The Heroik Hour Podcast 021: Vision or Unique Purpose? Which Should You Do First?

Welcome to The Heroik Hour Podcast – dedicated to getting you mission ready for life by giving you some nuggets of health, wealth, and work in the real world.

If you’ve never heard this podcast before, be sure to pack your scuba gear and a dry suit, and a flashlight, because we dive deep on all sorts of subjects from to help you find a little clarity, a little help ironing your cape, your character, alignment, purpose, and energy – to give you a little bit more TLC, technology, leadership and culture along the way. The sky is the limit on this show,  but we keep it deep, gritty, strategic, and tactical. This is how we get you mission ready for life.  

I am your host, the butcher of basic, the killa of vanilla, villain of the vague, a preacher of precision, known to most as Nicholas McGill, Chief Experience Officer for Heroik Media Thank you so much for tuning in, this episode is going to rock your socks off – you’re gonna love it.

It’s a new year again and yet another opportunity to get mission ready for life, articulate a new vision, create a strategic plan, set some SMART goals, milestones, a theme for the year and of course, follow through on your commitments and well laid plans with consistent actions.

Now some people create a vision and a plan for their life and year in less time than a commercial break – literally, setting new year’s resolutions and making wishes within a few minutes.

Other people take a bit more time to reflect and create a vision board,  and then promptly neglect it or ignore it throughout the rest of the year or so.

They usually see a higher level of success from taking their life’s aspirations seriously at least in the beginning.

And then there is this huge and growing group of people, who don’t have and feel they can’t create a vision at all, because they feel they need to know their unique purpose in this world. They are frozen, and paralyzed in fear, lost in confusion, and over- analysis.

And today I’m focusing on those women and men who feel lost to the point where it’s preventing them from creating a new articulated vision for their lives. I’m going to challenge you on this episode and debunk some myths around your purpose and vision, and if you’re courageous enough, if you can bring your own bravery to this next moment, I’m going to give you a functional, real sense of purpose so you too can begin creating your vision, making your plans, creating your road maps to build live, enjoy and crush it in the great life. And with that, a little crushing music maestro – let’s get started.

Remember when you were 16 or 17 and you wanted to go to the beach or the lake, and you envisioned having fun in the water and sunshine, meeting gorgeous girls or handsome devils and having an amazing time? Do you remember planning for the trip, thinking about what you’ll need to bring? Now at any point before the trip, were you worried about your grand, unique purpose in life and how this trip aligns with it? Or, was your mouth watering just imagining the adventure, the trip and how much fun you’ll have?

So what do you think comes first? The vision of what an amazing success would be in the first place or a profound sense of unique purpose?

Spoiler Alert! Creating the vision fills you with a profound sense of purpose. It is the vision that should come first. The vision is the result, the epic win and all the glory that comes with it, and the more vivid the vision, the more likely you are to be inspired, motivated, and energized to see it through to a reality.

A clear vision is what infuses you and your team with purpose. More and more people are spending less time creating a clear vision and planning, and more time obsessing about having a clear sense of purpose. Seeking that sense of unique purpose without first setting a clear vision is ass backwards.

Start With WHAT to Find Your WHY

There are so many people and organization lost in an existential identity and branding crisis over finding their  big “WHY” . And  Simon Sinek, author of “Start With Why” in no way intended to inspire the masses to ditch the vision practice to focus on finding some cheat code to uncovering core purpose. In fact he explains that in the business world, the vision statement, is the founder’s intent, WHY the company exists. It is literally a vision of a future that does not yet exist. At a personal level, you are the founder, and in order to achieve an amazing result, you must first imagine it, and picture it clearly.  You need to start with WHAT you want, in order to find your WHY. You need to have and pursue a clear vision to have and feel connected to a sense of purpose as you go about any number of crazy means to make it happen and bring that result to life.

5 Facts of Life That The Fake Purpose Gurus Don’t Want You to Know:

  1. It’s not the definition of purpose that really gives you the performance result, it is the feeling and experience of being connected to it; the feeling of alignment and attunement of your actions, beliefs, character, and strengths in service to something that is bigger than just you. What is that something? Other people usually. It may be a market of people here and now, or people who aren’t yet born, but there’s no higher feeling, than being in service to others.
  1. It is the feeling of action in alignment of our values, character and service to a tribe that really lights us up and fills us with purpose. You don’t need to be told what it is or tell others to have it. However, you do need to have a clear vision if you want others to follow you and help you get things done.
  2. It’s usually not purpose that you truly seek, it’s clarity of character and identity. You’re probably really trying to discover or define their purpose are searching for a clear sense identity, a clear understanding of your gifts, strengths, talents, a feeling of belonging to a tribe, a fit in the community, a place in the market, a known player in the industry and beyond; a sense of being in service to something larger than self, a sense of true direction that aligns on a path to a great life. To put it another way, often the pursuit of “purpose” is really the pursuit of one’s place, reconciled with the rest of the world in service to a great cause on a path to an abundant life.
  1. Your personal why, that sense of purpose, you may not be able to pinpoint it until years down the road in pursuit of your vision. You don’t need to know why you desire so badly to be awesome, or an expert at something, to be an expert at that thing. Allow yourself to simply “be”. You don’t always have to explain yourself to the N’th degree, not even to yourself. If you view your vision as clear, noble, inspirational, you don’t need to study the psychology of it deeply to effectively pursue it. This is the latest trend in paralysis by analysis. Don’t get lost in purpose. Create a clear vision, and be lost in a state of flow toward your vision. Keep that vision in your mind, even when you feel lost, and the odds are, you’ll meander your way to it the way you were intended to.
  1. When you do trip over your purpose, in a way you can clearly define and write down, you’ll probably notice that it isn’t all that unique. Keep calm. This is totally normal. I’ve written and collaborated on countless brand narratives, vision, mission, values and purpose statements, declarations of culture, culture books and beyond. The truth is, when it comes to our WHY, human beings share a lot in common – and this is a really good thing. This allows people with shared interests to connect and collaborate. If people didn’t share similar purposes or motivations, they probably wouldn’t work together. So don’t hinge your identity on the idea of a “unique” purpose. In my experience it’s totally bogus. Don’t worry about being a unique snowflake, or be contrarian for the sake of being contrary. That’s foolish.

