At some point in our path of purpose, we’ve been guilty of navel-gazing. Of finding what we think is our purpose, perfecting the statement, then hanging it on the wall as if we were done with it. That’s not how it’s supposed to be. Today, Kevin talks about how you can live, work, and serve on purpose. You’ll take a deep dive into how your purpose is expressed in each.
Listen to the full episode now:
[eliteaccordion][elitetoggle title=”Click for Transcript”]
[00:00:00] All around the world people are floundering. There’s something missing something more that they just can’t grasp. Do you feel it? Welcome to the higher purpose podcast every week host Kevin Monroe will help you navigate to your true north and flourish in faith business, and life.
[00:00:20] You found us for a reason. Stay tuned to find out why
[00:00:28] You’re listening to the Higher Purpose Podcast and I want you to know that the fact that you’re listening makes me smile. Truly it does. Hey I’m your host Kevin Monroe and I’m looking forward to spending this time with you right now whenever it is. And wherever you are that you’ve invited me into your day. I just think that’s cool, so thank you. I’m grateful.
[00:00:53] Before diving into the podcast let me explain why the act of you listening specifically to this episode matters and makes me happy. I truly believe that the world, specifically your world and everybody you encounter, is better off when you and me are passionately pursuing purpose and I believe we, the great big collective world, need more people passionately and intentionally pursuing purpose. Well why do I believe that? For starters when you’re pursuing purpose — I mean living, working, and serving on and with purpose. Now here’s the caveat. Living, working, and serving on and with purpose is certainly not to be confused with being stuck navel gazing, inwardly focused on the perpetual endless quest of trying to figure out what’s my purpose. And then once you do figure it out. Putting that purpose into perfectly phrased prose with flawless calligraphy decorating your wall with it. That’s not what I’m talking about! Don’t sell purpose short like that don’t believe for a moment that defining your purpose is the destination. Purpose is not a box to be checked. Done, got that. It’s a life to be lived!
[00:02:23] Let me say that again. Purpose is not a box to be checked. It’s a life to be lived, a difference to be made. Identifying your purpose is the doorway. It’s not the destination. So back to why living working and serving on purpose matters because when you’re doing that guess what’s happening? You and me when we’re doing that we’re transcending self. You, me we’re breaking free of the cultural norms and the commercial messaging that seeks to enshrine self at the center of life and the universe and make life all about you are all about me.
[00:03:03] It’s not about you it’s not about me. It’s about others. So purpose invites you to live for something bigger than you. When you say yes to purpose you’re saying yes to that bigger, better life and that matters not only to me not only to you but to everyone you impact even if your impact on them is never known to you. Let me say that again, let me rephrase it. The life of purpose has an impact on others and it matters even if you’re never privy to know the impact you’ve made on others. You know I’ve come to realize that often we’re not. It’s kind of a mystery. As we go through life, we have these short encounters and they have an impact on others. Sometimes they’re strangers. It never finds its way back to you in this life. The difference you made but the fact that you made a difference matters. So that’s why I’m happy that you’re listening because the very act of listening to a conversation on purpose shows me illustrates to you that you are awakened and aware that your life matters and you’re a fellow traveler on this amazing journey. So that’s what makes me smile. Hey, BAM! that’s just the welcome we’re on a roll. Let’s get going let’s continue this conversation. If you’re listening to this episode on or near its original release date that means it’s the beginning of the New Year — 2018 to be exact.
[00:04:39] This is the first episode of 2018 released on January 2nd 2018. If you’re listening later, welcome. Perhaps now is the beginning of a new season of life for you or the new phase of your purpose journey. What follows is relevant whenever you happen to be listening. I want to share a development with you that will shape this episode as well as all of those that follow. I’ve adopted a purpose statement for the Higher Purpose Podcast. I’d love to say that I’ve adopted a new purpose statement for the podcast. But have you heard the very opening episodes 1, 2, or 3 somewhere in there. I made the commitment to keep it real and so at this point I’ve been doing the Higher Purpose Podcast for more than 5 months. And this is my first pass at a purpose statement. Trust me. I began the podcast with a vision and with a plan but I had not ever bothered to distill it down to a purpose statement last month as I was planning for my monthly strategy session with Megan, my producer. It hit me that having a purpose statement would be a great idea. A North Star if you will for the podcast to keep me keep us navigating north and prevent me us from wandering off the path or going around in circles. So it was funny as our meeting began.
