. . . done things your way; sought your own path; and chased your own dreams. In fact, deep down, you’ve always known you were made for something great.
Now you’ve got different information, too.
Get ready for different results.
. . . done things your way; sought your own path; and chased your own dreams. In fact, deep down, you’ve always known you were made for something great.
Now you’ve got different information, too.
Get ready for different results.
If it were a human, it would still be wearing diapers and maybe not even walking yet. If it were a dog, it might still be chewing the furniture. But LIFE is a business and wasn’t forced to go through the awkward infant phases of existence. Instead, it’s first year is shaping up to be a very adult, mature one.
Here is what I mean:
1. The LIFE business launched on November 1, 2011 on an interesting premise: produce world-class information products that change peoples’ lives, and make those products available to anyone as a significant home-based business venture.
2. With it comes a compensation plan that returns in excess of 70% (with all incentives included) to those in the field who market the products (an industry high), and rewards performance, allows anyone to “pass” anyone else in accomplishment, and is excruciatingly fair. It can no longer be said that “life is unfair,” because “LIFE is fair!”
3. Also instituted right at the launch of the LIFE business was the 3 for Free customer program, allowing not only LIFE members, but also LIFE’s customers themselves to receive their product subscriptions for free once they acquired three equal or higher subscribing customers of their own!
4. One Time Cash Awards (OTCA’s) were then rolled out for the start of the 2012 calendar year, giving thousands of additional dollars to performers throughout a wide range of business sizes.
5. Next, in April of 2012, Paid Incentive Trips were announced. Again, the shockingly low business level requirements to earn these trips is another industry first. Destinations include Disney World in Orlando Florida, Arenal Costa Rica, the Oasis of the Seas Bahamas Cruise, Sandals Resort in Negril, Jamaica, Maui Hawaii, Ocho Rios Jamaica, a Celebrity Cruise, and a Princess Cruise to Alaska!
6. Then, the LIFE business rolled out its flagship product, the Mental Fitness Challenge (MFC). Designed with complete life transformation in mind, the MFC encompasses many different media including books, audio, video, self-assessment testing, 360 degree feedback, accountability partners, goal setting, progress tracking, and more. The Mental Fitness Challenge is already receiving rave reviews!
7. Next came lower prices! The barrier to entry for starting a business out of one’s home was driven even lower by the founders of the LIFE business. One can now begin his or her own home based information marketing business for just $49.99!
All of this excitement has caused record growth in the LIFE business and is shaping up to be a first year to remember! As November 1, 2012 approaches, there may be only one little candle on the LIFE business’s birthday cake, but it represents a flame that can light the fires of many dreams as people have the courage to dream. May yours burn brightly!
Someone sent me the transcript from a commencement speech. The title and beginning featured a slightly shocking pattern interrupt. In other words, they caught me by surprise. I found myself so intrigued I read further, and eventually realized that, unlike 99% of everything else I ever receive, I could not stop reading this. I have included it below in its entirety for your enjoyment and pondering. I love how it concludes, and think there are many, many fine points made along the way. Oh, if we could only think and behave thus!
Here it is!
Here’s a new one in the annals of commencement speakers. A teacher at Wellesley High School in Massachusetts gave his address to the Class of 2012 and blasted the students, telling them over and over, “You’re not special.”
(Dennis R.J. Geppert/AP)
David McCullough Jr., an English teacher at the school, delivered his rather unusual speech:
Dr. Wong, Dr. Keough, Mrs. Novogroski, Ms. Curran, members of the board of education, family and friends of the graduates, ladies and gentlemen of the Wellesley High School class of 2012, for the privilege of speaking to you this afternoon, I am honored and grateful. Thank you.
So here we are… commencement… life’s great forward-looking ceremony. (And don’t say, “What about weddings?” Weddings are one-sided and insufficiently effective. Weddings are bride-centric pageantry. Other than conceding to a list of unreasonable demands, the groom just stands there. No stately, hey-everybody-look-at-me procession. No being given away. No identity-changing pronouncement. And can you imagine a television show dedicated to watching guys try on tuxedos? Their fathers sitting there misty-eyed with joy and disbelief, their brothers lurking in the corner muttering with envy. Left to men, weddings would be, after limits-testing procrastination, spontaneous, almost inadvertent… during halftime… on the way to the refrigerator. And then there’s the frequency of failure: Statistics tell us half of you will get divorced. A winning percentage like that’ll get you last place in the American League East. The Baltimore Orioles do better than weddings.)
