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6 Characteristics of a Great Life Purpose Statement


People often struggle with articulating their life’s purpose.

A single unifying statement that helps clarify for them what they want their life to have counted for at the end of their days.

In a recent podcast interview with one of my business partners at Southwestern Consulting, Steve Reiner, he and our coaching client were talking through the process they used to help our client identify his purpose.

It’s become one of Steve’s specialties and he laid out 6 characteristics of what make a great life purpose statement that I thought were fantastic:

1. Useful – It should talk about your relationship with other people. Specifically it should address how you will serve and help others beyond just yourself.

2. Universal – It should apply to every area of your life and it should set a mode of operating for you that carries over into both your personal and professional life.

3. Aspirational – It should speak to the person you want to become and the impact you want to have. Almost as if it were a projection of your future self.

4. Formidable – It should be a challenge to achieve and be something that will require you to work and operate at your very best levels.

5. Controllable – It should be something in your power and that relies on you. For example you can’t have a life purpose to make someone happy because that is outside your control. You could say to dedicate your life to providing certain things for someone.

6. Inspirational – It should be something that when you read it, it breathes life into you and causes you to feel compelled to take immediate action.

If you’re interested in learning more about our coaching process and how we might work with you one on one to create your life purpose statement click here.

Finding Strategic Clarity with Greg Head – Episode 182 of The Action Catalyst Podcast


Greg Head helps founders and CEOs develop stronger growth strategies for their businesses. He has helped three software companies grow from startup to global scale in more than 25 years in the software industry. Most recently, he worked with Infusionsoft growing it from $15 million to $100 million in revenues in five years as Chief Marketing Officer, leading the company’s marketing strategy, demand generation, communications, partner marketing and product marketing functions. Greg also held leadership positions at the startup through acquisition stages of two other highly-successful CRM software businesses, ACT! and SalesLogix, which have generated more than $1 billion in total revenue.

  • You have to figure out what your message is for the world. @GregHead
  • Things that scale up do so by narrowing down. @GregHead
  • Successful companies start with one customer, doing one thing massively well, usually with one tactic. @GregHead
  • Going from ADD to OCD is a requirement for scaling up. @GregHead
  • If you don’t narrow down exactly who you serve, you are just another mediocre player. @GregHead
  • Know what game you’re playing. @GregHead
  • 8 action steps to help you get more strategic marketing clarity for your business.
  • It’s easier than ever to start a business but harder than ever to capture people’s attention. @GregHead
  • “Mindshare precedes market share” – @ScottMcCain
  • First, clarify who you are going after. @rory_vaden
  • When clarifying your customer, think in psychographic in addition to demographic. @rory_vaden
  • Your current customers tell you who your future customers should be. @rory_vaden
  • Cultivate the habit of action by demanding progress and completely freeing yourself of the demand for perfection. @rory_vaden
  • The more you try, opportunities you take, and tests you make the better you will become. @rory_vaden

Visit to learn more about Greg and his insights.

Are you a speaker, author, or consultant? Visit for a free video course where Rory highlights the principles and strategies we use to reach more people. gather leads, and make more money.

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Rory Vaden of Southwestern Consulting every Wednesday. The show is regularly in the Top 25 of Business News Podcasts, has listeners from all around the world and shares “insights and inspiration to help you take action.” Each week Rory shares ideas on how to increase your self-discipline and make better use of your time to help you achieve your goals in life. He also interviews special expert guests and thought leaders. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!

Triggers Self-Discipline and Creating Radical Transformation with Marshall Goldsmith – Episode 181 of The Action Catalyst Podcast


Dr. Marshall Goldsmith has been recognized as one of the Top Ten Business Thinkers in the World and the top-rated executive coach at the Thinkers50 ceremony in London since 2011. Published in 2015, his book Triggers is a Wall Street Journal and New York Times #1 Bestseller! He’s also the author of New York Times bestseller and #1 Wall Street Journal Business Book What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, winner of the Harold Longman Award as Best Business Book of the Year. With a PhD from UCLA, Marshall is a pioneer 360-degree feedback as a leadership development tool. His early efforts in providing feedback and then following-up with executives to measure changes in behavior were precursors to what eventually evolved as the field of executive coaching. With nearly 40 years of hands-on experience, Marshall Goldsmith is the leading expert on leadership and coaching for behavioral change.

