To Live With Purpose, Create A Family Vision, with Scott Beebe – RFL038

To Live With Purpose, Create A Family Vision  – Episode Overview

Today’s technology has made it more difficult to get our kids’ attention – particularly around what matters. I grew up in a larger Italian family where we had regular family meetings to be sure we all know what was expected of us and what mattered to our family. There was great wisdom in creating a clear vision or mission for the family – one that we all could use as a guide at any point in our lives. I like to think of it as a performance standard – of a life “done right” – or a life with purpose. So many times we get caught up in the busyness of life that we forget to focus on living lives that have purpose and that matter. Having a family vision helps our kids stay aligned to what is most important.

Attention and Intention

This week, my attention is on providing consistent life guidance for our kids. My intention is to share how creating a family vision can provide THAT kind of guidance for our kids, in how to live meaningful and purposeful lives in spite of the noise and distractions they’ll meet in their world.

Meet our guest Scott Beebe

Scott Beebe On Family VisionScott Beebe is founder and leader of Business On Purpose, a business coaching, training and strategy group that works to help small business owners, and organizational leaders uncover things that they cannot see, and create game-changing strategies so they can take immediate action and live out their life and business with purpose and intentionality. Scott is also the host of the Business On Purpose podcast.

Episode’s Key TakeAWays

  1. To find our way in life – and to help our kids do the same – we need to provide guidance and structure – this is the value of a family vision.
  2. Our world sends so many mixed messages that our kids need to interpret and process. Coming from a clear place – like a family vision – allows them to stay focused on what matters most among all of life’s distractions.
  3. We create our beliefs by sorting through the messaging we receive. As parents, we are able to help our kids create beliefs of excellence, integrity, resilience, empathy and service as we increase our communication, questions and connection with them.
  4. Technology, though it can help us, can interrupt the important communication process between parents and kids. The more each party spends on their devices and not communicating, the greater the challenge in helping our kids start to form their beliefs.  A great problem in helping our kids get ready for life isn’t because we aren’t physically present in their lives – it comes from not being verbally present in their lives.
  5. Empathy is developed out of the nuanced conversations we have with our kids when they are 2 and 4 and 8 and whatever age; they happen gradually as we constantly communicate with them.
  6. The more we ASK as parents – the more we help our kids “test drive” their abilities, thoughts and values. The more we TELL our kids, the less they assess and build their own perspectives.
  7. Be aware for the Braindead Megaphone – the loudest voice in your kids’ ears – what is it saying and what do they think and believe about it. Stay in touch with your kids – ask questions daily about what they hear, think, believe and notice. You can help quiet the meaningless or unproductive messages they hear and replace them with confidence in themselves and their own voice.
  8. A family vision is an anchor. An anchor doesn’t mean it is doesn’t move – it actually moves within a range. This gives our kids guidance in how to meet and deal with the world – of having the ability to know how to choose wisely particularly when parents are not around. An anchor or family vision is a standard against which you hold you and your family accountable that gives consistent guidance in a changing world.
  9. All kids need value-centered boundaries that are expressed through conversation and connection. These are actually freeing as they allow our kids to go through the world clear of who they are, choosing wisely and being part of the world. These boundaries or this vision helps them know how to successfully navigate life.
  10. In parenting, there are essentials and non-essentials – not everything is essential. Assessing situations from this place can help parents determine how best to handle situations they encounter with their kids. Non-essentials allow for greater flexibility than essentials.
  11. A powerful question to help our kids learn about values and accountability is “Were you proud of what you did, said, etc?”

Some question for parents:

  1. How often are you on your technology or devices? How much time do you spend talking to your kids and asking them questions?
  2. What is your talk like with your kids? Is it critical and judgmental or are you compassionate because you see your kids as a work-in-process?
  3. Where do you drop anchor – where do you set the expectations and standards to help guide your kids?

See Scott’s course – How To Create A Family Vision

Create a family vision imageA powerful, practical course that includes how to create your

Contact Scott for more information:

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Stop and Notice Challenge

Each week we ask you to stop and notice – to develop your skill of tuning in to you and your world. This week’s stop and notice challenge is:

  1.    Stop and Notice how much time you actually communicate with your kids. How can you improve this today?
  2.    Stop and Notice how your kids navigate life. Do you have a family vision you share with them to help them know how be ready for life in a constantly changing world?
  3.    Stop and Notice how much time you tell instead of ask your kids. How would asking them more increase your communication, connection and encourage their better understanding of themselves?
  4.    Stop and Notice what pushback you get from your kids as you look to establish family rules or a family vision. How can you win your kids into seeing the value of guiding principles or standards to help them feel confident in their choices in school, work and life?

A family vision is an anchor – it holds us firm in changing tides. It isn’t rigid – it allows for some movement but the movement will always be around where it is grounded. This helps us help our kids navigate life. Consider a family vision, family meetings or places to establish the family’s values and focus, to be able to live wisely, successfully and responsibly at any age.

