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 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 Leadership. 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.
LIFE Leadership insiders have confessed! In this video, viewers will learn the many reasons why someone should not join LIFE Leadership, or any other business for that matter. According to Chairman of the Board Orrin Woodward and CEO Chris Brady, success takes focus, hard work, and perseverance, traits that take time to develop – who has time for that? 🙂
People looking for get-rich-quick schemes, people looking for something-for-nothing and people looking for a hand-out rather than a hand-up, will NOT be happy after watching this video. LIFE Leadership has the temerity to encourage people to learn, grow, and change! As stated previously, who has time for that? 🙂
Then again, practically all successful people express that the person they become is more important than the money they make, but what do they know? In this exclusive video, we have captured Orrin and Chris spilling the beans on LIFE Leadership, a company that clearly refuses to lower the bar, even when so many are demanding it. Undoubtedly, LIFE isn’t for everyone! 🙂
A big secret to life is when you discover that learning is just as enjoyable as entertainment is, but with long term benefits. – Orrin Woodward
In the process of researching for my second book in the And Justice For All series, I stumbled across one of the most profound descriptions of the importance of education in a person’s life by Professor Ernest Barker. As I read the words below, I realized how important LIFE Leadership is in improving society. For LIFE helps people focus on achievement through a process of eliminating debt and building a community through serving others by pursuing wisdom and leadership. In effect, the size and speed of the results achieved is a measurement of the wisdom applied to their life and business. The Bible teaches clearly that all true wisdom begins with fear of the Lord and that Christians should seek righteousness and all others things will be added.
Unfortunately, however, few people apply these Biblical lessons consistently. Despite the numerous historical examples of people who applied Biblical wisdom to life and were blessed beyond measure, many still chase money rather than wisdom. In a capitalistic system, money flows to those who apply wisdom to business, but the reverse of this is not true – wisdom flows to those with money. For instance, Laurie and I have many monetary blessings, but none of these satisfy like sharing wisdom with others to stimulate breakthroughs in mentoring sessions or the “aha” moments of self-discovery when the veil of ignorance is removed and one sees clearly the principles to apply to move ahead. Indeed, once a person becomes a seeker of knowledge, he will never be bored again because there is always more wisdom to learn and apply. I love my life and wouldn’t trade places with anyone else because I have been blessed with the leisure to learn and grow. Even more importantly, I am blessed to share what I have learned with other hungry students seeking wisdom in life.
The Financial Matrix is a system of control designed to enslave people in their own ignorance. Hence, if one wished to escape the matrix, one must escape not only physically, but also mentally. To do this, a person must build a business asset to buy back his time because only then will he have the leisure to invest in a self-directed education to develop wisdom. LIFE Leadership is the vehicle to accomplish this where people can live their dreams by losing their debt? However, living your dreams requires a plan and a willingness to work hard. What is the reader’s plan to develop wisdom and seek righteousness? These two steps are foundational to having everything else added unto him to live his/her dreams. I pray you achieve all the success you earn.
Our modern economic society, we have seen, requires leisure and education as its complements and its correctives. They are two things which should go together. Leisure is a time to be devoted — not wholly, for the body has its claims to relaxation, and the mind too needs its gentle indulgences ; not wholly, but at any rate largely — to the purposes of education and the gaining of that knowledge, not to be acquired in the course of work, ‘which brings wisdom rather than affluence.’ Education, on the other hand, should be a training — not again wholly, but at any rate largely — in the right way of using leisure, which without education may be misspent and frittered away. This vital connexion between leisure and education is a fundamental thing. Unless we grasp it, we are in danger of abusing leisure and misusing education. And in order that we may grasp it, it is necessary that we should have a right conception of the meaning of leisure;
One of the old Greek philosophers made a distinction which may help us here. He thought that we ought not merely to distinguish between work and leisure, but also to distinguish between leisure and recreation. Work, he thought, was something done not for its own sake, but as a means to something else — affluence, let us say, or at any rate subsistence ; recreation was rest from work, which took the form of play, and issued in the recovery of the poise of body and mind, disturbed and unbalanced by work ; but leisure was a noble thing, and indeed the noblest thing in life ; it was employment in some activity (we may almost say some form of work) which was desirable for its own sake such as the hearing of noble music and poetry, intercourse with friends chosen for their worth, or the exercise of the speculative faculty.