Show Highlights:

  • A trigger is any stimulus that may impact our behavior. @coachgoldsmith
  • Almost all of us have a great plan of what we want to be in life but don’t implement it well. @coachgoldsmith
  • Every day we are barraged by triggers in our environment that throw us off target. @coachgoldsmith
  • Our environments are often willpower reduction machines. @coachgoldsmith
  • We overestimate our willpower abilities and underestimate our need for help. @coachgoldsmith
  • Our default reaction in life is not to find happiness or meaning; it is inertia. @coachgoldsmith
  • If we don’t challenge ourselves inertia kicks in and we just keep doing what we’ve been doing. @coachgoldsmith
  • Most of us spend more time planning vacation than then we do planning our lives. @coachgoldsmith
  • Sometimes what we need to preserve is more important than what we need to change. @coachgoldsmith
  • Before doing anything, ask yourself “Am I willing to make the investment required to make the change.” @coachgoldsmith
  • If you can develop a mastery over your emotions, you have created power in your life to do anything. @rory_vaden
  • You must set up your environment for success. @rory_vaden
  • Focus on daily activities, not long-term results. @rory_vaden
  • Be mindful of the daily activities you are doing and let the results be a byproduct. @rory_vaden
  • You must have accountability to create change. @rory_vaden
  • Embrass consistency over intensity. @rory_vaden
  • Doing the things you don’t want to do is the path to getting the life you want. @rory_vaden
  • Self-discipline creates freedom; Self-control creates power. @r0ry_vaden

This is a special extended interview! Send an email to with your first name in the subject line to gain access! 

Find more on Dr. Goldsmith or grab a copy of Triggers visit:

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Rory Vaden of Southwestern Consulting every Wednesday. The show is regularly in the Top 25 of Business News Podcasts, has listeners from all around the world and shares “insights and inspiration to help you take action.” Each week Rory shares ideas on how to increase your self-discipline and make better use of your time to help you achieve your goals in life. He also interviews special expert guests and thought leaders. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!

Finding Your Wingmen with Waldo Waldman – Episode 176 of The Action Catalyst Podcast


Lt. Col. (ret.) Rob ‘Waldo’ WaldmanThe Wingman is a professional leadership speaker, executive coach, and author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller Never Fly Solo.  He teaches organizations how to build trusting, revenue producing relationships with their employees, partners, and customers while sharing his experiences as a combat decorated F-16 fighter pilot and businessman.

He is a highly experienced combat veteran with over 2,650 flight hours and sixty-five real world combat missions, having flown both in Iraq enforcing the “No-Fly Zone” and in Yugoslavia during Operation Allied Force in 1999. Some of his military honors include five Air Medals, two Aerial Achievement Medals, four Air Force Commendation Medals, and two Meritorious Service Medals.

Waldo is a graduate of the U.S Air Force Academy and also holds an MBA with a focus on Organizational Behavior. He is an inductee into the Professional Speaker Hall of Fame, a prestigious award that honors speakers who have reached the top echelon of platform excellence, and has been bestowed on less than 190 speakers worldwide. He is also a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) and his clients include Hewlett Packard, Verizon Wireless, New York Life, Siemens, The Denver Broncos, and Johnson & Johnson.

In addition to his speaking business, Waldo is also founder and President of The Wingman Foundation, a 501(c)(3) whose mission is to build funds and awareness for soldiers, veterans and their families in need.

He’s been featured on Fox & Friends, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, The Harvard Business Review, Success Magazine, INC. Magazine, and Business Week.

Show Highlights:

  • Your passion has to be stronger than your fear.  @waldowaldman
  • If what you’re doing doesn’t get you out of bed, abort immediately. @waldowaldman
  • When you know people need you, you find meaning in your mission and don’t give up. @waldowaldman
  • I won’t allow my fear to keep me from doing what I need to do and helping people. @waldowaldman
  • A wingman is someone you feel comfortable going to for help and are confident in their ability to help you. @waldowaldman
  • Usually help from a wingman is a proverbial slap across the face. @waldowaldman
  • A wingman will tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. @waldowaldman
  • You need people who will truly speak the truth to us. @waldowaldman
  • A good wingman will point out potential threats to you and you have to take action. @waldowaldman
  • You have to trust what your wingman is telling you because they can see the potential threats you cannot. @waldowaldman
  • Your work ethic is your most important asset. @waldowaldman
  • I would much rather fly with someone who is prepared than someone who I like hanging out with. @waldowaldman
  • Plan for the worst, expect the best. @waldowaldman
  • We have to overcome the things in life that are dragging us down. @waldowaldman
  • Who are your wingmen? @rory_vaden
  • A wingman is someone you have to trust. @rory_vaden
  • A wingman is someone who compliments your strengths. @rory_vaden
  • There will always be a chance to bail; find someone who is loyal. @rory_vaden
  • You know you’ve found a wingman when they’re really looking out for you. @rory_vaden

For more info about Waldo’s programs or his bestseller Never Fly Solo, visit, e-mail, or call 770-333-9867.

