Tests on The Way To Purpose
Shawn Buttner: [00:00:00] Everyone encounters tests to their purpose and few are ever ready to handle them. When you start your personal meaningful revolution, we all go through a similar journey where you've already talked about that call to adventure or what drives you to start shifting your life and transforming it into.
a life where you're doing the things that are important and meaningful to you. We talked about resistances or what prevents you from taking action towards that dream or aspiration you have after we get clarity from that call to adventure. And in today's video, we're going to talk about decisions, events, and crises that test Our commitment to our journeys, where resistance prevents us from taking action, tests or crises are decisions that will either have us continue that journey or have us abandon our purposeful paths.
Shawn Buttner: What are a couple of examples of [00:01:00] tests like this, right? It could be community tests. It could be you don't have people that believe in your vision for your future, or that vision for your business, or for that career change. people will say stuff like, Hey, that's crazy that you want to leave the thing that is very comfortable, or maybe traditionally correct, to try this thing that seems really risky.
Or it's you're not good enough to actually accomplish it. So it's a parent or a family member or friend that is trying to undercut you either because They think they care about you or they're jealous or they have an agenda and you're stepping out of that comfortable relationship that they know and it freaks them out.
So they'll tell you, Hey, don't do that because it's too crazy, right? It's self belief tests. Maybe you start a business and you're not getting the results that you want quick enough, or you have shifted [00:02:00] careers and you start to doubt, And was this the right move or am I going to be able to be successful in this new environment?
Did I just kind of trade environments and, maybe something's wrong with me. A lot of people have this and I talk about this particular one a lot in my coaching practice. It could be financial tests. Maybe you have, you have this fear of being financially ruined if you leave the comfortable job for, again, that business, for that new career, to, expand your family, kids are expensive.
there's all these different types of, Financial considerations that might freak you out and prevent you or have you choose a more comfortable path. There are obligation tests, right? Sometimes, if you have a family with kids, it's really important that everyone has a room to sleep in, has food to eat.
can go to school, the family can, environment can be [00:03:00] conductive for raising and having a strong family. or maybe it's, you have contracts for your career, NDAs or these legal obligations will prevent you from striking out on your own perhaps. So there are these obligations that can get in the way.
It really tests your resolve. And then finally there's capability tests. And this is, I can't start a business because I'm not a business person. I really love doing therapy, but I hate doing everything else in the business. Or, I'm a really great software engineer, but I hate... reaching out and selling things and so I will never make it if I start a business where I have to sell software.
and so it's more skill related. I don't have this skill yet and so if I don't figure this out, I won't succeed. So maybe that becomes an overwhelming obstacle for you. And As we talk through [00:04:00] this, there are so many stories throughout human history and just recent history of people that have failed, have stumbled, have had a crisis, but persevered to be great and you can take a look at, example number one, Steve Jobs and his first Stint at Apple, right?
He ends up getting fired and he has a choice after that on, do you continue to try to work on your passion of using computers to help solve problems for people? Or do you completely give up, throw in your hat, and do something completely different? And ultimately, he creates a company that becomes the basis for macOS, rejoins Apple, and turns the company around when the company itself is going through a huge identity crisis, and a, existential threat where it might not exist, right?
And so that's a big turnaround, comeback story in business, both for Apple and for Steve Jobs in particular, where he's able [00:05:00] to... Come back a little bit more mature with a little bit more experience with a little bit more of a different perspective that allowed him to be successful in his second stint there, or you take a look at Walt Disney who was fired from newspapers for not being creative enough.
And you went bankrupt several times before creating Disney Studios and Disneyland and becoming the big media thing that Disney is right now. Or you could take a look at J. K. Rowling, who faced numerous rejections from publishers before getting Harry Potter published. And, was on welfare, was in really dire straits, but was able to commit to her journey to, to write that book and get it out, however you feel about her.
that is a pretty amazing story of betting on yourself and persevering through those self belief tests. Or, finally, you can take a look at Oprah Winfrey, who was fired from her first television job as an anchor in [00:06:00] Baltimore before becoming one of the most influential talk show hosts and media moguls out.
in the world, right? there's a time where you couldn't say you made it until you're on Oprah's show. So it's that type of, success, and great success that happened after stumbling blocks, right? also throw in Einstein, right? He was known to not have good grades, when he was in school, but ended up being one of the most influential physicists of the 21st century Because of his ability and his perspective on thinking and not saying I'm not good at math.
