How well does your story serve you? Are you feeling fulfilled with the work you do? Are you flourishing in your situations and with the people you surround yourself with?
If you’re not happy with your story, you always have the power to change the direction it’s taking. Taking that action is what we’re all about here, after all. And today I’m joined by Scott Perry from Creative on Purpose to talk about how you can use hope as a tactic to get where you feel like you truly belong. Scott shares the importance of knowing your values and talents so that you can develop your character, and navigating your way through challenges in order to heed the call of vocation and find fulfillment and joy in what you do.
If you’re ready to come more in tune with yourself, desires, and those around you to find meaning in your life and flourish, you’ll want to listen in to our conversation.
About Scott Perry:
Scott Perry is a compass to help you hear and heed the call of vocation, define the difference only they can make, and live your legacy.
Mentioned In This Episode:
people, stoicism, life, hope, lindsay, positive psychology, meaning, values, virtue, flourishing, survey, scott, possess, purpose, person, stories, serve, develop, feel, greater
Scott Perry, Lindsay Recknell
Lindsay Recknell 00:03
Hello, and welcome to another episode of The hobo motivates action podcast. I’m your host, Lindsay Recknell. And I am super excited to introduce this week’s guest, Scott Perry. Scott is a compass to help you hear and heed the call of vocation, define the difference only you can make and to live your legacy. We are well aligned on topics such as positive psychology and stoicism, we talk about hope and faith, and how you can transform your life using the power of hope. As a reminder, if you’re interested in any of these books, resources and tools we mentioned in this episode, all the links you’ll need can be found in the show notes of your favorite podcast player, or head to the blog and pod page of my website at expert in hope, calm, and you’ll find them all there too. I truly believe that the future will be better than today, by taking action over the things we can control. And conversations like this really reinforced that hope. Let’s get going. Hello, Scott, welcome to
Scott Perry 00:57
the show. Lindsay, I am so thrilled to be spending this time with you.
Lindsay Recknell 01:01
I’m very much looking forward to our conversation. It was really cool to get to know you a little bit last week and just hear about some of the transformations that you are taking people on which has come from a very crooked journey of career aspirations for yourself. So I’m really looking forward to hearing what you have to share with us today. Let’s start off with you telling us a little bit about how you use hope to motivate action in your life.
Scott Perry 01:30
It’s a great question. My relationship with hope is a little bit complicated. I grew up in a household where frequently we were told that hope is not a strategy. And I adopted that idea. And it took a moment in my life of real despair, for me to understand that well hope may not be a strategy, it sometimes is the only tactic that will allow you to hang on and persevere. And as I’ve been thinking, I It might even be a chapter in one of my books. You know, whenever I rub up against something that I don’t really understand, what I usually do is I I talk about it out loud and in public through my blog, and through my broadcasts and what I started to come to was distinguishing between and toggling back and forth between hope and faith. And I think of hope, as you know, hope is is a desired outcome. It’s it’s, it’s something that we want to happen that we desire to happen that we wish to happen. And faith is our embracing that things are happening as they are meant to happen. And sometimes, again, that idea, you know, if I get if I get if I get left on a desert island, hope may be the only thing that helps me live long enough to get found and and saved. But it’s faith in my ability to figure things out that will allow me to continue to, to survive, and hopefully thrive as I await that ship to come pick me up. So that’s, that’s a very roundabout way of defining my relationship with hope.
Lindsay Recknell 03:46
It’s beautiful. And it’s so cool. I love to ask about hope. Because I mean, even the definition is so different for everyone. I remember when I even started doing this work, and I told my dad, I said, Dad, I’m going to become an expert in hope. And he goes cool. What does that even mean? Like? Are you going to talk about God and in religion? Maybe? Am I going to, you know, are we going to talk about faith? Are we going to talk about action? Are we going to talk about wish, yes, all of those things. And it’s been so so cool to get to know, people on the show and people you know, clients that they get to speak with to hear the different definitions. Because it is I really believe that hope is internal. It is very, very personal to each and every one of us. And I love what you said about the perception that hope is not a strategy. But that can be a tactic. I always think about tactics as those actions, those things we can do, which ties in really nicely to my definition of hope, which is the future will be better than today by taking action over the things we can control. And it’s nice that just how well you’ve wrapped that up and tied in a bow for me. So thank you for that.