A special gift for The Action Catalyst Podcast listeners: Visit  and use password: Wingman for a free copy of Waldo’s audiobook Never Fly Solo! 

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Rory Vaden of Southwestern Consulting every Wednesday. The show is regularly in the Top 25 of Business News Podcasts, has listeners from all around the world and shares “insights and inspiration to help you take action.” Each week Rory shares ideas on how to increase your self-discipline and make better use of your time to help you achieve your goals in life. He also interviews special expert guests and thought leaders. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!

Creative Avoidance and The 4 Causes of Inaction

Procrastination is something that everyone struggles with; according to Jim Rohn, it is the #1 killer of all success. In my study of self-discipline over the past 9 years, I’ve noticed a more prevalent dynamic than procrastination. It’s one where we don’t deliberately just put things off, or refuse to do them; but rather we mask the activities that we should be doing with ones that are more convenient to do. In other words we allow ourselves to be busy just being busy. The term that I’ve been using in my speeches to describe this phenomena is creative avoidance.

Although creative avoidance may appear in many forms there are really 4 main causes of our inaction towards what we really need to be doing to be productive. These 4 concepts apply to people across all different professions, ages, or endeavors. You show me a person who is not achieving life at the level they want to be and I’ll show you 1 of these 4 diagnosis.

Continue Reading…

The 3 Battles of Daily Discipline: Mind, Mouth, and Movement

For most of us self-discipline is a passive concept. It’s not one we very often think about, and when we do it’s often because we feel guilty about some bad decision we’ve made, or were lamenting to a friend about why we need more of it. Unfortunately it’s that in-deliberate attitude that usually leads to our lack of self-discipline. Many of us think of discipline as hard and we don’t understand the Pain Paradox. Discipline doesn’t have to always be difficult, brutal, or painful as long as it’s perpetually intentional and consistent.

There are 3 primary battles of self-discipline that need to be won each and every day by all of us. They are 3 things that we have absolute control over and that regardless of our profession, age, or income we must deal with. Avoiding these areas is not an option because as I mentioned on my Twitter page, you are either consciously forming good habits or you are unconsciously forming bad ones. The battles I’m referring to are for your MIND, your MOUTH, and your MOVEMENTS.

 The struggle for gaining control of your MIND begins at the exact moment your alarm clock goes off. For some, the tendency of our wandering mind is much towards the negative; that is for whatever reason an un-monitored mind slips to complaining, distractions, and indulgence.  You have to be intentional and fiercely protective about each thought that you allow to materialize in your head. You can influence this with positive affirmations, mentorship, reading positive material, surrounding yourself with positive people, or by sheer will. Understand that the war on your MIND is immediately waged as soon as you wake up and it has eternal implications.

Today it seems like the MOUTH is the most underestimated tool for self-discipline. Our words are the overflow of our hearts. Just as you do with your thoughts, you have the ability to completely control your words. Errant jokes, flippant comments, and foul language are sometimes (not always) indications of someone who doesn’t have control over their MOUTH. They speak without thinking. They talk without evaluating the impact their words have on themselves and others. I’m not judging what type of language is or isn’t appropriate but I’m adamant that un-intentioned use of the tongue can be violently dangerous to your life and your dreams.

Last is our MOVEMENTS or our actions. For the most part we have control over what physical things we do with our bodies. Again, I wouldn’t pre-suppose to tell you what movements are good/bad, right/wrong but you must realize that your actions have impacts and if you don’t have a deliberate reign over them, they can get you into trouble. For example, in the male culture there is a common theme when it comes to cheating which is, “I can look as long as I don’t touch.” Yet, is not the first step to every adultery a simple look or an indulgent thought? Does debt and bankruptcy not begin with a single small loan? Would it ever be possible to surpass our desired weight without first taking a single bite?

Just as success is achieved with 1 small action at a time, so is failure. So that 1 small action is critical and it must be congruent with whatever you value most for your life. Otherwise, in the words of my friend Mark Hall from Casting Crowns, “It’s a Slow Fade.”

Unfortunately I’m not wise enough to tell you what all of your thoughts, words, or actions should be.  But I am inspired to share with you that they should be done with discipline for what YOU want your life to be and perhaps with disregard for what others around you are doing. A good rule of thumb whether it is with your MIND, your MOUTH, or your MOVEMENTS, is to avoid the indulgent mindlessness of the escalator mentality and to instead Take the Stairs.

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See you in the stairwell,

Rory Vaden
Take the stairs – Success means doing what others won’t.