Culture and Cognitive Dissonance | Orrin Woodward Leadership


When you believe you are called to build communities and the most successful person you know at building communities of people writes something profound about it, you would be foolish if you fail to re-blog it.

There is nothing more important, its proper implementation determining the destiny of nations, companies, charities, and families, than the creation of culture. Culture, a system of beliefs, values…

Source: Culture and Cognitive Dissonance | Orrin Woodward Leadership

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The Moral Issue behind How We View Success, Wealth, and Money.


What do you think about when you hear the word “success?”

Do you think about being wealthy? Do you think about having a lot of money?  Do you see a difference between these three things?

I am currently reading (again) Think and Grow Rich, by Napolean Hill.  I think the title would have been more accurate if it were named Think and Grow Successful, since the principles he teaches apply to being successful in more than just the acquisition of money, but I don’t think it would have sold as well, which is probably why it has the title it does.

Because of what I’m reading in this book, I was wondering this morning about the three concepts of money, success, and wealth, how they are related, and how they are different.  I found myself asking these questions: Continue reading

Does Government = Force, and Wealth = Freedom?


I am thoroughly enjoying reading “We Hold These Truths to be Self-Evident” by Oliver DeMille. As is usually the case with non-fiction books, I don’t completely agree with everything written, but for the most part the entire book resonates deeply with me.

Here are my thoughts so far on the book: Continue reading

The importance of community


Cover of "War and Peace"

Cover of War and Peace

Have you ever felt like you had something important to say, but when you try and share it, you feel alone and that nobody supports or wants to listen to you?  Or have you ever met someone who shares your point of view and this strengthens your own resolve and conviction?

I think most people can relate to both scenarios because we have all felt either like we are standing alone for something we find important, or found strength in our convictions by finding someone with whom to share them.

As human beings, we have an innate desire to connect with other people.

Several years ago I attended a seminar by Oliver DeMille, where he spoke about the 7 major institutions of society: Family, Community, Religion, Academia, Media, Business and Government; and how their relationship with each other affects freedom in society.  If they are all given the same importance and influence over society, freedom exists.  When there is any degree of inequality of influence over a society, freedom is lacking.  He gave several examples of this.  Each institution has a proper role to play in influencing society and that each role is important to maintaining freedom and an ideal society.  Keeping each of these roles balanced with the others is the role of statesmen and stateswomen.

He spoke about statesmanship and how a statesman or stateswoman is one who sees an inequality between any two of these institutions, places themselves in the middle and rights the inequality either by reducing the influence of the one, or increasing the influence of the other.

I felt something strong inside of me, telling me that the institution of community has declined in today’s society and that I must do something to fix that.  This was a bit unnerving to me, because I felt woefully under-qualified as a statesman, but I felt strongly about community and knew that I must seek to become the person necessary to fix that change.

So my quest to improve and help revitalize communities has taken me to many places, but most recently in the past year it has taken be to two places that are helping me immensely.  First of all, in 2012 I obtained a mentor in community building in Diann Jeppson.  This has been extremely valuable in helping me become familiar with the steps necessary to begin a local community organization and be successful.  She is mentoring me through the reading of many great classics, currently War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy.

The next thing that was brought into my life a few months later was the LIFE Leadership company, founded by Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady.  Now if you know anything about these two individuals, they have gained their financial freedom through the network marketing industry.  I know what you might be thinking.  I’ve heard most of the objections to network marketing.  LIFE Leadership is kind of like a savant of network marketing.  It takes all of the things that “don’t work” in the field of network marketing and works on fixing them.  Now because network marketing is a business that is all about connecting with people, you are never going to get rid of the human element that has both positives and negatives associated.

What I have learned is that if I want to build communities, I need to learn to relate to and lead people.  There is no getting around that in order for communities to be revitalized as an essential institution to society, people are going to have to interact with other people.  Any time that happens there is a need for leadership to be exercised.

However, as Boris Drubestkoy, in War and Peace realizes as he observes a conversation between a General and a Captain in the army:

At that moment Boris clearly realized what he had before surmised, that in the army, besides the subordination and discipline prescribed in the military code, which he and the others knew in the regiment, there was another, more important, subordination, which made this tight-laced, purple-faced general wait respectfully while Captain Prince Andrew, for his own pleasure, chose to chat with Lieutenant Drubetskoy. More than ever was Boris resolved to serve in future not according to the written code, but under this unwritten law. He felt now that merely by having been recommended to Prince Andrew he had already risen above the general who at the front had the power to annihilate him, a lieutenant of the Guards. Prince Andrew came up to him and took his hand.

(War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy, Book 3, Ch IX, 6th paragraph in the Project Gutenberg EBook)

As I learn from Diann Jeppson and from the excellent Leadership development material and training found in the LIFE Leadership company, I will do my best to document my progress in this blog – mostly so that I can get in the practice of writing and improving there, but also so that others may see my progress and hopefully be inspired to assume leadership in their own lives.

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Billion Clicks


I’ve read “As a Man Thinketh” by James Allen who talks about the general effect that our thought have on the outcome of our lives;  “The Power of Positive Thinking” by Norman Vincent Peale who talks about how important it is to think positively and approaching projects with the assumption that you will succeed; and “The Master-Key to Riches” by Napoleon Hill who speaks about the importance of a Positive Mental Attitude.

There are many other resources that deal with the effects and importance of maintaining a positive outlook on your goals and life in general, but my wife showed me one last night that impressed me and I thought I would share:

It’s a blog called Billion Clicks.  The basic idea is that the author of the blog started keeping track of how many negative thoughts she had for a week.  When the week was up, she felt discouraged, depressed and basically struggled with negative emotions, so she had an epiphany to experiment if the opposite would also be true.  So she started counting of all of her positive thoughts, to see it would have the opposite effect.

To read her story, go to her blog.

I really liked the idea of keeping a Positive Mental Attitude.  I know that in order to be successful at what I want to do with The Free Commots, I need to also keep a positive attitude about what I’m trying to do.

To some, this may sound a little paranormal, but I assure you I am not superstitious.  Part of my religious beliefs is that there are beings that exist only on a spiritual level that are influencing our thoughts constantly.  Many of these beings who are influencing the direction that our thoughts go are destructive and want to persuade us to achieve nothing in life and die with small or negative impact on those around us.

When we seek to start an endeavor that could potentially affect millions of people, the negative thoughts are going to increase so it is important to counter that with intentionally creating positive thinking.

Another source of how to handle positive and negative thoughts is a company called 3 Key Elements.  They teach about the importance of non-verbal communication, but also teach a method of identifying and managing both the positive and negative thoughts that we have.  They have you keep two journals, one for positive and one for negative thoughts.  For negative thoughts it is not just a matter of identifying them, but also combating them by intentionally coming up with the exact opposite thought and reinforcing the first positive with another positive.  In order to get the full effect, I recommend taking their “Building a Mind of Steel” training.  It is helping me to identify and effectively squash the negative thoughts that have kept me from accomplishing things in my life.

Whether you believe in the metaphysical explanation or not, I have had many negative thought come across my mind as I have started to blog about this idea of The Free Commots.  Journaling them and countering them with powerful positive reinforcement has helped me to gain an energy and dedication about it that keeps me posting my progress and working toward success.