Building Confidence and Character

Throughout our lives, we’ll all experience adversity—in our personal lives, our careers, or both. We meet adversity when we learn to take our first breath, and we encounter it again and again for the rest of our lives. Not only is adversity a great test of character, it’s often what motivates us to keep trying until we get it right.

But there are a couple of other things, namely power and mistakes, that test character, and have the potential to reveal much more about a person than adversity ever could.


When you’ve got everything you need and the ability to get pretty much whatever you want, it can be easy to lose sight of what’s important. As Abraham Lincoln said, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

In Plato’s Republic, he writes about a discussion he had with several men. One of those men is named Glaucon, and he argues that “no man would keep his hands off that which was not his own if he could safely take what he liked.” It’s a sad argument that leaves no room for common human decency.

Of course, people will always be tempted to take the easy way out, but someone with true character will resist that temptation and find the honest, fair way to get what they want or need. In fact, I’d go one step further and say that many people in power will consciously avoid using that power in an abusive or negative way, because they’re fully aware of how easy it is to become corrupted.


How we respond to our mistakes can give away a lot about our character. In his novel Confessor, Terry Goodkind, a successful fantasy writer, says, “I’m afraid that we all make mistakes. One of the things that define our character is how we handle mistakes. If we lie about having made a mistake, then it can’t be corrected and it festers. On the other hand, if we give up just because we made a mistake, even a big mistake, none of us would get far in life.”

And he’s right. I believe that mistakes are opportunities. They’re the wake-up call that tells us we’re doing something wrong and forces us to start over again, with a different approach.

Taking responsibility for mistakes is key to improving character. When we own up to our errors, we’re free to move on, and fix whatever caused the mistake in the first place. And when character is built in this way, we also benefit from increased self-confidence. As journalist Joan Didion wrote in On Self Respect, “Character—the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life—is the source from which self-respect springs.”

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

-Claude Hamilton

It’s All in Your Attitude

allinyourattitudeI once read a book that made a particularly big impact on my life. It was Man’s Search for Meaning, written by psychiatrist Viktor Frankl. In his book, Frankl tells the story of his life as a concentration camp prisoner. This remarkable man survived four different camps, and somehow managed to remain positive throughout the entire experience. His story is moving; in fact, one quote in particular never fails to humble me:

“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
-Viktor Frankl

When I think about these words, I can’t even fully fathom the horrific experiences that these people lived through. They lost loved ones and they were starved, cold and abused. But still, they found it in their hearts to share what they had to give. I hope that if I were in a similar situation, I would find the strength to help people, too.

Some of you will remember that a few weeks ago, I wrote about the Eight Strengths that lead to success. Over the course of my career, I’ve discovered that these eight critical factors have to power to make or break a career, a marriage, or a family.

“Attitude” is the first of these strengths. It means staying positive when things get hard, trying again when you don’t succeed, and learning from your mistakes. Before you do anything in life, it’s extremely important to make sure that you have the right attitude in place. If you don’t, you won’t even get off the ground. And, as I learned from my time in the military, the right attitude begins with good thinking.

For years, leaders and visionaries have known that our thoughts determine our attitudes. The great Roman emperor and philosopher Marcus Aurelius said, “Our life is what our thoughts make it.” And he was right. The people Frankl was writing about kept an attitude of human kindness, despite the fact that everything else was taken from them.

I’ve seen a lot of people start working towards a goal with confidence, excitement and great ideas. But as the challenges begin to pile up (and they inevitably do), many people start to lose that energy and eventually, they give up. That’s why attitude isn’t just about starting strong. It’s about continuing to think positive thoughts all the time—no matter what you’re going through.

It’s as simple as this: we can choose our thoughts. Our thoughts determine our attitude. Our attitude affects our behavior, and our behavior determines the direction of our lives. So before you start your next project, make sure you’ve got the right attitude in place. You’ll need it if you want to succeed.

Happy New Year!!

Claude Hamilton son

I realize that January 2014 is already over, so it’s a belated Happy New Year. I wonder how many people have already given up on their New Year resolutions? Well it’s only February 5th and you can recommit! Wayne Macnamara has some great posts on his blog about setting goals.

