What is purpose, especially personal purpose? Kevin W. McCarthy explores this question about purpose, explains some of the myths about what purpose is and isn’t, and answers questions and coaches individuals on the call.
This post provides both the zoom video conference (above) as well as the partially cleaned-up transcript (below) to aid your reading. The text is not presented or intended to be a polished written work relative to our normal writing standards. Enjoy!
This was recorded on October 27, 2020
Kevin W. McCarthy: Welcome to this inaugural On-Purpose Open.
This Open is something that Terry Pappy, who is a good friend and fellow consultant that we’ve done a lot of work together, is something I borrowed from Terry that she’s been doing. She has a wonderful thing called the Pappy Club where she helps solopreneurs and she does these open houses. And I said, well, you know, that’s kind of a cool idea, because you know we both have a heart to serve as many of you do here as well.
And it was like, you know, if you open it up and you just say we’re going to do it, an “open” and have people be able to answer and ask questions and just give a little bit of a presentation. So Terry, thank you for that inspiration on that.
So you’ve got this On-Purpose Open that we have. The idea being that I want to give you some better understanding of what purpose is and what it isn’t, and then leave plenty of time for you to ask some questions with the idea being that what I’ve observed. Mind you, I’ve been at this work since the late 1980s, you know, The On-Purpose Person was originally written when my wife was pregnant with my son, Charles. He’s 29 right now. So it was originally written in 1990 to 1991 and I self-published it for a year and then it was picked up by NavPress Publishing Group. And since we’ve had over 330,000 books in the U.S. alone plus kindle plus international sales in translations and so on and so forth.
I was really an early person that was about the conversation around purpose and one of the motivations for me to do this is truly to help.
Another motivation is there’s a lot of confusion around purpose these days. And so as a result, what I wanted to be able to do is maybe begin to make a little dent in the conversation that’s going on out there and to help solidify for your understanding of purpose, and the power of it. Now that’s not to say that, you might have a different point of view of purpose I honor that I would just say in this time you know we can do some iron sharpening iron, we can discuss that, because we will have ample time for that. But during this presentation I’m going to be doing, just hold your questions and we’ll come back at the end and look at it. So the first thing that we want to do is really look at this aspect of, you know why—there’s the agenda for today—is you know what is purpose and there is a blog post that I recently wrote on the ONPURPOSE.me website. Julie can put that into the chat, if you want to take a look at that. This images from that. And the reason I have this image is that it’s sort of a fun family story when our kids were younger.
Their godparents lived in the summers up in the north Georgia mountains. And one day, their Godmother Shirley says, “So let’s go look for garnets and mountain stream.” We were like, that sounds like a totally cool treasure hunt. You know, little kids treasure hunt. This is great. Off we go.
So I load the kids up into a Jeep Wagoneer, we get a picnic basket. We do all these sorts of things.
We drive from Uncle Gene and Aunt Shirley’s place, down into this valley and through this thing and then she says, you know, this is this river is supposed to be really good for finding them and I’m like this is going to be so much fun. So we pull up to this little, really, it’s a creek or a stream that’s probably about feet wide and not real deep. I mean, it’s maybe a foot and a half or two feet deep.
And we get out and we park and I said to surely. So what do they look like? And she goes, “What do you mean,” I said, “Well, what do garnets look like?” And she said, “I don’t have a clue what they look like.”
I was like, ”Well, what are we looking for?” and she was, “I don’t know.” Goodness, I guess she was expecting these bright red stones like you’d see you know in the, in the jewelry store. I don’t know if she was expecting polished garnets or something in it.
So we end up looking in this river for anything red that we can find. We spend hours looking, but we’re having a ball. We’re playing with the kids. My son loses his, he’s got a flip flop on, he loses it, it gets carried downstream, never to be seen again. It’s probably now somewhere in that giant swirl in the Pacific of all that plastic that just goes around and around and worked its way through the whole earth.
But the point of it is, is that we have a lot of people that are looking for the gem of their life. This thing, but they don’t know what they’re looking for. And so for me, it’s interesting, because I’ve been at this for so many years. I talked to so many people. And they say, oh yeah I know my purpose in life. It’s to be a good mother or it’s to do good. No, that’s a role.
It’s to be a pastor of a church, and I get it. That’s a role, and then they give me something that’s a little bit more elaborate and I go, “Well, that’s sort of a combination of a vision and a mission and you know,” and again, I want to at times I’m having those conversations in my brain because I want to honor what they’ve done, the work that they’ve done.
And I’m going to be polite in terms of what’s going on and I usually ask, “Are you open to some coaching on that and maybe a different point of view?” Because from the perspective that I have they’re scratching the surface of something rather than being able to go to the depth of who they are.
So in that regard, what is purpose and we’re going to talk about that from the point of view of what is purpose and purpose is central to your identity. One of the things about your identity is there’s a number of different sources for our identity and for many people, it may be their identity is the clothes they wear in the logo that’s on their shirt. It could be the school they attended. It could be their heritage, you know, hey, I’m Italian. Or, you know, on Kevin McCarthy, I’m Irish. Or we have all these different identities and these are really more what I call identifiers, rather than identity. And so in my worldview and some of you may share this worldview or not. But there is a higher power there is something greater than we are. I call that God.
And so, in many ways, we talk about purpose, there’s a God given nature to purpose and from that God given nature comes your identity. If your identity is anchored in something other than that it’s a house built on sand instead of a firm foundation. And again, I’m talking deep identity here okay now.
You know, as you can see I’ve got my Pittsburgh Steelers Terrible Towel hanging there Terry Pappy, and I are both Steeler fans. We both grew up in the Pittsburgh area. Is that my identity? No, but I identify that brand as a brand that I identify with and I’m affiliated with. And all of those sorts of things. But you know what, even if my 6 and 0 Pittsburgh Steelers lose this coming weekend. It’s not my identity that’s wrapped up in it. Am I sad? I’m sad but you know it’s a football game. Right.
