Category Archives: Family

If You Want to Change the World…..

Naval Admiral William H. McRaven (what a cool last name!) delivers an all-time classic speech, in my opinion, that I had to share with all of you.  I’ve read this speech 4 times watched it on YouTube and shared it with my kids.

If you don’t have time right now to read and listen to it, I’ve summed up the Admirals 10 points, but definitely make some time to read and listen to it.  His anecdotes are spot-on and masterful.

1) Do the little things in life well.

2) There ‘s no room for hatred or bigotry in your life.  Build close and trustworthy friendships with all walks of life.

3) Don’t judge a man by his appearance or words, measure the man by his actions.

4) Life will treat you unfairly at times, get over it!

5) Celebrate hard work, don’t be afraid of it.

6) Attack your limiting beliefs and stand down your life’s obstacles.

7)  If you try anything of significance you will be attacked and criticized unfairly.

8) When leaders are down, they are “up.”  Always keep a positive attitude.

9) Provide hope everywhere you go.

10) DON’T EVER GIVE UP!!

Enjoy and Godspeed on your journey ……….. to change the world!

Matt


The following are the remarks by Naval Adm. William H. McRaven, ninth commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, at the University-wide Commencement at The University of Texas at Austin on May 17:

President Powers, Provost Fenves, Deans, members of the faculty, family and friends and most importantly, the class of 2014.  Congratulations on your achievement.

It’s been almost 37 years to the day that I graduated from UT.

I remember a lot of things about that day.

I remember I had throbbing headache from a party the night before.  I remember I had a serious girlfriend, whom I later married—that’s important to remember by the way—and I remember that I was getting commissioned in the Navy that day.

But of all the things I remember, I don’t have a clue who the commencement speaker was that evening and I certainly don’t remember anything they said.

So…acknowledging that fact—if I can’t make this commencement speech memorable—I will at least try to make it short.

The University’s slogan is,

“What starts here changes the world.”

I have to admit—I kinda like it.

“What starts here changes the world.”

Tonight there are almost 8,000 students graduating from UT.

That great paragon of analytical rigor, Ask.Com says that the average American will meet 10,000 people in their life time.

That’s a lot of folks.

But, if every one of you changed the lives of just ten people—and each one of those folks changed the lives of another ten people—just ten—then in five generations—125 years—the class of 2014 will have changed the lives of 800 million people.

800 million people—think of it—over twice the population of the United States.  Go one more generation and you can change the entire population of the world—8 billion people.

If you think it’s hard to change the lives of ten people—change their lives forever—you’re wrong.

I saw it happen every day in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A young Army officer makes a decision to go left instead of right down a road in Baghdad and the ten soldiers in his squad are saved from close-in ambush.

In Kandahar province, Afghanistan, a non-commissioned officer from the Female Engagement Team senses something isn’t right and directs the infantry platoon away from a 500 pound IED, saving the lives of a dozen soldiers.

But, if you think about it, not only were these soldiers saved by the decisions of one person, but their children yet unborn—were also saved.  And their children’s children—were saved.

Generations were saved by one decision—by one person.

But changing the world can happen anywhere and anyone can do it.

So, what starts here can indeed change the world, but the question is…what will the world look like after you change it?

Well, I am confident that it will look much, much better, but if you will humor this old sailor for just a moment, I have a few suggestions that may help you on your way to a better a world.

And while these lessons were learned during my time in the military, I can assure you that it matters not whether you ever served a day in uniform.

It matters not your gender, your ethnic or religious background, your orientation, or your social status.

Our struggles in this world are similar and the lessons to overcome those struggles and to move forward—changing ourselves and the world around us—will apply equally to all.

I have been a Navy SEAL for 36 years.  But it all began when I left UT for Basic SEAL training in Coronado, California.

Basic SEAL training is six months of long torturous runs in the soft sand, midnight swims in the cold water off San Diego, obstacles courses, unending calisthenics, days without sleep and always being cold, wet and miserable.

It is six months of being constantly harassed by professionally trained warriors who seek to find the weak of mind and body and eliminate them from ever becoming a Navy SEAL.

But, the training also seeks to find those students who can lead in an environment of constant stress, chaos, failure and hardships.

To me basic SEAL training was a life time of challenges crammed into six months.

So, here are the ten lesson’s I learned from basic SEAL training that hopefully will be of value to you as you move forward in life.

Every morning in basic SEAL training, my instructors, who at the time were all Vietnam veterans, would show up in my barracks room and the first thing they would inspect was your bed.

If you did it right, the corners would be square, the covers pulled tight, the pillow centered just under the headboard and the extra blanket folded neatly at the foot of the rack—rack—that’s Navy talk for bed.

