherwise, the same fate visited upon Sparta, Rome, and England, to name just a few, will knock on America’s door.

This leads to a strange twist in the battle between force and freedom. Whereas competition benefits in every life-lifting endeavor, it is a tragedy in death-delivering ones. When the the centralized State is eliminated, the void must be filled with mini-states to ensure order and not anarchy. If there is not a force strong enough to ensure the strong do not oppress the weak, rest assured they will. The mini-states maintain order while creating competition in the life-lifting activities, at the same time a limited central government ensures the mini-states do not compete in the death-delivering ones. The key to freedom is the limited central state is no longer is absolute within society; instead, it merely ensures the mini-states settle their disputes peacefully through adjudication and arbitration rather than through war.

The centralized body is now limited in its power, capable of enforcing judgments and protecting the mini-states political, economic, and religious freedoms without growing big enough to issue central commands in areas it does not belong. Limited funds are essential here, for anytime the State has access to unlimited funds, it quickly obtains unlimited power. Limited funds, in a word, for a limited State. Imagine the state of freedom if, in the USA, the centralized Federal government’s only funds came from a straight 10% import tax. This is plenty for the federal government to effectively arbitrate disputes amongst the fifty states and also defend our borders militarily – defense only. True, we would have to exit the over 140 nations where the USA presently has a military presence, but the improvement in society by the reduced money, time, and heartaches (lost loved ones from foreign wars) is worth the loss of empire. No longer would State bureaucrats have the power to send our children off to war to increase their need for power and glory.

Imagine the competition and cooperation that would result in the USA if the functions of government were moved from the monolithic Federal government to the local township/city levels. All the interactions between citizens and State could be achieved at the local level, ensuring a higher level of justice because those closest to the facts are the one’s addressing the issue. The locality would be responsible for the judicial and police  functions to ensure justice while each locality would compete to outdo its rivals in life-giving functions just as the Greeks did originally. If they serve the customers they will prosper, if they don’t they will not. Moreover, because the locality receives its income from a 5% property tax, it will seek to serve its community because as it serves them well, the community will grow, and thus the tax base grows. Naturally, the reverse is true also, for if they don’t serve, the community doesn’t grow, and the tax base decreases. Welcome to State competition to serve the customers, namely, its citizens! What a concept.

The state governments would adjudicate disputes between localities/cities and be funded by a 5% state sales tax. Again, every state would compete to increase business because it would benefit from increased tax revenues as economic activity increase within the state. Further, the state leaders would select the next president from amongst the governors of the state. No longer would the Presidency be the democratic charade parade where those with the most power and money get elected. Instead, the  governors of each state would select the governor with the best track record, his proven performance in balancing budgets and running a just government making the difference. The President would not be elected by the people at large, thus eliminating the media’s negative manipulation against anyone who threatens their power. Instead, governor peers, elected by the leaders of each locality, select the President, similar to how the founder originally intended the President to be elected. See Oliver DeMille and my New York Times bestseller LeaderShift for more details on these concepts.

Finally, as mentioned previously, the Federal government would survive on a 10% import tax and nothing else. Imagine, no more IRS needed! Of course, the ability to create money out of thin air (Federal Reserve) and the special deal fractional-reserve banking would be rescinded. The gold standard would be calibrated to the current money supply and only 100% reserve banking would be permitted by law from here forward. Think about it, the people would elect the local governments (those who know them the best) by returning to town hall meetings. The local leaders would elect the State leaders (governors) because they work with each other on a monthly basis to approve the state budgets. Cream rises to the top and the local leaders, from amongst their peers, will select the governor from among the most qualified. Finally, the state leaders will elect the federal President because they work with them monthly and approve the federal balanced budget. Yes, balanced budgets are a given or the irresponsible leader is immediately subject to recall and a new election. Mediocrity and poor leadership can no longer be tolerated by public servants, especially if they expect us to trust and follow them.