So these are the sort of things that you begin to happen, but when your identity is wrapped up in something that is that, that is that is sort of outside of the higher power. It can become a crisis, it can become overwhelming. And so, for, for instance, you know, somebody might have their identity wrapped up in their job.
And I was just talking with a woman earlier today who said that whenever she lost her corporate job. And her big income that she’d been working on for years started early in her career and then grew it when she lost that job. Her whole identity was wiped out and was like, I have to start all over.
And she started again working deeper towards a career identity or, in some cases, people may be married and there could be a death of a spouse or divorce. And I was Mrs. So and so, or I was Mr. So and So married to this lovely woman or in our identity was in our marriage. And while that’s a healthy in many places you it’s a healthy identification to have as a married couple. It’s not where your identity is and so when you take this aspect of identity and you begin to really dig into what is the source of that. It’s a very important aspect of purpose and why the 2-word purpose approach that I use is very different in that regard. And why you’ll see the purpose statements that we write with these 2-word purpose statements using the ONPURPOSE.me tool is somewhat odd for a lot of people. Whenever they look at it, but yet if they begin to understand it, it sort of takes hold, and takes root and they go, okay, I understand that this is this is something deeper. So a lot of times people have said to me, You know, why do you use a two-word purpose statement. What’s that all about?
Now clearly, there’s a generic beginning to it. And but the two words are the first word is a gerund which isn’t will think of it as an active verb with an -ing at the end of an awakening worth noting, or a verb that has that sort of action. And then it has an object. So Awakening Worth or Igniting Joy or Radiating Happiness. These are examples of 2-word purpose statements and as you begin to look at this, it has this quality about it.
That is unconditional. It just is. So if we were to use the purpose statement of liberating greatness. For instance, you can look at it and say, you know, when I was younger, I might have been caught in some difficult situations, but whenever I went back to being on-purpose I recognized how I was liberated out of that situation.
And in many ways it was that higher power. It was God. That was a part of that liberating my greatness. It might have been a mentor or coach. Somebody that said something to you, but you’ve got this aspect of liberating. So it’s, you can look back into your past and in many cases, what it does is it frees your mind to say, Oh my gosh, all that craziness that I went through. I now see the pattern of liberation of greatness throughout or igniting joy or whatever it may be that your to word purpose statement is that most of you on this.
In this group have already and so it’s a way to look back redeem. What’s the past, move it to the present, look at it, and say, lessons learned. And now I’m going to move into the future with it and that’s that transitional time where we’re going to talk about that in a little bit where it’s that transitional time that you face where it’s now like I’ve got this to word purpose. What do I do with it?
And so one of the things that we and with this 2-word purpose statement of what’s liberating and greatness. You then combine that and it creates like a spiritual DNA and X and a Y chromosome, if you will.
Where it doesn’t matter whether you are young middle-aged old or on your deathbed, you can still be on-purpose. Assuming you’ve got some of your wits about you.
So it’s unconditional. It’s just is. And I realized that for most of us, we want to put our purpose in the statement of making it in action like I’m doing something. Now there are, we’re going to talk about that right now in terms of how you bring it to action.
So one of the things that we look at, and this has been married for years this is these are wedding bands right here, an aspect of your to word purpose statement is and I think it’s important to understand that purpose is something that is mysterious and intangible.
And so when you have the mysterious and the intangible, it’s sometimes hard to make sense of it because you can’t really grab ahold of it. It’s kind of like you can’t be in the show me state, but whenever you we take the opportunity to put two words around your purpose statement.
It now takes a concept or an idea or a mystery and gives it words and words are the most powerful form of creation, we have available to us. We’re able to co create with words. And so in that sense when we understand words we’re able to convey concepts were able to bring things into being.
And the power of having those two words on you is important. And so in much the same way that I talked about, your 2-word purpose is a symbol, much like this wedding band that I wear is a symbol of my marriage, even in marriage ceremonies, they say this is a symbol of your marriage. It’s not my marriage.
The marriage is a mystery. I mean, how do two people fall in love. Out of all the people in the world.
And that’s a mystery. How do they stay in love? That’s a mystery, not always, one that works well. Sometimes that mystery unravels, mind you. But the fact is, is that it’s a way of putting words around something that otherwise is a hard concept to grasp in the physical realm, we have something like electricity.
Electricity had been around since the dawn of man, if you will. And yet, it wasn’t till Benjamin Franklin’s flying a kite and a key and has a key in a jar hits a lightning bolt and it comes down and goes and he goes, whoa, there is something there. And then you’re able to name it. Once you name it. Now you can begin to take the intangible and harness it into something that is even bigger, better, and beyond, if you will, in the sense of grasping this this essential element of life. Okay.
Now what do you do with that? Purpose spawns vision, mission, and values. Many of you are familiar with the little On-Purpose Pal guy here. And really what’s going on is this purpose as a matter of the heart. It then if you think about that as sort of your, your God given spiritual DNA that you have. It’s in your heart.
That you now have that from this being you have a dream or a vision that starts to emerge, particularly as we mature, but you start to see a vision emerging from it and then you say, well, if I’m going to make that vision come to life. I have to make some things happen, which are your missions.
And then, at some level, in order to make sure that those things are going to occur. You put some values in place, which are your throat and your gut. And so this combination of purpose, vision, mission, and values in that order purpose, vision, mission, and values. The head and the hands aligned within your values, your throat, and your gut. You’re now on your purpose.
Now it’s a very high standard. It’s a difficult standard in many ways. Some people might look at it that way. But I’m going to tell you it’s a far easier way to live than being off purpose. So it just takes a little bit of thought a lot of discipline. And the ability then to surround yourself with other people who are allies that are part of it. That’s why we call this guy. The On-Purpose Pal. He’s your first buddy.