In this fine sense of the word, we may say that we live for leisure ; that it is the end of our being, which transcends work and far transcends recreation ; that it is the growing time of the human spirit, which in its leisure from necessary toils, and the necessary recreations they entail as their counterpoise, can expand in communion with its own thoughts and with the thoughts of others and with the Grace of God. The sad thing about modern English society is that there is so little leisure in this higher sense. It is not only that we work so hard : it is also that we play so hard. Perhaps the monotony and uniformity of work sends us in reaction to the hazards of games, or the excitement of watching them, or the still greater excitement of betting upon them : perhaps the urban aggregations in which men now live make them unhappy unless they are crowding together to some common game or spectacle.
Whatever the reason, poor leisure is far too often out in the cold, while recreation is romping about all the rooms in the house. One need be no kill- joy or Puritan to think or talk in this strain. Life is something more than a series of alternate layers of lean work and fat hearty play. It is meant for the growth and development of the human spirit. And that growth needs its growing time, which is leisure. If leisure be largely for education, education is also largely for leisure. We too often think and speak of education as something intended to fit us for life’s work. Ideally, it should rather be intended to fit us for life’s leisure. I do not mean that education should be humane rather than vocational.
Education may be humane, and yet directed to work and the better doing of work. I mean something more — that education should mean the filling of our mind with interests and possibilities of high delight, which we can develop for ourselves in all our leisure hours ; that it should be an initiation in the tastes and pursuits which will crown our leisure with fulfilment ; in a word, that it should be a training and a preparation for the right use of the time of the spirit’s freedom. Perhaps education has not hitherto been sufficiently adjusted to this end. Perhaps, if it had been, it would have been directed more to the awakening of a taste for art and music, in order that they might become the permanent possession and the abiding joy of later years.
Be that as it may, it is surely true that education is a necessity if men are to gain the faculty of using leisure easily, happily, and fruitfully. The use of leisure is a difficult thing. The majority of us, when freedom is given into our hands, fly to the excitement of some form of recreation. We must be ‘doing’ something — preferably something physical : if we are not, we are lost and without resource. We know the routine of work : we know the rules and the routine of different forms of play ; but we do not know how to move freely, originally, and by our own choice in the world that lies above work and play — the world of leisure. This is why holidays sometimes pall, and leave us at a loss : it is why men who have retired from work sometimes fall into melancholy, and find their reason for living gone.
Leisure without faculty for its use may even be a mother of mischief; men may dissipate themselves in frivolities, and worse than frivolities, because they do not know how to concentrate themselves upon better things. A society which guarantees leisure is guaranteeing something which may be useless, and even dangerous, unless it adds, or at any rate encourages its members to add, the one thing which will enable the gift to be used — a continuous process of education.
The world offers to the mind of man many noble joys. There is a joy in knowing the flowers of the field, and calling them by their names. There is a joy in knowing tlie heavenly bodies which move above us, and in understanding the rhythm and the rules of their motions. There is a joy in knowing the past of our kind, and in unrolling the long record of human history which explains what we are to-day. There is a joy in entering into the vision of the poet and painter, who have seen the ideal beauty which is hidden from ordinary eyes. There is a joy in wrestling with the thought of great philosophers, who have pondered about the why and wherefore of this mortal world and our mortal existence in it. These are the joys of leisure ; and leisure is the growing time of the spirit because it is the time of these joys. But it needs an effort to catch these joys ; and you cannot catch them without hooks of apprehension.
You must know a little in order to want to know more. Blank ignorance is blank incuriousness, but a little knowledge may be the opportunity and the incentive for more knowledge. The facts presented to mere ignorance are facts which there are no hooks to catch ; but when a mind has had some little training, it develops tentacles of apprehension ; it is anxious to seize new stuff, to arrange it and co-ordinate it with the old stuff which is already there, and so to make a little systematic world of its own for its own high delectation. The mind which is furnished with these tentacles and hooks of apprehension is a mind which will never be embarrassed or dumbfounded by leisure.