2014 was such a great year. The LIFE business has been growing and many of my friends hit new goals, even more have a BIG 2014 planned. The upcoming LIFE Leadership convention will see many new announcements and also the unveiling of the Community Advancement Bonus program (CAB).

One of the cool new things in 2014 is the LIFE Leadership Forums. It’s a online destination where you can interact with other LIFE business owners. Check it out?

I have included pictures of some of my favourite moments of 2013, it is NOT an exhaustive list!! 2013 rocked! So many friends had babies, we had some great vacations with amazing friends and business partners. We hit goals, we missed goals, and overall just lived life the best we could!

Our newest addition to the family Gryffin Claude Hamilton was born Nov 7th. He is a lot of fun. Very phlegmatic, even more then Wyatt.

Wyatt turned 2, well that wasn’t in 2013, it was Jan 18th :) but lots of fun. he is growing up so quick and Lana and I are having so much fun with him.

Sawlor Construction built our home and we became great friends with many of the people involved in the project. Tony, who worked on the house for two years, heard how much Wyatt loved driving in the Hummer so he drew up plans and put his amazing woodworking skills to work. Months later he produced the coolest little boy’s bed ever!! Wyatt had a habit of getting out of his bed….every night….and sleeping on the floor. Since the Hummer bed arrived he hasn’t left it once through the night.

So cool spending my days with Wyatt and Gryffin, raising little men. It’s a blessing from the Lord and we never want to take it for granted! I love cuddling with them.

Fight Fiercely
Yours in Victory

Eight Strengths that Will Change Your Life

Soldiers bootsFor a couple of months when I was seventeen, my days were anything but typical. They began at 5:00 a.m., when I would bolt out of bed to run in formation with a number of other people. For the rest of the day, I could expect to be yelled at by drill instructors, and to perform endless repetitions of push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups. I also learned how to hang my uniform properly, spit-shine a boot in seconds flat, and make my bunk up flawlessly.

I spent those months in basic training in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia. It wasn’t easy—in fact, it was more challenging than anything else I had experienced before—but that was the point. We needed to toughen up so that we’d learn the discipline, the skills, and the courage to serve in the Canadian military. The experience that I built up as a cadet certainly helped, but it still took a lot of determination to stay tough through the grueling physical and emotional demands of boot camp.

It was a surprise to me at the time, but the emotional challenges were harder than the physical ones. We had to learn to follow orders without question, even when those orders didn’t seem to make sense. We learned to respond to the harsh words of our drill instructors with a simple “yes, sir”. And we had to adjust to an entirely new way of life with very limited contact with our families. I know now that emotional challenges are almost always tougher than physical ones—whether you’re at boot camp or building a family.

Not everyone could handle the challenges of boot camp. Even some of the people who excelled at meeting the physical demands had to go home because they couldn’t handle the emotional toll. As I began serving full time in the military, I started watching people closely, paying attention to the actions of people who failed and those who succeeded. I began to keep track of what worked and what didn’t, and I started making a mental list of traits that seemed to lead to success.

After I married Lana, I noticed that these same traits also seemed to benefit people who were building families and businesses. These characteristics make up what I call “The Eight Strengths”:

• Attitude
• Courage
• Character
• Duty
• Honour
• Relationships
• Passion
• Tenacity

Remember when I wrote about my definition of toughness? I explained that it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re physically strong or resilient. It means that you continue to work towards your goals, even when the going gets tough. But to pull that off, you need some very specific skills. That’s where the Eight Strengths come in.

These traits may like obvious ingredients for success, but they’re emphasized less and less these days. And in many cases, they’re disappearing because people never have the chance to develop them. Out of love, more and more parents are trying to shelter their children from challenging circumstances and experiences because they want them to have the easiest life possible. While this is an admirable goal, it doesn’t necessarily give children the opportunity to build these Eight Strengths. And those lost learning opportunities can make life difficult for children later, when it becomes impossible to shelter them.

But if you work to build these strengths, in yourself or your children, you’ll accumulate the tools needed to toughen up—no matter what happens.

The Power of What If

This article was originally published on one of my closest friends Phil Wall’s blog. Being involved in Phil, Catherine and Manaia’s life, on an almost daily basis, I have seen them go through this struggle from the first moment of finding out the news that Manaia may have a heart issue to seeing her in the recovery room after the operation. I cannot imagine watching Wyatt or Gryffin go through this, but I hope I could handle it as well as the Walls did. Pay attention to how Phil was able to adjust his attitude to help him get through this difficult time.