It was a simple task—mundane at best. But every morning we were required to make our bed to perfection.  It seemed a little ridiculous at the time, particularly in light of the fact that were aspiring to be real warriors, tough battle hardened SEALs—but the wisdom of this simple act has been proven to me many times over.

If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day.  It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.

By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.

If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.

And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made—that you made—and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.

1) If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.

During SEAL training the students are broken down into boat crews.  Each crew is seven students—three on each side of a small rubber boat and one coxswain to help guide the dingy.

Every day your boat crew forms up on the beach and is instructed to get through the surfzone and paddle several miles down the coast.

In the winter, the surf off San Diego can get to be 8 to 10 feet high and it is exceedingly difficult to paddle through the plunging surf unless everyone digs in.

Every paddle must be synchronized to the stroke count of the coxswain.  Everyone must exert equal effort or the boat will turn against the wave and be unceremoniously tossed back on the beach.

For the boat to make it to its destination, everyone must paddle.

You can’t change the world alone—you will need some help— and to truly get from your starting point to your destination takes friends, colleagues, the good will of strangers and a strong coxswain to guide them.

2) If you want to change the world, find someone to help you paddle.

Over a few weeks of difficult training my SEAL class which started with 150 men was down to just 35.  There were now six boat crews of seven men each.

I was in the boat with the tall guys, but the best boat crew we had, was made up of the little guys—the munchkin crew we called them—no one was over about 5-foot five.

The munchkin boat crew had one American Indian, one African-American, one Polish American, one Greek American, one Italian American, and two tough kids from the mid-west.

They out paddled, out-ran, and out swam all the other boat crews.

The big men in the other boat crews would always make good-natured fun of the tiny little flippers the munchkins put on their tiny little feet prior to every swim.

But somehow these little guys, from every corner of the Nation and the world, always had the last laugh— swimming faster than everyone and reaching the shore long before the rest of us.

SEAL training was a great equalizer.  Nothing mattered but your will to succeed.  Not your color, not your ethnic background, not your education and not your social status.

3) If you want to change the world, measure a person by the size of their heart, not the size of their flippers.

Several times a week, the instructors would line up the class and do a uniform inspection.  It was exceptionally thorough.

Your hat had to be perfectly starched, your uniform immaculately pressed and your belt buckle shiny and void of any smudges.

But it seemed that no matter how much effort you put into starching your hat, or pressing your uniform or polishing your belt buckle—- it just wasn’t good enough.

The instructors would find “something” wrong.

For failing the uniform inspection, the student had to run, fully clothed into the surfzone and then, wet from head to toe, roll around on the beach until every part of your body was covered with sand.

The effect was known as a “sugar cookie.” You stayed in that uniform the rest of the day—cold, wet and sandy.

There were many a student who just couldn’t accept the fact that all their effort was in vain.  That no matter how hard they tried to get the uniform right—it was unappreciated.

Those students didn’t make it through training.

Those students didn’t understand the purpose of the drill.  You were never going to succeed.  You were never going to have a perfect uniform.

Sometimes no matter how well you prepare or how well you perform you still end up as a sugar cookie.

It’s just the way life is sometimes.

4) If you want to change the world get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward.

Every day during training you were challenged with multiple physical events—long runs, long swims, obstacle courses, hours of calisthenics—something designed to test your mettle.

Every event had standards—times you had to meet.  If you failed to meet those standards your name was posted on a list and at the end of the day those on the list were invited to—a “circus.”

A circus was two hours of additional calisthenics—designed to wear you down, to break your spirit, to force you to quit.

No one wanted a circus.

A circus meant that for that day you didn’t measure up.  A circus meant more fatigue—and more fatigue meant that the following day would be more difficult—and more circuses were likely.

But at some time during SEAL training, everyone—everyone—made the circus list.

But an interesting thing happened to those who were constantly on the list.  Overtime those students-—who did two hours of extra calisthenics—got stronger and stronger.

The pain of the circuses built inner strength-built physical resiliency.

Life is filled with circuses.

You will fail.  You will likely fail often.  It will be painful.  It will be discouraging. At times it will test you to your very core.

5) But if you want to change the world, don’t be afraid of the circuses.

At least twice a week, the trainees were required to run the obstacle course.  The obstacle course contained 25 obstacles including a 10-foot high wall, a 30-foot cargo net, and a barbed wire crawl to name a few.

But the most challenging obstacle was the slide for life.  It had a three level 30 foot tower at one end and a one level tower at the other.  In between was a 200-foot long rope.

You had to climb the three-tiered tower and once at the top, you grabbed the rope, swung underneath the rope and pulled yourself hand over hand until you got to the other end.

The record for the obstacle course had stood for years when my class began training in 1977.

The record seemed unbeatable, until one day, a student decided to go down the slide for life—head first.