It will begin to play at once, in the nobler sense of the word play: the hooks will grip more and more of things seen and unseen into its consciousness ; and in the growing time there will be growth. When we say, therefore, that education is a preparation for the enjoyment of leisure, we mean that it is an equipment of the mind with these hooks and tentacles, these curiosities and appetites. And from this point of view we may see that there is a large sphere for the education of the adult, and that education is in no sense only the concern of childhood. The child learns at school ; but the child learns at a time when real experience of life has not yet begun. He learns, and is often curious to learn ; but what he learns cannot be co-ordinated with, or grappled into, a first-hand experience, because such experience has not yet begun to be gathered.
When he goes out into the world, and begins to gather experience, that experience may seem to him the one essential thing, and the school time lessons may fade away into the outgrown occupations of a vanished childhood. It is at this age — the age of adolescence, young manhood and young womanhood — that everything turns on the rescue of young minds from being immersed in mere experience. It is now that they need to recover curiosities, and to be furnished with hooks and tentacles of apprehension, by which they can capture a knowledge which can now be co-ordinated with experience. History, for example, is one thing to a child — a record of exciting events which satisfies curiosity : it is another thing to an adult — a record of the moral experience of men and nations which can be compared with and interpreted by the moral experience which the adult has himself gone through.
But unless, in adolescent and adult years, the curiosity be reawakened and recovered, the adult mind may remain immersed in its own more immediate experience ; and the high contemplation which lifts it above such experience, and yet explains and interprets that experience, may never be attained. Adolescent and adult education are in this way of primary importance, if man is to rise to that height of his being in which he uses leisure for the purpose of contemplation of the world, in order to explain it, and his own experience of it, and to attain to the justification of faith in its purpose and operation.
In preparation for the LIFE Leadership PC Primer and above basketball wars next year, I had to do a quick post on this humorous video, sent to me by my friend Adam, on pickup basketball game stereotypes. What’s so funny about this video is how true it is. I know most of these stereotypes have been true of me on given days. Just ask the guys I played with this summer. 🙂 In any event, its important to laugh at yourself and the foibles we all have so we don’t take ourselves too seriously while taking what we do very seriously. This is truly a LOL video!
I pray everyone has a happy, safe, and fun Labor Day.
This is part four of a four-part series on LIFE Leadership Fun. To start at the first segment, please click here.
The whole series now boiled down to one game for the Band of Brothers (BoB). If they lost, it was over; otherwise, with a win, both teams would settle it once and for all on day seven. Each team experienced the increasing pressure and grueling exhaustion by reaching our competitive limit. Nevertheless, it is an athlete’s dream to experience true competitive greatness when one’s physical limits are reached and the mental discipline must take over. I took the measure of each man on the court just before passing in the ball to start game three. Every single player was a winner who had his game face on, determined to give his all and contribute to his team’s victory. In other words, no one had cracked, and it promised to be a war to the finish. The final game started with baskets trading back and forth and was tied at 4 points a piece at the first water break. The BoB, however, surged out of the break, scoring three unanswered baskets to take a commanding 7–4 lead.
Ending this run was not an option, and I found myself repeating the words “stops and pops” out loud. Holger and Bill knew exactly what I meant, namely, stops on defense and quick pops on offense. The next offensive series for the BoB was crucial because overcoming an 8–4 lead would have been a tall order. Thankfully, we did not give the BoB any good looks at the rim, and even if we did, we vowed to foul if necessary, as we could not allow an easy shot. Still, their next shot danced tauntingly on the rim, for what seemed like an eternity, before finally rolling off into Holger’s awaiting arms.
The next set of events I experienced in slow motion, although the game pace was extremely fast on the court. Holger passed the ball to me, and I quickly launched a bomb from downtown that hit the mark, making it 7–5. Because we had played “buckets” the whole series, the scoring team would keep the ball until the defense stopped them. Bill inbounded the ball to me, and we looked to continue our rally. Over the years, Bill and I have played a ton of basketball together, and when we made eye contact and nodded, I knew exactly what he wanted to do without a word being communicated. For it was time to execute a series of flawless pick-and-rolls and end this game, or we would have to confront the BoB again on day seven. I dribbled to the left into a beautiful screen set by Bill that checked Morgan. Birtles, however, quickly rushed in front of me to stop my wide open shot. Noticing the overplay by Birtles, Bill rolled to the hoop and I hit him with a perfect bounce pass that he caught in stride for the layup, making it 7–6.