Scott Perry 05:01
Well, that’s really interesting because, you know, what you just articulated is kind of the is a summary of the approach of stoic philosophy, which is something I’ve been studying since the seventh grade. I was gifted a copy of Marcus Aurelius meditations by my Latin teacher in seventh grade. And that was a long time ago, that was actually just a few years after Marcus Aurelius passed away. And, you know, that idea that you just expressed of, you know, owning and assuming your agency over the things within your control, which, at least according to the Stoics, and I embrace, this is not much we do not control other people, we do not control circumstances, situations, forces, economic, political, social, what have you. But in any moment, no matter how out of control we may be, we do possess authority over our thoughts, in what we decide to do next we get to we are gifted the opportunity to frame or reframe our situation in a way that opens up choices and possibilities, and gives us the opportunity to live in alignment with our virtue, who we really are to develop our character by taking intentional action that will serve us and serve others at the same time. So you just said all of that in in very few words, instead of very beautifully. So thank you for that.
Lindsay Recknell 06:30
Well, I love that you brought up stoicism because I know you and I are both fans of the science of positive psychology, which takes a lot of its foundation from stoicism. And I don’t know about stoicism, I know the language. I know that in theory, but I definitely don’t know it at the depth that you do. But positive psychology I do understand to a greater degree. And that sense of agency, especially when it comes to the field of study within positive psychology, that is the science of hope. We talk about hope theory and hope theory being goals. So, you know, that one’s obvious what we’d like to achieve, plus agency thinking, which is that sense of having control over what we can control, plus pathways thinking, which is our ability to overcome the obstacles of pathways that are obstacles, and barriers that get in our way to achieving those goals. And all of those things have to come together in order for us to feel like we can live the fulfilling life and flourish like positive psychology would have us believe as possible.
Scott Perry 07:45
Yeah, well, I I know enough about stoicism to be dangerous. And I know enough about positive psychology to be really, really dangerous, dangerous. But one of the tools that I use with my clients is the values and actions strengths survey, Character Strengths indicator, and which is a tool developed by positive psychologists. And you know what, both approaches really put a lot of stock into the power of paying attention to virtue and cultivating virtue in our lives to you know, making the cultivation of character to be its own reward and the source of joy in our lives. And, you know, stoicism sometimes is misconstrued as meaning to, you know, the pursuit of becoming emotionless or just, you know, persevering, chin, chin up, you know, soldiering through difficult situations and really, you know, teasing apart, you know, all the current people who kind of cherry pick stoicism as a life hack, which is not at all historically what it has been. And putting it more into its actual historical context. stoicism is about cultivating healthy, healthy emotions, and giving you tools to navigate your way through and to not react upon unhealthy emotions. And, you know, the, there’s just a lot of in I think, one of the reasons why positive psychologists have adopted so many of the ideas and tools of stoicism is because they’ve been time tested and now they are scientifically vetted, you know, the Stokes just happened to get some things right, that are being proven now through neuroscience and, and psychology.
Lindsay Recknell 09:51
So you talk about the strengths finder, the Strengths Assessment, can you tell Can you tell the listeners a little bit more about what that is and why could be valuable in their lives?
