Sunday, July 24, 2016

Finding Purpose in the Unhappiest Place in America (Part 3 of 3)

Greetings and welcome back to PART 3 in this “Finding Purpose in the Unhappiest Place in America” 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 encountered on my path to finding purpose. For your benefit, I provided an audio training to coach you along in determining your own path of 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 when it’s the people who are closest that are the source of these devastating blows. 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. Once again, you were provided with an audio training to coach you in developing the mindset needed to become the successful leader that you want to be.

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 northeastern Pennsylvania when it comes to mindset and attitude and hiding with head under pillow isn’t going to make it go away. Take a look back at the “3 Quick Supporting Facts” from PART 1 for a reminder. Northeastern Pennsylvania didn’t just get a case of the yips and have a bad season; it’s 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 acts as if it huddles together and clings to it’s 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 in the two sections prior, 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 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 okay 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 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 fat 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 and 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 by Sir Winston Churchill:

            Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm


Would you like to dive deeper and speak with me 1-to-1 about transforming your mindset?
Schedule your free 30-min strategy call

Continue your journey by completing this mindset training exercise.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Finding Purpose in the Unhappiest Place in America (Part 2 of 3)


Greetings and welcome back to PART 2 in this “Finding Purpose in the Unhappiest Place in America” series. Last week you were introduced to the place I called home for most of my life and glimpsed some jaw dropping facts left out of the tour guides. You also learned a few of the personal and professional struggles experienced as well as the frustration and disappointment directed at myself because I didn’t feel like I was utilizing my gifts properly and living up to my full potential. Before I could begin a more fulfilling and prosperous journey, it was necessary to gain clarity on my purpose and I hope you listened to the audio training in PART 1 and used the exercise for your own benefit.

Once I was crystal clear with what I really wanted then it was time to focus on achieving it but in order to do this properly I had to make a number of changes. You can’t drink clean water from a dirty glass and expect it to taste delicious. For a few years I had negative thoughts, unhealthy behaviors, and found myself in social environments that didn’t support this recently energized driving force. This isn’t a concealed attempt for pity or woe is me moment. Those were the choices that I made during a troubled time in my life and just as those were my choices then, I was choosing to make new and better choices to service a fresh view of life.

If you get nothing else out of this series, get this:

You always have a choice. If you don’t like what you did yesterday then make a better choice today. It’s as simple as that. Maybe you’ve done that thing so many times or had that job or known those people for so many years that you think you’re doomed to stay in the same spot – but you’re not!

Please note that I’m not simply throwing a fairytale at you because there’s work and sacrifice involved. You need to be willing and ready to do the necessary work just as I did. For me, sacrifice came in the form of distancing myself from the people and places that didn’t support my journey and struggling to grow a business after quitting my job without a real plan in place.

On the surface one might think that starting a business focused on empowerment coaching and training in the unhappiest region in America would be ripe with opportunities, however that wasn’t the case. This title is a heavy cross to bear and something that wasn’t earned overnight so it was going to take a lot of work for an unknown thirty-year-old with little funding and social status to be taken seriously.

There are many professionals in this area with a desire to make positive changes and improve the mindset of the community as a whole and I’m blessed to have had the opportunity to collaborate efforts with a few of these hometown heroes. Unfortunately, the vast majority operates from the viewpoint and mentality explained by the tall poppy syndrome. This concept has roots in various stories from ancient Greece and Rome and is a popular term today in the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. Essentially, group members believe there is a set sum of money, status, attention, and opportunity to succeed. In this belief system a person who has prestige is an obstacle and a threat to others because there’s only a fixed amount of status to go around. When one person (or poppy) rises up with achievement, the others must cut him down. Those who dare to discuss dreams that are larger than life or amass any amount of success that elevates them from their peers are often criticized or resented by the majority.

As I began walking this new path of purpose I was without a doubt daring to dream great things and entertained the idea that anything was possible because I not only recognized my potential but also was willing to take full responsibility for transforming these dreams into magnificent reality. Initially, this announcement brought hugs and high fives from many who were closest to me at the time but then something strange and unsettling started to creep in. It wasn’t long before the compliments turned to criticisms and the support turned to scoffing.

This is where personal conviction and mindset training became paramount because it’s tough to be looked at like you’re a lunatic by those you care about. Have you ever shared a goal with a friend or family member and they just looked back at you as if you deserve to be locked away between rubber walls? Have you ever shared a dream with someone who laughed a hearty belly laugh and told you to keep dreaming? Has anyone ever told you that your efforts would never amount to anything and to quit wasting your time? If you said yes to any of those then we share a common ground and you know how devastating it can feel especially when the people that mean the most to us are the ones to make those statements.