Two more beautiful screens by Bill left me open for running layups that pushed us into the lead 8–7. Finally, the BoB stopped our surge, and we traded baskets to make it 9–8 with the BoB dribbling the ball intent on tying it up. A shot by Birtles bounced long off the rim into my arms around the free-throw line. I quickly dribble to the top of the key, hoping to catch the BoB napping, to take a quick shot. I turned to face the hoop and made eye contact with Steve Morgan in a dead sprint towards me. I made up my mind to shoot anyway and arced a moon ball that took forever to come down. Somehow the shot just avoided the outstretched hands of Morgan, and he turned around just in time to see the moon ball swish through the net. PC Team was up 10–8 with just one more point to go!
Bill shot the potential game-winning shot that just missed, but Holger’s offensive rebounding gave us two more shots at victory. Incredibly, both layups rolled on the rim but refused to fall. Three game-winning shots, in other words, but no points! The BoB rebounded and took possession. Steve, guarded by me, dribbled to the right to lead me into Kirk’s screen. However, as Kirk attempted to roll, one of his calf muscles popped, and he collapsed in pain on the court. He was not getting back up, and just like that, the series and summer were over due to an injury. Since we were leading by the required two points, the game ended in our victory, by an injury forfeit, winning day six two games to one and the day series four days to two. Thankfully Kirk, who is a former physical therapist, is recovering nicely and preparing for next year.
Only people who are free mid-morning every day can enjoy this type of fun. Further, only people who understand and apply the PDCA process can enjoy the mental chess match of two winning teams engaged in war. Next summer promises to be even better as I am planning to form teams of PC Primers Leader pins. Each three-man team will compete in a Gus-Macker–like tournament at 10 a.m. in the morning while everyone else is working. LIFE Leadership is about Having Fun, Making Money, and Making a Difference, and this definitely fits in the Fun category! Why not get free and join a team to battle it out in a three-on-three basketball tournament? And since some people don’t like basketball, maybe other free LIFE Leaders will initiate a golf/volleyball/baseball/football/etc. tournament.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself in this series. Looking back, I think the key lesson each of the players took away from it was how much fun it can be to incorporate the PDCA process into life. When winners get together to compete, it promises to be a great time. In all the games, no one trash-talked, gave cheap shots, or cheated. Instead, it was just competition at the highest of levels amongst friends and business partners. I cannot wait until next year! Anyone care to join us?
This is the third segment of a four-part series on the summertime basketball wars between the Michigan LIFE Leadership PC team and the Band of Brothers (BoB). To start with the first segment, click here.
One great thing about winners is they never get comfortable with losing. In fact, show me anyone who is comfortable losing, and I will show you someone who loses consistently. The PC team was never comfortable losing. Accordingly, Bill worked tirelessly on his step-through move to counter Kirk’s harassing defense. Additionally, I asked Holger to come over Wednesday morning to practice offensive rebounding and shooting while keeping his hands up, thus reducing turnovers and increasing points. Above all, however, was our decision to return to a man-to-man defense and scrap the zone.
I assigned myself the daunting task of guarding Morgan in the man defense. Although I had a slight size advantage, he had about every other advantage in the game, including playing the game regularly, being a decade younger, and being on a massive hot streak from the previous game. Nonetheless, bolstered with some ibuprofen, I believed I could slow his drives, challenge his shots, and hopefully break his rhythm. It all sounded good on paper, but only game day would reveal the quality of the PDCA.
Although my assignment promised to be challenging, Bill’s may have been even tougher. Somehow Bill, despite being five inches shorter than Kirk, had to shut down his inside/outside game. Remember, it was Kirk’s deadly accurate shot that had toasted us in the contest before. If a defender gives Kirk space, he shoots a ridiculously high percentage. Therefore, Bill agreed to stay in Kirk’s face, chasing him all over the court, refusing to give him any space for his shot. Meanwhile, we coached Holger to let Aron shoot his jump shot but challenge anything inside. Given our poor performance in the previous games, this PDCA had to work, or this series would be over!