But this ceremony… commencement… a commencement works every time. From this day forward… truly… in sickness and in health, through financial fiascos, through midlife crises and passably attractive sales reps at trade shows in Cincinnati, through diminishing tolerance for annoyingness, through every difference, irreconcilable and otherwise, you will stay forever graduated from high school, you and your diploma as one, ‘til death do you part.
No, commencement is life’s great ceremonial beginning, with its own attendant and highly appropriate symbolism. Fitting, for example, for this auspicious rite of passage, is where we find ourselves this afternoon, the venue. Normally, I avoid clichés like the plague, wouldn’t touch them with a ten-foot pole, but here we are on a literal level playing field. That matters. That says something. And your ceremonial costume… shapeless, uniform, one-size-fits-all. Whether male or female, tall or short, scholar or slacker, spray-tanned prom queen or intergalactic X-Box assassin, each of you is dressed, you’ll notice, exactly the same. And your diploma… but for your name, exactly the same.
All of this is as it should be, because none of you is special.
You are not special. You are not exceptional.
Contrary to what your soccer trophy suggests, your glowing seventh grade report card, despite every assurance of a certain corpulent purple dinosaur, that nice Mister Rogers and your batty Aunt Sylvia, no matter how often your maternal caped crusader has swooped in to save you… you’re nothing special.
Yes, you’ve been pampered, cosseted, doted upon, helmeted, bubble-wrapped. Yes, capable adults with other things to do have held you, kissed you, fed you, wiped your mouth, wiped your bottom, trained you, taught you, tutored you, coached you, listened to you, counseled you, encouraged you, consoled you and encouraged you again. You’ve been nudged, cajoled, wheedled and implored. You’ve been feted and fawned over and called sweetie pie. Yes, you have. And, certainly, we’ve been to your games, your plays, your recitals, your science fairs. Absolutely, smiles ignite when you walk into a room, and hundreds gasp with delight at your every tweet. Why, maybe you’ve even had your picture in the Townsman! And now you’ve conquered high school… and, indisputably, here we all have gathered for you, the pride and joy of this fine community, the first to emerge from that magnificent new building…
But do not get the idea you’re anything special. Because you’re not.
The empirical evidence is everywhere, numbers even an English teacher can’t ignore. Newton, Natick, Nee… I am allowed to say Needham, yes? …that has to be two thousand high school graduates right there, give or take, and that’s just the neighborhood Ns. Across the country no fewer than 3.2 million seniors are graduating about now from more than 37,000 high schools. That’s 37,000 valedictorians… 37,000 class presidents… 92,000 harmonizing altos… 340,000 swaggering jocks… 2,185,967 pairs of Uggs. But why limit ourselves to high school? After all, you’re leaving it. So think about this: even if you’re one in a million, on a planet of 6.8 billion that means there are nearly 7,000 people just like you. Imagine standing somewhere over there on Washington Street on Marathon Monday and watching sixty-eight hundred yous go running by. And consider for a moment the bigger picture: your planet, I’ll remind you, is not the center of its solar system, your solar system is not the center of its galaxy, your galaxy is not the center of the universe. In fact, astrophysicists assure us the universe has no center; therefore, you cannot be it. Neither can Donald Trump… which someone should tell him… although that hair is quite a phenomenon.
“But, Dave,” you cry, “Walt Whitman tells me I’m my own version of perfection! Epictetus tells me I have the spark of Zeus!” And I don’t disagree. So that makes 6.8 billion examples of perfection, 6.8 billion sparks of Zeus. You see, if everyone is special, then no one is. If everyone gets a trophy, trophies become meaningless. In our unspoken but not so subtle Darwinian competition with one another — which springs, I think, from our fear of our own insignificance, a subset of our dread of mortality — we have of late, we Americans, to our detriment, come to love accolades more than genuine achievement. We have come to see them as the point — and we’re happy to compromise standards, or ignore reality, if we suspect that’s the quickest way, or only way, to have something to put on the mantelpiece, something to pose with, crow about, something with which to leverage ourselves into a better spot on the social totem pole. No longer is it how you play the game, no longer is it even whether you win or lose, or learn or grow, or enjoy yourself doing it… Now it’s “So what does this get me?”