Suggested Resource:

The Family Vision And Virtues GuideThe Family Virtues Guide – Simple Ways To Bring Out The Best In Our Children and Ourselves  – by Linda Kavelin Popov and Dan Popov

Bring Compassion, Generosity, and Kindness into Your Home with This Essential Guide

The most important job parents have is to pass basic virtues on to their children, and this invaluable book is designed to help make that job a little easier. Compiled by The Virtues Project, an international organization dedicated to inspiring spiritual growth in young and old alike, this multicultural, interfaith handbook shows parents and teachers how to turn words into actions and ideals into realities. Drawn from the world’s religions, the 52 virtues included here—one for each week of the year—nurture togetherness in family life. The simple strategies, which explain what a virtue is, how to practice it, and signs of success, will engage children of all ages in an exciting process of growth and discovery. This important book shows you how to:

  •         Learn the language of integrity and self-esteem
  •         Understand the five roles parents play
  •         Discover ways to introduce sacred time into family life
  •         Help children make moral choices

The Family Virtues Guide gives adults and children the tools for spiritual and moral growth. Join the thousands of families discovering simple practices for bringing out the best in each other by sharing The Family Virtues Guide.


Teach Your Kids To Slow Down And Enjoy Life

My dad, an amazing gardener, once said to me as we were building a walkway from the street to our front door, “No garden path or walkway should ever be a straight line. All paths should zig and zag, meander to the left, then the right.” He explained that the turns force us to slow down to see things – new vantage points – new things to appreciate. A well-planted walkway is an adventure, a show and an event – with something new at every turn. It is not a means to an end, but rather a journey. “Slow down,” he said, “and enjoy the ride – enjoy life.”

Though I had my father’s wise advice to slow down and be connected to life, I, like most people felt that moving faster and doing many things at once was a better use of time; it was all about accomplishing things and checking them off my to-do list. As we live this way, we influence our kids to live this way. But what value do things have if we don’t remember being part of them?

Multi-tasking makes you miss your life

As a culture, we pride ourselves on multi-tasking and filling every moment of our time; workplace job ads intentionally search for those who say they can do more than one thing at a time. Students write in their college essays that they are able to do many things at once – to be part of our high-paced world. We applaud and reward this manic behavior.

And though it may look like we get a lot of things done on our checklist of life, we realize that the process can be completely unfulfilling. We don’t remember any part of what we do, how we spend our time and who we are with. We don’t zig and zag – we bolt for the finish line as if life were some sort of race – something we are supposed to complete efficiently and on-time. But getting it done isn’t its value – the value is in the ride.

Teach your kids to slow down and enjoy life

Thinking about the zig and the zag, I am reminded of George Bernard Shaw’s quote, “I want to be all used up when I die.” We shouldn’t have any life left in us because we lived with such passion, excitement and energy that we used up everything we had. When we slowly move through life, enjoying the ride, meeting new people, finding out more about ourselves and treasuring each moment, we can be thrilled by all that life is. This is how to discover and develop our greatness – to get acquainted with who we are and to find where in today’s world we can connect with what is best in us. We can’t guide our kids to do this work if they are rushing through their lives.


Consider these 4 ways to teach your kids (and yourself) to slow down and enjoy life:

  1. Go for a walk with your kid. Force yourself to take the long way. Watch for new things – things you never saw before. Stop and appreciate what you see – plants, buildings, stars – whatever. Notice everything. And for this one time, comment on everything. Say it out loud. Don’t worry who may see or hear you. Invite them to join you on your walk. Slow down and be really present.
  2. Sit and talk with your kid. Get reconnected to who your son or daughter, grandson, niece or step child is. Be interested in whatever is important in their life. Make time to share stories, thoughts and ideas. See how much richer your relationship becomes. Slow down and really connect.
  3. Turn off technology. To tune in you have to tune out – that means to turn off the influences from today’s loud and always-on world. Tune in to what you hear in the quiet of a moment – in noticing the world around you – plants, people, weather, food – it is all there for you to appreciate. Slow down and notice.
  4. Play more with your kid. Studies show that our greatest learning in life doesn’t happen when we formally learn – it happens instead when we play – when we practice with what we learn. Building in more playtime not only accelerates learning, it makes for a better life. Build in time to play together. Slow down and play more.

Make the intention to really be part of your and your kid’s amazing lives. Only when you make the time can you see how amazing it is. It isn’t perfect, but it is still amazing. Slow down and enjoy your ride of life.

How to Get Your Kids Attention with Jim Skinner, RFL20

How to Get Your Kids Attention – Episode Overview

Our kids sometimes seem like they are on a different frequency. How do we get through to them about life’s important things if we can’t first get their attention and connect with them?

I have been talking to a number of parents lately who share that this challenge isn’t limited to the teen years. It starts early and stays until… well forever.  So I guess the better question is that in a totally distracting world, how do we get others to tune in to hear things that matter? Jim Skinner and I talk about what it means to get someone’s attention, what stops it and what to do about it.

