Orrin Woodward’s long awaited book, RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE comes out this week. For those subscribing to the LIFE series offered by the LIFE company, they will receive this book automatically. Everyone else is encouraged to pick up a copy by visiting www.the-life-business.com
Below is the Foreword I wrote for the book, which I am certain will help a lot of people improve the quality of their lives and the magnitude of their achievements (the book, that is, not my Foreword!). I would like to solicit one or two line comments from readers of Orrin’s book to use as blurbs in upcoming publications. So once you’ve read it, come back to this blog of renown and tell me how you liked it.
It has been said that everyone wants to change the world but few feel the need to change themselves. Even a basic study of history, however, demonstrates that those who first focus upon self-improvement usually end up doing the most good in the world. Why should this be so? It may stem from the fact that excellence doesn’t occur by accident, but rather from intentional effort correctly applied over time. Subsequently the example of excellence increases the ability of the bearer to influence others and the much touted “ripple effect” takes hold, change resonating outward in ever widening circles from the genesis of a lone individual who cared to change his or her own life first.
I have had the unique position of nearly two decades observation on a real life example of the above. At age eighteen I made the acquaintance of a young man roughly my age as we entered into an engineering co-op program together with a handful of other equally bright-eyed but naïve students. Orrin Woodward came from humble origins, a sometimes-stressful home life, extremely tight finances, and no connections whatsoever. With nothing but hope and ambition he worked his way through college and into an engineering position, where he not only thrived but was also quickly recognized as a dedicated worker and creative problem solver. He soon won several accolades and promotions, including four US patents and a national benchmarking award. Then he decided to try his hand at being an entrepreneur, and this is where our paths once again crossed. I had known of his corporate success and seen his achievements from a distance, but when he chose to invite me into his business endeavors I at once had a front row seat for what would become a true Horatio Alger story.
Very significantly, Orrin Woodward began his business journey by immediately going to work on himself. A voracious reader, he devoured books on people skills, sales techniques, relationship building, success, leadership, and attitude. Over time, his self-directed education went deeper, from the surface level genres of skills to the heart level categories of principles. His education also broadened, taking in economics, history, theology, literature, philosophy, and even art. As he applied his aggressive learning to his entrepreneurial activities, his business (eventually) thrived. Today, Orrin Woodward is widely recognized as a top leader in several business categories, and is a sought after expert on leadership – having recently been named one of the World’s Top 10 Leadership Gurus. Today his success (which, in addition to professional achievements includes a healthy and productive family life, a marriage of twenty years, a worshipful faith, and a worldwide network of friends and supporters) and lifestyle are diametrically opposite of where he began. A larger contrast between origins and accomplishment would be hard to imagine.
Success of the kind obtained by Orrin Woodward is admirable and desirable, worthy of study and emulation. It is for this reason I have been encouraging him to endure the hardships and hard work of crafting this book. Although we’ve collaborated on a number of other books before, and Orrin already enjoys best-seller status, this project is different. It is his answer to the question, “How did you do it?” It is therefore extremely personal (though he doesn’t wish it to be about himself) and therefore laborious. It is full of historical research and illuminating examples, and inasmuch required much study and fact checking. And, quite frankly, in the depth of its content and the width of its application, it is stunning. Anyone who reads this book will be immediately struck by the scholarship of its author. But it is so much more than a well-researched tome; it is a roadmap. In a world full of formulas for success and quick fixes, Resolved: 13 Resolutions for LIFE goes all the way to the core. It reaches into the heart, stimulates the mind, and motivates the will.
In my book Rascal: Making a Difference by Becoming an Original Character, I attempted to depict the type of person who musters the courage to go against the grain, and to boldly pursue a God-given direction, regardless of who followed or fought against such a move. If indeed that book succeeded in showing how to step out from the crowd, this book shows what to do once having done so. Through thirteen profound resolutions, readily applicable to daily life, Orrin Woodward gives us a window into the reasons undergirding his own monumental success, and a very specific ladder of success to climb for our own. More importantly, he shows us how we can maximize our own personal potential, and yes, perhaps even change the world, by first working to become the best we can be. In these pages it becomes clear that success is no accident, and significance is ever more the result of strenuous intentionality. I believe the overall effect of the book on the reader will be a life transformed, and that, I surmise, would be Orrin’s greatest wish.