[00:06:04] Megan, actually brought up the topic of strategy and I said, “Oh I was just playing with a purpose statement.” Here’s what I wrote. Inspire, equip, and encourage you to live, work, and serve on purpose. We did not spend hours refining it or word smithing the statement as I’ve done that in the past. Trust me, this statement will evolve as we move forward. Actually, it already has because originally I wrote people and not you. So in the broader sense the purpose for this podcast is to encourage people but I like to think in a very specific sense and in this moment my goal is to encourage YOU because right now it is you and me talking. Well, actually I’m doing all of the talking but I’d love for us to engage in a conversation and I hope you’re talking back even if you’re just doing it internally, you know rhetorically in your head. So what does th is purpose statement mean? Well it keeps me focused both on the topics to discuss and the guests to feature. And if you knew me well, you’d know that focus is both a strength and also a weakness. Now what do I mean. And you may be thinking how can having focus be a strength and a weakness? Well perhaps you can relate to this, when I’m focused. I have a tendency to hyper-focus. You know like zero in on one thing and only one thing and cannot focus on another thing until I finish one thing it’s like my mind just kind of locks in on that.
[00:07:36] Some of you understand that, if you don’t just ask Gwen Josh, or Lindsey. Gwen is, my wife Josh our son, and Lindsey is our daughter. They have their fill of stories to share about me when I’m hyper-focused. However when there’s not that hyper-focus any and everything seems to fit then I can chase squirrels with the best of them. I assure you that and just go round and round in circles and I have other friends that can attest to that as well. So here’s one way this purpose statement works and was at work even before we had verbalized it as the purpose statement for the podcast. Last month we introduced a new feature in Episode 21 we’re calling it Profiles of Purpose. These are episodes where we do a deep dive on someone who is living a life of purpose. Whatever that looks like to them it may be very different from you and then we dip into their story and their backstory so that their journey to purpose not only inspires you but it also informs you, equipping so you can learn from their experience and at the same time realize that they are just like me and you — they’re ordinary people. They just happen to be doing extraordinary things and somehow by doing so I hope it encourages you to find and follow your pathway to a purpose. Episode 21 by the way was with Jackie Brewton.
[00:09:10] I’ve known Jackie for about 15 or 16 years. I assure you Jackie is one of the most on-purpose people I know. If you’ve not yet heard that podcast I encourage you to go back and listen to that episode. What a great way to start the Profiles of Purpose series. So the second part acted the statement the second part of the person purpose statement is equally important. Inspire, equip, and encourage you to live work and serve on purpose when you live work and serve on purpose. You are living such a rich life and at the same time you’re being enriched by the living of your life and that is my earnest desire for you live, work, and serve on purpose. Let’s talk about each portion of this statement and then we’re going to focus the rest of our conversation here and specifically how it relates to you and where you are on your journey. So when I look at you I see a diamond a multifaceted diamond in some stage of transformation and refinement but nonetheless a diamond life work surface. Those are various facets of you and your one life if you’re pursuing purpose I believe that purpose manifests or it’s expressed if you like that word better in all the facets of our life your life the essence of who you are shows up wherever you are whatever you’re doing. So every part of your life is an expression of you all of you.
[00:10:50] I hope it’s the authentic you. You see I reject the idea of work-life balance because of the word balance. I like work-life integration because I believe we have only one life. So you’re not trying to balance different parts of your life you’re trying to integrate them into make sure each facet of your life is shining to its full brilliance living on purpose that encompasses so many areas of life your life your relationships with family and friends. And this doesn’t matter whether you’re a son or a daughter, a brother, sister, mom, dad, grandmother, grandfather, uncle,aunt, or in-law. Purpose permeates all of those relationships. And as my friend Mark Timm from Zigler Family realized and shared with us on an earlier podcast — if you’re a parent you have a purpose and parenting is certainly part of your purpose. So you know all of these family relationships so those are all dimensions of living as also living includes faith, fitness, finance, fun, and a whole bunch of other things that don’t start with the letter F if you know me well if you’ve been listening long you know I love alliteration but you know sometimes alliteration. You can’t pack everything into the same letter. So we’ll have plenty of conversations in the episodes ahead about living on purpose and what that looks like for you. And something I’m really passionate about is how you do that how you and me do that authentically so that’s living on purpose — not to working on purpose.