I have a four year old girl, her name is Manaia – a name from my home land New Zealand (pronounced just like the singer Shania except with an M). About two years ago her family doctor was doing a regular checkup and listening to Manaia’s heart and heard something that did not sound quite right. It was faint she said, but certainly something we should get a cardiologist’s expert opinion on. An ECG and a sedated echocardiogram confirmed a diagnosis of atrial septal defect or ASD.

Manaia’s Heart

Phil Wall's daughter ManaiaLook at this picture and think back to high school when you studied the components of the heart, the aorta, the four chambers etc. Between the upper two collecting chambers is supposed to be a wall that separates the two chambers. Manaia’s heart had a 2.78 cm hole which could not be plugged because of the size and had to be patched.

The cardiologist suggested that because Manaia did not need the operation immediately it would be better for us to wait until Manaia reached a certain weight to lower the chances of needing a blood transfusion and therefore lowering the risk factors during the operation. That wait was 2 years. We found out in late October that her surgery date was set for November 12, 2013.


During the 2 weeks before the surgery, my emotions were swirling…….is Manaia going to be okay? What if something bad happens? What if an air bubble finds its way into her blood stream? What if? negative statements. I’m fairly certain these self-degrading negative assaults on my thinking were not helping me or the situation.

I was recently listening to an audio by LIFE Coach Chris Brady, he was talking about the power and the use of “what if?”. Not just using “what if” in the negative BUT in the positive use of “what if”.

What if we get the best surgeons?

What if I have nothing to worry about?

What if hundreds of friends are praying?

What if everything is going to be just great?

What if Manaia lives?

What if God answers our prayers?

I’m here to tell you he did answer your prayers and ours.

Tuesday 12th, 2013 on our way to the IWK Health Centre

8 am We arrive at the IWK – Manaia is excited about her surgery.

9:30 am Manaia heads down the hall with the nurse, heading to the OR. hahahaha Manaia blowing us kisses as she heads to the OR. Obviously you can tell she’s soooooo upset leaving us. Catherine and I, well we weren’t doing so awesome. Our next interaction would be with the surgeon once the surgical team had completed the operation. They said they they would call us to the office outside the OR as soon as they were done.

1:30 pm We get called to the office outside the OR. The next 15 minutes for me were the most intense 15 minutes to this point in my life. We knew nothing. We were just waiting for the surgeon to come out and tell us how the operation went. My stress level was increasing dramatically. It’s fascinating how negative self talk (unless it’s checked and dealt with quickly) so easily finds its way into our heads and starts to mess with our thinking. Versus positive self talk, like success, MUST be forced.

After numerous futile attempts to side-track my thinking, I pulled my phone from my pocket and started reading through the numerous texts of well wishes and great verses from the Bible that family and friends had kindly sent. One verse in particular slowed the pounding hammer in my chest, and the extreme gnawing pain in my stomach. It was this: Isaiah 41:10 version #1 “Do not fear, for I am with you: do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you; surely I will uphold you with my righteous hand.” version #2 “Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I am your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.”

The report from the surgeon was everything went great. Waaahooo!!!!

Phil Wall's daughter ManaiaThis photo was taken 24 hours after Manaia exited the Operating Room.

Phil Wall's daughter ManaiaNovember 15th, 2013 on our way home 3 days later.

When you do not have control over certain events in your life what do you do? I put my faith in God. God calmed my fears and answered your prayers and mine.

God is great my friends. I am blessed and highly favoured to have him in my life, and great family and friends to share my life with. Your love, prayers and support mattered. It mattered to my family, it mattered to me and it made all the difference.

Thank you.

Orrin Woodward – Leadershift Book Signing

Orrin Woodward – Leadershift Book Signing

Orrin Woodward – Leadershift Book Signing

I am so proud and excited to share this article that was posted just recently by my friend Wayne MacNamara – these are exciting times! The LeaderShift Book Launch is certainly making a buzz in many places, I am so stoked for Oliver DeMille and Orrin Woodward. Great job to the 2 of you! Continued success…!

Be blessed as you read on.