So I can't be good at physics. Like he didn't let that stop him. So this is the type of path that so many great high performers have in their lives and something that you also have, right? We all have this in common, this common humanity. And if you're not able to understand and anticipate and [00:07:00] plan for these tests, In your personal journey, the risk of you deciding to quit when it's an internal thing versus it's the right thing to do is greater.
So by understanding these different types of tests and how you might overcome them with a quick five question reflection for you that I have can really help you. This happened for me, like, when I decided to leave Walmart, ISD, which was my first job, I was super stressed, I didn't feel fulfilled, I felt like I spent a lot of my day working on busy work that didn't make a difference to the company, to the customers we consu or, served, not consumed.
That's, a zombie movie, that's not what I'm talking about here, but,it was... A heavy decision because I was comfortable there. I had figured out how much,I was scraping by financially, didn't, again, didn't feel [00:08:00] fulfilled, felt a little out of place overall. And, when I had this idea to start a business that would help people with their student debt, because that's something I was struggling with at that point in my life, I started talking to people and I had some coworkers that are like, hey, that's insane.
and I also had some family members and friends are like, Hey man, what are you waiting for? Go for it. And so that community challenge of who believed in me and who didn't, the people that were close, that were important to me, did believe in me. And that helped me make the choice to leave that job to start a business.
I had a little bit of some self doubt. Like I struggled for a year of journaling of, could I be a business person and figure out how to run a business and help people in the process that are land on my feet. Throughout that experience, and I got mentors, I started doing research, doing the whole nerd thing, and ultimately it came down [00:09:00] to do I believe in my ability to learn, do I believe in my ability to take action, and do I believe in the universe for this was the right move for me, and Ultimately, I got to yes on all those questions and I was able to move forward.
the financial test. I had a mountain of student debt and a small hill of cash in reserve by the time I left that job. And I had about a year's worth of running room where I could make all the minimum payments on all my financial obligations. but I still had this overriding anxiety that I was going to bankrupt myself or I was going to damage myself.
irreversibly through taking this job. But I also then planned that if this doesn't work or I get to a certain amount of cash reserves, I will be able to get a different job in tech by moving to the Bay Area and getting around Silicon Valley. So that was my fallback plan is if this doesn't work, at [00:10:00] least I can fall into a high paying job in an area where I want to be with family and friends that I know, so that was a good way to manage that.
obligations wise, I had that huge amount of student debt that just weighed on my soul and I couldn't wait to get rid of it, but I figured taking a shot on myself was going to be... Was a chance that I was going to take to eliminate that sooner than paying off the bare minimum where I was currently doing so I did the math there and then capabilities was I knew that I needed to figure out marketing and how to sell and I know that as an introvert that was going to be a huge pull and I also need to manage the emotions of not having money come in steadily and figuring it out and in the end I just Actually is a story of failure for me, where the business started, I got nine months in, started running out of cash, but that experience [00:11:00] and the things that I learned in those nine months landed me a job at Apple as a software engineer and started that whole new crazy chapter that was actually exactly what I needed in that particular moment.
that's to say that not all tests are equal for everyone. These tests are actually indications that you shouldn't proceed. So again, if you have family that relies on you financially, you need to be very careful about how you make a jump. I'm not saying that it's not possible. It's just, you have to be very thoughtful and have a very strong plan with contingencies.
To know if you'll be able to pull it off and take care of what you got to, which is the people that are most important or, you don't want to make a jump and then, or continue your journey. If you're putting undue strain on the people around you because you're not bringing in money, right? So stuff like that.
And probably more importantly too, and the biggest piece [00:12:00] of advice I had. through this is you don't want to proceed on a purpose if it's not something that's true in your heart or it's something that you're doing because you're lazy or you want to hurt people or you're doing it for the wrong reasons, right?
Shawn Buttner: And the right reasons are, it's going to improve your life, your family's life, your community's life, and society in general. Bad reasons are because you're selfish, or you want to make a bajillion dollars in a short amount of time. because the pursuit of money usually doesn't persist. it can be helpful, but it's essential to maintaining the mission.