Instead of swinging his body underneath the rope and inching his way down, he bravely mounted the TOP of the rope and thrust himself forward.

It was a dangerous move—seemingly foolish, and fraught with risk.  Failure could mean injury and being dropped from the training.

Without hesitation—the student slid down the rope—perilously fast, instead of several minutes, it only took him half that time and by the end of the course he had broken the record.

6) If you want to change the world sometimes you have to slide down the obstacle head first.

During the land warfare phase of training, the students are flown out to San Clemente Island which lies off the coast of San Diego.

The waters off San Clemente are a breeding ground for the great white sharks. To pass SEAL training there are a series of long swims that must be completed.  One—is the night swim.

Before the swim the instructors joyfully brief the trainees on all the species of sharks that inhabit the waters off San Clemente.

They assure you, however, that no student has ever been eaten by a shark—at least not recently.

But, you are also taught that if a shark begins to circle your position—stand your ground.  Do not swim away.  Do not act afraid.

And if the shark, hungry for a midnight snack, darts towards you—then summons up all your strength and punch him in the snout and he will turn and swim away.

There are a lot of sharks in the world.  If you hope to complete the swim you will have to deal with them.

7) So, If you want to change the world, don’t back down from the sharks.

As Navy SEALs one of our jobs is to conduct underwater attacks against enemy shipping.  We practiced this technique extensively during basic training.

The ship attack mission is where a pair of SEAL divers is dropped off outside an enemy harbor and then swims well over two miles—underwater—using nothing but a depth gauge and a compass to get to their target.

During the entire swim, even well below the surface there is some light that comes through.  It is comforting to know that there is open water above you.

But as you approach the ship, which is tied to a pier, the light begins to fade. The steel structure of the ship blocks the moonlight—it blocks the surrounding street lamps—it blocks all ambient light.

To be successful in your mission, you have to swim under the ship and find the keel—the centerline and the deepest part of the ship.

This is your objective.  But the keel is also the darkest part of the ship—where you cannot see your hand in front of your face, where the noise from the ship’s machinery is deafening and where it is easy to get disoriented and fail.

Every SEAL knows that under the keel, at the darkest moment of the mission—is the time when you must be calm, composed—when all your tactical skills, your physical power and all your inner strength must be brought to bear.

8) If you want to change the world, you must be your very best in the darkest moment.

The ninth week of training is referred to as “Hell Week.”  It is six days of no sleep, constant physical and mental harassment and—one special day at the Mud Flats—the Mud Flats are area between San Diego and Tijuana where the water runs off and creates the Tijuana slue’s—a swampy patch of terrain where the mud will engulf you.

It is on Wednesday of Hell Week that you paddle down to the mud flats and spend the next 15 hours trying to survive the freezing cold mud, the howling wind and the incessant pressure to quit from the instructors.

As the sun began to set that Wednesday evening, my training class, having committed some “egregious infraction of the rules” was ordered into the mud.

The mud consumed each man till there was nothing visible but our heads.  The instructors told us we could leave the mud if only five men would quit—just five men and we could get out of the oppressive cold.

Looking around the mud flat it was apparent that some students were about to give up.  It was still over eight hours till the sun came up—eight more hours of bone chilling cold.

The chattering teeth and shivering moans of the trainees were so loud it was hard to hear anything and then, one voice began to echo through the night—one voice raised in song.

The song was terribly out of tune, but sung with great enthusiasm.

One voice became two and two became three and before long everyone in the class was singing.

We knew that if one man could rise above the misery then others could as well.

The instructors threatened us with more time in the mud if we kept up the singing—but the singing persisted.

And somehow—the mud seemed a little warmer, the wind a little tamer and the dawn not so far away.

If I have learned anything in my time traveling the world, it is the power of hope.  The power of one person—Washington, Lincoln, King, Mandela and even a young girl from Pakistan—Malala—one person can change the world by giving people hope.

9) So, if you want to change the world, start singing when you’re up to your neck in mud.

Finally, in SEAL training there is a bell.  A brass bell that hangs in the center of the compound for all the students to see.

All you have to do to quit—is ring the bell.  Ring the bell and you no longer have to wake up at 5 o’clock.  Ring the bell and you no longer have to do the freezing cold swims.

Ring the bell and you no longer have to do the runs, the obstacle course, the PT—and you no longer have to endure the hardships of training.

Just ring the bell.

10) If you want to change the world don’t ever, ever ring the bell.

To the graduating class of 2014, you are moments away from graduating.  Moments away from beginning your journey through life.  Moments away starting to change the world—for the better.

It will not be easy.

But, YOU are the class of 2014—the class that can affect the lives of 800 million people in the next century.

Start each day with a task completed.

Find someone to help you through life.

Respect everyone.

Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often, but if take you take some risks, step up when the times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden and never, ever give up—if you do these things, then next generation and the generations that follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today and—what started here will indeed have changed the world—for the better.

Thank you very much.  Hook ‘em horns.

Who Are They To Judge

I just finished reading a short book from the LIFE Leadership development system titled “Get Er Done – The Green Beret Guide To Productivity” by Michael Martel, a former Green Beret (as I would expect).get er done book

It is a short, easy-to-read book with a lot of good wisdom. One section in particular is titled “Who Are They To Judge.” I was pleasantly surprised to discover it was not a typical chapter on critics and how to deal with them, as I had originally assumed.

Have you ever attempted to do something and have been questioned by someone, probably negatively, why you would do that? Prior to your friend’s query, you probably spent time in thought and prayer, studied the potential reward and consequences, acquired special insight and information and, with all positive intentions, decided to move forward and then, WHAM!  You get hit with seemingly unwarranted criticism, rejection and negativity.

In sports, it happens all the time. I’m guilty of the “Monday morning quarterback” discussions around the break table. How come they did this or that? Why didn’t he see the open receiver down field?… Idiots!!!

Martel helps the reader look at these situations differently. I was surprised to learn how the Green Beret approach correction. First of all, they live by the saying “Who are they to judge us?”  At first, it seemed as another defensive reaction to avoid the judgement and criticism of others.  Yet as they see it, they don’t listen to the critics on the “outside” because those outside critics might not realize all that went into their decision making. The research, obstacles, training, and difficulty that went into their actions may be unrecognized.  To sum it up, people on the “outside” may not see it from your perspective, just like my quarterback criticisms weren’t from a guy running for his life with a 330lb lineman trying to rip off his head. Correction and encouragement comes best from within and from your team.

You and your team (business, home, sports) need to learn how to become self-correcting in a truthful, honest and positive way. The Green Beret have a process of reviewing every attempted game plan called After Action Review (AAR). It goes something like this:

Every team has a leader that accepts the responsibility of preparing his team and is accountable to each team member. In the home, it is Dad and Mom. In the work place, it’s the CEO, president or team lead, etc. At the end of each day, the leader reviews the different goals he set out to accomplish, what went well and what didn’t.

An AAR can be done individually or as a team.  An AAR is not a blame session but a time to analyze and improve your decision making and that of your team.

Martel focuses on 4 questions which I will summarize and paraphrase below:

1) What was planned?

- What was the goal, game plan and process? Did you identify potential barriers? What were your resources? This is a chance for each member to share their understanding of what was expected which will help you determine how well the objective was communicated. As an ordinary example, I have laid out a game plan at home that I wanted the lawn cut, only to find at the end of the day it didn’t get done. My normal response was to yell and have a fit. What I found out was the kids didn’t realize I wanted it done today because I failed to verbalize that even though in my mind it was intuitive.

2) What really happened?

- Be honest and just stick to the facts and stay positive. It’s not a time to blame or explain why things happened; it’s about understanding the events that did happen and how each member interpreted the events. The same event can be perceived very differently and the group can learn a lot from the feedback. Again, stay positive and avoid over-analyzing the negative. This isn’t about beating yourself up, so avoid minutiae, especially with the negative events.

3) Why did it happen?

- Stay away from blame! Talk about the positive and negative results, but focus on what went well. Reinforcing positive behaviors and events will fuel future success, where as focusing on just the negative and the minutiae will eventually drain the effectiveness of the process.

4) What can I do to get better next time?

- What resources are available to help you improve?  Identify and get rid of the habits and actions that led to failure and focus on your successes.

The AAR process is quite simple and I really appreciate how the process can be applied to every area of our lives. Enjoy reading the book!  I hope this brief summary helps you to become more effective in reviewing your own progress and results and aids you in ultimately becoming more successful in accomplishing your goals. God speed on your journey and get er done!

Do not judge, or you too will be judged.

 For on the same way you judge others, you will be judged,

and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

 Matthew 7:1-2

Matt

20-Something Year Old Inspired to Change the World!

“LIFE Leadership has been the fuel to our vehicle, and it’s what kept us going, motivated and inspired to change the world.”  Travis Allen

I just read this press release and copied it from Life Leadership founder Tim Mark’s blog.  Quite impressive vision from a 20-something year old.  For the original article log on to PRWeB.

Matt


Travis Allen, Founder of iSchool Initiative, to Speak at Walt Disney World® Conference on July 25, 2014

Travis Allen is the president and CEO of iSchool Initiative. He is speaking on July 25, 2014, about the evolution of technology in the classroom at the Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence 2014 Educator Leadership Institute held at Walt Disney World® Resort, FL, as part of the Disney Youth Education Series.

