Orrin Woodward LIFE Leadership Team

Winner of the 2011 Independent Association of Business Top Leader Award; Orrin Woodward shares his leadership secrets.

Give It Your Best

Posted by Orrin Woodward on May 5, 2012

I have attended many of my kid’s soccer, basketball, and wrestling tournaments over the years. Before the game, I always share with them the same principle: give it your best. This isn’t revolutionary, for in reality, what parent wouldn’t want their children to give it their best? Today, however, while watching my son’s soccer match, a peculiar twist on this thought crossed my mind. Why do nearly all parents encourage their kids to give it their best when study after study reveals conclusively that the parents are not practicing what they preach?

Consequently, parents who repeatedly display gaps between their words and their actions quickly lose the respect of their teenagers. However, judging by what’s exclaimed on the sidelines of the kids’ sporting events, I would be convinced the parents were philosophers of success with massive results. Today, for example, I witnessed parents losing their cool on the sidelines, berating their children to hustle after stray balls, shouting at them to pass to open teammates, and yelling at them to finish strong. All of it, in truth, is good advice insofar as it’s lived, but it’s nothing short of hypocrisy when the parents aren’t living the philosophy espoused.

Once I started down this mental track, I couldn’t help but recognize the irony. Imagine what life would look like if the roles of the kids and parents were reversed. For example, imagine the children waiting at the door when their parents come home, shrieking out statements like the parents do at the games. The kids could throw temper tantrums asking questions like:

1. Did you hustle today or just barely make it through another day?
2. Did you play as a team today or just focus on yourself?
3. Did you finish strong, or did you quit when the going got tough?

Please don’t misread me. On one hand, yes, I know that it would be disrespectful for children to behave in this fashion to their parents and it wouldn’t be tolerated. On the other hand, however, is the kids’ behavior in this example much different than how parents across North America act at their youths’ athletic competitions? What gives here? Why, in other words, is it perfectly acceptable to hold the bar high on one’s children, but not upon oneself? People seem to demand excellence from their children; meanwhile, accepting daily mediocrity from themselves. This MUST change.

The Mental Fitness Challenge is a total success program designed to create the needed change. It teaches people the proper thoughts, plans, and actions that will help them live the life they always wanted. In my best-seller RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE, I teach the 13 Resolutions as a road map to take a person from where he is to where he wants to be. Remember the old saying “Example isn’t everything in life; its the only thing”? This statement is true in many areas of life. Consequently, the best thing that parents can do for the next generation is to back up their strong words of advice with similar strong actions and results.

Yes, the kids should hustle on the field, but so too should the parents in life; yes, the kids should play as part of the team, but so too should the parents in their professions; finally, yes, the kids should finish strong, even when it hurts, but so too should the parents in similar circumstances. The world is crying out for examples of men and women whose walk is as good as the talk. Instead of waiting for someone else, why not each person choose to become the model for others? One might argue, but, Orrin, no one is perfect, and I wouldn’t disagree; however, just because perfection is impossible, that doesn’t mean progress is. Likewise, just because progress is difficult, that doesn’t absolve the parents of their responsibilities.

When I ask parents how important purpose, character, attitude, and vision are to their children’s future, I receive hearty amens. Unfortunately, when I ask them how important purpose, character, attitude, and vision are in their future, I receive throaty ahems. My dear reader, there is a champion inside of everyone, but it feeds on discipline and accountability food. If the champion has been starved up to now, the good news is that there is still time. Resolve today to be the example for our next-generation leaders, not because it’s easy, not because it’s always fun, but because it’s our God-given responsibility. Do you believe your kids deserve the best? I do. Parents give their children the best when they become their personal best for them. If you are unsure of where to start, then take the Mental Fitness Challenge Self-Assessment Test to identify areas to start improving today.


Orrin Woodward

30 Responses to “Give It Your Best”

  1. Tony and Sharon Hoffman said

    What you do speaks so loudly, I cannot hear what you say! Example is the main thing! We are committed to the next generation of leaders!
    Sharon Hoffman

  2. Charlie Mallios said

    So true. We are so excited to start our MFC tonight. It is just the ticket to get us better. Thanks!