At first the Pal helps you to be in alignment to understand sort of mechanically purpose vision, mission and values and how they all aligned together. And so that’s what it means to be on-purpose. Now with that. What I want to do is just open up some questions for you. You know, so at this point I’ve covered a fair amount of stuff in a relatively short period of time.
What new aspect or ah-ha about purpose have you learned today, or did you learn today right now just anybody want to open up or if you want to put something in the chat.
Julie is going to be monitoring the chat. But, just feel free to unmute yourself and jump in with …
Terry Pappy: I’ll go, Kevin. Everything that you shared a first of all, has been a great reminder for me because I got my 2-word statement several years ago. With you and my 2-word purpose statement is igniting joy and it’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day of just living life. And not being intentional about living that purpose out an x like being that, like you said, it’s a mystery, it’s you know, it’s an intangible right and I think that that’s your right. We want to be an action. We want to have the house. So what I got out of it was like, Yeah, it is kind of this nebulous Mist of Intention that you can lay on top of your day to day actions, but it’s almost like reverse engineering it like instead of doing it in order to ignite joy in my case.
It’s about having the igniting joy drive the actions that I take. And so, for example, in my business when I’m refreshed and reminded about that I take a different tact, knowing that I’m coming from that place. If that makes sense, versus doing it in order to ignite joy. Does that make I’m trying, I’m trying to make like a distinction because that’s how it occurred to me as you were going through that. Around how I conduct myself in being on-purpose and using my purpose statement as that kind of intention.
Kevin W. McCarthy: Thanks, Terry. I mean, actually was kind of interesting about it is I think initially we might have to go through some … It’s like breaking in an old pair, it’s, it’s your purpose statement is actually like an old pair of shoes that you in theory you put on, but at some level, if you haven’t put on those old shoes in a time you might actually have to readjust because your feet have out your feet may no longer fit those shoes because you’ve got corns and Bunyan’s and all sorts of other things that aren’t working, you know, you got all this other credit, so to speak, around it and it’s it maybe not the best example there. But, um, it’s the idea of whenever you get back to being true to who you are.
Kevin W. McCarthy: Now you can look at it and say everything else can align from that. It’s not necessarily that it’s not a purpose driven person that’s another aspect of this, or that your purpose drives you, you have a choice. You can either be on your purpose or you’re off your purpose but purpose doesn’t drive.
Purpose may motivate it may inspire and ignite it may do a number of different things it spawns, as I said earlier, and yet, in the midst of that if you’re sitting there saying, gosh, my life feels so off purpose, you may need to have to do some reverse engineering, as you said, so you can bring it back. So a lot. You gave me a lot to unpack there but night. Thank you for that. Anybody else have any thoughts or any aha, …
Susan Edwards: I do. Well, first of all, Kevin. Thank you for that. I think I’ve known you almost since you started in the early days. And so I’ve been working with the on-purpose thing, but I’m just listening to you today. I got such a clear picture of the progression of it and I really thank you for that. It was like because in the thing of it is, OK, so my purpose is. And really I’ve been scratching at it for like years, literally, since I think the beginning but it is totally Facilitating Connection and for me that’s so overriding that I am grateful literally every day because I can facilitate connection between myself and God, I can facilitate connection between people I can facilitate connection. I do inner-child work with people and their inner child and it’s like having that and you know you helped me with it actually even a couple months ago to really, really hone in on it. I’m grateful, Kevin, honestly. And so that’s why I want other people to know this because and then it, it helps me to know, you know what I do need to do to continue that and it just feels like this is my God given purpose to facilitate connection. So thank you for your little treats this this morning, or this afternoon that really helped me.
Kevin W. McCarthy: If I may do a little coaching, Susan.
Susan Edwards: Please.
Kevin W. McCarthy: You hit one of the traditional challenges that I tend to find and I know that you’re a woman of faith and, you know, the greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. Yes, if you look at the order what’s going on in their self is at the end, but it’s God, Self And Others, right. You just did as you described how you can connect with God. And how you can then help people do their inner child work and they can do all that. But you didn’t talk about Susan. Because at some level, what you’re wanting to do is facilitate you want to be facilitating connection with Susan.
Susan Edwards: Yes. Okay.
Kevin W. McCarthy: Something that many of us skip over is that ability to say, “Wait a minute, this is, this is my life!”
And it’s, it’s, you know, I used to talk about self-care years ago nobody understood what I did, talked about. Now a lot of people talk about self-care. And so it’s a lot more understood, but the real idea is you’re really helping yourself to be on-purpose. And what does that do and it’s not selfishness. It’s really a self-care in that sense. So I would just say, just make sure you spend no you invest a little bit more time on Susan, it’s not to say that you aren’t.
Susan Edwards: Was the good news of that is I course live in Waco, now I am sitting in Chicago, Illinois, with my daughter and her partner and they are taking care of me and I have been here for almost three weeks during the pandemic and I am like in heaven so yes, thank you for reminding me of that Kevin yes absolutely, and I think self-care. We can’t care for others. If we don’t care for ourselves. I appreciate you giving me.
Kevin W. McCarthy: Barry, did you want to unmute yourself. Well, he wants, going to, okay.
Barry Dayley: Now, this, this is Barry.
Kevin W. McCarthy: We were … you’re back. Okay. Yeah.
Barry Dayley: And I, didn’t realize I had indicated, I wanted to say anything but I will say, though, that I, you know, I’ve started this process. Back when I was in New York, you are with Roey Diefendorfer in a wealth management session. And that’s where I learned about this process and I did, I did my, I found my purpose or the two-word purpose there, which in my case it’s three words. It’s light the way. But it has been absolutely fabulous because it resonated with me and it’s helped me to make decisions on just about every aspect of my life and you know I’m, I’m, you know, I’m in my 60s and as young as ever and doing a lot of outdoor mountaineering and things still but you know I just feel such a passion to do those things that that mission of light away and it’s really it. I find it. There’s a possibility to do it in every aspect of my life.
