Achieving Definite Major Purpose
Jason Honnefer – The Floridian Press
Definite Major Purpose – What’s this about?
Defining dharma? Identifying personal pivotal needs? Finding your bliss and achieving your definite major purpose? What in the world is this all about?
These are just a few of the things I learned about recently when I met with Brad Van Lanen at the crazy cruise family’s three bedroom winter retreat in Ocala, Florida. It was an eye-opener learning the inside story about his journey of discovery that has allowed him to cement a legacy of giving back while also realizing true liberty.
One Vacation Leads To True Liberty
During a family vacation to Texas over Christmas in 2015 Brad came across an opportunity via an ad on the Facebook that sounded to good to be true. Without going into specifics, the membership opportunity provides ability to build a vacation fund by having monthly contributions matched 100%, allowing one to save significantly when booking cruise vacations. His wife, the Remarkable Rebecca, had mentioned going on a cruise as a vacation option more than a few times, so he thought maybe this would provide an avenue for seeing if the family would enjoy cruises.
It turned out to be a wise decision as the family loves cruising and has become known as the crazy cruise family based on the way they have booked their annual cruise vacations.
“Can you imagine the feeling of being able to make your travel dreams a reality? And not only paying no out of pocket costs each time you book a cruise, but also saving hundreds or even thousands of dollars,” says Brad.
“It was one of the smartest decisions Rebecca and I made back in early 2016. We’ve cruised the Caribbean, taken a Australia/New Zealand cruise, seen spectacular destinations in South America as a family. And the Remarkable Rebecca and I just celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary exploring Europe on river cruises. These are destinations we only dreamed of visiting, but to cross them off the bucket list has been fantastic. So many terrific memories that our children and us will never forget.”
Yet it was a decision that also opened the doorway to true liberty through the building of a healthy business. Of course I was curious how a membership program could do this. According to Brad it is quite simple, sharing the program with others who are open-minded when it comes to a new way of doing things, in this case booking cruise vacations. But it was tough at first for Brad to establish and grow his business yet he chose to stick with it.
Curious minds would want to know why not just take the easy road and give up when the going gets tough. Brad indicated that there were a couple reasons for sticking it out. One was a love of travel and the opportunity to save on vacations, as well as a feeling that he could be successful because other InCruises partners were having success. He just needed to find a way. That way ended up being a 6 month course known as the Master Key Experience.
Master Key Experience – The Missing Link
“The Master Keys when I first went through it in 2019 helped me to discover me but looking inside to determine what I wanted in life as opposed to what others were wanting for me. It caused me to not just identify my Definite Major Purpose with the assistance of a guide, but to also start chipping away at the obstacles and excuses I had created for myself over time.”
“Taking the journey every year since has allowed me to go deeper in terms of eliminating obstacles like fear while being a better watchman of what enters my mind. The last few years I’ve not only shared the benefits of the Master Key Experience with others, I’ve also assisted others on their own journeys as a guide.”
Legacy of Giving Back
But there’s more to Brad’s Definite Major Purpose than true liberty as a result of establishing passive income streams, there’s also legacy which he identified as one of his Pivotal Personal Needs. For Brad that legacy is one of giving back. By making the decision to take Emerson’s Law of Compensation to heart, the ways that is occurring is astounding.
One way that Brad has been giving back is through partnerships with a couple of food banks here in Ocala and also in Marquette, MI as well as his hometown of Green Bay. As a result of these partnerships Brad has been able to to help families in need by providing 200,000 meals annually. “The impact of a wrong choice here and there can be devastating on a family. Providing a meal in time of need could provide the spark needed to change that family’s path in life.”
For a number of years Brad and the remarkable Rebecca were foster parents. Being there to provide support and a loving environment for hundreds of kids over the years when kids placed in their care needed it most. The decision to be foster parents led to a very special adoption that ultimately laid the groundwork for multiple aspects of Brad’s giveback legacy.
“Shortly after becoming foster parents, a young boy who had suffered a traumatic brain injury came into our home,” said Brad. “Things happen for a reason and as a result of circumstances we eventually adopted Aiden. To say he brought joy to everyone he came in contact with is a true understatement as he taught us so much about life.”
The Remarkable Rebecca joined us on the balcony during this part of my visit with Brad sharing stories about Aiden’s smile and laugh, how he would just brighten up a room. Aiden was only with the crazy cruise family for a short time as he was called home to be with Jesus in September 2015. But he had quite the impact.
“Aiden showed us how important it is to live life, to have fun and make the best of any situation,” said Rebecca.
Make-A-Wish and Give Kids The World
Brad then shared the story of Aiden’s Make-A-Wish trip. In 2015 Aiden was granted his wish to go to Disney World, a wish trip the crazy cruise family took July 4th weekend of that year. It was a week of fun and excitement in Central Florida, staying at Give Kids the World Village that had a real impact.
“The power of a wish, it isn’t just words. It has an impact like no other. Going through the experience it just changes you.”
The following Christmas the family gave back by volunteering for a week at the Village. It provided another perspective, invigoratingly giving to other families what they had experienced the previous summer. It’s that perspective that has resulted in Brad volunteering at the village twice a year, with Rebecca and if schedules allow it, their girls.
Brad also had the desire to become involved more with Make-A-Wish. It started with attending events like Gourmet Wishes and establishing an online fundraiser, Aiden’s Journey. Today it’s sponsoring on an annual basis, four Make-A-Wish wishes. The incredible joy Brad has in being able to support Make-A-Wish in this way with his family was so evident as we talked.
This joy and heartfelt gratitude was also evident as we talked about scholarships. See a few years ago the crazy cruise family established a scholarship fund in Aiden’s honor to annually provide two post-secondary scholarships to students who have been in foster care. As I write about this interview the publishing deadline is approaching so I’ll have to leave it at that.
Gratitude and Bliss
There’s one thing that Brad mentioned as we wrapped up our time together at the family’s winter retreat. It centered on gratitude, yet ultimately tied everything together.
“I’ll always be grateful for Rebecca’s desire to be involved with foster care because if it wasn’t for that Aiden wouldn’t have come into our lives, a wish trip wouldn’t have occurred and we may not have come across the cruise business opportunity.”
Suffice to say that Brad has definitely achieved his bliss as a result of his Definite Major Purpose. When he and the Remarkable Rebecca aren’t giving back, you’ll find them traveling the world expanding their cultural horizons with their amazing girls. Perhaps it’s on a cruise vacation, perhaps it’s a land adventure. No matter where they are, one thing is for certain. Brad will be doing something to vitalize his life while positively impacting and inspiring others through servant leadership.