During this time period I found solace in various books and inspirational messages to maintain this newly transformed mindset and I’d like to share a quote that I’ve repeated to myself thousands of times over the last few years. You might even recognize this from your holy scripture.

          “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country among his own people”

As I write this today I can count the amount of friends who have been interested to hear me speak, share my blog, or offer a referral to those who would benefit from working together. While this could certainly be disheartening, at least it was for me, I encourage you to stay the course and be committed to your purpose. This may require you to make certain changes, find better friends and supportive groups, and learn new skills to do things you’ve never done before. If so, then this is what you must do in order to fulfill your purpose and transform your dreams into reality.

There were many times throughout my journey when I felt alone, shut out, and like an outsider to peers. There were countless opportunities to tuck tail, bury my dreams, and return to the old way. But I chose to honor my purpose and stay committed to what I knew in my heart to be true and each day I continue to make this choice to reaffirm my beliefs and push forward to lead by example through excellence.

Now you have a choice.

Will you realize your full potential and fulfill your purpose by doing what you must in order to make your dream a reality?

Or –

Will you remain in your comfort zone and leave your dreams as simply bedtime stories?


Would you like to dive deeper and speak with me 1-to-1 about transforming your mindset?
Schedule your free 30-min strategy call

Continue your journey by completing this mindset training exercise.

Friday, July 8, 2016

The Key to Getting What You Want

[Read alone or follow along with your coach Rich. Click the link below]

We all want something. Maybe you have a personal desire or want to advance in your career. Maybe you want to make improvements in health and wellness or you want to find that special person so you can build a life together. Whatever it is, this is something you desire and we’re going to discuss what it takes to get exactly what you want. 

The key to getting what you want starts with developing the right mindset and before you work towards developing this right mindset you must be a person of honest intention. You must be honest with yourself in acknowledging what you want and be crystal clear with this desire. Could you totally visualize what you want and honestly describe it to friends so that they too could picture in the mind. Essentially, does this desire have the properties of a vague two-dimensional image or does it have the properties of a living breathing entity with colors, sounds, and accompanying feelings?

Start here with honesty. If your desire does have these living qualities then you’re ready to move on to the next step. If not, perhaps you should go back to the drawing board and take a good honest look at what it is that you said you wanted.

The next step, you should know why you want it. Why is this thing so important to you in the first place? Is this desire self created and initiated from your conscious longing or is it something that was put on you by someone else? In other words, do you really want this thing by your own conscious choosing or did someone else tell you that you should want it? Remember, to be honest with your response. YOU SHOULD BE THE #1 PERSON IN YOUR LIFE. Do the things that make you a better, happier, healthier, and more successful person. You live your life according to what’s right for you and let other people live their life according to what’s right for them.

If you’re having difficulty determining how important it is then rank it on a scale of 1-10, with one being the lowest and ten being the highest. You could also put a dollar amount on it. Imagine walking into a store and seeing your desire on the shelf for purchase. How much would you expect to pay for this item? If the item ranks low or can be purchased with pocket money then this isn’t a really important want or need. However, if it ranks ten (or higher) and the item is locked away behind a glass case then it’s certainly something worthy of special attention and energy.

As you move forward in getting what you want, you should also be aware of whether your words and actions are congruent. Do your actions match your words and are they aligned to truly achieve the anticipated outcome? If your mouth says beach body but your actions say couch potato then you are incongruent, which will bring extreme difficulty and you’re sure to struggle in getting what you want. Don’t be a hypocrite or self-sabotage your efforts. Make sure your words and actions match and are aligned to propel you forward to get exactly what you want.

Lastly, be confident that you are worthy to have this thing. When you start with honesty, have clarity with what you want and why it’s important, and by matching your words and actions you’ll be free of internal barriers like guilt and self-doubt regarding worthiness. You’ll be able to respond with full confidence: “YES, I DESERVE THIS” and you’ll move forward easily and effortlessly to get it.

I hope this Power Talk  has served you well and will be beneficial to your future success.

If you would like to dive deeper and discuss this 1-to-1 then schedule your free 30-min strategy call.

Until next time,

Thanks and Be Excellent!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Finding Purpose in the Unhappiest Place in America

My name is Rich Perry and the reason I’m writing this story is to inspire you to find your purpose in life. In my private coaching programs, the people I work with have a sincere desire to find their true calling and they want to reach a personal level of success doing something that they are passionate about, however they find themselves struggling in the beginning stages or stuck at some midpoint along the way. Either they’re still searching for a professional, or even personal, identity or they’ve found their niche but wrestling with an unhealthy mindset that is blocking them from going any further. 

In this 3-part series I’ll share my own journey and provide a few simple exercises that you can use to not only find your purpose in life but also transform your mindset so that you can move forward and start seeing the results you want. This is how I lead and it’s an honor to share how I found purpose in the unhappiest place in America.