Kevin W. McCarthy: Yeah, if I if I made very just to give you a couple, if I can. I assume that I’m allowed to do some coaching here, you volunteered, but Barry if you recall you’re saying light the way. And really, if you say lighting the way versus light the way. If you’re like, you know, do you see the difference in that.
Barry Dayley: I do. Yeah.
Kevin W. McCarthy: So by having it being Lighting the Way it now is active, where you could light the way once in your life, purpose is never right, right wrong. That’s not true. But if you’re constantly if you’re regularly and I’m not saying perfectly, but if you’re lighting the way, then you’re in, you’re in the flow of that on a continual basis.
Barry Dayley: Thank you. I actually, I think the words are lighting the way.
Kevin W. McCarthy: Not light the way are they are. And in that sense, “the way” is really, it’s really one word, if you will. It’s meant to be one word in that sense, I realize it’s three words. That’s the one exception we have here. There are a few others that are like that, but it’s a it’s a singular concept is in that regard.
Kevin W. McCarthy: Thank you. Mukesh. Is it Mukesh? Did I say that right?
Mukesh Azad: Yes. Can you see me?
Kevin W. McCarthy: Yes, we can. Thank you. Okay.
Mukesh Azad: So after reading your book On-Purpose. About three years ago, I kind of you know myself become purposeful and since then I started you know researching and doing more and more research about purpose and this purpose thing, kind of, you know, got stuck in me and what I have understood about purpose is. What is given inside of us to help others. That’s what I have understood and I have, you know, kind of designed a framework that I want to share with you if it is okay to get your information to get your, your thoughts about that.
Kevin W. McCarthy: Sure. I mean, you said you want to share some thoughts. Yeah, go ahead. Can you give me a screen share thing so that I can show that? I forget what it’s called but I’m very familiar with this model. And if I can go ahead. If I mean if we don’t want to explain this whole model today.
Mukesh Azad: Sure, sure, sure. Definitely. So this is what I mean, my understanding, and this is how I different, you know in blocks. I put different thing. And what I’m believing is after. Okay, so what I so far what I’ve understood, you know, after somebody is understood all those different parameters then only he can understand his whole an exact purpose. And I’m still confused, you know, whether that’s a reality or not. And I need to know this because on Sunday. I’m preaching in a church in Texas. I’m not a preacher. I’m not a pastor. I’m just, you know, corporate you know person who have, you know, given up on my corporate career after reading your book and now on my journey to, you know, Discover not only my purpose but helped many other people to discover their purposes.
Kevin W. McCarthy: Yeah. Well, let me share with you. I mean, that model that you have is, it’s, it’s a solid model, but it’s one of those things that I found is you know, I have on my bookshelf books that will that are this thick about how to find your purpose. And what I found is that it’s what I call it’s the surrounding it, and hoping that you find it. By looking at your design by looking at your calling, by looking at your passions, by looking at all of these things.
That’s all healthy. It’s good self-introspection and all of that. But what it does is it puts people on a journey for six months or a year and I’m looking at it and saying, You know what, in three minutes. I can help you know your purpose in life.
And then almost like Terry was saying, you can start from there and begin to say, how does that get expression in my calling. How does that get expression in the design? How does that get expression in my passions? How does it, it just, it just literally flips that whole work effort on its head. And it’s almost, in fact, there was a really famous author who wrote a book in the 1970s or 80s. If I said the name of the book, you would know the name of the book.
And he, we had a mutual friend, and this was at the very beginning of The On-Purpose Person and this friend of mine said I want to get him to do an endorsement for your book. We sent him the book he read it and he wrote back to his friend and said, “This is too easy. It can’t be this easy.”
No, it can’t be this easy and it’s kind of like, for those of you that have been around for a long time. It’s like the difference between a Mac and a PC when Macs first came out they were so disregarded because they’re just so simple. They’re just so you know. And yet they worked. In other words, it was a tool that got you moving along and into action. And that’s really, at some level, my proclivity is to say rather than having people contemplate your navel for weeks or months or years at a time. Let’s get them into action.
And you don’t have to spend your life searching for purpose when you can know it in three minutes. It’s a powerful transformation. But again, for a lot of people. It’s just too easy, or they don’t understand it when they get it. And we actually got a letter from a gentleman. This week, who said, I just spent $9 on that ONPURPOSE.me thing and it’s the biggest waste of money I’ve ever had. And, you know, and he went on and on. He was expecting something different. And so, you know, I wrote him back and I said, you know, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Continue to live with it. I’m happy to refund your money, I’m not here to take nine dollars. Nine dollars is not going to make or break my business or my life. If you felt like you didn’t get good value and so, at some level, what I realized is people don’t understand what they have, which is one of the reasons why we’re doing this.
But thank you for sharing that. That’s a great example of what I see is a lot of the challenges that people get mired down in this deep sort of self reflection, which again is healthy and good. Well, I’m trying to get you to self-expression or God–Self-expression, if you will.
Mukesh Azad: You’re seeing the finally that we should start with two words statement and then diving into this, you know, sort of a larger format.
Kevin W. McCarthy: It will inform all of that. So the ONPURPOSE.me tool is designed. I mean, like I said in three minutes with it ONPURPOSE.me. You go in, you find your two-word purpose statement comes out, you get a little bit of course it comes with it. That gives you a little bit better explanation, but again, it’s, it’s hard to convey that in ten little courses that are meant to be consumed in a couple emails again out the reason we’re doing this.
Mukesh Azad: Thank you so much.