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LIFE Leadership has been the fuel to our vehicle, and it’s what kept us going, motivated and inspired to change the world.

(PRWEB) July 23, 2014

Recently, Readers Legacy PR spoke with Travis Allen, the young CEO of iSchool Initiative, about the success his company has experienced, the inspiration from LIFE Leadership that made him who he is today, and his upcoming speech at a Walt Disney World® educators conference. Allen was a high school student five years ago; today, he is the president and CEO of his own company. His meteoric rise to success, however, is not an accident. He attributes his vision for creating his company in part to the inspiration he received from the informational and motivational materials offered by LIFE Leadership.

Allen frequently used technology to take notes, read books, and perform other tasks when he was in high school. However, his school had a zero-tolerance policy for cell phone use, and he was reprimanded for the usage. Troubled by this problem, Allen soon created a YouTube video about one-to-one mobile learning and how it could transform the educational industry. The video soon went viral, and the educational world began to pay attention to Travis’s message that technology and education can, in fact, be combined effectively to engender authentic student engagement and increased learning.

Through this experience, the idea for iSchool Initiative was born. The foundation for this successful company was built over the next few years, ignited and fueled by LIFE Leadership’s products, speeches, and events. Following LIFE Leadership’s example, Travis started iSchool with a team that gave motivational speeches to build awareness of how technology could be successfully paired with education. These teachings became widespread and sought-after, and the Digital Learning Revolution (DLR) mobile classroom on wheels was born. Today, Allen’s company also offers professional development, consulting, and a mobile toolkit. Nearly 90 percent of the work is with teachers in grades K through 12. To date, the company has recruited several large clients, including a $1.4 million account, from schools that wish to purchase large numbers of iPads for their classrooms.

Travis Allen credits the insight and encouragement he received from a LIFE Leadership convention he attended in Ohio with helping to move his company forward. Says Allen, “LIFE leadership has been the fuel to our vehicle, and it’s what kept us going, motivated and inspired to change the world. It’s us in the trenches; we’re the ones doing the work. But it’s so vital that we have that support and constant fuel to keep us excited and energized to change the world.”

One of the products that Allen says benefited him greatly is the ‘Mental Fitness Challenge (MFC)’ created by LIFE Leadership cofounders Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady to help participants grow and improve in thirteen key areas of life set forth in Woodward’s acclaimed book ‘RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE.’ Through this all-encompassing three-month subscription, clients receive access to an interactive website, a self-assessment test, ninety days worth of worksheets, audios, videos, and books written by Woodward and Brady, and so much more. Among the bestselling books included is a copy of Brady’s and Woodward’s ‘Launching a Leadership Revolution,’ which is one of Travis’s favorites. He equates the foundational principles put in place for iSchool with the teaching found in this informative guide to increasing leadership effectiveness.

Now, Travis is taking his teachings from LIFE Leadership and his continually growing business prowess and sharing his wisdom at a Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence educator conference held at Walt Disney World Resort, FL, July 23 – 25, 2014, as part of the Disney Youth Education Series. Thanks to LIFE Leadership, Travis Allen and iSchool continue to help teachers understand the technological culture and buy in to the idea that education can effectively incorporate the latest devices. He and his company aim to revolutionize the American education system and promote a culture of lifelong learning.

About Travis Allen and iSchool:
At only seventeen years old, Travis Allen had a dream that schools would change their approach to integrating technology in the classroom. Today, iSchool helps teachers, administrators, and students understand how technological advances can be incorporated into everyday teaching and revolutionize learning. His employees are all subscribed to Rascal Radio, a personal and professional development product of LIFE Leadership, and he continually puts the ideas he learns from LIFE Leadership to work in his company.

About LIFE Leadership:
LIFE Leadership develops and inspires current and future leaders. With the belief that applying the right information consistently over time can produce lasting change and increased influence, the company provides life-changing informational materials to business professionals, administrators, community service leaders, pastors, teachers, parents, and more to help them increase their leadership effectiveness, passionately pursue their purpose, and live the lives they’ve always wanted.


 

What is your vision to change the world?

Inc.com Top 50 Leadership and Management Experts

Here is an official press release recognizing Life Leadership cofounders Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady, named on the Inc.com Top 50 Leadership and Management Experts list. I am so thankful to be associated with Life Leadership and two of the top 50 most influential leaders in the fields of leadership and management.  Congratulations Orrin and Chris!!


 

Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady Named Top Leadership Experts by Inc.com Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady, cofounders of LIFE Leadership, have been named on the Top 50 Leadership and Management Experts list published by Inc.com. These two men are both authors and experts in the field of leadership and personal development.

