Monday, March 3, 2014

Personal Mission? What, Why and How.

What's so important about YOUR personal mission? It's the KEY to YOUR purpose. It's what's special about you. It's what really matters to you. It's what you bring to the world and that which draws people to you. It's what makes you feel natural, vital, energized. It provides resilience, focus and hope when things are tough, blurry or you're at a loss.

If you care where you're going and why, if you want to embrace and share
 your unique value,
 if you want satisfaction and joy, then a personal mission statement is for you. 
You can have a personal mission statement for your professional life, another for your private life. Or you can combine all components of your life into one. And not to complicate things, but such statements are not fixed. As your life changes, and as you want to change your life, so will your personal mission change. What's important is having one and making it front and center of what you commit to, spend your precious time and energy on. It's how you brand yourself. (We all brand ourselves by what we say and do, so why not make it conscious both for your own sake and for that of others?)

Identify your personal mission in 5 invaluably self-indulgent steps:
1.  Set aside an hour of uninterrupted 'it's all about me' time  (yep, calendar it). Go to a coffee shop where you won't see anyone you know; sit in a favorite place: a garden, your living room, a hilltop, the beach
2.  Take a journal and pen (re: not your phone or computer…this is your uninterrupted time!)
3.  Brainstorm - make 3 columns on a page
a. Great column: For 10 minutes write as many words as you can listing: What am I great at? What do I love to do? What personal talents inspire me? What makes me think, 'I'm proud of that quality in myself'?
b. Help Who column: For 10 minutes write about: Who and/or what do I want to help with my great attributes?
c. Outcome column: For 10 minutes list your expected outcomes: What do I hope to produce, enact, cause?
4. Circle key words in each column. Determine if your words reflect a professional, private or combo personal mission statement. Put the words together until you can see, hear and feel the essence of who you are -- at this point in your life. Look at list a. to determine whether you want one or more personal mission statements. Enjoy this 30 minutes of your journey.
5. Share your statement with friends, mentors, colleagues and family who can support you as you move forward with this vision leading the way!
This is 'don't be shy, don't hold back time. Go for it!'

Opening to YOUR personal mission,


p.s. Here's my combo personal mission statement: 'To use my enthusiastic, open-minded curiosity to elicit the best in people so that they recognize and celebrate their unique value and use it to positively impact the world.'