One way to sharpen your focus is to put pen to paper—or fingers to keyboard—and craft a personal mission statement. It helps zero in on why you’re here (surely there’s more to life than worrying your mother). Which gets us thinking big thoughts about what we want to give and get out of life. Think of your mission as a beacon in the darkness that helps you navigate indecision. It prevents dreams from drifting off course and getting dashed on the rocks of inertia. Whether a single paragraph or a page, your mission can mean the difference between living a life of choice or a life of chance.
First things first
In the time it takes to see a movie, you can finish the first draft of your mission statement. It’s a small price to pay—skipping the latest action flick—for supercharging your own life story. To set the stage:
Isolate yourself. Find a quiet place and turn off the phones. You may even want to tape a DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door.
Get in the zone. Close your eyes. Take slow, deep breaths, and mentally go to a calm, peaceful place—a river valley, a mountain glade. Experience it with all your senses and let the tension melt away.
Open wide. To the extent you can, temporarily suspend your analytical mind and material desires. Open yourself to a deeper source of wisdom. Sure, lofty profits and business awards are worthy goals. But you don’t stand a chance of fulfilling your destiny if your mission is grounded purely in egotism and material desires.
Ask the right questions
Take a deep breath, Clark Kent. You’re about to duck into a phone booth. First, ask, what was I sent here to do? Yep, a broad question, one so often obscured by daily stressors.
The only mission you can trust springs from your heart, mind, and soul. Strip away everything that has limited you—money, age, health, family, geography, and, the mother of all bugaboos, other people’s expectations. Forget all that. Concentrate solely on your destiny. Now jot down your thoughts.
Putting it all together
After harvesting all these ideas, I sifted them around and mixed in a few more I plucked from my suddenly fertile imagination. Voila! My mission practically wrote itself.
- To evolve toward an enlightened and loving state.
- To strengthen connections to my Higher Power, family, and friends.
- To grow via education that integrates body, intellect, psyche, and spirit.
- To develop my knowledge and communication skills.
- To build nurturing environments that contribute to the growth of family and friends.
- To contribute to colleagues by helping them develop their talents and productivity.
When you think you’ve got it, repeat your mission statement out loud a few times to burn it into your consciousness. But don’t just say it. Display it. Frame it and hang it on your office wall, or put it on your desk next to family snapshots. Make a wallet- size copy so it’s always in reach. But remember: Just as you can’t live in a house that exists only in blueprints, your mission can’t produce anything until you grab a hammer and nails and start pounding away.