Lee's Life Purpose

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Lee’s Life Purpose

We’ve been having a lot of fun reworking our Life’s Purpose … and, it’s all for a good cause: working out how much money we need – and, when we need it 😛

I gave Scott a huge clue to figuring this out … the ‘secret’ is in your Rear Deck Speech: you are talking to your grandchildren. Let’s say they are 8 years old (twins, OK?) … will they roll their eyes like Lee’s did when he explained that he wanted to “Glorify God in everything he does” [you’ll see why when you read his post, below]? Probably, because “building relationships that build dreams” or “helping others” or “glorifying God” means everything to you, but is too abstract for them … so, you need to explain your Life – and, how you achieved your Purpose – in terms that they understand: by what you DID (i.e. the ACTIONS that you used to ‘help’; ‘glorify’; ‘build’) and what you HAVE (i.e. the 3-P’s: the PEOPLE you have around you; the POSSESSIONS that you have acquired; the PLACES you have been on the way to ‘helping’; ‘glorifying’; ‘building’).

And, before you start throwing lots of Ferraris and mansions into the mix – you may decide that you need ’em, but do you actually want to ‘brag’ about these to your grand kids? Do you want to make your grandchildren feel that the material comforts are important (are they really?) or are the 3-P’s the ones that you needed – at a minimum – to help fulfill/support your Life’s Purpose? Doesn’t mean you can’t have ’em … but, are you going to brag to your grand kids about ’em?

But, we’re jumping ahead of ourselves; here’s Lee’s post

Wow this is tough especially since I don’t want to use this forum as my own personal pulpit (I am a police Chaplain by profession and if want to learn more about police chaplains click here http://www.icpc4cops.org).

To discuss my “life Purpose” devoid of didactic preachy talk will be a real challenge but I think I can do it, if you see that I’m not, then I guess you know where the “delete button is 🙂

My first glance at the questions that Adrian asked us to answer regarding the development of our “Life Purpose” stopped at “if you could do things differently, what would you like to be doing in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years?”  I already had the goal of establishing a Retreat Center for Police Officers and their spouses so that question was pretty easy to answer.  Next came the question “What is stopping you from doing things differently?”   Well DUH… Money.  But two other questions kept pleading for an answer “What do you want your future to be like?” and “What are the things you value most in your life right now?”

At that point the formulation of my “Life Purpose” was set…”To Glorify God In Every Thing I do”.  I’m not sure that was what Adrian was looking for.  But he told us that it needed to be that which made the hairs on our neck stand up when we thought of it. For me it does just that.  But there’s more…

Let me quote country music star Tim McGraw (http://www.timmcgraw.com) from his song “Live Like You Were Dying” the chorus says:

“I went sky diving. I went rocky mountain climbing. I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fumanchu.  I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter and I gave forgiveness I’d been denying. And he said one day I hope you get a chance to live like you were dying.”

Now don’t get excited I’m not dying but some do’s and don’ts in my life are all found in the reality that I’m 60 years of age and on one hand I’m on the down hill side of life but on the other hand I’m just getting my second wind and have the ability to be, do and go places I’ve never been before.  But in the midst of all that I still need to “Glorify God in every thing I do.”

We were asked to put together a “Rear Deck Speech” that we could tell to our Grandchildren when they ask “Granddaddy, tell me what made your life so special..?”  My answer?  “because I glorified God in every thing I did”.  By the way I actually have a granddaughter who is 8 years old, she just rolled her eyes and said “what ever!”

Don’t Delete yet, there’s more.

Another Tim McGraw Song entitled “How Bad Do You Want it?” in the bridge of the song it says:

“There’s always a price you pay, no matter what you do, If you’re gonna climb that mountain to the top, it always comes down to:”

“How bad do you want it?  How bad do you need it?  Are you eatin’, sleepin’, dreamin’ with that one thing in mind? How bad do you want it? How bad do you need it? Cause if you want it all, you got to lay it all on the line.”

For me laying it all on the line is best said “Glorify God in Every thing I do”.

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Sounds like you don’t need any personal money to do what you want to do, Lee. You need investors!

Consider this – if you can’t convince other people that your idea has merit – so that you can get contributions – then perhaps it doesn’t have merit.

What would be the impact on the world (whichever world you define it is, your community, the world-at-large, or the police community, or just the police community where you live) IF YOU DID NOT DO THIS?

If there’s no impact, what does that mean to you?

Have you considered what the needs are for your retreat?
How much land is needed?
How much/kind of living facilities would be needed?
What kind of restrictions/usage is needed (are we talking of a fishing/marriage counselor retreat, or something with a shooting range, or hunting fields)?
Can you borrow a boy scout camp during the off-season?
What kind of staff would be needed? Someone to cook? Someone to clean? Or could they be hired by the hour?
How many counselors would be needed?
How close are major roads and airports? Is this important to you?
If you started out small, and had something by next year, what would that be like? I suggest drawing it on a sheet of paper and figuring out what realistically in the way of usage you would have (1 couple? two couples?) Plan on not having enough room.
Then plan for growth. What would be needed in the next size/location/amenities up?
Can insurance cover the cost of the couples who participate? What other costs are not covered? Realistically, write these down and see how much they are. Talk to a friend who’s an accountant and see if they can figure out what you missed. Make sure you use an accountant who’s not a friend before you decide how much money you need to raise to do this.
Consider other non-profits – like AA and related groups – who could also be related to the work you do. Ask how their retreats work and are set up, using insurance. I wouldn’t expect police officers to have a lot of income to spend on retreats.
What kind of programs would you offer?