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(PRWEB) June 11, 2014

It is not often that two founders of the same company are named on a nationally recognized list of top leadership experts at the same time. That makes the accomplishment of LIFE Leadership cofounders Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady particularly impressive. Both men were named on the Inc.com Top 50 Leadership and Management Experts list. Mr. Woodward was listed as number 20, while Mr. Brady came in at number 39 among the top 50 most influential leaders in the fields of leadership and management.

Orrin Woodward is the Chairman of the Board of LIFE Leadership and is a New York Times bestselling author. He has sold over one million copies of his books on leadership and personal development, such as LeaderShift and Launching a Leadership Revolution. His book RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE was named one of the All-Time Top 100 Leadership Books and is used by schools and businesses across North America to teach leadership principles. Mr. Woodward regularly speaks to large audiences across the globe on the topics of leadership, success, personal development, economics, mentoring, history, and freedom.Woodward’s blog was chosen as an All-Top Leadership Blog selection and one of HR’s Top 100 Blogs for Management and Leadership. Mr. Woodward’s latest book, And Justice for All, will be published in the summer of 2014 by Obstaclés Press in conjunction with Next Century Publishing and will be featured at an event on June 21 in Columbus, Ohio, in which Mr. Woodward will attempt to set a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® title for the Largest Book Signing in history.

Chris Brady is also a New York Times bestselling author. He coauthored Launching a Leadership Revolution with Orrin Woodward, and he has sold over one million copies of his books on leadership and personal development, including A Month of Italy, which was a 2013 Gold ADDY Award winner and was featured in the movie A Long Way Off, and Rascal, which won the 2013 Living Now Evergreen Book Awards Gold Medal. Mr. Brady is the cofounder, CEO, and Creative Director of LIFE Leadership. He speaks to audiences of thousands around the world about leadership, personal development, success, and motivation and was named one of the Top 100 Authors to Follow on Twitter. His blog was chosen by Online Masters Degree Programs for the Masters Award in Leadership. Brady is a humorist, historian, and the creator of the beloved characters Obstaclés, the villain who tries to stop anyone from achieving excellence, and Rascal, the courageous hero who defeats Obstaclés and stays true to his purpose. These characters formed the inspiration for Rascal Radio and Obstaclés Press, both owned by Brady and Woodward.

Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady are also cofounders of All Grace Outreach, an organization that is dedicated to philanthropic work. Both men are impeccable examples of leadership through a multitude of channels and sources. Their personal development speaking engagements, with thousands in attendance, are a small measure of the insurmountable life guidance they have provided individuals, families, and companies. Well-deserving of these titles through Inc.com, both Woodward and Brady plan to continue inspiring others to live a fulfilled life of gratitude, perseverance, and success.

About Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady:
Both Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady regularly impart their wisdom to others through writing and speaking. Both men are avid bloggers, regularly speak in front of large audiences, and together own multimillion-dollar companies. Both Mr. Woodward and Mr. Brady try to assist others in fulfilling their dreams and becoming the best they can be by thinking properly, applying the right information, and working hard and smart.


 

Matt

 

Harness the Right Mentality: Lessons from African Teams in the World Cup.

“Some people believe football [soccer] is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude.  I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.” ~Bill Shankley (1913-1981; regarded as one of football’s greatest managers)

Ghana soccer club

Ghana lost on penalties to Uruguay in the quarter-finals of the last World Cup in South Africa

I love sports of all kinds.  I’m fascinated by the LIFE lessons I can learn by studying the players, coaches, management and fans.  I am by no means an officiando of sports psychology but I have a growing fascination with what it takes to achieve a winning attitude, whether on or off the field.

I recently ran across an interesting article written by Steve Vickers on the World Cup titled “Mentality holds African teams back at World Cup – John Barnes.”

In 1997 world football legend Pele predicted that an African nation would win the World Cup.  Yet, seventeen years and four World Cups later, no African team has even scored in the top 4 teams.  In fact, since the start of the FIFA World Cup in 1930, no African team has ever been in the top 4.

John Barnes, former Liverpool football elite that played for England in two World Cups, coached the Jamaican National team and is currently an analyst for African broadcaster SuperSport.  He cites many problems with the African national teams:  not paying the athletes on time, poor travel conditions, and lack of communication with the administrators and their respective teams, to name a few.  Barnes further states that African players that play for European teams are treated much better by the European teams than when Africans play for their own national teams.

These are outside circumstances contributing to the lack of success of the African football players.  Yet, I agree with Barnes that there is a potentially bigger reason for their lack of results:  their thinking.

As football fans across Africa are hoping that one of their World Cup representatives can reach the semi-finals or even win the tournament in Brazil this year, …… John Barnes believes that the mental aspect of the game is holding the continent back.

Though the African players are physically and technically equal, Barnes believes  they haven’t adopted the correct mental attitude and desire to win the World Cup.