But it's also, in itself as a goal, usually. Not solid enough for you to follow through. with all that said... When do you know if you should pursue or keep going on your meaningful, purposeful journey, or should you stop? And [00:13:00] here are five questions to think through whether you should continue or bail for the right reasons, right?
And so the first question I have for you is, does your personal meaningful revolution help yourself, your family, your community, or society as a whole? And what are those benefits, right? Is it, you're going to be a better father, you're going to be a better mother because you're happier and you have a higher chance of providing more abundance for the people around you, or this is going to solve something that we really need to out in the world and help everyone in your community or in your country or in the world live a better life, or how does this contribute to your legacy?
when I was going through trying to figure out, should I leave that job at Walmart or not, the question that really motivated me to figure this out was, when [00:14:00] I'm telling the story of my life to my future grandkids, do I want to tell the story about when I had, Fire in my heart.
I had a clear path forward. All I had to do was bet on myself and the choice that I made was to be comfortable and not try to live a full life. I didn't like the version of my future where I said I played it safe. I wanted to be like, I took a calculated bet on myself and however it worked out, it didn't work out, I still lived my life greatly and with me.
a full authenticity and all of that. So that's super important. And if you can answer that. It's going to benefit yourself, your family, your community, or society as a whole, then you have to, I feel like you're almost obligated to push through and take any challenges that come up [00:15:00] and get over it and realize your dream, essentially.
If not, you have to figure out... Either, how can you make sure that it's benefiting other people, or maybe this is one of those indicators that this isn't the right path. there's that. second thing is to, what tests or challenges or hiccups or speed bumps are you anticipating or worry about the most?
And, what's really great about this question is, once you identify those big concerns, those big scenarios that might force you off your path, You could do something called fear planning, which is really just, you get like a spreadsheet, you list everything that you're concerned about or everything that could go wrong or anything that would really terribly wreck you if you proceeded, and then in the next column, you say, if this happens, what can I do to mitigate that risk?
Or what can I do to eliminate that risk? So [00:16:00] if you, like me, I'm like, if I start a business and I don't make any money, And what will happen is it'll financially ruin me because I can't pay my student loans, those balances will grow exponentially, I'll always be behind, and I, just will feel like a general bad person because I wasn't able to pay that loan.
And the mitigation plan was, if you get to under X amount of dollars, You need to stop the business and look for another job. And again, that turned out to be one of a very pivotal point in my life when I reached that particular point and then found the job at Apple that I really loved and was really like an eye opening and great experience for me as a software engineer, as a person, and just seeing how a high performing organization worked.
there's so many good things that happened because of that, even though. What my intention was [00:17:00] leaving Walmart wasn't fully realized, and that was part of this fear planning is if I feel like I'm getting close to the point where I'm financially wrapped. Here's what I do. I did it and it worked out.
and do that for all of those different types of challenges that we've listed up before community challenges. We're talking about self belief challenges, financial obligations or capabilities you feel might attract you. And this is such a powerful exercise, guys. If there's one thing you do today, make sure you do this.
And if you need help with figuring out the things that might get in your way or might prevent you from fully committing and executing on your meaningful revolution, your purposeful journey, then I'm gonna let you know and remind you that. I do offer high performance coaching, and this is exactly the type of topic we tackle in coaching.
And here's the best thing, if you're like, I don't know if I need a coach, or I don't know if I need someone that will fight for [00:18:00] the best me and look out for me without an agenda of, being jealous or any of the things we've talked about. If you're like, I want someone that will advocate for the best version of myself that you've defined, that I've defined.
Let me be the coach. You, the client, have defined. There's a link for a free one hour strategy session where we will go through five of the outcomes of high performance. taking a look at your clarity, your energy, your courage, your productivity, and your influence. How those interrelate to your purposeful journey.
And we'll build you a plan with high performance habits. To make sure that you are executing on that plan, moving forward towards your ambition and dreams and executing the plan. So it's. a really powerful call. And because you are part of my community listening on the podcast or watching on YouTube, I invite you to take me up on that free one hour call.
just hit the link below, fill out [00:19:00] the application and then schedule a time and we go from there. with that, check out that link below if this is for you and we'll continue on with. These questions. So first question is, does your personal meaningful revolution help yourself, your family, your community or society as a whole?