Scott Perry 10:01
Sure. So the there are 24 values that are assessed through this survey. And your, your ranking is prioritize through the survey, what, you know, what are your top values, and what are the ones that are further down the list now that there’s no value judgment, there’s no, you know, virtue or value that’s better than another, it’s and because there’s 24. And you’re, you’re discovering and encouraged to leverage your top five, you know, you’re going to get a profile that’s very unique. And so the idea is, if you can identify and embrace and engage your top five character strengths, you are leveraging an asset you already possess, and able to do that in a way that will help you lead a more conscious, flourishing life. And you have all these other values. And you can decide if there are ones on that list that you would like to develop, you know, the these values in some ways are our skills, you can you can learn them, you can practice them, you can exercise them, and the more you practice and exercise them, the better you’ll get at them. You know, so, for instance, you’ll be shocked to know that gratitude and humor and zest are always almost every time I take the the survey those end up as part of my top five, sometimes my top three. And so I recognize that I’m a person that possesses a lot of vitality, I can I have a lot of energy and I can invest a lot of energy, I can put out a lot of energy. So that’s an asset that I leveraged. And I do that with the knowledge that the survey has helped me identify like, this is something that I can leverage to move myself and my endeavor forward and to cultivate a greater sense of purpose, passion and meaning in my life. Yeah, so I mean, it’s, uh, you can get it, I think it’s vi a character.org. And if you go there, the surveys you can take it for free, you can take it as many times as you like. And it will give you your top five, your top five core values and give you a an ordered list of of all of them and it organizes them under six virtues, four of which are the virtues of stoic philosophy, temperance, courage, temperance, courage, justice, and will or wisdom. Yeah, and it’s a, it’s a, it’s a super helpful tool.
Lindsay Recknell 12:52
And who, who should take it.
Scott Perry 12:57
So if you put your two fingers of your right hand on the wrist of your left hand and you feel kind of thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, you should probably know what your core values are. If you are a person that would like to experience a greater sense of thriving and purpose in your life, if you would like to improve your relationship with yourself and other people, it might be a good idea to get a handle on who you are, which is I think, who you are is not about what you do for a living. It’s about who you like, what what values do you operate from and because when you know what your values are, you know you we all have talents and skills that we’ve learned on the job and at school and and the ones that we kind of have born proclivities for, but when you know, your values, and your talents, you’re able to put yourself into situations where you can work with people who share your values and need your talents to enhance their lives. And since work is one of the ways that we derive meaning from our life and one of one of the things that brings joy to our life for doing more of the right work with the right people, your public probably live a life that feels like it’s flourishing more often.
Lindsay Recknell 14:21
And I believe that you are doing work that enables you to flourish now has that always been the case?
Scott Perry 14:33
I’m going to just go ahead and and admit that I won the lottery. I you know, your your listeners can’t see me but I you know, I am one of those people I am and an older, straight white man. The system is kind of rigged in pass been rigged in my favor for a long time we’re doing what we can to correct that. And I’ve enjoyed the privilege of, you know, growing up, and a supportive household that gave me access to a great education. And I’ve been able to do work that and move moved from from role to role in a way that I’ve always felt a sense of meaning and purpose and flourishing in everything I’ve done. I’ve done a lot of things. I was a school teacher, I was a restaurant manager. I was a musician for 25 years and a guitar teacher. And now I am in this new role of creative on purpose, where I’m helping people hear and heed the call of vocation and define the difference only they can make. So they can live their legacy and find meaning and fulfillment in their lives through the work that they do. And I see a through line through everything I’ve ever done all these various roles. I’ve always been someone who is a teacher is a coach is a, you know, a person who might be defined as a cheerleader, someone that always, you know, sees the best in people sees the potential in people wants to see see everyone experience, you know, greater joy and equanimity in their life and navigate, you know, all the all of their challenges with a greater sense of tranquility and peace. So yes, I’ve always had that. So annoying, isn’t it? I’m sorry?