Kevin W. McCarthy: Oh, there you are Emery. I see you.
Emery Smith: Hi, Kevin. So first off, I gotta just laugh at your analogy, your story was about garnets. My father had a garnet mine in Ely, Nevada in 1963. Yeah, so it’s also my birthstone and it brings a whole lot of significance because if you know, garnet is a semiprecious carborundum, so is Emery. So it kind of connects you know kind of connect. I wanted to just say that the question I have the past really set me up for it. I can’t say this site because it’s an anonymous site, but I am an online coach to people around the world and we get totally, you know, disconnected calls every moment and we have to bring them to a point and our point is I will just say it’s to the one who can answer all the questions.
If I say anymore, it’ll give it away. But that’s crux of it. And what I found is that we get a lot of young people who have absolutely no idea what a purpose is. They don’t even know how to use vocabulary. When you say passion, they’re thinking something totally different. When they’re thinking when they hear the word calling. That’s what mom does for dinner, you know, craving. I use the word craving, because I believe that every craving is a significant gift that has been misunderstood and misapplied to be satisfied in our earthly world, but it was actually put there by our Creator. Still, it’s a difficult conversation through testing to try and bring but I am so grateful for this who word I will use it and I’m really grateful. She brought it up today.
Kevin W. McCarthy: Well, thank you. That’s great. I’m glad to hear that. And by the way, one of the words, the word passion is one of those words, as you said, people in general, young people don’t understand it, old people don’t understand it either. And so, I mean, what happens is, most people think of passion as an excited state of emotion—that “I’m passionate about this.” I’m willing to do the other to but in fact the archaic roots of the word come back to me. It’s to suffer. And that comes out of if any of you saw the movie The Passion of the Christ by Mel Gibson. Which is the, the time of, you know, literally betrayal crucifixion beating, you know, the whole nine yards death. And that was the whole movie for what, two and a half hours or something like that. That’s the suffering. And so the way I like to describe passion to people is it’s not what are you willing to die for because that’s it’s really that it really is that, but what I usually say with young people is, what are you willing to pay the price for you. You got it’s if you think of it in those terms.
And if young people are often if they’re an athlete, what are you paying the or are you willing to pay the price as an athlete to excel at what’s going on. If you’re an intellect. Are you willing to pay the price to go to medical school? And I’m not just talking about the tuition. Are you willing to pay the price to do whatever it may be? And to become you know in that regard. And so that’s what passion really is, and passion and purpose are very close, but a lot of people do confuse them.
And it’s, it’s, again, I don’t mean to make this a Kevin frustration session, but these are some of these are some of the mythologies that I’m really hoping to straighten out for people is that that words matter because as I said, the beginning words are the greatest form of creation. We have because they’re not only words spoken on our lives, but they are words we speak to ourselves.
And so when you understand the power of words, then you’re in a much, much stronger place again, you know, it’s you don’t have to have a huge vocabulary for this. And I’m not trying to teach you mastery. I’m just trying to move you along so that you can have a better life, but every thank you for the work you’re doing with young people, first of all, …
Emery Smith: Thank you. I there’s one separate aspect that I just want to touch on real briefly, because of my years in construction sales and operations. I have a passion for family subcontractor small business and I see the frustrations and multiple hats, all of that. And it seems like everybody’s going it alone.
I have seen the word competition over my years I’m starting to see the word collaboration. I’m trying to figure a way to monetize the collaboration, so that I can just be another voice on the tennis on the periphery of their core business to be a bit of a coach, a bit of a of person who would come alongside in difficult circumstances, kind of like a chaplain and try and minimize the cost to open the entry. Any suggestions you have, I’d love to hear.
Kevin W. McCarthy: Yeah well that’s beyond the scope of what we’re doing today, but you know, at some point, reach out to me and we can maybe drop me an email or something.
Julie Holzmann: Thank you. Ron was next. And then I see Sabrina raising her hand.
Kevin W. McCarthy: Who was next? Ron Hart. Hey, Mr. Hart.
Ron Hart: Good memories, Pinon Press. Still have a couple of cases will be …
Kevin W. McCarthy: While you’re talking about this.
Ron Hart: Yeah, the, the two word me it’s just been revealing to me because I’ve been with Kevin says the beginning. Also, and we used to sit around and go through these tournaments round and around and going through the tournaments. How do you do this, and then when the two words that ONPURPOSE.me comes out and go. I got it. I’ll figure it out. And I go, Kevin. He must have some great patience with me because I’ve had the wrong purpose statement for over 25 years and Kevin just said.
Well, I don’t think that’s right. When I’d fight with Kevin. No, that’s my purpose statement connecting visions and it finally when we went through the me it go, oh, that’s your mission. That’s not your purpose. So I went back through the TV program and revealing purpose is my purpose and my tagline is by connecting vision. So, so thank you for your patience. Kevin, sir. Oh, many years that I finally figured it out.
Kevin W. McCarthy: That’s awesome. Well, good to hear that. And by the way, here’s what I want to show you. So this is the book that sold 1000 copies, just with word of mouth. That was one that I did Terry, you’ll be proud to know that I created all those graphics on my Mac back in 1990.
Terry Pappy: I’m super impressed.
Kevin W. McCarthy: This was what preceded it. You’d actually read like this, you know, and then here just for the fun of it is some of the original handwritten …
Terry Pappy: That’s so cool. You kept everything. It’s like the archives. The on-purpose archives.
Kevin W. McCarthy: I wrote it at the very top. I said the parable and I didn’t even tell my publisher that I called it a parable and they called it a modern parable. It’s sort of fun, all that sort of stuff. And I’ve just kept over the years. So that’s just a little walk down trivially not many people see all of that. So allow me to indulge in a way to. Thanks, Ron. And then, Sabrina. You’re next my buddy and you start and since Sanford or Stanford rather.