There are many great lessons to learn from this example.  For starters, how we think about and respond to the outside circumstances in our life will dictate the results we have in life.  In addition, I identified 4 specific lessons to learn from the example of these African football players:  trust, appreciation, attitude, and work ethic.

1) Trust is everything in relationships.  The African administrators have broken trust with the players.  The results of that are underperformance through decreased discipline and desire, lack of unity between the players and administrators, and lack of national identity and respect. If you have a lack of trust, it must be earned back.  As the saying goes, trust may take years to develop, but it can be lost overnight and it takes a long time to re-establish.  Individuals with poor trust in relationships defaults to functioning on minimums rather than living up to their potential.  In order to start building trust in your relationships, I recommend reading the book Speed of Trust by Stephen M. R. Covey as a starting point.

2) The African players are probably feeling underappreciated by their team management.  Underappreciation is a much bigger issue then we realize.  We all feel appreciation differently and appreciation may look different at work than at home.  Ask yourself this question, “How do I feel appreciated?”  Then ask yourself how can you make others feel appreciated.  The more an individual feels appreciated, the more they are willing to perform up to their potential.  Some great reads include How to have Power and Confidence in Dealing with People by Les Giblin and The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

3)  Attitude is a choice, regardless of the circumstances.  Why do some people thrive while others flounder under the same circumstances?  Attitude! There is a great book on positive attitude I just read titled The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor.  Attitude really is everything.

4)  Work ethic:  It may not be the external work that is lacking but the internal work of developing and  managing our thinking.  Like Henry Ford said, “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason so few people engage in it.”  I reccommend reading Resolved by Orrin Woodward.

As I have embarked on my own personal leadership journey over the last 7 years, I have asked myself and helped others ask the question, “Am I willing to develop the discipline and adopt the correct behaviors to win in life?”  This sameFIFA world cup trophy question stands before the African football players.  If they accept that responsibility, than with the right information, support, and discipline, I believe they can win the World Cup.  Will you accept the same challenge to conquer your mental game?  If you say yes, I predict a “Word Cup” sized victory in your life too.

Godspeed toward your “World Cup” victories in LIFE.

 

The “Moon Man” – Robert Goddard and Thoughts on Leadership

“It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.”  Dr. Robert H. Goddard

The other day, my wife was working through some writing exercises with our home schooled son when she ran across a sentence that intrigued her.  “In 1914, Robert Goddard, called the “moon man,” was ridiculed by newspapers because he proposed that man could travel to the moon. ”  Hmmm…

To quote best-selling author and CEO of LIFE Leadership, Chris Brady, “There’s a story behind this.”

That one sentence propelled us to look into the “moon man.”  It seems that goddard rocketRobert Goddard (1882-1945) is now recognized, after his death, as the American founding father of modern rocket propulsion.  He was an American professor, physicist, and inventor who is credited for creating, building, testing and launching the world’s 1st liquid-fueled rocket.  In essence, he was integral in ushering in the Space Age but didn’t live to see the age of space flight.  It seems he was a man with a vision before his time.

As a little boy in 1899, climbing an old cherry tree, Goddard imagined how wonderful it would be to make a device to travel to Mars.  He later wrote in his autobiography, “After I descended the tree from when I ascended, for existence at last seemed very purposive.”  On that day, Goddard found his purpose in life and meaning for his existence.  In 1907, while a student at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Goddard experimented on a rocket powered by gunpowder and thus began his lifetime of dedicated work in rocketry.

Goddard was awarded  two U.S. patents by 1914 and by 1916 Goddard published his classic document, “A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes,” where he detailed his development of the mathematical theories of rocket propulsion.  Running low on funding, Goddard resorted to sponsored research and the Smithsonian granted him $5000 in 1917 and modest contributions from the Gugenheim foundation.

By 1920, Goddard’s discoveries were virtually ignored by the U.S. government and he received very little public support for his research.  The press and public ridiculed, mocked and insulted him, pushing him into a life of secluded research, only sharing his findings and ideas with private groups. Yet, he held firm to his convictions of what he knew to be true.

“Every vision is a joke until the first man accomplishes it; once realized, it becomes commonplace.”  – Robert Goddard in response to questions from reporters.

In March 1926, contrary to the stinging criticisms, Goddard successfully launched the world’s first liquid-fuelled rocket which ushered in the “Space Age” which would forever change our world.

On July 17, 1969 (the day after the launch of Apollo 11), forty-nine years after its editorial mocking Goddard, apollo 11The New York Times published a short item under the headline “A Correction.” The three-paragraph statement summarized its 1920 editorial criticizing Goddard’s rocketry research, and concluded:

Further investigation and experimentation have confirmed the findings of Isaac Newton in the 17th Century and it is now definitely established that a rocket can function in a vacuum as well as in an atmosphere. The Times regrets the error.