As a consequence, we cheapen worthy endeavors, and building a Guatemalan medical clinic becomes more about the application to Bowdoin than the well-being of Guatemalans. It’s an epidemic — and in its way, not even dear old Wellesley High is immune… one of the best of the 37,000 nationwide, Wellesley High School… where good is no longer good enough, where a B is the new C, and the midlevel curriculum is called Advanced College Placement. And I hope you caught me when I said “one of the best.” I said “one of the best” so we can feel better about ourselves, so we can bask in a little easy distinction, however vague and unverifiable, and count ourselves among the elite, whoever they might be, and enjoy a perceived leg up on the perceived competition. But the phrase defies logic. By definition there can be only one best. You’re it or you’re not.
If you’ve learned anything in your years here I hope it’s that education should be for, rather than material advantage, the exhilaration of learning. You’ve learned, too, I hope, as Sophocles assured us, that wisdom is the chief element of happiness. (Second is ice cream… just an fyi) I also hope you’ve learned enough to recognize how little you know… how little you know now… at the moment… for today is just the beginning. It’s where you go from here that matters.
As you commence, then, and before you scatter to the winds, I urge you to do whatever you do for no reason other than you love it and believe in its importance. Don’t bother with work you don’t believe in any more than you would a spouse you’re not crazy about, lest you too find yourself on the wrong side of a Baltimore Orioles comparison. Resist the easy comforts of complacency, the specious glitter of materialism, the narcotic paralysis of self-satisfaction. Be worthy of your advantages. And read… read all the time… read as a matter of principle, as a matter of self-respect. Read as a nourishing staple of life. Develop and protect a moral sensibility and demonstrate the character to apply it. Dream big. Work hard. Think for yourself. Love everything you love, everyone you love, with all your might. And do so, please, with a sense of urgency, for every tick of the clock subtracts from fewer and fewer; and as surely as there are commencements there are cessations, and you’ll be in no condition to enjoy the ceremony attendant to that eventuality no matter how delightful the afternoon.
The fulfilling life, the distinctive life, the relevant life, is an achievement, not something that will fall into your lap because you’re a nice person or mommy ordered it from the caterer. You’ll note the founding fathers took pains to secure your inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness–quite an active verb, “pursuit”–which leaves, I should think, little time for lying around watching parrots rollerskate on YouTube. The first President Roosevelt, the old rough rider, advocated the strenuous life. Mr. Thoreau wanted to drive life into a corner, to live deep and suck out all the marrow. The poet Mary Oliver tells us to row, row into the swirl and roil. Locally, someone… I forget who… from time to time encourages young scholars to carpe the heck out of the diem. The point is the same: get busy, have at it. Don’t wait for inspiration or passion to find you. Get up, get out, explore, find it yourself, and grab hold with both hands. (Now, before you dash off and get your YOLO tattoo, let me point out the illogic of that trendy little expression–because you can and should live not merely once, but every day of your life. Rather than You Only Live Once, it should be You Live Only Once… but because YLOO doesn’t have the same ring, we shrug and decide it doesn’t matter.)
None of this day-seizing, though, this YLOOing, should be interpreted as license for self-indulgence. Like accolades ought to be, the fulfilled life is a consequence, a gratifying byproduct. It’s what happens when you’re thinking about more important things. Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you. Go to Paris to be in Paris, not to cross it off your list and congratulate yourself for being worldly. Exercise free will and creative, independent thought not for the satisfactions they will bring you, but for the good they will do others, the rest of the 6.8 billion–and those who will follow them. And then you too will discover the great and curious truth of the human experience is that selflessness is the best thing you can do for yourself. The sweetest joys of life, then, come only with the recognition that you’re not special.
Because everyone is.
Congratulations. Good luck. Make for yourselves, please, for your sake and for ours, extraordinary lives.
What is the Mental Fitness Challenge?
I was in the middle of my run yesterday and fighting to stay at it. If you’ve worked out much at all, you know what I’m talking about. You hit that point where your heart is beating, your sweat is flowing, your lungs are working, your legs are throbbing, and you just want to quit. It’s as if a little voice in your head says, “Go ahead, wimp out, slow down, stop, no one will know. What difference does it make, anyway? Just a few less steps here or there aren’t going to make THAT big of a difference in your health!” And on it goes.