Sabrina Roblin: Yes, we’re, we’re, we’re still offering our program at Stanford and doing other things and I’m doing some coaching. Yeah.
Kevin W. McCarthy: Very talented woman.
Sabrina Roblin: Thank you very much. And I was really, really grateful to get my purpose statement from you, which is Lighting the Way. Yeah, so whenever I’m coaching or mentoring. I totally feel on-purpose. And then I’ve also started doing some lay ministry volunteer lay ministry and find I’m doing some chaplaincy and spiritual direction with that. So I’m basically holding the light for people in their dark places. And I find that incredibly fulfilling and I understand why now because of that purpose statement.
And I would love to hear a little more about how to work with these purpose statements you know mine in particular, but just in general, what do you recommend different ways to work with them to deepen them to bring them more conscious and more meaningful in life.
Kevin W. McCarthy: Okay, whenever you’re talking about that. Are you are you saying, working with them is that mean refining them further or is it a matter of giving them greater expression.
Sabrina Roblin: Yeah, I would love to understand both.
Kevin W. McCarthy: Okay. In we have a an online community and that community, but it’s an online courses. That’s called My Life On-Purpose. And in My Life On-Purpose, there is a course that’s called The On-Purpose Puzzle. Okay. And there are that was. It was originally written as a train-the-trainer type of thing for people who wanted to go deep with purpose statements, so that you could refine it, but you know, just to give you a quick answer one of the first ways. I have people refine it. So let’s just take yours of lighting the way. First of all, the first place to bring the look is because you’re doing some chaplaincy work in faith aspect of what’s going on there. You know you have that part in the Bible where Jesus says, I am the way, the light and the truth. And so it’s some level you’re part of lighting the way.
And so that’s bringing forth some of that faith aspects that may be going on. And I’m not saying that you’re, you have to be, I don’t mean this as a pejorative a Bible-thumper in their face or whatever it is you have to be comfortable with your own level of that. But realize that purpose is a spiritual concept, and so when you’re dealing with a spiritual concept, particularly those of us who are coaches, we have to be so respectful because so many people have so much baggage around particularly the traditional Christian faith, if you will, even around some of the other faiths and the communities that are out there. And so as a result, you’ll find that that people have you’re sort of poking the bear and being there. So I’m trying to be extraordinarily respectful of wherever and anybody is.
And so in that sense, you can take something like let’s just take liberating greatness as a purpose statement that’s maybe because it’s a 2-word one. In a summary. Here’s this to word purpose statement. Look up. Let’s open up the, you know, your phone, go to the source and look up the word lighting and then look up. I’m sorry, or the way or your way wouldn’t be the best way to do it, but look up the word liberating and then look up the word greatness.
Kevin W. McCarthy: What other words are meaningful to you, are there more meaningful words is instead of liberating. Is it freeing? Instead of freeing is it emancipated, I mean, or is it in. So you start to see these words. And what you’ll find is people will sort of naturally gravitate that that feels better for me.
And what I’ve learned to do over the years is don’t overthink it trust their instinct and that’s a hard thing for a lot of people do, because they want to think about it. We used to have a paper version of this and people would write all these things out, or we would have we, I mean, I’ve had enough that upon method upon method to get to this point.
Where the beauty of the 2-word ONPURPOSE.me tool is if you’re on your phone and you’re just tapping. You’re not overthinking it just your, your spirit, your intuition is just sort of coming out and it’s just there, there, there, there were when we have people writing it and paper, they would get lost in the paper.
Kevin W. McCarthy: We would get results, but then we’d have to spend an hour debriefing them and doing all that sort of stuff. I mean, it was it was it was challenged Ron’s been through some of that training and so with this. That’s one way to that’s one of many methods to refine the other way. Another way that I think is another popular way of doing it is save them. It’s the. I call it the five wise. And it’s funny because I remember that book back in The On-Purpose Puzzle probably back in and talked about “The 5 Whys” and since now I see the five why’s in other places. I don’t know whether I stole it from someplace, or somebody borrowed it from me.
But that’s not important. So what I’ll do is if they say somebody says, Well, my purpose statement is leading the way. Well, why is that important to you and they’ll say why it’s important. And then, why is that important to you. And if you’re listening with ears for gerunds and objects.
You’re going to hear some of those things and pick it along and now all of a sudden, you might be able to put together combinations for them. It’s really nice. In a coaching environment when you’re able to listen to have somebody who’s coaching or you’re coaching them and you’re listening with a train to ear to hear those things.
I mean, I’m at the point now where there are sometimes if I’m sitting down, just I could be sitting on an airplane talking to somebody and having a conversation and as I just started to listen to them and explain who they are and what they’re about. I can almost hear a purpose statement starting to emerge.
But again, I’ve been at this for 30-plus years. So I started when I was three. So, then in terms of the giving it expression part. I think that’s actually you’re a businesswoman. It’s really strategic planning. All the things. I mean, way back whenever I started all this, I just took the business strategy and in business background I had and applied it to my personal life.
And of course The On-Purpose Person provides a great a great formula for building it out. Now it’s interesting, like with Mukesh whenever I was saying earlier, don’t start running all these circles you know all the circles that you’ve got going on.
With The On-Purpose Person in many ways. If I was to rewrite that book and I don’t want to rewrite it. I would actually have people do start with her to word purpose statement, and then do their want list their tournaments and start to say, all these things that they want to do to create the alignment based on what they want so in many ways.
And there’s, if you want to, for those of you that’re here. There’s something called the Discovery Guide. If you go to discovery guide.net, there’s a tool that’s there that talks about what lists and tournaments and how to organize what your priorities are. And it also helps to clarify your values.
So again, I sort of go back to this, you know, this On-Purpose Pal guy here is if you get your purpose, vision.