Re-read 4hour work week – Tim Ferris has a lot of good ideas for how to determine exactly what it is you need to do what you want to do, and breaking it down into smaller and smaller tasks that you can plan for doing a little bit at a time, a day at a time.

Good luck!

@ Lee – I agree with Diane; this is the first question that popped into my head when you first applied all those months ago and is still the same question now: “Why?”

Why does some 60 y.o. pastor and police chaplain want to get rich?

I see some clues:

1. “To glorify God in everything that I do” – seems to me, you could do this even while being homeless if you had to?

2. “I’m just getting my second wind and have the ability to be, do and go places I’ve never been before” – OK, sounds like this needs money: where, what and most of all How IMPORTANTLY do you need to do this?

3. “establishing a Retreat Center for Police Officers and their spouses” – I picked this up form Day 1 as being the ‘biggie’ (at least as a physical goal). But, as Diane said, this is typically achieved by donations and sponsorship. What do you think is needed from YOU to achieve this in both MONEY (maybe because you need to put personal cash in) and TIME (because you need to then forgo earning elsewhere).

We would love to hear your thinking on all of this, Lee! You are indeed the enigma of this ‘experiment’, so far, all the rest of us just want Swiss Chalets and Ferarris 🙂

An enigma? Thanks but why I am a part of this experiment should not be a mystery.

Be it Swiss Chalets & Ferarris or Retreat Centers & Pick up trucks. Regardless if we are 30 something or 60 plus we still all have things we are passionate about. Some are passionate about things we “choose” to do and others of us are passionate about things we are “compelled” to do. Within some of us is a “calling” to do certain things.

To explain this more clearly would take me dangeriously close to going against Adrian’s caution for us to not use this blog site to share our religious or political beliefs. I will however address this in one of my personal blog sites located at http://fatherandsonmastermind.wordpress.com. (I won’t have it posted until some time Sunday afternoon)

Diane, your comments have not gone unnoticed for I heard them, many of them word for word for several years now. “What would be the impact on the world, If I did not do this?” My Life Purpose is to Glorify God In Every Thing That I do, not to establish a retreat center. Please don’t confuse the two.

The NUMBER I came up with which I know will be looked at again was not a result of only establishing a retreat center. It was the result of wanting to live well enough so that neither my wife nor I would “have” to work and that we would be able to do things related to the retreat center activities and well as personal trips and of course helping our children and grandchildren not get in the financial mess we have been in for the past 40 years:)

All the Retreat Center questions have been previously dealt with without the help of an accountant. In 1996 I established a Non-profit 501 c3 Organization, Law Enforcement Family Training Foundation http://www.lawenforcementfamily.com that has a Board of Directors that has the responsibility of fund raising. We have not done what we would like in that regard but all that is only part of my interest in our 7m7y experiment.

Over the the past 12 years we have had Retreats at local hotels and annual Summits and a lot of time has been spent being involved in counseling individuals and couples as well as teaching classes on stress management and other related topics. I have also been involved in helping other police departments enlist and train chaplains and have been an active member of the International Conference of Police Chaplains.

Let me digress for a moment and go to a past comment by JOSH. Believe me when I say I understand the feeling about people questioning your intent to do something that perhaps no one else in your circle of friends not to mention your family has even dared to do. Sometimes once we have stated things out loud like our “Life Purpose” we find that there is no way to gracefully back down. For that matter it becomes a challenge that may very well push us over the top to success. A push that we might have not otherwise received.

Thanks for all the great comments and even greater questions but the fact remains my life purpose is “To Glorify God In Every Thing I do.”

SCOT, last night I sent emails to Ross Perot, John Maxwell, Dick Cheney, George Bush and asking them how they might deal with the “Life Purpose” question and also the “Rear Deck Speech”. I’m hoping they’ll send me some kind of answer. I’ll be sure to share their answers with the group.

@ Lee – Thanks for sharing; this is what I think I’m ‘hearing”

1. Your Life’s Purpose is as you have stated.

2. The Retreat Center is something that you are heavily involved in time-wise and personal commitment-wise, but not necessarily financially.

3. Your Number will come from wanting to “live well enough so that neither [your] wife nor [you] would “have” to work and that [you] would be able to do things related to the retreat center activities and well as personal trips and of course helping [y]our children and grandchildren”

Forgetting about the work you have already done on your Number, can you tell me what types of things this will entail at a MINIMUM and by when at a MAXIMUM?

AJC at a Minimum:
(A).Design, write and publish class materials for:
1. Marriage Enrichment,
2.Stress Management
3. Financial Management and
4. Strengthening Relationships.