Lindsay Recknell 16:36
No, it’s wonderful to hear. And I mean, I feel like there are many people who feel the same way and don’t say it out loud. So I appreciate that you answered in that authentic way. Because there’s also people, of course, who haven’t had that same experience, whether they have privilege or not inherent or otherwise, haven’t always found themselves in a role, or in a career that has been fulfilling. And I know that the work that you’re doing with creative on purpose is to help people to make shifts that they might need to make in their lives. So if there’s people that are listening to the show, and I know for sure that there are not listening, but listening in this way. People that are listening that may feel like they are stuck, maybe they are, you know, midlife done the things that they were supposed to do. They’ve climbed the corporate ladder, they get to this place, and they go, Huh, is this all there is really? What do you what could you say to those people? That would be hopeful?
Scott Perry 17:42
Sure. Well, the first thing I would say is that experience that you’re having is true. And it’s not your fault. We live in a world. I call it the educational, the industrial, educational, occupational complex. We are taught from very young age, that, you know, if we sit in straight lines and do is we’re told and keep our heads down, and try to get along and follow the directions, that you know, we will be rewarded. And so you know, you go to school, you get good grades, you get to go to school, again, where you can get good grades, and then they can go get a job and you can get paid, and you might move up the ladder by continuing to do what you’re told. And then, you know, at some point, some of us wake up to this, you know, fact that despite doing all the things that we were told to do, and doing them to the best of our ability, we don’t feel happy, we don’t have a sense of meaning flourishing and thriving in our lives not and also to say if you, I hope that as you’ve been following the traditional path, you did experience some some joy, some meaning and some flourishing. But many of us at some point, you know, decide that what David Brooks calls the first mountain is not the only journey available, sometimes require it, you know, to see that there’s another way, another mountain another way, you know, that we can approach that our second act or second half of life, sometimes that requires, you know, a fall a failure or a trauma of some sort. And if we’re lucky enough to be broken, but not not completely broken, but broken open, we might wake up to the idea that there’s this other way to be and if you’re lucky enough to have to survive whatever it is that wakes you up to that there’s more to it than step status and salary and stuff. There is a path that of sacrifice, service and soul that you can pursue And if you haven’t seen it up to this point, again, this because the system was rigged, you know, stacked against you. If what I’m saying sounds like it’s true, or it’s resonating on some level, then the invitation is, you, you have, if you’re listening to this, you have all the resources you need to investigate who you really are, what are you really good at? Where do you really belong, and I would argue that who you really are is your values, your virtue, your the content of your character, what you’re really good at are, yeah, maybe the hard skills that you learned on the job and, and at school, but maybe also, maybe even more. So the soft skills of human to human connection, communication, collaboration, creativity, and where you belong is with people who share your values and need your talents to enhance their lives and your life will be enhanced by serving and contributing to others. And I guess what also comes up for me, Lindsay is we’re all born into different situations, some more privileged than others. We’re also all born with different temperaments and tolerances. You know, some of us just naturally have a more optimistic outlook than others, some of us have a natural naturally have more resilience than others. And all these things that I’m talking about are also teachable, learnable skills that we can develop through practice, you can become half a shaved braid braver every day by just doing taking one courageous step into your potential and possibility ever, every day. You can become a little bit kinder, by practicing gratitude and generosity, a simple small act of generosity, a simple statement of gratitude for an everyday experience, convenience or pleasure. And you can step into your potential and the you that you aspire to be at creative on purpose. We talked, we’ve talked about leaving your legacy legacy isn’t the money and monuments you leave behind, it’s the difference you’re making right now. And that invitation is open. My assertion would be it’s open to anybody that’s listening. And it merely comes down to the, to a decision that I am going to investigate, explore the edges of my understanding and ability and pursue a different way of being and by doing that you will become what you were meant to become. So leveraging the faith, that idea like if you trust yourself enough to invest in yourself and do the work to become what destiny has in store for you, then that is you will move from the posture of life is happening to me, the victim mentality of life is happening to me into the more heroic life is happening through me. And you will earn the trust and the faith that you can figure it out, and you can find your way into a better way of being.