Attention and Intention

This week, my attention is on learning how to get others’ attention. My intention is that when we get their attention, we have the ability of sharing meaningful information to make their lives better – we get to talk about things with substance and purpose. You can’t learn if you don’t show up to the lesson.

Meet our guest Jim Skinner

Jim Skinner on how to get your kids attentionJim Skinner is a speaker, blogger, author and podcaster. He is the founder and president of the Smart Patient Academy, an insurance benefits enrollment and communications company, and an avid surfer, rock climber and skateboarder and host of the podcast, Stories with Purpose. Find out more about this remarkable man at the links below.

Guest Links:

Episode’s Key TakeAWays

  1. Let’s talk about attention: We have telephoto and panoramic attention. Telephoto attention happens when we really concentrate on something – or, when we are connected to our phone or computer; other things are going on around us but we don’t have any awareness of them. Panoramic attention is when we are able to tune in and notice the things that are around us. This expanded attention gives us access to great information.
  2. The more telephoto attention we have the less we aware of the others around us. So, with our kids, the more focused they are on a device, the less bandwidth they have to hear or connect with us. This is critical to know so that we can see that this is part of what this generation does – that is, until we make a change.
  3. Here are 2 ways Jim Skinner shared in how to get our kids attention:
  4. Identify where they have single or telephoto focus that needs changing (the most likely place is where they are locked on to their technology). Create technology free zones or times (meal time, after certain hours, when spending time with others). This creates the possibility of getting their attention once the distraction is removed. Respect their time and interest in their devices – it is part of how this generation connects. Then, show them how to be in a space that doesn’t have devices so they can learn to fully tune in to the rest of life.
  5. Get into the kid’s space – join them in what they do. In sharing this space with them, you open up the ability to really connect – to be able to ask great question, to find out more about your kids and to show your interest in their lives.

Some question for parents:

  1. What are you currently doing to get your kids attention in a way that matters to them? How successful are you?
  2. What ways can you not hold technology hostage or use it as a punishment, but help them realize that there is a time and place for technology because of how single focused it makes them?
  3. What are the things your kids love to do that would be good for you to join them in?
  4. How can you join your kids in their hobbies and interests and not invade their space or privacy?
  5. When you have your kids attention, what information do you share – and are you aware of whether your communication is positive and supportive or negative and corrective?

Tweet this:

Stop and Notice Challenge

Each week we ask you to stop and notice – to develop your skill of tuning in to you and your world. This week’s stop and notice challenge is:

  1.    Stop and Notice when you are able to get your kids’ attention – what works, what doesn’t work?
  2.    Stop and Notice your kids’ use of technology and the time spent on their devices. How will you create a technology-free space or time to be able to get to communicate with your kids?
  3.    Stop and Notice what your kids like to do – in what areas could you join them? How will you meet them in their space?
  4.    Stop and Notice what response you get when join your kids in their hobbies – how receptive are they and what changes in your relationship?

We want to get our kids attention so we can share important information to help them discover, develop and live what is best in them. Eliminate their distractions and make time to share their hobbies, interests and their space. This creates the ability to talk about things that matter.

Suggested Resource

Reclaiming Conversation – the Power of Talk In The Digital Age by Sherry Turkle

Reclaiming ConversationWe live in a technological universe in which we are always communicating. And yet we have sacrificed conversation for mere connection.

Preeminent author and researcher Sherry Turkle has been studying digital culture for over thirty years. Long an enthusiast for its possibilities, here she investigates a troubling consequence: at work, at home, in politics, and in love, we find ways around conversation, tempted by the possibilities of a text or an email in which we don’t have to look, listen, or reveal ourselves.

We develop a taste for what mere connection offers. The dinner table falls silent as children compete with phones for their parents’ attention. Friends learn strategies to keep conversations going when only a few people are looking up from their phones. At work, we retreat to our screens although it is conversation at the water cooler that increases not only productivity but commitment to work. Online, we only want to share opinions that our followers will agree with – a politics that shies away from the real conflicts and solutions of the public square.

The case for conversation begins with the necessary conversations of solitude and self-reflection. They are endangered: these days, always connected, we see loneliness as a problem that technology should solve. Afraid of being alone, we rely on other people to give us a sense of ourselves, and our capacity for empathy and relationship suffers. We see the costs of the flight from conversation everywhere: conversation is the cornerstone for democracy and in business it is good for the bottom line. In the private sphere, it builds empathy, friendship, love, learning, and productivity.

But there is good news: we are resilient. Conversation cures.

Based on five years of research and interviews in homes, schools, and the workplace, Turkle argues that we have come to a better understanding of where our technology can and cannot take us and that the time is right to reclaim conversation. The most human—and humanizing—thing that we do.

The virtues of person-to-person conversation are timeless, and our most basic technology, talk, responds to our modern challenges. We have everything we need to start, we have each other.