[00:12:27] Not only do I want you to live on in with purpose every single day of your life. I want you to have purpose in and through the work. Whatever your work is. I believe that most of you listening have some sort of employment whether you work for a company whether you’re the leader of that company whether you own your own business. Some of you are are are working full time as a stay at home mom or dad or caregiver for someone you know that’s unable to currently care for themselves. You’re still working your compensation just doesn’t come in the form of monetary reward returns all the time. Others of you are students or perhaps you’re between a job in a moment but that’s working. I believe that you can find or create meaning will have its purpose. Is it something you create or make? You can find create meaning in work. Whatever the work is. I love the work Mike Rowe has proven with his interest in Dirty Jobs in his shows and segments on Dirty Jobs. Maybe we’ll get Mike on the show one day — that would be fun. Finally, serving on or with purpose so live, work, and serve. I’ve said it before I’ve written it before a life of significance — a life of purpose is a life of service. So whenever you’re pursuing purpose and that purpose is bigger than you then part of your contribution that you offer to the world is serving others.
[00:14:04] The avenues of that service are endless. So serving may be something you do very focused through volunteer efforts or in partnership with nonprofit or nongovernment organizations or you may have a project that is your passion project. That is your opportunity to give back. Pay it forward or however you frame it. All of that is part of the serving, living, working and serving. These are not always separate and distinct expressions of your life. Your life is integrated and intertwined in so often are living working and serving. You can’t always just separate and say well this is my living part this is working but it’s all integrated. But this is kind of the theme are the thematic expression that we’re following to help structure and advance the Higher Purpose Podcast and you can expect to hear these types of conversations that inspire encourage and equip you to live work and serve on purpose. Now back to you and your journey at this moment in time. You didn’t think I forgot you did you?. Hey as you noodle on this idea of living, working, and serving on or with purpose. In what area or areas do you feel the greatest alignment or connection to purpose or with purpose in what areas do you want to increase your connection to purpose this year or in this next phase or season of life if you’re listening sometime later? So what action can you take? And I really want you to zero in on that word action.
[00:15:52] It’s a it’s a powerful word. What action can you take to live work and serve on purpose if you really want to embrace a life of purpose? I believe living, working, and serving are certainly parts of that intention setting. The intention is an excellent place to start but it must result in action. And it must prove out in habits or intentionally to nowhere or may be intentioned just lead somewhere further south. If you know what I mean and if your mom told you what my mom told me now you’ve been you’ve set an intention. I want to applaud you for action already investing time to listen to this podcast or other ones like it is another step in the right direction. Engaging in conversation with family, friends, or co-workers that’s another keen idea. All of those are actions you may not think of it as you might not think of listening to this podcast as an action but it is you chose to listen to this podcast. This podcast is encouraging you to pursue a life of purpose living, working, and serving. That’s an action. So here’s what I’ve learned not been learning this probably maybe all my life but it’s really come to bear in the last seven to 10 years that I’ve really seen this through my consulting and coaching more. There are wrong ways to approach any goal, task,or quest but rarely is there just one right way and that one right way become the universal recommendation — the end all, be all for everyone.
[00:17:31] So a lot of people are saying asking you know what is the way to find and fulfil purpose. And I say Well there’s actually more than one so much and much of that depends on you. Your learning style your personality where you’re at in the journey so just remember you’re already on the journey. Just keep going keep taking steps maybe starting with a personal inventories where you need to begin at this moment and if that you I want to encourage you don’t overthink it or overcomplicated two things that I do quite well at some moments in life just grab a piece of paper draw a line down the middle. You don’t even need a ruler. It doesn’t have to be perfectly straight. It’s okay if it’s squiggly. Some of you that will drive you crazy. And I also recommend you do this the old fashioned way of pen and paper because there’s something about the kinesthetic connection that’s more profound and therapeutic than just doing this exercise on a keyboard and a screen. On one side make a list of where you feel closely connected and you know a next step to take to live work or serve with more intention and greater purpose in life. On the other side, list those areas that are currently more cloudy and where you’d like more purpose and more intentionality. Then consider this question on either side.