Fortunately, day five confirmed our PDCA was successful. We shut down Steve’s drives and Kirk’s outside game. Although Aron hit a couple of wing shots, it wasn’t enough to keep them in the game. Bill had his best day of the series, scoring at will inside and out. Holger also had his best day, rebounding better than ever and scoring on many offensive rebounds. Finally, my long-range jumper kept the defense spread out, allowing Bill the spacing for his drives. The PC team won the first game 11–5 and the second one 11–2. The momentum had turned with our best performance to date, and we looked forward to the next day with a three-day to two lead in the series. Everyone expected Tuesday to be the most intense competition yet, as the BoB faced elimination and the PC team focused on ending the series. We knew we had better finish the series before the younger legs wore us down.
All weekend long, Holger, Bill, and I contemplated what the BoB would do to slow our aggressive defense and inside/outside juggernaut from the day before. Not surprisingly, when day six started, the answer from the BoB was clear. First, they came an hour early to practice at the Columbiaville elementary school. They worked on various maneuvers to check our game plan, even going as far as setting plays called out by number! The level of competition this day lived up to its advanced billing, with neither team giving an inch. In fact, I remember at one point thinking this was exactly what Wooden had described in his book on competitive greatness. It is simply awesome to experience a game that pushes a person to his competitive limit with other winners doing the same thing!
Nevertheless, only one team could win the series, and the BoB felt it should be them. They blew our doors off in game one. No, they didn’t just win; they annihilated us by a score of 11–2! Later, I learned one of their PDCAs was a realization that the team that had won the first game eventually won the day’s contest; therefore, they poured everything into game one for the victory. The BoB played with reckless abandon, letting no shot go unchallenged and owning every loose ball. How could anyone keep up a pace like this? The PC team didn’t panic after the blistering defeat but did make some adjustments. Holger promised to step up his rebounding, while Bill committed to take the ball to the rim and pass it back to me if he was double-teamed. Despite our team being exhausted from the physical pounding in game one, I believe the BoB team members were even more spent, as it is practically impossible to play that hard for any length of time. They had truly left it all on the court in game one. Our offense finally started to click, and we came back to return the favor on the exhausted BoB by trouncing them 11–2 in the second game.
The whole series pivoted upon the final game. Would the PC team pull it off, or would the BoB send the series to day seven? To be continued tomorrow.
This is part two of four on LIFE Leadership summer fun. Apply the same principles to your life that were applied in this basketball series, and you will meet with uncommon success. To read the first segment click here.
Band of Brothers PDCA
Band of Brothers
Like winners do, the Band of Brothers (BoB) upped their game the second day, playing like there was no tomorrow! Day two began with us back in our man-to-man defense, with me assigned to cover Kirk Birtles. I use that word loosely, as he and Aron Radosa played like they were on pogo sticks! Every time I turned around, they were airborne for another rebound! The BoB simply killed us, as Birtles and Morgan hit nearly every shot, and on the occasional miss, Radosa was there with the rebound. Although I was personally shooting better than day one, the PC team was no match for the BoB freight train. Even though we squeaked out a second-game victory, it didn’t matter, as we were humiliated in game three. Without a doubt, if someone had recorded the day’s competition, he would have concluded the PC team was incapable of competing against the BoB athleticism and intensity. Fortunately, however, the PC team also had some experience with the PDCA process. 🙂
I hate losing—simply HATE it! But I had to concede to the BoB that they had earned their victory. Nevertheless, Thursday couldn’t come soon enough, as I found myself envisioning a different outcome and practicing daily in preparation for the upcoming battle. Bill and Holger felt the same way, and day three was a day of redemption. Our main PDCA was a switch from man-to-man into a zone defense. This allowed Holger to utilize his size as well as his shot-blocking and rebounding skills underneath the hoop without having to chase Aron around the court. Bill and I completed the zone defense by challenging every pass, discombobulating the BoB strategy. In essence, this hindered Morgan’s ability to drive to the basket, slowing his impressive playmaking abilities. We focused on stopping their inside game and forcing the BoB to beat us on outside jumpers. Our zone threw the BoB out of their rhythm and spacing, leading to poor shot selection. Furthermore, Holger’s defense denied easy layups to anyone entering his space. This was the perfect PDCA at the time, and we won both games to take a 2–1 series lead.