  3. Mike Kolp said

    Well put buddy. Great perspective in a simple daily environment. MFC = Million For Change. God bless.

  4. Very much agreed. As a former soccer coach and current soccer dad, I witness this on a weekly basis. Before they walk onto the field, I always tell my children to “play hard, play smart and play your best.” Today, my 4 year old daughter was chosen to be the leader of a drill that they were performing. She came running off of the field during a break and stated, “Daddy! I’m the Leader just like you! Are you proud of me!” It got me choked up knowing that what I’m doing in my life is having an impact on my children.

  5. justin gorske said

    The MFC should be required for all parents to take! I agree its time for parents to step up, take responsibility, set goals with their kids, keep score in the game of life and walk the walk that’s so easily talked. Thank you for providing a vehicle for all of us who have been mind dirtyed for too long. The MFC is going to bring back out the winner in a lot of parents. Thanks

  6. Kevin Hamm said

    Yes, sadly there are many quitters in this world, but the positive side to that is that it does not take immense effort to stand out from the crowd and make a difference. Right words spoken in right circumstances, always our best effort exemplified and being a good finder in as many people that we can are good places to start. A million positive coaches encouraging millions more will definitely make a difference.

    Kevin Hamm

  7. Bill Eder said

    Orrin: You are so right on with this blog. I have been sharing my faith with teenages for better then two decades. When people ask how I can put up with teens for all these years my reply usually is. ” I nomally don’t have too much proplem with teens it’s the adults and parents that are hard to deal with.” People forget that children can spot a person who dosen’t walk the talk so to speak. My Dad use to say you can’t say one thing and do the opposite. Adults can sometimes learn from children.A book I read says ” And a child shall lead them.” Amen? PS..Dad was wise even though he never even went to high school ,however he was an avid reader go figure. Thank you for your leadership. –Bill–

  8. This is so true Orrin! Why do we all judge others on their action and ourselves on our intentions?? Thank you for reminding me that we expect nothing short of best effort from our children, then why don’t we expect the same from our own??

    Wade Hamblin ~ Kaizen Unified

  9. Tim Miller said

    Great post!! Reminds me of my own room for improvement.

  10. Great article! I feel very blessed that i am and have been learning from this group for the better part of my parenting years. I absolutely am loving the MFC program! Thanks to you and the PC for developing and getting it out there for us!

    Adriano Troli

    If we’re not up, we’re getting up!

  11. Rob Crichlow said

    MFC is already having positive effects on my family. Thanks Orrin.

    • marc said

      One of the most rewarding benefits of living by the principles of the mental fitness challenge is what I see in my own children. If parents only knew what they do will teach their children so much better than what they can ever say!!!
      Great post!

  12. Orrin, during the time I have spent with this team, I have learned the price of success, the cost of procrastination, the fear of rejection, the humiliation of self imposed paralysis, and the danger of roadblocks that loom larger the more we stare helplessly at them. It could be that most of us aren’t living the life we envisioned for ourselves not because we lack vision, but because God has given us a certain set of skills that He will use to reveal Himself to the world through us. The cultivation and development of these skills, then, is our purpose in life. Surely, if you say it is important for us to set an example as individuals for others to follow, then you must agree that we cannot have influence without someone to follow us. In other words, it takes other people in order for us to complete our God given mission in life. Not just to lead and serve, but also for help and support as well. It would surprise me greatly if this is not one of the greater objectives intentioned by the Mental Fitness Challenge.
    I continue to review faithfully every morning my dream list in the hopes that I will, with the help of my Lord Jesus, muster up the courage to one day go out and win others to this awesome cause. By doing this, I’m sure that I will find the help I need to complete this great commission that God has laid before me. Until that time, I shall continue to put my faith, hope, and trust in Him. God bless.

    • Deb Symons said

      Amen Torence! I’m right with you on the prayers. As God continues to lead us all on this path to “One Million People & Beyond!”

  13. Charles-Edouard McIntyre said

    Great article Orrin! It is so true that our kids seem to be the best at noticing and pointing out the double-standard we set for them when not living the same standards ourselves! Words are cheap, they look at what we do more than what we say.