To me, physical exercise is one of the best analogies for living life well. To be fit physically requires discipline, mental toughness, commitment, and persistence – in short, all the things that are required for living an excellent life, as well. Being healthy requires the ability to challenge yourself. And so does being successful in any category in life. And really, it’s at that sticking point, when you want to quit, when that little voice tries to talk you into wimping out, that your mental toughness must kick in and rescue you. As Orrin Woodward likes to repeat the famous phrase, “When the going gets tough the tough get going!”
This is what the Mental Fitness Challenge is designed to do to your whole life. Not just in the area of physical fitness, to which it most certainly applies, but also to every aspect of your life. The principles of successful living are the same no matter which category we care to consider.
How good are you at challenging yourself?
Perhaps the Mental Fitness Challenge is just what you need to give yourself the staying power to once-and-for-all develop healthy, happy, successful principles for life.
As Orrin Woodward says, “We don’t promise easy, but we DO promise worth it!”
Enjoy! And don’t forget to Challenge yourself!!!
The Mental Fitness Challenge: We’ve all heard about physical fitness programs since time immemorial. Nearly everyone has a product or program designed to help people get and maintain their fitness. Some of these are quite excellent. However, our physical condition is subservient to our mental condition. In other words, in life, to get and stay physically fit, one must ultimately become mentally fit. This applies in all the categories in which we live out our lives, such as finances, relationships, and the like. If we are not thinking correctly in these areas, aka “mentally fit,” then we will not have any real sustainable fitness in those areas.
Enter the Mental Fitness Challenge. Designed around the 13 resolutions put forth in Orrin Woodward’s best selling book, RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE, the Mental Fitness Program helps people live the life they’ve always wanted to live. This is accomplished the way adults learn and grow – not through expensive conferences in tropical locations, or danger simulations and artificial adventures, or even high-priced concert/seminars with public figures – but rather through small, incremental, daily steps implemented according to timeless principles, as explained in Orrin’s book. After all, it’s the formation of new habits that brings lasting change, and this begins with exercising the mind and becoming mentally fit.
Just as a physical diet requires the elimination of bad foods and the increasing of the consumption of nutritious foods, so too does a mental fitness diet. With the Mental Fitness Challenge, participants are encouraged to begin bringing in small, daily doses of mentally nutritious information. At the same time, participants are encouraged to eliminate much of the bad information, or “junk food for the mind” that is often so thoughtlessly allow in.
Additionally, when learning something new, it is helpful to set goals, track progress, and receive encouragement from others. All this and more is structured into the process of the Mental Fitness Challenge. To begin, participants will be able to take a Self Assessment Test, in which they will establish a baseline for their life in each of the 13 resolutions. Also, if desired, 360 degree feedback can also be obtained through the same test, in which others can take the test on the participant’s behalf and have their opinion anonymously displayed.
There are many other features of the Mental Fitness Challenge, including audio, reading, and video training. More details can be found here.
The Mental Fitness Challenge: Challenge yourself to live the life you’ve always wanted!
P.S. If you’ve already begun taking the Mental Fitness Challenge, give us your impressions here! We’d love to hear from you!
When Orrin Woodward first introduced me to the world of word-of-mouth marketing almost two decades ago, I was skeptical, to say the least. In my very uninformed opinion at the time, I had the impression that networking wasn’t a “real” business, that people who were involved were never going to be successful, that someone was ripping someone else off, and that it was a place to go for those who couldn’t “make it” anywhere else. With this predisposition and negative bias, it seems nearly impossible that Orrin got me involved. First of all, the fact that he won me over speaks to the esteem with which I held (and still do) Orrin and the belief I had in his ability to follow through on his commitments. It also proves the power of information to change a mind. I was determined not to get involved, but the pull of the truth was too strong. As I investigated I found out just how much I didn’t know about the possibilities. What I discovered was that people were making money, there was a way to help others with the types of programs being offered, and they were indeed legitimate.
But that was the good side.
What I also discovered over the years was that although I had been largely wrong in my original negative opinions, unfortunately, I had also been correct. There are networks out there that aren’t legitimate, there are organizations that exist merely to fleece its participants, and sadly there are groups of people being deluded into thinking they’re going to make it financially in a situation in which the game is stacked against them. It was these ugly truths that drove Orrin to say to me one day nearly 14 years ago, “We’ll fix anything like that we come up against! No matter what it takes or costs!”