(B).Travel to other states and countries leading conferences at least six times a year.

(C). Help other agencies to establish Chaplains programs and donate a specific amount of money to help them get started.

(D). Own two vehicles to be used for travel one for me and one for my wife.

(E).Create and Publish a Magazine that will focus on the Spiritual aspect of stress management for police offiers and their families.

(F). Two personal “family” Vacations including me, my wife, my two children their spouses and two grandchildren.

(A). Generous financial gifts for children and grand children at birthdays an/or Christmas.

(B). Seperate homes on same property as Retreat Center
for my wife and myself and my children and their families if they so desire.

These are the typs of “Things”. This does not of course include Money that would equal more than a “nice” very comfortable living. ( I assume we’ll work on the number at a later date?)

@ Lee – This is really good stuff … I hope that the others are still with us?!

You are moving nicely right to where we want to be: transitioning from thinking about our lives to thinking about the money (this is a personal finance blog, after all … we have to get there eventually right?!)

So, we’ll get to the Number soon enough; we’re beginning to ‘paint a canvas’ here:

– Your Life’s Purpose is the title of the painting
– Your Rear Deck Speech is the scene we are painting
– And, now we are sketching the lines that we will flesh out with the paints of our choice later.

So, Picasso 🙂 You need not do this right now, but can you give some thought as to how much each of A, thru’ F. is likely to cost (and, it sounds like the second A. and B. need not be entirely out of reach given that you already own one house to trade for one near the retreat, right?)?

Again, think MINIMUM acceptable ‘dream-standard’ for each.

BTW: the MAXIMUM referred to TIME: how long can you afford to wait for all of this, given that you ain’t no spring chicken any more – and, I mean that in the nicest possible way? 😉

This will all be accomplished in 5 years if not sooner:)

Great stuff Lee, this is what we all need to apply in our Life’s Purpose. The skinny on all the details will provide the means for the Number. As I said earlier, no one is going to ‘feel’ it when we read each other’s purpose and probably should refrain from judging that so much of each other, as I never ‘felt’ it with anyone else’s purpose i’ve read so far and they’re not going to feel it with mine. The only thing our brains can get from someone’s purpose is when they TRANSLATE it into black and white costs, and other various monetary annual requirements that can be multiplied into a NUMBER that allows you to make it all happen. The purpose statement itself is YOUR fuel, not someone elses.

I mentioned yesterday I would have further comments on my personal blog site today. It’s now been popsted if you are interested. http://fatherandsonmastermind.wordpress.com

@ Scott – I agree with you Scott; when I ‘question’ anybody’s Life Purpose, I am looking for two things:

1. Costs: The ‘black and white’ – as you put it – of how it might translate to money or money equivalents (time and/or ‘things’ to be acquired), and

2. Commitment: How well does the ‘black & white’ seem to tie in with what you state as your Life’s Purpose. Why? Because this is where you will get your strength to crash through the inevitable barriers that go hand-in-hand with trying to do the ‘impossible’ (think making a few mill. is going to be easy?)

Little late back to the dance here – thought I had posted after Mark’s comment on my Front Porch Speech 🙂 but that didn’t show up. But I do want to comment here about something that’s been brought up.

I think it’s important that when we (generic “we”) are trying to say “this is what I really really want to do and why” that these statements are challenge – not just here and for us, but anywhere and anytime these things occur.

Oftentimes we all have vague wants and desires, we also want to phrase those in terms that others find honorable or admirable, or at the least, acceptable. Trying to root out (and down) to what is really the driving force is difficult for most folks. Any of my challenging comments are meant to do just that.

Simply because Lee is an expert in doing this for others doesn’t mean he can do it for himself. We all suffer from “not being able to see the forest for the trees” when we grew the trees ourselves.

I find that I cannot often express to others what I feel, but feedback gives me insights into where I am “muddy” and helps me rethink about what it is that truly matters and to figure out what it is I am trying to say – the words used may have been wrong.

There is also the possibility that – in the manner that brainstorming works, one bad idea begets some good ones – that someone here may have information that can help one of us do something that we didnt’ have information about before. For example, I say something that isn’t “on mark” but it triggers a reader who thinks “not exactly, but what about…” and they post something, and then someone else chimes in with their thought, and all of these generate some good information that helps the original poster think more clearly about something that was still a bit fuzzy to them.

I always wonder, “Is there another way to make this work than the way I am thinking of?” and which I didn’t have to wonder, but already knew the best way to do something. I have to content myself with knowing ANY way to do something and hope that I don’t end up spending too much dealing with the learning curve.

@ Diane – never too late to comment!

BTW it would be a shame if we felt that we had to “phrase [our Life’s Purpose] in terms that OTHERS find honorable or admirable” … a wasted life, perhaps?

Yep….living up to others’ expectations (truely or falsely believed) of what “the good life” is….that’s a lot of what Frank McCourt is going thru in his book “Tis” that I mentioned elsewhere…deciding for himself if office work, dock work, teaching, even a tie, were for him. It’s an interesting look at making those hard decisions.