STRENGTH & FOCUS: Finding purpose in the unhappiest place in America – Part 3
Greetings, and welcome to the third and final part in this series. In Part 1, you were introduced to the place I called home for most of my life as well as a few of the personal and professional struggles I encountered on my path to finding purpose.
Part 2 focused on the desire to follow this course and initiate a profound change in life (career, community, etc.), along with the mindset needed to continue forward despite outside criticism and naysaying even the source of these devastating blows is the people you are closest to. You also learned that, at some point, usually soon after beginning this journey, you’ll come to a crossroad and be forced to choose between following this new way or returning to your comfort zone and staying in the pit of familiarity.
Since we’ve made it this far together, I’ll presuppose that you’re no longer an innocent bystander or some passerby that happened upon this blog series. Whether you’re from Northeastern Pennsylvania or not, you understand that this series isn’t one man’s quest to find the root cause of the problem or to point fingers at those who perpetuate the majority attitude and current state. It’s not even a platform to dwell on the symptomatology associated with living in this region. The reason I’m writing this series is twofold.
My first reason is that it serves as an inspiration to you, as you realize what’s possible in your own life. After reading about my bold decision to start a coaching and training business in the unhappiest region in America and continue to drive forward with this desire each and every day, despite frequent struggles, then you should be able to see that it’s entirely possible for you to fulfill your dreams as well. To do that, you’ll need to look deep within and find the courage to make your own daring leap and then take the necessary steps to unlock your potential as you move towards creating a brand new reality.
The second is that I hope it serves as a wake-up call to those living in this region. I didn’t choose this blog title for marketing purposes or to be controversial. This isn’t one man’s jaded opinion. The fact is that there’s a problem in NEPA when it comes to its mindset and attitude – hiding with a head under your pillow isn’t going to make it go away. Take a look back at the three quick supporting facts from Part 1 for a reminder. The area didn’t just get a case of the yips and have a bad season; it has been out of the game for a while and, unfortunately, many of the people in positions to make a real significant change are sitting on the bench content with being the big fish in a little pond. Known as the anthracite region, this fourth generation coal mining town often acts as if it huddles together and clings to its proud heritage long enough, then diamonds will appear.
Change doesn’t happen from starlight wishes. It’s time to step up and be the change!
But enough on that; let’s dive deeper into that important first reason, which is to inspire you to find your purpose, unlock potential, and transform dreams into reality. As we discussed before, you have to be willing to commit yourself fully to the cause, even if that means learning new skills, hiring a coach or mentor, and finding different circles by aligning with the right people who support your goals. Pay careful attention to this last point because a key factor in the level of success experienced depends upon and is influenced by the people in your circles.
During the honeymoon stage, there will be an abundance of enthusiasm and support both internally and externally, however, after this initial surge settles, you’ll be responsible for keeping the flame lit and the passion alive. In Part 2, I mentioned that the beginning of my journey was met with hugs and high fives, but then the compliments turned to criticisms and the support turned to scoffing. It you think I’m joking, then talk to five people who took the plunge to start their own business and see what they tell you.
The truth is that it’s nearly impossible to explain the joy of finding your purpose in life to people who aren’t interested in finding their own or to convey the passion for your business to those who are content with clocking in and out for their daily eight hours. Frankly, they wouldn’t get it because they’re not wired that way. That would be like trying to explain an amazing sexual experience had with your significant other to someone who is single and believes in holding onto their virginity until after marriage. Did that paint the picture a little bit better? Sure, that person might try and understand your perspective, but they’re not in the boat with you; they’re sitting on the dock dangling their toes above the water.
Aligning with the right people and collaborating with those who will further your efforts is crucial. Take a look at the people in your social and professional circles. Do they truly support your purpose in life or are they currently just OK with your decision. In other words, are they purchasing your services, speaking highly of your work and referring clients, and offering assistance when needed, or is there emptiness in their words and actions? Imagine you were building a grand cathedral. Would you say these people provide support like strong marble pillars holding up the beautifully painted ceiling, or is their support akin to long timbers lying in a scrap pile outside? Please note, I’m not suggesting that every person you know must automatically hand over money because there are many other ways to be supportive, and it’s a two-way street for you to also serve and benefit others through your efforts.
I encourage you to put yourself out there and don’t be afraid to be open and vulnerable by sharing your ideas and dreams with others. If the person isn’t interested or adds negative and unnecessary criticism, then move on. They’re probably projecting their own insecurities and trying to smash your dreams because they envy the fact that you have the courage to do something that frightens the hell out of them. However, when you meet someone who loves what you do and they want to support or collaborate, then your efforts will compound and results multiply. Build your circles to reflect your interests and intentions. Certainly, you’d have greater success maintaining a healthy lifestyle by surrounding yourself with friends who honor your goals, eat nutritious food, and go to the gym as opposed to hanging around lazy friends who shovel garbage in their mouth and push destructive habits.
Collect victories each and every day, allowing smaller wins to snowball into greater triumphs. Championships aren’t won on opening day, but that’s where the road to success begins; it starts with your mindset and attitude. Take clear and focused action, walk your talk with excitement, and serve others with full integrity. Love what you do and lead by example in your daily life.
My heartfelt appreciation and gratitude goes to you for taking the time to read this blog series. I hope it has been both insightful and beneficial to you, and I’ll conclude with this quote that is often attributed to Sir Winston Churchill:
“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”
You owe it to yourself to find your purpose and live a life of happiness and joyful abundance!
Continue your journey by completing this last mindset training exercise:
Would you like to dive deeper and speak with me one-on-one about transforming your mindset? Schedule a free 30-min strategy call here.
by Rich Perry
Rich is a Master Coach of NLP, consultant, speaker, musician, trainer, student of life, and an all-around great guy. He also claims to make the most amazing hummus in the universe.