And vision can be vocational, it could be in a marriage. It could be relational, Lee. It could be, you know, for instance, you could have a vision with your son. I know you’ve got a son. He can. It could be, it doesn’t matter how you apply that purpose. So you’re lighting the way for your son.
Kevin W. McCarthy: Your son may not want mom wanting that, so you have to look at the values that are involved in that, you know, see what I’m saying is you want to be respectful that’s respecting your son’s wishes, at some level, is there. So that’s a value that comes into play. But doing things together, whether it’s hiking or going to Europe or wherever it may be, then these are the sorts of things that you start to begin to build out these strategies. Okay. Okay.
Sabrina Roblin: Yes, very helpful thing.
Kevin W. McCarthy: Yeah, you’ve got all the background to build it out you know how to do that. Okay, we’re good at that. So thanks.
Julie Holzmann: Eileen had one or something to share.
Kevin W. McCarthy: Was Eileen.
Julie Holzmann: She, she’s working on getting …
Kevin W. McCarthy: Oh, there she is.
Eileen: Okay. Hi there. Yeah. Hi, I’m I’ve had my on-purpose two words for, I don’t know. Was it back in the early 2000s, I think, something like that. And it’s in my estimation. Sometimes I feel like it. It’s totally lost. And I haven’t let it really be part of my life. I used to have it as my signature in my emails.
And my two word purposes Embracing Joy and I picked it because I wanted to feel joyful in my life and I wanted to give joy to others. And I am just wondering, since Ron had mentioned about changing it and going through different things if it does change should I change it because I still want joy in my life. And I still want to give joy in my life. I don’t know how to implement it and keep it in in through the trials that I have, you know, and when things are tough. How do I get that to support me, or is it not meant to support me when I’m going through tough times. So, so I just kind of wanted to know a little bit about that.
Kevin W. McCarthy: Well, first of all, yes it is meant to support us, especially in tough times, I realized that you might be going through a season, like in The On-Purpose Person who talks about seasons are, you know, in the sense that you could be going through a dark season for lack of better words but it is that kernel of hope that you hold on to which is to sit there and say, you know, I want to be embracing joy. Therefore, in the midst of this darkness. I am going to find the joy and I don’t know where I’m going to find it, or how I’m going to find it, whether that’s a bit but it’s there. It never leaves you okay it’s built in. It’s your spiritual DNA.
And I’m not saying that I’m trying not to be Pollyanna-ish about it or just sort of cliché or try it. I’m just as sincere as I can be about it, it almost comes down to a worldview that you’re going to choose the joy and it reminds me of Man’s Search for Meaning, Victor Frankl’s book where he was in a concentration camp and he talks about the only the only choice. The only thing you have remaining when everything else is stripped away is the power of choice.
And you can choose to be Embracing Joy, even in the midst of a concentration camp and finding it in that regard. Now, I haven’t suffered to that degree. I mean, none of us have here. I hope we all have gone through our own sets of sufferings.
And so it’s not a matter of what scale is going on now with that regard. Don’t give up on your my sense of it is really don’t give up on your purpose statement. Now the other question is, because it’s aspirational. It’s meant to be. It’s meant to be the rock, even though you know the waves may be crashing in from time to time. The Rock is still there.
Okay. The second thing is, do your purpose statements changed? No, they don’t. But let me clarify that your understanding of your purpose may change like Ron just gave us a great example of that for his. He thought it was connecting vision, all these years and then he realized, Wait a minute, it’s Revealing Purpose. So what happens is we grow. And as we get to understand ourselves. I always like to say to people, you know, we have some people that say, Oh, I did ONPURPOSE.me and I want to take it again, like in MINUTES TO SEE IF SOMETHING DIFFERENT comes up. I’m saying, Don’t do it.
Don’t waste your time. Don’t waste your money just live with what you’ve got. And let’s refine what you have, perhaps. But what you’ll find is over time. It will either settle in. It’s like a, it’s like a fine wine, it will age right for you or there will be a certain amount of disturbance, and you’ll start to it’ll, it’s and as that disturbance sort of hits, you’ll start to think around it in terms of, oh, maybe instead of embracing and so I always say, test your purpose statement. There’s nothing wrong with testing your purpose statement seeing whether it’s surviving
But anyway, that’s sort of is that, so yes, it’s, it’s almost at the hour here. Let me suggest we said we’re going to go for an hour. I’m happy to stay on afterwards. What I would suggest to you is, let me just close this up and you know, the, the point of this is that there. You’re on a journey and the idea is that now that you know your purpose, get on the journey of giving you an expression start investing your time in being on your purpose. Instead of spending or wasting or killing your time trying to find it.
And even if you don’t have it. Perfect. You’re still far better off taking that 2-word purpose statement and using it to build from there and going forward. And so along with that way. Like I said, we have these tools like my life, My Life On-Purpose tools, there’s, there’s four courses that are there. And then on December first at 10 a.m. I will also be doing another one of these, just for business persons. So if you’ve got a business or your soul opener Terry does a lot of work with solopreneurs.
Come in and join. We’ll talk about your purpose of a business in a how it plays with the purpose of the person. And with that, we’ll call it a day. But I’m happy to stay on board. If anybody has any further questions, but I’ll let you run if you need to run.
Thank you for your time and attention. And we’re going to send a survey out if you’d let us know how we did. How’s that? Thanks.
Terry Pappy: It was awesome. As usual, Kevin. Thank you.
Kevin W. McCarthy: Thank you, Terry. Dan, you have a question.
Dan M: I just have a thank you, Kevin. I’ve known you for probably eight to years and I did, I want to echo what you said about the paper to the digital I did on-purpose. You know statement on paper and I did. I think I overthought it and when I came up with my two words. It was impacting lives.