To restore freedom, we must end the control over money (no one should have centralized control over money creation), then follow it up by ending the monolithic control of the media (less than six corporations, all with interconnected boards, control what the people read and think), and only once these two are accomplished, will the controlled, centralized State be overturned and America launch a Freedom-shift. Numerous local governments are much more difficult to capture than on centralized government, especially when the centralist controllers already control the money and media.

Ok, my rant is done. Needless to say, what I propose is a huge dream and it’s going to take work, but only those who have a big dream can expect a big dream to come true. For the past twenty years, I have read extensively on leadership, liberty, and the State, and believe history supports my conclusions. The challenge, however, is the elites are not on the side of history, but rather on the side of force, and thus, centralization. In consequence, the Money Power rewards its media (TV, Newspapers, Magazines, Universities, and Foundations) for rewriting history, a history that makes the State the hero of the story and freedom the anti-hero. Pedictably, the “educated” (propagandized) people demand the State hero fix the challenges facing society while the noose tightens around freedom’s neck. This is why the elites will tolerate any change so long as the money system (what I have termed the Financial Matrix) is not changed.

As I said at the beginning of Part 1, freedom and force are in a battle to the death, and, dismally, freedom is the one dying. Is there anyone left who will, like our forefathers and foremothers, pledge their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to resuscitate freedom?

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward: LIFE Leadership Chairman of the Board

Posted in Freedom/Liberty, Leadership/Personal Development, Orrin Woodward | 14 Comments »

Memorial Day Message: Freedom and Force

Posted by Orrin Woodward on May 30, 2016

Since the dawn of civilization, freedom and force have fought for mastery in human societies. Freedom, to the liberty-lover, implies the ideal way to freely reward people for serving others. Each society is set up to follow the laws of the land (just laws that permit no person or group to receive a special deal), a society where the State’s role is like referee rather than a participant, ensuring a level playing field for all competitors. The ideal of ordered freedom is the best mankind can aspire to this side of heaven, or so the liberty-lovers claimed.

To Statist controllers, in contrast, freedom leads to chaos, greed, and an unholy desire to separate one’s self from the herd. Absolute force is the Statist’s answer to ensure society remains peaceful, compliant, and equal. Naturally, the State must be given this absolute power, a power entrusted to a group of ruling-elite, who will make decisions not based upon personal advantages but only for the good of society. The masses must simply trust and obey, or so the Statist controllers claimed.

Interestingly, the battle between liberty and force has a celebrated history. Force/Freedom battles between the Pharaoh vs. Moses, Caesar vs. Cicero, Jesus vs Pharisees, are just a few of the legendary conflicts that come to mind. In one sense, the history of the world can be viewed as a series of particular battles in the universal struggle between the State and Society to secure either force or freedom.

Ancient Greece Innovations

Ancient Greece Innovations

For most of human history, the controllers have had the upper hand. The Egyptians, Babylonians, and Persians elites ruled absolutely as god-kings though centrally-controlled oppressive civilizations. Although there were flickers of freedom scattered throughout society, the flame was snuffed out before it could catch fire. Something, however, changed with the birth of Greek civilization, for the pendulum clearly moved towards liberty. While many explanations have been suggested for freedom’s growth, perhaps the most significant was the multitude of Greek city-states increased the number of competitors seeking centralized control over Greek society. Whereas in previous civilizations the State controlled vast swaths of territory extending for thousands of miles, the Greek landscape, mountainous with few inland rivers, made centralized control over the whole are extremely difficult.

As a result, smaller units of centralization, the city-state, prospered. Each city-state’s laws were only enforced within the confines of its territory, effectively creating hundreds of mini-states ruling over a fragmented Greek society. This was the dreaded conditions for chaos that the absolutist controllers feared. However, instead of collapsing into chaos, the competition amongst city-states for political, economic, and military power, created innovation and improvements like never seen before. The competition amongst the city-states led to cooperation within them.

