Infinite Games – Gaining Clarity on Your Life's Purpose with Pete Richardson of The Paterson Center

In this episode of Outliers, I sit down with Pete Richardson, Co-Founder and Master Guide at the Paterson Center, to discuss creating a vision for your life, why reflection matters, and building a replenishment cycle.
Last updated
January 21, 2022
Min Read
Pete has guided more than 1,000 people through the Paterson LifePlan, a process designed by Tom Paterson to bring more clarity and perspective to individuals
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“Talent must be identified and then it must be cultivated. And oftentimes this takes years to cultivate and invest in and grow and bring it to its full expression.” — Pete Richardson

In this episode of Outliers, I’m talking with Pete Richardson about creating a life vision using the techniques founded by Tom Paterson. We discuss the four questions every person should ask to understand their unique purpose in life, as well as why it’s important to think of self-care as a necessity. 

Pete Richardson co-founded the Paterson Center, and serves as its Chief Visionary Officer and Master Guide. Over the past 25 years, Pete has guided more than 1,000 people through the Paterson LifePlan, a process designed by Tom Paterson to bring more clarity and perspective to individuals. His guidance has taken over 75 organizations through the StratOp process—most notably, Otterbox, which used the StratOp process to grow from $4M to $1.0B in revenue.

Topics Discussed

  • 00:01:43 – What is the Paterson Center?
  • 00:05:04 – The principle of getting perspective and gaining clarity before you start planning in life
  • 00:09:37 – How Pete guides clients through a journey of self-discovery
  • 00:11:34 – The difference between the Paterson LifePlan and other life coaching processes
  • 00:16:46 – How the LifePlan process differs from person to person
  • 00:24:29 – The basics of the LifePlan process, and questions to ask yourself as you evaluate next steps in life
  • 00:36:04 – How to identify your own talents and drives
  • 00:40:53 – Integrating the emotional and rational sides when LifePlanning 
  • 00:44:36 – Book recommendations from Daniel and Pete
  • 00:47:10 – The basics of the replenishment cycle 
  • 00:57:15 – Wrestling with the concept of surrender and facing fear
  • 01:01:20 – Strategies for facing fears
  • 01:03:53 – Book recommendations from Pete
  • 01:05:51 – The basics of StratOps, and applying LifePlan principles to businesses and organizations

For more, explore the full transcript of this episode. Transcripts for all episodes can be found here.


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Links from the Episode

Resources from the Paterson Center

  • Lifeplan - a facilitated journey to help you discover your unique purpose, available as a 2-day live facilitation, a 3-day process for couples
  • LifePlan Launch - an online, self-guided version of the LifePlan; the first 1,000 Outliers listeners to sign up using the code OUTLIERS will receive a 10% discount!
  • StratOp - an approach to help leaders clarify their purpose, make their vision clear, and move their businesses forward with strategic impact
  • Paterson blog and podcast

Books recommended by Pete Richardson

Key Takeaway

Ask yourself four questions to help identify your special talents: 1) Right now, what is right in my life personally, vocationally, in my community, and in my family? 2) Right now, what is wrong in these areas? 3) Right now, what is confused or needs clarification of some kind? 4) What is missing or needs to be added?

Actionable Ideas

  • Prioritize self care: "We’ve got to reconstruct our mindset towards self-care and not see it as this option, not see it as this narcissistic, self-indulgent thing I do—but it’s actually as critical as eating food is to my existence.”
  • Be aware of how the seasons of your life change: "I can't live at age 57 the way I lived at age 37, or 27, obviously. But my purpose in life is still relevant. It's still the North Star by which I'm trying to live out. But how that's lived out, how that's applied in this season is different. So, when someone goes through the change of seasons in life, that's a good time to do a LifePlan."
  • Pause to think through your backstory, and how you got to where you are: "Well, that's your movie. That's your one-of-a-kind of movie. If the sequel to this movie was to come out, what do you think it would depict?"
  • "There's a tipping point when you turn 50, that if you don't get your heart rate up to 85% of its maximum capacity for 30 to 45 minutes four times a week, the cellular structure in your human body begins to go down. But if you do that four to five times a week, you actually rebuild cellular structure."
  • "[Julia Cameron] has a practice called morning pages. And the first thing you do when you wake up, it's not journaling. It's brain drain on paper. You write longhand three pages of whatever is in you. It can be emotional, just dumping. It can be creative thoughts. It can be ordering your day. It can be writing letters to your child or spouse, whatever, whatever is in you gets out. And it's like, you're skimming the dross off your brain when you wake up. And for me, that has helped me deal with my emotional realities and all that's going on inside of me."

On Outliers, Daniel Scrivner explores the tactics, routines, and habits of world-class performers working at the edge—in business, investing, entertainment, and more. In each episode, he decodes what they've mastered and what they've learned along the way. Start learning from the world’s best today.

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