Wednesday, August 29, 2012

We Have The Cure!

This is an absolute epidemic in society today! Please take the time to review Chris Brady's outstanding article depicting this epidemic and exposing the affliction that threatens society today. Live a life of intention! You have a purpose! One person can make a difference!

God Bless!
Capt. Bill

Passivity an Active Destroyer

There is a simple step people can take to radically improve their lives. Most, however, will not do it.

In almost two decades of working with people in personal development, I am continually amazed at the lack of proactive behavior exhibited by the "average" individual. Food is consumed almost absentmindedly, mass media programming (movies, television shows, satellite radio, etc.) is imbibed without even a thought (even when it comes to children). Video games are played incessantly. Days, weeks, and often years go by without any intentionality in family interaction. Scripture, worship, and prayer are, at best, reached for only in times of trouble. Relationships are used only for personal gratification and cause shock and surprise when strained and ruptured. And our political freedom is ignored to the point of neglect.

I could go on.

The results of this passive attitude toward life and the living of it are enough to cause despair. Obesity is at an all-time high in the United States, television watching and Internet surfing are through the roof, video game addictions are a reality (especially among grown men!), family units are breaking down and disappearing, churches are either emptying or if full, often full of nothing, meaningful relationships have, to at least some degree, been relegated to "friends" on social networks, and our freedoms are slipping into the history books.

What lies behind all this?

Rampant passivity.

In my opinion, at least part of our sad state of affairs can be attributed to a habitually passive approach to life. The society in which we live seems to accept everything that comes along without scrutiny. Cries of warning are disregarded as prudish, old-fashioned, or simply no fun. But these cries have tremendous merit. We DO need to be vigilant. We DO need to be intentional about how we live our lives. We MUST be discerning when it comes to technology, media, food, relationships, worship, family, and our responsibilities as citizens. If we don't, we will necessarily and summarily suffer the consequences. If ideas have consequences, imagine what ignoring them produces!

Just how can we be more proactive in the living of our lives? How can we stem the tide of mediocrity and passivity that creeps in to destroy us? Here are some suggestions I hope you'll find useful:

1. Organize your categories - this means to give some thought to the many categories in which you live out your life (parent, spouse, child of God, professional, business owner, friend, physical being, political citizen, etc) and write them down.

2. Write down your overall aspiration, highest ideal, or purpose in each category.

3. Next, write down what threatens your achievement of excellence in each category. These are things that are outwardly bad and should be avoided entirely. You might label this column "Overt Attacks."

4. Then, write down the distractions that are possible in each category. These are things that aren't bad in and of themselves, but have the capacity to subtract away from the things that are even better. This is where "good" is the enemy of "great." You might label this column "Covert Attacks."

5. List things about which you've been passive or undiscerning for each category in the past (in other words, when you've failed to produce excellence through pro-activity).

6. List what you could have done to prevent those instances.

7. Set a specific goal for each category.

8. Develop and write out a game plan for how to hit that goal in each category.

9. Put a date for checking up on your progress toward the goal.

10. Make adjustments as necessary.

11. Involve accountability partners and/or mentors towards those goals, as desired.

12. Bathe the whole process in prayer.

Passivity in our lives needs to be rooted out with aggressive pro-activity. Intentionally seeking excellence in every category of our lives may sound like a daunting task. However, clear thinking and intentionality are almost never daunting, instead, they are liberating. When we open our eyes to all we've been allowing to creep in unobserved, we will feel more alive, more in control, and more excited about the possibilities for excellence.

Do you agree or disagree that passivity is a problem in our culture?

What less-than-excellent things have you allowed to passively enter as "normal" into your life?

What victories have you had eliminating these things?

Thanks for reading!

Chris Brady

Monday, June 18, 2012

Truth & Tact: The Art of Loving People & Truth

Just the other day Orrin and I were having this discussion. I'm constantly in awe of how the leaders Orrin has developed like Tim Marks, Dan Hawkins, and Claude Hamilton, (to highlight a few), instinctively understand how to confront people about self deception without hurting feelings. Here's a great article written by the #6 Leadership Guru explaining just that concept!

God Bless!
Capt. Bill

Truth and tact are two concepts that rarely mix; however, when they do, one knows that he is in the presence of leadership greatness. On one side, the world is filled with blowhards who will bluntly state truth while influencing no one, and honestly, even annoying those who agree with them. On the other side, are the people who refuse to share the truth for fear of causing offense. These people would rather see someone run a car off a cliff than offend him by urging him to slow down. Both extremes are wrong but, unfortunately, ubiquitous.