Instead of the oppressive standardization experienced by cities within the former centralized tyrannical States, the fragmented, decentralized city-states, shockingly, through the competition for power and glory, created, as it were, a free market environment for State services – each city seeking to impress the other Greek city-states with its ability to solve the political, economic, and religious challenges better than its neighbors. Of course, this led to a significant increases in freedom for the people since ideas were favored, not because the bureaucratic representatives of the god-king issued it, but rather because the idea worked to solve the challenge it intended to address. The city-state that solved the most issues and served its people the best would rise in this free market environment against its rivals.

Talent, effort, and innovation became the buzz words that drove the Greeks forward in their mission to achieve their rational and aesthetic objectives. Practically every field of the arts and sciences saw levels of innovation and discovery never witnessed before as society’s cream rose to the top made possible by the increased societal freedom. The monolithic State no longer controlled every city, and thus, the brightest minds with the best ideas were rewarded as each city sought to outdo its competitors in the arts, sciences, and even the sporting events of its day.

The Greek miracle, according to historian Michael Grant, was accomplished by the work of less than 500 individuals. In other words, although millions lived and died in Greece, freedom enabled 500 people to use their gifts to bless everyone in the Greek communities. Where previously, talented individuals had lived and died in obscurity, the freedom allowed this cream to rise for the benefit of all. This created the world’s first Renaissance, not repeated until the Italian Renaissance over a millennia afterwards.

Perhaps the biggest lesson to learn from the Greek experience is the importance of competition, namely, when the number of competitors in any field increases, society benefits. Of course, the antithesis is true also – when the number of competitors is limited in any field, society is harmed. The monolithic State, not surprisingly, is the peak of reduced competition since there is no competition. The State, in a word, is like one contestant in a beauty contest, and she always takes first place. 🙂 This does not mean the author believes in anarchy; rather, the goal should be a fragmented state similar to the ancient Greeks. In fact, this is what Oliver DeMille and I proposed in our New York Times bestseller LeaderShift.  Stay tuned for Part 2 where I unpack the fragmented state and how to protect against anarchy. Happy Memorial Day!

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward: LIFE Leadership Chairman of the Board

Posted in Freedom/Liberty, Leadership/Personal Development, Orrin Woodward | 13 Comments »

LIFE Leadership: Financial Matrix Scam

Posted by Orrin Woodward on May 23, 2016

Financial Matrix Quadrants

Financial Matrix Quadrants

Did you know that fifty percent of all American workers are Financial Slaves! Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you, I could hardly believe it myself until I started doing my own research. According to the latest data reported on Economist.com, over half of all Americans over 18 have no net worth, not even a penny. Let that sink in for a moment. Imagine all the hours husbands and wives work every year and over half of the households have NOTHING to show for it? No ownership and no choices is simply slavery under a different name.

Furthermore, over 80% of Americans over age 18 are in debt, a debt trapping them into financeal subjugation. For if the typical family loses one of its jobs, be it by downsizing or medial challenge, the family boat is capsized. This makes the family subject to the whims of employers and health – not a good position to be in.  Is this really the American Dream we imagined growing for people living in the home of the brave and the land of the free? BTW, for the Canadians reading  this, the data is very similar and the Financial Matrix has trapped your nation as well.

Financial Matrix TrapThe two groups getting hammered by the Financial Matrix Scam are the Financial Slaves (no net worth) and the Financial Subjects (servicing debt to survive). In total the Financial Matrix is siphoning trillions of dollars from these two groups plus businesses and governments at every level.  In the video below, I share how to move from Slave and Subject to Serf and eventually Financial Sovereign, the coveted position where citizens have ownership and choices over their life. Everyone can be free if they are willing to learn how to play defense and offense to avoid the web of debt and control inherent within the Financial Matrix.

Watch the twelve minute video below and the reader will realize the question is which quadrant are you in and what is your plan to move onto Financial Sovereignty? If you don’t have a workable plan, perhaps the Financial Fitness Program can help. 

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward: Life Leadership Chairman of the Board

Posted in Finances, Freedom/Liberty, LIFE Leadership, Orrin Woodward | 29 Comments »