Years after his death (August 10, 1945), at the beginning of the race to the moon, Goddard was recognized as the founding father of modern rocketry.

Goddard held 214 patents, and over 100+ of these were awarded post-mortem. He now has the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, a high school, a postal stamp and a street named after him, commemorating his vision and his legacy.

goodard image quote

Leadership Lessons

What an incredible story of personal leadership, a man with a dream, and what it takes to bring a vision to reality.  I can’t help but believe that if we could only teach these leadership lessons in the general public today we would see countless new discoveries and personal dreams realized.  There are 5 distinct leadership principles that I believe we can study from Robert Goddard’s life:

1) To live a fulfilled life, one must discover his purpose.  Without Goddard’s “cherry tree dream,” who knows where our world would be today.  What is your “cherry tree dream?”

2) Any great idea will take time to develop and often times will require us to dedicate significant “un-busyness” to fully develop that dream.  Goddard used “leaves of absence” from Worcester Polytechnic Institute to focus on his research.  Find ways to lessen your daily busyness so you can focus on developing your life purpose.

3) Criticism, ridicule and mockery will happen, especially when your idea challenges the status quo.  However, if you have discovered and developed your purpose, use the negative push back as a way to strengthen your resolve to follow through on your ideas to the end.

4) Be very selective who you share your dreams with as they may become your biggest critics.  Once the goal or dream is publicly expressed, the enemies of that idea will be revealed.  The Bible says not to cast our pearls before swine. Unfortunately, we don’t always know who will become our judges, critics and naysayers  so use caution!

5) Your efforts may not be fully realized or recognized until after you’re dead.  Do it anyway!  The ripple effect of your dreams and leadership will be part of your legacy.

LIFE leadership is one path to teach common men and women of today how to walk through a leadership journey.  We are all called to leadership yet many of us are not trained how to lead and how to push through the challenges.  Via the LIFE Leadership business, the idea that leadership principles can be brought to the masses is on the table.  We are taking the criticisms and ridicule, yet there are masses of people around the globe that are catching on to the vision.  Men and women are identifying and discovering their purpose, rolling up their shirt sleeves and getting to work to develop their dreams and dedicate their lives to move their vision and goals forward.  Join the LIFE Leadership movement!  God speed on your journey!

 

They won, we lost….. Not Anymore!

Freedom series

I just listened to an excellent CD from the November 2013 LIFE Leadership Freedom Series titled “Three Bubbles” by Chris Brady.  Brady describes three bubbles that are effecting our daily freedoms:  money, commodities, and housing.

The money bubble:  With all the printing of money, currently known as quantitative easing, or QE, our dollars aren’t worth as much.  In other words, it takes significantly more money to buy the same things.  For further information on this topic, listen to the LIFE Leadership audios titled “Camel in the Tent” and “Good as Gold” by Chris Brady.  I’ve also embedded below an excellent video describing the problem by Mike Maloney.  An interesting fact is Facebook has banned this video, labeling it “aggressive content.”   The only thing “aggressive” in my opinion is that truth can be bittersweet to the ears and the manipulation from a few, very large banks has been exposed and “they” don’t like it.   So far, they won, we lost.

The commodities bubble:  Commodities are things we need for everyday living like oil, corn, wheat, beef etc.  In a five-year period, 2003-2008, the average prices of these everyday things rose over 200%.  What’s interesting is how Brady exposes that prices didn’t just inflate naturally, but happened out of design through secret, special deals for a few investment banks.  Instead, we were led to believe that price increases were entirely our fault (a nation of gluttons driving oil-guzzling SUV s).  Again, they won, we lost.

The housing bubble:  Bank failures and government bail-outs of those banks in 2008 led to home values decreasing yet mortgage payments stayed the same.  Because the American public had less money left over each month because of the first two bubbles, they defaulted more on their home loans. They won, we lost.

This post isn’t to throw a pity party for the American public.  Many Americans have spent well above their means, prioritizing entertainment over real priorities. The root of the problem comes down to our thinking lays in our ignorance.

We are lead to believe the problem is Republican vs Democrat, red vs blue, elephant vs donkey.    The winds of truth our lifting the smoke screen and exposing the lies that have clouded our thinking for over a century.  Our political system is broken and we are waking up to the fact we are just a cog in someone else’s wheel.  We are at the mercy of a small group of people who purposefully create these scenarios which has ultimately eroded much of our freedom.  

It is surprising how free we can be when we chose to live by principles and not opinions.  How free we will become when truth and justice are anchored again by a biblical foundation and not moral relativism.

There are great men and women starting to stand-up for truth and the LIFE Leadership organization has become the beacon for many to identify as the leading place to find that truth.   Godspeed on your journey to truth.  Matt