Lindsay Recknell 23:17
That feels so hopeful. It gives me shivers almost to hear you speak about that. And here like to just think about what people are taking in. Something you mentioned there is if we feel like we have the trust in ourselves, that we can do the thing. What if we don’t? What if we don’t trust that we have what it takes to do the thing?
Scott Perry 23:42
Yeah, well, one of the ways that we can figure out if something is possible is to look at has somebody else done this because if somebody else has done this, then you can do it to another is to think about have I ever done this before. So I want to take you back, Lindsey just put you in, in the hot seat right now. If you are a person that does not believe that you have the capacity that does not trust yourself enough to invest in yourself and do the thing. I want to remind you that you’ve done hard things before you were an infant. At some point, you decided to become a toddler. And you did not go to school. You do not watch YouTube videos, you did not take an online course you did not read a book. You saw people walking upright on two limbs and decided that looks cool. I might be able to reach the cookie jar if I can learn how to do that. And you decided that this was a thing worth pursuing. And without any knowledge of how one does this and having none no experience of ever doing this before you began to play yourself up on your feet, you fell down, you pulled yourself up again, you fell down, you pulled yourself up, you stayed up, you took a step you fell down, you stood up, you took a step, you fell down, you stood up, you took a step, it worked. And over and over again iteration by iteration, you went from being a non Walker, to a walker, to the point where you don’t even think about walking anymore, you haven’t thought about walking in a very long time, you simply roll out of bed and you walk. did the same thing with talking, you did the same thing with reading, you did the same thing with writing, you did the same thing with riding a bike, you did the same thing with learning how to podcast. You have done impossible things, many, many times in your life. And if you don’t, if you want to now tell me that you don’t possess the capacity to figure your way into whatever it is that you want to go. I’m going to say, I hear, feel and understand and empathize with you and balderdash. All you need to do is fine. I mean, you know, there’s things you can do, you can you can put yourself, surround yourself with people that are more supportive people that can teach you people that can guide you, people that can pick you up, when you fall down, you can develop habits that will change your mindset. But here’s the thing. mindset doesn’t inform posture, posture informs mindset, if you want to change your mind, you have to first change what you’re doing. If you change if you do what you aspire to, to be great at or to do well, you will earn confidence and earn confidence beats propped up hubris. You know, certainty, overconfidence, that’s the stuff that we see rewarded in society. You know, that’s all well and good, if that gets you through the day, but it’s not true. And you’re doing yourself and others harm by acting that, as if things that can’t possibly be absolutely true, or knowable, are true and knowable. We’re all swimming in the same sea of uncertainty and possibility. And it’s the curious and the considerate, that, that lean into that in a way that promotes their health and their happiness and their well being.
Lindsay Recknell 27:28
It’s seen in hearing you speak, it feels so much like common sense. It feels so simple. It’s not. But at the overall scheme of things. You’re right, we can do hard things, we just have to get up and go again. And when we just think about it from that perspective, then it does seem impossible.
Scott Perry 27:52
Well, I’ll look, I’ll come at it from a slightly different angle i i think it is simple. The problem is that simple is never easy, right? And what what is really holding us back, you know, when if you are a person that has difficulty believing in your capacity to learn new things, do new things, succeed and new things that has less to do with what is true and what is not true. I mean, it certainly has can be influenced by opportunity and privilege and all these things. But it also has a lot to do with the stories that you tell yourself. And, you know, what I have found is that you know, the things that we call resistance, the imposter, anxiety, fear, etc. Their stories, their stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, their stories we tell ourselves about our situation and their stories we tell ourselves about the stories that we think other people are telling themselves about us. And one of the things that one of the mantras that we repeated creative on purpose is choose your story, choose your future, the story that you’re repeating and living is not serving you. Pause, zoom out, take a objective look at yourself in your situation, and frame a better story that you can live into. And you know, replace replace your story. And again, I say that it sounds simple because it is simple. It’s just that simple as an easy because we love our stories. You know, you know that people that you if you’re someone that grew up in an abusive household, it’s very likely that you’ll end up in an abusive relationship. And you might do that over and over and over again. That’s not because you’re incompetent or ignorant or not intelligent, that’s learned behavior we love we are creatures that love the status quo. We love to know where we stand and what’s expected even when those things don’t serve us. Even when those things do And our well being harm, we would rather cling to what we know then step into what we don’t yet know. And again, with the right, you know, put ourselves in the right situations with the right people getting the help when we need it, then we have the capacity to change our stories and live into a better story that will serve ourselves and the people that we care about. Even more.
