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#127 – “Purpose Is A Verb” and Seeking Meaning in Life with Richard Leider

What’s the secret to unlocking your best life yet? Finding your purpose. To aid us in doing so, we sought out internationally bestselling author, coach, and keynote speaker, Richard Leider. Listen as he discloses looking at purpose as a verb and grasping the meaning in life.

Richard reveals details from his fortuitous encounter with Viktor Frankl and a method for living with purpose. Additionally, he explains why purpose is fundamental to your health, how to stop living a default life, as well as useful tips for unlocking the sought out purpose of many. Richard wraps up by discussing the idea of coaching young NFL football players into reimagining the next phase of their lives and uncovers the fine points from his book.

Watch the full episode!

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This information is provided to you as a resource for informational purposes only and is not to be viewed as investment advice or recommendations.  This information is being presented without consideration of the investment objectives, risk tolerance, or financial circumstances of any specific investor and might not be suitable for all investors. This information is not intended to, and should not, form a primary basis for any investment decision that you may make. Always consult your own legal, tax, or investment advisor before making any investment/tax/estate/financial planning considerations or decisions.

Read Show Notes From This Episode (click to expand and read notes from the full interview)
    • Wes comments on the high quality of Richard’s video.Richard talks about how he got into doing what he does. Richard had the chance to have a fortuitous encounter with Viktor Frankl. He went from Denver to San Diego to see him. It was life changing. He came away with “The power of choice.”

      Take out a post it note and write these two words: “Grow” and “Give”. Look at them every night and ask yourself how you’ve done those two things. This helps you live with purpose.

      He has a voicemail that says “Thanks for calling. Answer these questions: Who are you and what do you want?”

      Purpose is not a luxury. It’s fundamental. He did a PBS special about this. He went to the neuroscience labs. Purpose is fundamental to health.

      How do I stop living a default life?

      The U-Curve of happiness. 47.5 is the age that’s the bottom of the U-Curve.

      The old mantra was “Learn, earn, and retire.” The new mantra is “Learn, earn, and Reimagine. Maybe retire, maybe not.”

      Place, people, right work, purpose. Richard would suggest that in pre-retirement or post-retirement, do an assessment. Wes brings up that this sounds very Blue Zones to him. Richard says Dan Buettner is the one who called him “The Pope of Purpose.” He is a Blue Zones ambassador.

      Place is physical and it’s weather. It has to do with the culture, amenities, and people. The relationships in that place are important. Purpose is a verb. Action precedes clarity. Fundamental to living a meaningful life.

      Curiosity killed the cat but a lack of curiosity killed the happy retiree. Curiosity drives purpose. Without it, stagnation occurs. Curiosity is critical. If Richard is somewhere with people who aren’t curious, he tries to get out of there. People who try to find the extraordinary in the ordinary.

      Richard grew up in Minnesota. He lives there but travels a lot. Just got back from the Alps. He lives in a little town on the outskirts of Minnesota called Scandia. Richard loves winter. He can cross country ski right outside his house.

      How do you find your purpose? You don’t. You unlock it. G + P + V = C. Gifts + Passions + Values = Calling. The calling lasts from cradle to grave.

      Richard gave up coaching, but still does it pro bono. It was too time consuming and he had a way broader audience and he loved to speak. He likes creating it and designing it. He resisted Zoom at first. If he does a Zoom webinar, he’ll have a couple thousand people online. His phone is ringing off the hook like never before but he’s more selective than ever. He’s the purpose ambassador for Blue Zones so he does all sorts of things for them. They are his.

      Wes asks Richard about growing up twice. Getting away from the default life.

      In spite of everything, say yes to life. Why are you here? You’re here to serve. You don’t have to Gandhi or Mother Theresa. You can enjoy your retirement. Take a break. But at a certain point you’re going to want to feel a sense of presence. The word Richard hears over and over again is “relevant.”

      Assemble a sounding board. It has these kinds of people in it: a committed listener. Purpose partner. When you look at life, there are 1440 purpose moments in a day. If you take sleep out, there would be less. Those are moments you can make a difference.

      Wes transitions from Viktor Frankl over to the NFL. Wes asks about the idea of coaching these young football players. Richard says the owners don’t like him because they just want the players to produce now, they don’t care what they do later.

      How do they reimagine the next phase of their life? How do we help them do that? They’ve got a bonding with each other.

      The most important day of your life is birth. The second most important day is determining your purpose.

      Wes asks for another tidbit from his book. He likes the idea that this book helps foster conversation. It starts out with them at a Minnesota Twins game that’s rained out. So he and Dan Shapiro (co-author) leave to go get a beer. Had a great conversation. A big conversation is what happens at the end of life. They asked and answered the three ultimate questions.
      What do you think happens when you die?
      How would you like to die?
      What gifts do you want to leave the world before you die?
      Richard tells a story about Ed Rapp, a guy with ALS. Inspiring story. Ed created an organization called “Live Strong with ALS.” The Big P – making a difference legacy-wise with ALS. The little p is that every single morning he gets up and coaches someone who has ALS. Someone he’ll never meet. He gets so much out of it. It brings so much more joy and vitality to him. So, he’s an example of saying yes to life despite adversity.

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