Figuring out your “why” for being on planet Earth can be life-changing. By starting with why, you begin to focus on maximizing your time in ways that matter. Finding your why means getting clear on what you want to accomplish in your life, and determining what your legacy will be.
The challenge then becomes determining how to live out this reason for living starting today. Working through this process can serve as a catalyst for evolving toward a purpose that is bigger than you are.
Purpose Becomes Clear When We Slow Down Enough to Contemplate it
We were each created for a purpose that can become clear when we slow down. You are special and the world needs you to shine. You have gifts that you should not hide or take to your grave. The motivation to share them can come when you pin down your gifts.
Setting Your Vision and a Strategy for Achieving it
I remember having a desire to work for an international, publicly-traded company at the senior-leader level. At the time, I did not personally know any Black leaders who had achieved my desire. I had only seen them in Black Enterprise and Jet magazines.
From the images I saw and information I read, I developed my vision through reflection, introspection and input from others. As I started to progress toward these opportunities, I realized it was important to adopt a strategic perspective when thinking about and visualizing the life I wanted.
I have come to the realization that strategy may be even more important in life than merely in business.
A strategic approach to life allows us to avoid wasting time on things that do not align with our purpose and desires. Without this compass, life can take us on a journey we may not necessarily desire.
Most of us know what we need to do, but it is often helpful to have someone ask us the difficult questions, which can lead to visions being created, enlarged and realized.
Here are some steps for developing your vision:
- Pause, reflect and envision your desired future. What do you see?
- Consider what you are passionate about and what interests you. What would you do even if you weren’t paid? What gives you joy?
- What are your gifts? What are the areas in which you have excelled and have received accolades?
- What needs in the world would you like to see solved that you feel equipped to address?
Taking the time to develop a vision of what your best life looks like is challenging, but it provides a certain level of freedom. You can shift your paradigm away from trading dollars for hours, living with high levels of stress and anxiety, and having little to show for it at the end of life. Life can be meaningful and fulfilling instead.
Developing a Personal Mission Statement
A person with a clear and compelling mission statement aligned with a clear purpose (their why) and vision (their what) of the future is quite rare. Instead, we rely on others to guide us.
Living without knowing how we want to live can lead to an aimless existence. A mission statement provides clarity and can assist us in making decisions for investing our time and resources.
It also makes it easier to know when to say “yes” or “no.”
After developing my own mission statement, I found I was more focused and motivated to grow and strengthen my skills. In many ways, going through the mission statement process made me a stronger leader.
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