Fight Fiercely,



Wow! Last night was a HUGE success for the opening night of Leadershift in Madison Wisconsin. Over 1000 people showed up to buy Leadershift and have it signed by the co-author Orrin Woodward. That same evening in Los Angeles, CA co author Oliver DeMille also had a fabulous turnout.

Both locations sold out before the book signings even started. It was an exciting event for sure.  

Tonight Oliver Demille, is going to be in Sacramento, CA which is sure to be just as big of a turnout as Los Angeles. Also tonight, Orrin Woodward is in Lansing MI which is going to be such a large book signing event, that the book store is coming to them at the Lansing Centre. It has potential to be a record breaking book signing.

Orrin Woodward will sure be fired up before he gets to London Ontario, Thursday April 18th, which is the only Canadian location. We are very blessed to have him coming here. Come on out and show him that we Canadians want to be apart of this Leadershift.  

See you all in London tomorrow evening, it is sure to be an evening we won’t forget.

Wayne MacNamara



Oliver DeMille and I are hitting the road for a series of LeaderShift book signings across North America. I have never been so excited for the release of a book because I know this book addresses head-on the challenges facing Western Society. Oliver DeMille and I spent days discussing the challenges and developing proposed fixes based upon checking the ubiquitous Five Laws of Decline.

If you are anywhere close to one of these locations, we would love to see you there. If you are not close, the good news is Hachette has committed to do another round of book signings if we pack out the current locations. It’s time to launch the LeaderShift for peace and prosperity ensured to posterity!

Sincerely, Orrin Woodward


ADDED BONUS: Orrin Woodward is going to do a LeaderShift Speaking Engagement after the book signing – $10 for general attendee, $5 with book purchased at book signing.

Thursday, April 18th
London, ON – Orrin Woodward
Book Signing: 5:30pm – 7:30pm
Chapters, 1037 Wellington Road, London, Ontario N6E 1W4
Speaking Engagement: 8:00pm, On Stage 8:30pm – 9:30pm
Best Western Lamplighter Inn & Conference Center, Crystal Ballroom, 591 Wellington Road South, London, ON N6C 4R3

Friday, April 19th
Salt Lake City, UT – Oliver DeMille
Book Signing: 5:30pm – 7:30pm
Barnes & Noble, 1104 East 2100 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84106
Speaking Engagement: 8:00pm, On Stage 8:30pm – 9:30pm
South Towne Expo Center, 300CD, 9575 S. State Street, Sandy, Utah 84070
Columbus, OH – Orrin Woodward
Book Signing: 5:30pm – 7:30pm
Book Loft, 631 South Third Street, Columbus, Ohio 43206
Speaking Engagement: 8:00pm, On Stage 8:30pm – 9:30pm
Columbus Convention Center, Ballroom 4 & 5, 400 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215

Monday, April 22nd
Camp Hill, PA – Orrin Woodward
Book Signing: 5:30pm – 7:30pm
Barnes & Noble, 58 South 32nd Street, Camp Hill, PA 17011
Speaking Engagement: 8:00pm, On Stage 8:30pm – 9:30pm
Christ Community Church, 1201 Slate Hill Rd, Camp Hill, PA 17011

Be sure to check out the LeaderShift promotional video at   [/box]


Rest in Peace Rehtaeh

Rest in Peace Rehtaeh - Claude Hamilton

 Rest in Peace Rehtaeh

Hello Everyone,

The past few days have been a roller coaster ride of emotions, to say the least. A young 15 year old girl named Rehtaeh Parsons living here in Halifax, was at a party about 18 months ago and gang raped by four boys. They took pictures with their cellphones then passed them around at their school. This girl was then labelled a slut and shunned. Many other boys started approaching her for sex as if she wanted more and treated as a willing participant in the gang rape. Sickening. Continue reading

LIFE – Old Fashioned Primer on Education

Old Fashioned Primer on Education

I hope everyone is enjoying the first few days of spring! Judging by the weather I am not sure everyone feels like it’s spring yet. 2013 is shaping up to be a huge year for the LIFE business. I am excited to watch my friends moving on and building a strong and profitable business’s. Soon the LIFE leadership will be gathering for a meeting we call Chart toppers, these are all the people who have hit the 50% level in the LIFE business. Wayne Macnamara and I are heading down a few days early, it will be a lot of fun. Continue reading