The BoB are champions, however, and would not take this defeat lying down. All weekend, they planned their strategic response. Interestingly, when either team lost, they seemed to dive into why and make adjustments. In contrast, when our team won, we seemed to stand pat, expecting what worked yesterday to work again. This, however, was a huge mistake and why I teach to find a victory in every defeat and a defeat in every victory to continue the PDCA learning process. In an effort to verify that knowledge isn’t wisdom until its applied, the PC team repeatedly neglected this crucial principle, and the BoB capitalized on our error.
Day four started with us in the same zone defense that had previously worked so well. But the same cannot be said for this day. The BoB made adjustments that tore our zone apart. First, they ran picks to clear Kirk and Aron for wide-open, mid-range jumpers and hit them consistently. Second, once we started overplaying the jumper, Steve drove in and hit shot after shot off the backboard! I couldn’t believe how well they were shooting, and Bill, Holger, and myself seemed powerless to stop it. Somehow, our team fought back and tied the first game but could not hang with the fresher legs of the BoB and lost in overtime.
The second game, our zone defense looked even more porous. Jumper after jumper from Kirk and Steve killed us. Holger attempted to adjust by coming out to defend the shots, which only led to Aron killing us inside. We lost 11–4 and were never in the game. I had to commend the BoB again. They had sliced and diced our zone defense with their PDCA and left no doubt they could handle our zone defense in the future. In fact, at the time, I had no idea how we could stop their new style of play. On a personal note, adding insult to injury, Steve Morgan switched to guarding me personally, refusing to let me shoot my long-range bombs. Indeed, he did not give me an inch of space and neutralized my ability to consistently score outside to spread out their defense. Meanwhile, Kirk stepped up his defense and blocked Bill’s shots repeatedly, proving their defensive switch was the perfect PDCA. We now were in a full code red as the BoB had evened out the series at 2–2, but even more important, had the momentum going into Thursday’s event.
What a summer it has been in Michigan. In fact, it may be the best summer of fun since Laurie and I purchased the property in the Columbiaville area. The LIFE Leadership promotions we ran on Saturdays were blessed with great weather and taught the communities how to Have Fun, Make Money, and Make a Difference. Moreover, because I desired to stay in shape but loath treadmills or any other fitness activity not involving competition, I asked Bill Lewis if he thought some of his free RT guys would be interested in a little three-on-three driveway basketball.
At the time, I had no idea what a big part of the summertime fun this would become. For Bill Lewis, Holger Spiewak, Aron Radosa, Kirk Birtles, Steve Morgan, and I became engaged in a basketball war in a best of seven series that will be talked about for years. It all started when we divided the teams into the PC Members (the old guys) and the Band of Brothers (the younger guys). This created two teams that refused to back down, let down, or stay down. In fact, only minutes into the first game, I realized that shooting around with my teenagers was not proper preparation for the level of intensity required to compete in these games. Not surprisingly, my timing was off the whole first day as I attempted to adjust to the level of competition.
My teammates, on the other hand, picked up the slack. Holger Spiewak, despite not knowing the game of basketball, had starred as a soccer player in his younger days, and his athleticism reminded me of a young Dennis Rodman with the Detroit Pistons. However, the quintessential basketball player and stalwart of the PC team was Bill Lewis. His playing on opening day carried us to victory, as his outside jump shot, inside drives, and quick passes allowed the PC team to win all three games. After the games, I suggested maybe we could do it again on Thursday, and an epic series was born.
Band of Brothers
I believed, since we won each of the first three games, we would really hurt them on Thursday after I started playing at the new rhythm and speed of the game. My thinking, however, foolishly missed one very important point, namely, the PDCA process. The Band of Brothers (BoB) consisted of three great athletes who understand and implement the PDCA process daily in their lives. With the inside/outside combination of Radosa and Birtles, a competitive series was guaranteed as these two relentless rebounders pack solid muscle on their chiseled, near 200-pound frames. Moving them out of their post, in other words, was practically impossible. Interestingly, both starred in football and baseball in high school (but thankfully for us, not basketball), and neither comprehends the word quit.
The final BoB opponent was Steve Morgan. This gentleman did play basketball in high school (and in pickup games across Michigan) and thus quarterbacked his team. His knowledge of the game allowed him to make the needed adjustments to check our strategies. This ensured that neither team would run away with this series and that every victory would be earned. Steve played the point guard position, distributing the ball to whomever had the hot hand. And if we relaxed at all on defense, he would drive right past us for easy hoops. Above all, Steve’s killer instinct, upping his intensity and focus when the game was on the line, made each game a war. Nonetheless, because of our impressive victory on day one, I was lulled into passivity and only awoke after the BoB storm of day two.