Imagine the leadership revolution that would be possible if we learned to speak truth in love. I know this may only be a dream, but it’s one I am willing to pursue. My life through twenty-five years of age was moving from one disastrous incident of lack of tact to the next. I'm not exaggerating here; I was clueless when it came to tact and truth. Sadly, my cluelessness hurt those closest to me. Although I have certainly improved in this area, not a day passes without catching myself lacking tact in some conversation. Indeed, I would say tact, next to character, has been the biggest stumbling block for many potential leaders.

Chris Brady states, “You don't know what you don't know,” and it wasn’t until I started reading, listening, and associating with leaders that I realized how tactless I truly was. Where do you fall in the truth-tact continuum? Anyone can change, but he must first begin with a clear perspective on the truth of his current condition. Read the following excellent essay from the 19th-century writer J. R. Miller and honestly confront your current level of tact. Would to God that more people would confront reality on their current level of tact and choose to change.

I guess what I am saying is: Imagine if more people applied the unvarnished truth (while committing to change, grow, and win) upon themselves and loving tact upon others, instead of the current method of applying loving tact upon themselves and unvarnished truth upon others. Now that would be a LIFE revolution worth participating in!

Orrin Woodward

Monday, April 30, 2012

Orrin Woodward And Life!

What an inspiring weekend, and how about that Mental Fitness Challenge? The LIFE opportunity just keeps getting better and better. This movement to improve our community is the brain child of Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady and the entire founding policy counsel of LIFE! Read below for more information!

God Bless!
Capt. Bill

The Mental Fitness Challenge, the product that has required more study, time, effort, input, design, and blood, sweat, and tears than anything the LIFE company or Team have ever come out with, is coming soon!

How soon? At the Spring Leadership Convention in Columbus, Ohio this coming weekend!

What is it? A life-changing package of information, including three best-selling books, a bunch of CDs, an online environment for tracking progress, a video library which accumulates for future viewing as videos stream in through email on a regular basis, a self-assessment test, unlimited 360 feedback, accountability partners, goal and tracking sheets, and more! This product encompasses years and years of learning how people change and maximize in their lives in all the 13 areas of resolutions from Orrin Woodward’s best seller RESOLVED.

Why is this such a great thing for LIFE members? Because it embodies an extremely low-priced, overall package of life improvement that can easily be sold to customers who want to “Live the Life They’ve Always Wanted to Live!”

There is so much more to tell you than we can possibly do in this little blog. Therefore, we’ll just have to put it all out there for you at this convention (One big reason, among about 100, that you need to be there!) You won’t believe what you will learn about this product and how it is especially designed to help your business (and your future) go viral!!!!-Orrin Woodward

Thursday, April 05, 2012

You have To Have Friends!

One of the greatest blessings in my life is the ability to call Orrin Woodward my friend. Here's why....

God Bless!
Capt. Bill

True friends begin as companions, but soon go further, developing a love and respect for one another. Author Fred Smith shares a poignant description of love, “Love is willing the ultimate good for the other person.” Only deep friendship will build loving bonds of this magnitude. C.S. Lewis shares the process of discovery from companions into friends, “Friendship arises out of mere Companionship when two or more of the companions discover that they have in common some insight or interest or even taste which the others do not share and which, till that moment, each believed to be his own unique treasure (or burden). The typical expression of opening Friendship would be something like, ‘What? You too? I thought I was the only one’. . . In this kind of love, as Emerson said, Do you love me? means Do you see the same truth? – Or at least, ‘Do you care about the same truth?’ The man who agrees with us that some question, little regarded by others, is of great importance, can be our Friend. he need not agree with us about the answer.” There is an indescribable joy in the discovery of, and being discovered by, another human being, providing a brief respite from the loneliness of life. Emerson pinpointed the thought, writing, “The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship.” Aristotle distinguishes between genuine friendship and two other counterfeit types – one founded upon utility, the other upon pleasure. Friendship based solely upon utility, like the mailman, survive only as long as both parties receive benefit, while a friendship based only upon pleasure, like golfing buddies, end when one party no longer finds the activity pleasurable.

Genuine friendship, on the other hand, is based upon something more enduring, according to Aristotle, “It is those who desire the good of their friends for the friends’ sake that are most truly friends, because each loves the other for what he is, and not for any incidental quality.” Genuine friendship then, will last as long as both parties remain committed to virtue, since virtue desires good for his friends as much as for himself. But virtue does’t signify lack of fun. The best of friends laugh often and heartily. Just as one can tell a man’s character by his ability to laugh at himself, so in a friendship, one can tell the quality of friends by their ability to laugh at each other. Not a derisive or condescending laughter, but simply one that acknowledges the imperfections inherent in the human condition. Any person or friendship that cannot laugh at itself isn’t real. True friends enjoy one another’s company. When a person finds someone, who can help him become better while enjoying fellowship, he is on his way to developing a true friend. Each person should be this type of friend and seek a friend of this caliber, in order to fully enjoy life’s experiences during his pilgrimage on earth.
-Orrin Woodward