It didn’t feel right. It’s like when you get a pair of boots or a pair of jeans and you put them on and they don’t feel right. But you buy him anyhow. And then last fall I did the digital form and it was search engine because like, I’m not sure I was overthinking it but I kept on going. And I came up with Affirming Significance and I feel that when I came to an end. I read a description of what you had, and then looked it up in the dictionary is like, this is the right pair of boots.
And reaffirm thanks and encouraged me that what I been doing. I now have a title that makes sense to what I’m doing. And it makes it even more fun as I go through the day I catch myself I’m doing that naturally when I interact with people and it is just thrilling warms my heart and then just to watch them progress as I’m bringing significance to them and showing that they do have value in what they’re doing, even if it’s in small steps. So I just want to thank you for your work and your book and no one you what a joy.
Kevin W. McCarthy: Well, thank you. And, Dan, one of the reasons why your 2-word purpose statement before didn’t work. It was actually either a mission or a vision. Because when you talk about impacting lives. First of all, that’s our focus. That’s other people. It’s also a plural one things I say structurally is when you do a two-word purpose statement, the object. If it’s a plural at the end and lives.
Then you’re outer focused and really, at some level, it’s upper focused inward focus then outer focused. Okay. And if you break that pattern or you just be. This way, you’re setting yourself up for burnout or dissatisfaction at some level. And so whenever you go to this Affirming Significance. First, your significance is a friend here.
Okay, then you’ve got to receive it, then, in turn, you pass it along. So it’s, that’s the creative process, those of us that are creatives. If any of you are musicians or poets or artists or whatever you often feel like you’ve got this download that you’re giving out, and that’s the process. That’s it work there, Dan.
Dan M: Thank you very much. Yep.
Kevin W. McCarthy: But congratulations and thank you for your kind comments. Toni, are you …
Toni Gitles: I’m still here.
Kevin W. McCarthy: Okay, I thought you had a question.
Toni Gitles: But I just want to say thank you. I pulled out my book from ON-PURPOSE me. It was April and I was just reflecting how far I’ve come. And what’s going on in my life and I just appreciate reconnecting with you. I just found your email like four minutes before you started and I’m noting I’m in a class, we’re doing gratitude. So it’s a caregiver class. Actually, we’re doing gratitude journals every day and our homework this week was to look at the synchronicity in our life so high synchronicity. And thank you for the support of the book. It’s been an exciting journey.
Kevin W. McCarthy: Where you’re welcome. Thanks for sharing that.
Toni Gitles: And my 2-word purpose is Imparting Wisdom.
Kevin W. McCarthy: There you go.
Toni Gitles: It’s getting expressed so
Kevin W. McCarthy: And, you know, work on you. You worked hard to get some of that wisdom that you’re dealing with. Didn’t you?
Toni Gitles: You know I really did. I know. You know and I, you know, I’ve had some illnesses. The past year and a half, and becoming someone who needed a caregiver instead of being someone who was helping caregivers, really gave me a whole new perspective because I really searched for the lessons and you know through the struggles of both having a caregiver needing to heal.
Yeah, it just, you know, when you’re willing to receive the wisdom in the lesson it, you know, it opens up life and opportunities know. Well, thank you for sharing, right. See you again.
Kevin W. McCarthy: Thank you.
Bill Wiles: Thank you. I’m kind of going through hitting the reset and this has been very good for me, you …
Kevin W. McCarthy: Know, Bill. Are you getting a vocational reset or just a life reset or …
Bill Wiles: Pretty much everything I, I just, I luckily I bailed on California right before the this some coronavirus stuff hit. And so I’m living in Florida, now. But I still do the same things. I still consult for companies all over the world. But living out here as much better for me than, than there, and the one picture. I think she’s gone now have a sailboats and stuff. I moved out here to put a boat in the harbor.
And spend a little bit more time doing that, but I’m finding I’m getting more and more involved in lots of things and even have one of the local universities and talk to me about teaching a class there, which I hadn’t done before, but, yeah, it’s just, but this and I had your, you know, I have one of the you can’t fit, the older books.
Kevin W. McCarthy: Okay, yeah, one of the originals. Yep. Open it up so does it have a blue or white inside cover.
Bill Wiles: It’s white inside cover.
Kevin W. McCarthy: Okay, that would be at least a second edition.
Bill Wiles: Yeah, but it’s been around for quite a while but anyway, so. So yeah, so this is this is really good to help me kind of rethink things. And so I will take this over to the ocean where I do my thinking and I’ll give you some feedback.
Kevin W. McCarthy: That’s great. Thank you for that. We appreciate it and blessings to you as you go through that process. So a person with you. How’s that?
Bill Wiles: Okay, thank you.
Kevin W. McCarthy: Julie, is anybody else out there?
Julie Holzmann: I don’t see anybody else with a hand raised or anything. There was one gentleman who had a hand raised. But he left before we didn’t raise a hand. He was just unmuted. But he didn’t respond if he wanted to share anything.
Kevin W. McCarthy: Okay. Why don’t we call it a day? Thank you all for your time and attention today and with the few that are left, would you want, would you want to do more of these. Like I said, this is our inaugural …
Susan Edwards: Yes, yes. Okay. Definitely. Thank you, Kevin. Yes, I want to do more.
Kevin W. McCarthy: Well, thank you, willing say we’re going to send a survey on just sort of see how it goes and, it’s fun to be able to hear these stories for me because a lot of times I don’t hear the stories, but it’s nice to hear the stories and also to hear how these minor corrections, we might be able to help can maybe remove some of the roadblocks.
That are, it may be a small stumbling block for you, but it’s still a stumbling block. And if we can just get that one or two things out of the way, then you can make a little bit further progress down the road and your journey of being on-purpose.
Susan Edwards: It was very profitable and very effective. So thank you.
Kevin W. McCarthy: Thank you for that. Well, great. Well, God bless everybody and be on-purpose.