[00:18:52] What’s one thing and I encourage you to keep it simple. What’s one thing I can do? The word can is very important here. What’s one thing I can do to a live, work, or serve with more purpose and intention? I just want to affirm the importance of starting with very small steps in simple task. If you were to invest just five or 10 minutes a day to the tasks that are most important to you it is amazing what can happen. And as I was thinking about this I started remembering how many routines in my life are done with just 10 or 15 minutes of focused time every day. Is it okay if I share a couple of examples? I mean these are intensely personal. I’m not doing it to impress you I’m just doing it to impress upon you the impact of compound effect. So as of the day I’m recording this it was six hundred and thirty five days ago actually 636 because I think I started the next day a mentor a guy I had known 15 years ago challenged me. I reconnected with him. He challenged me and invited me to invest 15 minutes a day praying. You’ve probably figured out I’m a person of faith. I don’t force my faith on others but faith is important to me. So folks, I’m embarrassed to say this but I’m not even sure that I had spent 15 minutes of focused prayer in the preceding year maybe even two years.
[00:20:33] So I just did the math of what I have done in 635 days of praying 15 minutes a day and, Doug Small, if you’re listening man I got to say thank you for that challenge. It has been profound and you can do the math. It’s amazing. So, about four months ago I wondered what would happen if I spent just ten minutes a day thinking actually thinking bigger acting bolder. Today was day 116. Now I have missed a day or two here or there over the last several months four months of doing this. But that is a an exercise that I do record in and Evernote file. Open it up everyday just add the next day. Day 116 and I put the date there and then I set a timer for actually I set for 11 to make sure I actually get ten in and by the time I get my tracking done. I take the same approach to daily meditation using an app calm just 10 minutes each morning. You get the idea. Inch by inch life’s a cinch, but by the yard. It’s hard. So just look at these little things you can do he can do it just one of them and then maybe sometime later you add another yet another that’s been this process for me. I didn’t start all of these at once but I’ve just seen the need and I incorporate another action another daily habit.
[00:22:02] What’s the one thing you commit to doing to live, work, and serve on purpose? I really want to know what it is. And I’d also like to know how I can help you on your journey. You are on an amazing journey. What lies ahead of you is far better than you can ask, think, or imagine at this very moment. So I want to see you passionately pursuing your purpose as you live, work, and serve on purpose this year. Until next time remember You are meant for more. Don’t settle for less
[00:22:46] Once you’ve set your intention and decided on the action you’re going to take. Go to kevindmonroe.com/purpose and download The Purpose Manifesto to learn more strategies that you can use to live, work, and serve on purpose.
- Kevin shares his purpose statement for the Higher Purpose Podcast, going all the way back to the first few episodes. He discusses how he didn’t wordsmith it to death; changing one word was enough to make all the difference. More importantly, rather than continuing to develop the statement, Kevin is putting it to work so it can grow organically with the true purpose behind it.
- So what does it mean to live, work, and serve on purpose? Kevin discusses how each of these three parts of your life can live in harmony. It’s not about balance; it’s about integration. It’s about careful attention so that each of these facets of your life shines brilliantly.
- Back to you and your purpose integration. There are some areas of your life where you already feel a strong connection to your purpose. What are the areas where you feel out of harmony, held back, or even hopeless? Kevin talks through setting your intentions and following them with actions. Actions can be as simple as listening to a podcast – this podcast, even.
- There are wrong ways to approach any goal or quest, but there is rarely only one way to do it right. You’re already on that journey, so keep taking steps forward. Your way might not be like someone else’s, but that’s not what matters. It’s you, your purpose, and always navigating toward it. Missteps happen. It’s okay. That’s what the next step is for.
Once you’ve set your intention and decided on the action you’re going to take, download the Purpose Manifesto to learn more strategies that you can use to live, work and serve on purpose.