Laurie and I recently returned from a five day fishing journey with our three teenagers still living with us and what a trip it was. I love the bonding time, after a day of fishing, where there are no phones, no emails, just talking and listening to each other.
We caught one monster mahi-mahi bull pictured (sorry about the sideways picture. Not sure how to straighten out) here. He ran out 2/3 of my line before I finally slowed him down and started bringing him to the boat. I can sit at the back of the yacht, lost in thought over a book I am reading, and then BAM – fish on!
Over the years, I have learned the value of hard-work to achieve dreams, but also quality-time with family and friends. In fact, the longer I live the more I realize I enjoy and cherish the quality time with people more than the awards, recognition, and monetary gain.
For example, Pastor Tom Crawford asked the congregation who was the only player to win two Heisman Trophy Awards. Seven people out of 700 knew the answer. However, he then asked how many people can name a person in their life who took the time to listen, love, and encourage them. Every single hand, at least that I could tell, was raised on that one.
Life, in other words, is not about how much one accumulates as about how much serves. Being a father is a massive responsibility and blessing. One, unfortunately, that too many males seem to take frivolously. One of my goals is to teach males how to be men and I have been blessed to see this occur thousands of times in my life. Males have to step up and “Play the Man” like I said on an older blog post.
Most males want to be men, but lack role models, information, and encouragement to become good husbands, fathers, and men. This can change when these young males enter a community of men who can model manhood. LIFE Leadership is one such community and a good church is another.
Here is a fantastic video for Fathers Day that everyone should watch. Happy Fathers Day to all the dads out there!
My son Jeremy loves soccer. No, on second thought, he is a soccer fanatic! 🙂 In fact, his passion for the players and the game has made me a fan from his sheer enthusiasm. Consequently, when the Woodward family was discussing potential vacation spots, Barcelona was always Jeremy’s request. His perseverance paid off and we planned a vacation to Barcelona to watch a live “football” game. Looking at the schedule, we realized the best game to watch would be Barcelona against AC Milan the week before our kids scheduled spring break. However, since our teenagers are all doing great in school, we talked with the school and were off to Europe.
Shortly after checking into our hotel, we were notified that the Barcelona team would be staying at the same hotel! Jeremy, with his jerseys in hand, parked himself in the lobby, along with his siblings and Laurie, for nearly eight hours to see the players up close. Thankfully, the team did enter the hotel and a couple of players signed Jeremy’s jersey. Proudly displaying his signatures, Jeremy stated that signing this jersey would certainly help the players on game-day. I wasn’t sure how he thought that, but didn’t say anything at the time.
Tuesday could not arrive fast enough as Jeremy was up, showered, and dressed by 7:30 am to get breakfast, hoping to see more players downstairs. (This soccer stuff is cutting into my vacation sleep! 🙂 ) When we left for the Camp Nou stadium, Jeremy, and the other kids, were on cloud 9. The mass of humanity and the intensity at the football game were beyond my wildest expectations. I have never seen so many fanatics (I say that with all respect) in one place at one time. The fans had songs, cheers, and taunts, that erupted intermittently during the game as if on queue, even though there was no monitor telling them when or what to cheer.
Barcelona vs AC Milan
Barcelona had lost to AC Milan several weeks back and needed to not only win, but win by at least two in order to advance. The pressure was on, but the best teams and best leaders always respond well to pressure. Barcelona did not disappoint. Within the first seven minutes Messi made a spectacular give and go pass and break to the net, sending a rocket through the outstretched arms of the goalie to score. The crowd (over 94,000 strong) exploded and the Woodward family vacation was shaping up nicely. Later, another goal from Messi and Barcelona never looked back, winning 4-0 before the rowdiest crowd at a sporting event ever.