When I was a child my family moved from New York City to a small town in the northeastern region of Pennsylvania. According to my parents, we moved because they wanted a change from city life and felt it would be good to raise a family in a nice rural area. Unlike the city, our new home had plenty of outdoor activities, long trails for hiking and rivers for rafting, and gorgeous scenery especially with the change of the seasons. It’s a beautiful place to just get away plus it’s still within driving distance of New York City and Philadelphia for day trips or to catch touring shows. But with all the scenic splendor of northeastern Pennsylvania, or NEPA as locals refer to it, the area has a dark spot. It’s the “Unhappiest Region in America.”

Despite this unattractive title, I will wholeheartedly admit that I loved growing up here. I enjoyed the fresh air, hiking in the summer, skiing in the winter, and all of the other outdoor opportunities that the area provided. As a youth, my two major activities were martial arts and Boy Scouts. Both taught respect for self and others, discipline, and being a person of good moral standing and value. As you surely know, Scouting focuses heavily on community service and helping others, which were common lessons from my sensei (martial arts teacher) as well. I credit both with instilling excellent life lessons and for laying the foundation in my desire to serve others professionally. I’m forever grateful for my upbringing. These two influential activities plus the loving support of my parents absolutely molded me into the person that I am today.

Outside of these positive arenas, however, something just seemed off. As a kid and even a teenager I couldn’t put my finger on it, probably because I lacked the perspective needed to truly understand the social environment surrounding me, but intuitively I knew that there was something wrong about the way many people thought and spoke. Then in college a professor referred to the area as, “the armpit of America” which got me thinking about all of the signs I recognized over the years and I’m not simply referring to the confederate flags flying on lawns or other displays of closed-minded hate-mongering that exist around the country and aren’t necessarily specific to this particular region. Taking this professor’s comment into consideration, the theme that really stuck out was the overall negative mindset of people living here. There seemed to be a “can’t do” attitude and view of lack over abundance. I can remember multiple times growing up, sharing ideas with authority figures and having that adult try to discourage the idea and advise me not to bother trying. What, why? I also remember countless times as a young adult and having ideas bashed by authority figures or peers who considered my dreams to be absurd and felt it was their duty to thwart aspirations of high achievement in order to save me the heartache of failure.

*** 3 Quick Supporting Facts ***

- In 2014 researchers from Harvard University and the University of British Columbia found Scranton, PA to be the least happy region in America.
For supplementary info, watch this short documentary, “Half-Empty: Life inAmerica’s Unhappiest City” by indie filmmaker Kenny Luck.

- Wilkes-Barre, PA has found itself on the “Top 30 Murder Capitals of America” list more than once.

- The “kids for cash” scandal shook the nation as a few judges and officials arranged for juveniles to be sentenced to youth detention centers in exchange for millions of dollars worth in kickbacks.

*** Story continued ***

During senior year of high school I decided to follow my heart and find a career path dedicated to helping others. My intention was to study psychology and become a therapist to work with people who needed help. In Scouts I had always maintained a leadership position and thought that I could easily use these skills in the professional world. Eventually I landed a job working in children’s mental and behavioral health and stayed there for seven years. Although there wasn’t much room for growth and didn’t allow for certain opportunities, the job was still rewarding and for a while I felt like I was really making a difference.

Then an odd thing happened around the midpoint of that seven-year period. Every day felt the same, like I was just going through the motions, and I no longer felt like I was making a difference. I found myself in and out of bad relationships, my attitude was poor, and I was spending lots of free time in bars. This led to lack of energy, hopelessness, hollowness, overall feelings of unhappiness, and general disappointment in myself. Suffice it to say that I was extremely frustrated and beating myself up because I felt like I wasn’t living up to my full potential.

Don’t get me wrong; being a therapist is an honorable profession. I know that I helped a lot of kids during my time there and I know that my friends who are still employed there or elsewhere in the field are truly doing a great service to their clients. However, I also know that I wasn’t meant to stay there. I realized that when it came to finding my purpose in life, just being “in the ballpark” wasn’t good enough.

It was clear to me that I needed a change and that change had to come from within. This change had to be self-initiated and it needed to be something that I did for my sole benefit. I wanted to get back on track and return to my old joyful self with a renewed perspective on life and to do that I had to change my thoughts and behaviors.

And, I needed to do some soul searching to find my purpose in life.

Look for PART 2 Next Week

Would you like to gain complete clarity with your purpose in life?

Listen to this short audio and I’ll guide you through the exercise.

Would you like to dive deeper and speak with me 1-to-1?
Schedule Your FREE 30-min Strategy Call