Lindsay Recknell 30:27
So beautiful. So beautiful. Scott, what gives you hope? Hmm.
Scott Perry 30:35
I would say in this moment, where I’m that we’re in right now, I think, Lindsay Recknell gives me hope, um, I am very, very, very fortunate in that I continue to collide with person after person after person, you know, strangers who become friends, and sometimes colleagues and collaborators who are just out there doing work that matters within for people they care about, and they are engaged in endeavors that seek to make things better for themselves and for others. And I, that gives me immense hope. The thing that gives me hope is I don’t listen to the news very much.
Lindsay Recknell 31:17
Yeah, that could be a very hopeless thing to do these days. It also gives me hope to have conversations like this with you. Thank you so so much for joining us. When people want to get a hold of you to learn more about the things that you’re doing. How do they do that?
Scott Perry 31:33
I am pretty easy to find online. There is so it used to be that you could Google Scott Perry and I came up first. And then there is now a representative to the to the house, the United States House of Representatives. I’m Scott Perry. And there’s a basketball coach for the next name Scott Perry. And it turns out that politicians and basketball coaches get more love from Google than coaches and difference makers. I know it’s it’s it’s an unfair world. If you Google Creative on purpose, and certainly if you Google, Scott Perry creative on purpose, you will land at creative on purpose comm. We have lots of resources, insight and inspiration in the blog, in my own broadcast that will help you see and step into your power and hopefully stay in it and share it with other people. And of course, we have coaching and community and other offerings that can serve as a catalyst if you’re ready to to and trust yourself enough to invest in yourself and take a bolder step into your potential.
Lindsay Recknell 32:41
Love it so beautiful. And we will absolutely link to all those places so that Google, we can bypass Google altogether onto the show notes. So thank you, again for being here. Your intelligence, your practicality. And really the hopeful way in which you speak is really inspiring. So thanks for sharing your story with us today.
Scott Perry 33:01
I always enjoy being in conversation with you, Lindsay, thank you for the difference you make. Thank you for the opportunity to spend this time with you and I hope your listeners get some value out of the conversation today.
Lindsay Recknell 33:11
I can only imagine that they will take care. I hope you enjoyed this latest episode of the hope of motivates action podcast. These episodes are a labor of love inspiring conversations with hopeful people make my heart happy. If you also love this episode, it would be amazing if you could go to Apple podcasts and leave a review five stars if you’re into it. It’s these reviews that encouraged Apple to promote this podcast to their network and the more people that listen, the more hope we can spread into the world. Don’t forget to check out the show notes of this episode to find all the links to my guests books and other resources referenced in this episode. You’ll also find the link back to my website where you will find additional support and resources for you, your team and your community. I truly believe that the future will be better than today. By taking action over the things we can control and hearing from these guests on these episodes. I know that even more hopeful future is totally possible. I’m always looking for inspirational guests so if you or anyone you know would like to be a guest on the show please reach out you can find me on the contact form of my website at expert in hope calm or by email at Lindsay at expert in hope calm. When I was a teenager, my sisters were leaving the house to go out for the night. I always made it a point to remind them to call me if they need me. It was my way to tell them that I cared and would always be there for them. I’d love you to know the same so all of you listening out there Call me if you need me. Again. Thank you for your love and support of this podcast my work in hope and your intentional focus on making your future better than today. After all, hope without action is just a wish.
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