To this Orrin Woodward has been true. Our story (along with many other leaders of very strong character and caliber such as Tim Marks, Bill Lewis, George Guzzardo, Claude Hamilton, Dan Hawkins, and thousands of others), has been one of overcoming obstacles on the route to making this concept what it can and should be. Don’t get me wrong – there are a lot of great companies and great groups out there. But this industry still has a portion that can best be analogized to the “Wild West” where guns are slinging and bullets are flying and only the quickest on the draw survive.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Our goal in launching LIFE was to establish a Whole New Industry by finding the space between trends. Namely, we would combine the categories of 1) Community Building, 2) Personal Development, 3) Life Coaching, and 4) Networking into a unique blend never before attempted. We would do so by keeping the good and leaving out the bad inherent in each of these four areas. The overall goal would be to offer a business better than we could have dreamed of so many years ago when we were just starting out.
This would mean that such a business would have to eliminate many of the problems common with the standard fare in each of these four categories. Our goal would be to maximize the number of people prospering and the difference made in people’s lives. Instead of trying to make a fortune we’d focus on trying to make a difference. There would be no private perks or hidden benefits, no tilting of the scales or breakages back to the company. In fact, as we had always done, the founders were responsible for every bit of travel and lodging expense for our board meetings and would receive not a nickel of consideration for their service. These types of expenses would never be covered by money taken from the field, but would be paid for out of the pocket of the board member himself as an investment back into his own business. We had seen too much of the opposite in other scenarios where people make a living serving on boards and committees (where compensations for such “services” could run into six figures annually) instead of earning their lifestyle fighting alongside the leaders in the field. We also wanted a pay plan that went beyond fair, with as much compensation as possible returned to the field to inspire future growth and reward the performers responsible for making it all happen. And we wanted to build it all around a product that couldn’t be commoditized by copycat parasite marketers with no concern for customer quality or longevity. Also, we wanted to come in as a low cost supplier, undercutting what appears to be a trend among personal development companies to charge higher and higher prices as their popularity grows. Concerned with lasting change, we wanted a subscription program that would provide little bites over time, not enormous, expensive, “drinking through a fire hose” type programs designed to bring in a bunch of up-front money no matter the effectiveness of the training. We are convinced that small, correct steps, taken consistently over time, are much more affordable and effective for transforming lives.
Orrin Woodward was right when he told me so many years ago that there was a lot of opportunity in personal business ownership. He was also right when he told me we would need to fix some things. He has been true to his word every step of the way. And with the launching of LIFE, it’s time to make a difference in a whole different way!
I was only a few years out of grad school and a year into my marriage when I got into business with co-worker Orrin Woodward. From the very beginning of our entrepreneurial adventure together Orrin was enthusiastic about getting personal improvement information into my hands. He began with the book Magic of Thinking Big by Dr. David Schwartz and followed that up with a constant barrage of audio recordings and additional books. I couldn’t have known it at the time, but this was the beginning of my real education; a self-directed learning hunger that would carry me for the next two decades. In fact, nearly everything I’ve been blessed to accomplish in that time is in some way due to the learning and growth engendered by the habit of ongoing learning inspired by those first exposures to personal development information. Thank you Orrin!
The LIFE business is now one month old. It exists to bring the exact kind of information that was so critical in my own formation into the hands of others. It follows a program whereby busy adults in the modern world can learn and grow and change in the most low-drag, friction-free manner. While much of what exists out there in the training world involves expensive conferences, a “drinking through a fire hose” approach, and a massive strain on budgets (and usually culminates in the employee heading back to work with a thick binder under her arm that, at best, will end up in the credenza of her desk), the LIFE learning programs operate on the principle of “a little-at-a-time,” thereby respecting the busy schedules and distracted lives most of us lead. Additionally, though, we also know that for true change to take place (and to last), it must be reinforced over time. Baby steps of improvement taken consistently over time are the secret to massive advancement in station – not expensive one-time deluges.
LIFE is in the business of producing life-changing information, and we know it works because it first worked for us!
Revolutionize your life! Take the leadership challenge! Plug into a positive source of information and be prepared to be amazed at the changes you see in yourself and your results in LIFE.
Welcome to the LIFE you’ve always wanted!