It’s ironic how we worry about losing individuality on the one hand, and finding places where we fit on the other. Don’t be so self centric. Let go of the idea that you exist in and of yourself. You are interdependent on and with the world around you like the rest of us.  There are bigger things to feel a part of, like marriage, team, tribe, family, community, society and so on that will bring you greater joy than trying to become the ultimate unique, independent snowflake. So, focus instead on becoming the awesome version of yourself, in pursuit of a clear vision worthy of this, your one shot at bat.  You will find your why if you create a clear vision of what you want. Focus on creating this clear vision of, building, living, and enjoying The Great Life.  

I see and hear too many people beating their heads against the wall, lost in anxiety, burnout, confusion and depression because they feel that they have no, or are disconnected from their sense of unique purpose. In fact many people spend so much time focusing on finding their unique purpose, that they have lost all sense of direction, and stopped minding their goals as a result. They now take less and less time to imagine and envision, to set goals and milestones, to plan and act, and review. They traded all of these proven practices away to get lost worrying, anxiously trying to define their entire identity that includes their current job,  into a single, selfless, sentence of purpose. If this is or has been you and you’re reading this, you’re ready to step off the endless treadmill to nowhere and get somewhere in life.

I’ll give you the ultimate cheat code to purpose, a template and placeholder that will help you confidently move forward with your vision, so we can make some epic living happen.  That’s right.  I will tell you what your purpose is.

Here’s your purpose:

Your purpose is to build, live and enjoy The Great Life.

I’m not kidding. The rest is strategy, tactics, and semantics that are particular to your circumstances and situation, and that may change along the way. This functional purpose gives you some much needed leeway for interpretation and adaptability to all of life’s many surprises. Maybe this means you become a better version of yourself, maybe not. Maybe who you are now is good enough. It is totally up to you.   

AND THE BEST PART IS – Now you can stop worrying about your purpose and start focusing on defining your vision of The Great Life.

You spend too much time worrying about what your purpose is and way too little time figuring out how you’ll achieve living up to it. So make building, living and enjoying The Great Life your purpose for now and check back when you’re on the road to The Great Life and see if you need to make a change.

Everyone’s version of The Great Life is different, but we all have this shared purpose of building, living and enjoy it. I’ve helped countless organizations and individual clients articulate their identities, culture, and align their practices to that, and noticed how people get lost in the process. What most people get lost defining, isn’t really about purpose per se, it’s about strategy, finding the best ways that resonate with your individual strengths, weaknesses, passions, and habits, and pouring them into a particular focused direction of about building The Great Life.

Why a Clear Vision is Better Than a Unique Purpose

The odds are, that in order to achieve all that you want to achieve, to be all that you want to be, you’ll have to do more, be more, and have more, and you won’t be able to do so alone, especially without the help of others and material support. You’ll need advocates, fans, followers, mentors, coaches, employees, contractors, partners, suppliers, vendors, customers and clients as well.

People get behind leaders who know what they want. They will follow someone with a clear vision. If you have a vision, and do the work to make it clear, it will be much easier to attract people to it, especially if it is designed in a way that aligns with a brighter and better future state for them as well.

I’m going to help you get clear vision of where you want to go so you can be a little more Mission Ready For Life™ – which is a mantra and trademark of all things Heroik.  Let’s get started.  

Why The Great Life?

The Great Life is better than the good life. F* the good life. The good life is for the mediocre people who accept compromises in the face of challenge at every twist and turn. The good life people accept life as it comes and live in modesty, while The Great Life crowd looks at what’s available, imagine something better, and then they build it and make it happen. If you’re aiming for the good life, you’re probably aiming low, waiting for things to wash up on shore, or someone to rescue you. What a bummer it is when time after time, no matter how many candles you light it doesn’t happen! Are you really going to let your vision of the best version of yourself and your life hinge on a happen chance moment of something or someone falling into your lap as if my magic? I wouldn’t bet on it and neither should you.

The world needs bravery. Be brave enough to envision your version of The Great Life and make it happen!