Second question is, what are the tasks, struggles, hurdles you anticipate or worry about the most and do fear planning to address them? The third thing that's really important is, what are the conditions, measurements or metrics of success? And this could be lifestyle, this could be financial, abundance, this could be impact out in the world, whatever those metrics for success.
It's really important to know what those are, to know if you're on the path or not, right? Because we can think, we can make a big, grand gesture, a bold gesture to quit our jobs, and we're working on the wrong things that actually [00:20:00] don't move us forward, that's going to ultimately lead us to quit or to shift gears.
but. It's also important to know that those same metrics that label success are also your metrics that if you need to make a change, again, going back to my story when I had, if my reserve cash gets to X, I need to find a different tech job so I don't financially ruin myself, which is one of my biggest fears at the time.
And so that was important to have. A,objective view of when this happens, then I do this, right? And you do it before you're in it, so you're not freaking out or, having that internal struggle of, do I proceed? Do I not think so? Super important. and then, label this is the fourth question is what conditions, measurements or metrics are needed to decide to continue.
whether it's success or you need to actually change [00:21:00] gears. what are the indicators that are improving that say, Hey, this is working. I should continue to do exactly what I'm doing, or, Hey, this is working. And I still have lead leeway before that decision point to do the other thing happens, but how do I know that I'm making progress?
That's what this question is all about. Because sometimes when you're working and you're sweating. And you're toiling and you're not getting the progress that you want. That's when that self doubt comes in. And this is where people generally will quit a good thing, right? They'll quit something. That's getting some results.
That's moving forward. Maybe not in the way that they want to, or would love to, or need to have happen. But if they stick through it with these indicators and some small tweaks. They can successfully complete the journey, complete their personal meaningful revolution. And so it's good to know ahead of [00:22:00] time what you're looking for to know that you're making progress.
So that's the fourth question. And finally, the fifth question is, what skills do you need to learn to make this successful? So for me, again, it was marketing and sales, and I had to learn how to, do the whole online information thing. On and on. I had a whole list of things when I. but when you make that list of skills that you'll need to succeed on your meaningful revolution journey, it's who are the top people in those areas that could help you maybe as mentors or who could you.
ask Hey, I really need help in making an online marketing funnel. who are the people that I can talk to that will help me the most? and also what of these skills that you're going to need to build on this purposeful journey will be the ones that can be transferable if you need to make a pivot.
And this is so important because when I [00:23:00] got that job at Apple, after that. Student loan business failed. what really got me the job there was the story that I tried, I took a risk and had to learn everything as I went, right? I had to learn how to build a website, marketing funnels, do videos, and tie systems together.
And it was that work. When I was in the interview, the hiring manager said, Hey, is there anything else I should know about you? And I felt the interview went okay up to that point. And I'm like, Oh yeah, I have this side thing I've been working on for a while and he built a website and he's Hey, can I, check it out?
And it was that work where he made the decision where he's like, Oh, this is, you learned all this by yourself. We want you. Okay. As soon as we can get the paperwork figured out, you'll be working here as a contractor and then with a chance to get hired on later, which ultimately. And One, you never know the work that you're doing now or those risks that you take, how it'll help you in the future.[00:24:00]
But it also helped me land the contingency plan and got me caught back up with cash reserves and taking care of my student loans super quick and all of that. It worked out greater than I thought it could. Even for a failure in that the objective was to start a successful online business, helping people with student loans.
with that said, again, these five questions, if you reflect on them, if you journal on them, can help you answer your trials, your struggles, your crises, those tests that show up on your meaningful journey. And thinking through them can help you decide when to push on or when it's time to quit.
or change at the right time for the right reasons, right? And it's not because you're giving up because. you don't feel enough or people in your community are saying you can't do it. It's an actual calculated thing that can really help transform your life. [00:25:00] With that said, thank you for joining me on today's episode of the Meaningful Revolution podcast.
Again, I am Shawn Buttner, your certified high performance coach and host. And, we have some really great interviews coming for you next week. If you haven't checked out the other parts of the Meaningful Journey series. You can either go to Apple Podcasts to check out the ones on the Call to Adventure or Resistance, and they'll be linked here also on YouTube if you are watching there too.
So with that said guys, live with meaning and purpose in your lives. I'll see you next week. Shawn Buttner signing off.