  14. Mary Hermsen said

    Great post, Orrin! Thank you for always encouraging us, and for presenting us with ways to improve ourselves and our families.

  15. Steve and Farrah Sargent said

    Awesome! Loving the MFC!!

  16. Scott Staley said

    Great article Orrin. The question of ‘would the child you used to be, be proud of the person you are today’ comes to mind. Most people seem to have given up playing hard and just coast through life. The MFC is a great check up from the neck up.

  17. Orrin,

    My daughter just left to take her final exam for Nursing school. As she left I hugged her I told her to walk in and be confident and that she was gong to ace the exam, that SHE was the best nurse in the class. I watched her as she walked away just a little more confident and with a smile of contentment. As you could imagine, I felt a sense pride but also a hope that she might understand just how much I loved her and at the same time a sense of sadness knowing that not all children receive that same belief and encouragement from their parents.

    As you know I have been a student of personal development and leadership for over 30 years. I have also been a student of society. In over 30 years of study I believe now more than ever society needs a Mental Fitness Challenge. Parents need to challenge themselves so they can be better parents. I have watched parents push their kids to get good grades or excel in sports only to admit to not having read a book since high school. For some adults that is over 30 or 40 years without really challenging themselves to grow as a human being. Example is the best teacher! Imagine parents asking their children to be their accountability partners. I believe the children would increase their respect of their parents twofold. One by seeing their parents strive to be better and secondly by expressing confidence in their children to ask them to be their partner in their continuing pursuit of excellence.

    Our children need us to step up! America needs up to step us…. because if not us…..then who?

    Greg Johnson

    • Greg, Well said! I love the accountability aspect in the MFC. It ensures we all do our personal best to improve ourselves and make a difference in other people’s lives. Keep leading brother! thanks, Orrin

  18. Trent Crane said

    A truly wonderful article Orinn!

    The Mental Fitness Challenge ( http://www.mental-fitness-challenge.com ) is the “Apple a day” or “Challenge a day” that the doctor ordered.

    Take Care!


  19. Amen, Brother!! A great challenge to all of us who are parents or in the position of example for others!

  20. joannebrandtjen said

    How true! Being a Physical Education teacher and coach for the last 17 years, I see this all too often. Parents allowing and oftentimes encouraging their children (through their example) to take the easy way out or the opposite end of the spectrum, pushing them too hard, living vicariously through their children and not setting the example themselves. I just love it when I see one of my students reach inside themselves and produce greatness, either with their parents influence or in spite of it! The Mental Fitness Challenge truly can make a difference in how we raise the next generation and set the example for them. Thanks Orrin and Laurie and the entire PC!

  21. Bill Eder said

    I’m so proud of you Joanne. You had the courage to reach goals you set not me and your Mom. Thanks for introducing us to this first class group of leaders.
    Thanks again Orrin and Laurie and all the PC. We will make a difference.

    Dad (bill)

  22. Its so true, I witness this at my nephews hockey games all the time. Its a great point. I love the fact that Claude Hamilton my mentor (http://claude-hamilton.com) although he shares truth to help me grow and move on, he is always shouting “from the sidelines” positive affirmations and cheering me on to get better…and it lifts me up to want to and be able to perform at my best. That’s what I love about LIFE opportunity (http://the-life-business.com) and the principles it teaches. God Bless, Wayne (http://waynemacnamara.wordpress.com)

  23. Joseph Keller said

    Sad but so true at my sons soccer games we witness the same thing happen game after game. If its to be its up to me, one thing I have herd loud and clear and its that the ball is in our court and as the parent there its time to act as one and set the example instead of being one of the crowd. I want to be the hero of my children and through the MFC I will get that much closer and set the example needed to change the world one person at a time beginning with myself.

  24. Elaine Koleske said

    I see this so often when I attend various sporting events. I love the MFC! This tool will help to ensure I do my personal best. Leaders lead by example….in all aspects of life!

  25. Maureen Lirette said

    Thank you very much for this article. I am very happy to start the MFC. The only thing i want is to become the best mom that i could possibly be. Do I ever hear these things at my son s hockey game. I am probably the worst one there… But I am changing everyday since i am with a perfect team..
    Thanks to my wonderful leaders..

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