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What Gas are You Putting in Your Tank?

By Orrin Woodward

I like to review my core beliefs every year to ensure that my beliefs are corresponding with the world that I am living in.

Human beings act on the ideas contemplated in their minds. Better ideas lead to better actions, just as better gas leads to better performance in an engine.

I have had a couple of breakthrough years that led to better thinking. 1993 was a groundbreaking year for me, because I learned the power of better ideas leading to better results. I read extensively on personal development and improved my outer results greatly.

Outside, I was achieving great results, but inside I was miserable and unhappy. 1997 was another groundbreaking year. This was the year that I truly surrendered to Jesus Christ. Until then, I had my will and I thought I had added Jesus to my team on a part-time basis.

After 1997, I realized it was His team and my part was to do His will on earth full time. A major idea shift!

When it was my team, the roadblocks and setbacks stopped me because I was never sure that the price was worth the reward. When I joined Christ’s team, I no longer doubted that any price is worth the rewards—even if the rewards were not on earth.

Think about the gas that you are pouring into your tank. Are you beset by doubts and fears? My good friend Tim Marks says, “Know why you believe what you believe.”

Every great achiever is a believer in something bigger than themselves

Protagoras said, “Man is the measure of all things.” This was my philosophy for several years and I found man to be too small a measurement.

If man is the measurement of all things, then there are no absolutes that relate to all men.  Each man will set his own measurements. If there are no absolutes, then there are no convictions that relate to all mankind. If there are no convictions, then courage is weakened.

Less courage leads to less leadership. A leader leads with the courage of their convictions and people follow people with convictions.

What are your convictions? What principles do you feel so strongly about that you would suffer for them? Are you willing to die for your convictions?

In our post-modern world, few people have convictions worth dying for.

Patrick Henry’s famous statement, “Give me liberty or give me death,” rings hollow in today’s relative world. We can laugh at Mr. Henry or we can ask what beliefs gave him the courage to stand against the overwhelming force of England and King George?

No one who reads the history books can doubt that the founding fathers had beliefs that were non-negotiable. No one doubts that they were not perfect and fell short of their ideals, but at least they had ideals.

What concerns me about the daily buffet of post-modern ideas is the glorification of the cynic over the courageous. Please tell me what countries erect statues in the main square to the cynic who said it couldn’t be done? Or the cynic who said it isn’t worth being done?

Only someone who is fixated on themselves (man being the measure) could say that.  Anyone with the courage of their convictions and focused on the welfare (economic, political, and spiritual) of others would never say it isn’t worth it.

As you go through 2011, I ask that you keep the end in mind. Start with your core beliefs and convictions. Why do you believe what you believe? What are the long-term results for believing this? Do these beliefs lead to a world-view that accurately describes the world that we live in?

The closer your world-view accurately describes reality, the better you will do at living in the world.


Orrin Woodward is the co-founder of Team, a leadership development and training company, and the New York Times best-selling co-author of Launching a Leadership Revolution.

Named by the International Association of Business as a Top 10 Leadership Guru, he is dedicated to building leaders and entrepreneurs and promoting freedom and prosperity.

Orrin blogs regularly at Orrin Woodward. He lives in Port St. Lucie, Florida with his wife and four children.

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