Interestingly, Jordi Alba, one of the players that signed Jeremy’s jersey, scored a goal just as Jeremy had predicted. One of the Biblical principles taught to our kids over the years is that you reap what you sow in life. Jordi sowed an act of kindness when he signed Jeremy’s jersey and he reaped a reward the next day. (No one can guarantee the reap and reward process will occur so quickly, we hope, however, that you will sow acts of kindness anyway since it is the right thing to do. 🙂 ) At any rate, Jordi’s kind actions made a young man’s dream come true and for that I am thankful to our God above lining up all the pieces and to Jordi for sowing good seeds.
Well, enough writing for now, I have to get ready to go to the City Museum and see one of the best-kept ancient Roman cities unearthed under modern Barcelona. The LIFE Business is allowing so many people to chase and capture their dreams. I hope everyone is planting good seeds into others people’s lives on faith that over time people reap what they sow.
Captain Bill Howard and I took my friend and co-founder of the LIFE Business, Dan Hawkins, on a shark fishing expedition earlier this week. I like to catch and release the big boys after getting them up to the boat to marvel at their power and design. I have caught Reef, Nurse, HammerHead, Tiger, Bull, and even had a Mako Shark on the line; however, this day 0f fishing would be unique. Incidentally, it was unique for Cap Howard as well and he was a fishing guide in the Dry Tortugas for over 15 years, helping to catch 18 foot Tiger Sharks, monster Hammerheads, and beastly Bull Sharks. Rarely, in other words, is something going to surprise him.
Nevertheless, less than two hours into the trip, I set the hook on what seemed a mild bite and handed the top of the line, practically unbreakable pole, to Dan Hawkins. Dan was not able to make up any ground on this shark, so, assuming he wasn’t applying the proper pressure, I started fighting it. After an hour of making no headway, exhausting myself in the process, I realized this Bull Shark was bigger than any other shark I had ever faced. I surrendered the pole to Cap Howard, who for the next 45 minutes battled the beast to a standstill, but no progress. He simply could not move the Bull Shark’s head in the slightest degree in our direction. In fact, he exclaimed in all his years of fishing, that he had never seen a shark of this bulk and power. Indeed, the longest shark ever battled on the Dreambuilder II required less than two hours to bring into the boat (a nearly 500 pound HammerHead), but after three hours and counting, we resembled spitballs hitting a battleship. 🙂
Finally, at the 3 1/2 hour mark, and the fish made another huge run, taking out 200 more yards of line. I set the pole in the rod holder, hoping to rest a bit as we strategized how to bring in this potential world-record Bull Shark. Curiously, in the Florida Keys this summer, a researcher tagged a 1,000 pound Bull Shark, shattering the previously believed world-record of 700 pounds for a Bull Shark. Evidently Bull Sharks are much bigger than previous research indicated. Without exaggeration, I am convinced we had a Bull Shark of this on the line. Nonetheless, Cap and I had no idea how Dan could get this monster up to the boat to take a picture. As we contemplated our options, the shark dove down to the bottom, snapping the base of the pole while in “rested” in the rod holder! Literally, the force of this fish bent the pole with such energy that it snapped my lifetime guaranteed Ugly Stick. Now, things were getting desperate.
With no ability to rest, we took turns fighting the increasingly upset shark, ultimately requiring two at a time – one, fighting the shark’s power and the other reeling in when possible. Meanwhile, to make matter worse, the weather turned uncooperative with the wind and waves picking up, making it difficult to maintain our footing and hold the pole. Knowing we were now in a race against weather, time and wills – the Bull Shark against ours – we tightened the drag to the breaking point. At the four hour mark, we optimistically believed the shark was running out of gas. The attack intensified as we flexed the pole and line to its limits in the hope of breaking the shark’s will. Instead, we helplessly, watched the shark, who had fought twice as long as any other shark in my fishing history, strung an awe-inspiring run of another 150 yards! Cap, Dan, and I, at that moment, realized we had, in reality, not caught the Bull Shark, but that it had caught us!
Needless to say, we didn’t catch this unbelievable fish, for not long after this run, he frayed the 220 pound monofilament line and convincingly swam away. The shark simply refused to be caught. Thankfully, however, it’s still out there, just outside the Port St. Lucie inlet, waiting for you to be invited fishing. I am calling for reinforcements to help us catch, take a picture, and release this and other sharks. 🙂 Any volunteers? LIFE is great! I love the Christmas season because we can gather with family and friends and dream together. Merry Christmas everyone and if you dream of helping me catch the big sharks, be sure to start working out now!