Life, Leadership and Business

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Four Simple Steps to Discover Your Life Mission


Four Steps to Discover Your Life Mission
“What do you do for a living?” It’s a question we all get asked from time to time. This question has an impact, not only how people will see us and relate to us, but on our own worth and value too. So, how do you answer it? Do you tell them about the company where you work? Do you give details of your job title and functions? Personally, I answer the question with a simple statement: I am a teaspoon.

Finding your purpose in life is an easy task, but it is not for the feint hearted. In twenty years of teaching leadership and entrepreneurship, there have been countless CEO’s and business owners that told me that they “don’t have time for that psycho mumbo jumbo” in their lives. Who can blame them when you consider how mission and purpose have been made to be wooey and distant.
Mission and purpose are the cornerstones of time management and productivity, and forms the foundations of personal efficiency and effectiveness. People with a sense of direction don’t waste their time on senseless projects. They like to do things that take them closer to their end objective, or at the very least, do things that really excite them.

Should your mission and purpose be exciting? Oh yes, if not for anyone else, it should be exciting for you. It may not be as thrilling as a high speed car chase always, but it should be something that you take great pleasure in. A personal mission should be something that you click into naturally, like an extension of who you are. It should be something that gives you pleasure to talk about, igniting your creative juices and giving you a high similar to seeing your favourite person each day.

People say that it takes years to discover your personal mission. The answer to that is: if you sit around doing nothing but pondering your mission, yes it will take years to discover. How many years? As many as you sit around and do nothing. Mission is not born out of thoughts, but out of actions. Mission is not found through introspection, but in reflection of your experiences. As people get active, so they whittle away the stuff that doesn’t fuel them, leaving only passion! (Passion is purpose and mission combined).

For twenty years I have taught four basic steps to discovering your life mission. These are not complex or difficult requiring a ripe old age to unlock, but rather it takes a little bit of action, and people of any age can stumble on their mission:

  1. Values: Do you know what is important to you? Do you have a list of personal values? Values are important to who we are, what we do, and how we do it! Out of all the wooey stuff about self development, nothing is as important as knowing your values. Understanding and engaging your values will open you up to a path of amazing self discovery in a very authentic and very powerful way. Write down a list of your top nine or ten values. Read more on Values here. Do a Values test here.

  2. Skills and Abilities: We all have an idea of what we are good at! We have a list of skills and abilities known to us, and sometimes pointed out to us by friends, co-workers and family. These skills do not have to be related to your occupation only. Now is not the time to be modest. Ask friends, family and co-workers for a list of things that they think you do well. You may be very surprised at what they offer. Make a list of all the skills that you have and enjoy.

  3. Happy Medium: Take the list of values that you have and write them in a circle. Draw another circle and write the list of skills. It will look something like this:

     

    Now that you have completed your list, identify the things in the two separate lists that may over-lap or have some kind of connection to points in the other list. Draw two over-lapping circles, and rewrite the list placing the items from each list that overlap into the section of the circle that overlaps as demonstrated below:







The circles have changed shape a bit to accommodate the text. Can you see how points from each circle that are related / overlap are joined together in the overlapping section of the two circles?

      4.  One Liner: Once complete, focus on the section where the two circles overlap. Use    the value and skills to make an “Activity Statement” or a few sentences that describe exactly what it is that you like to do. The example using the circles above may read something like this: “Using creative coaching and adventurous teaching, I connect people from all walks of life to the potential within them, and ultimately to their purpose.” Your statement may be two or three sentences. That’s allowed. You may only have a short sentence, but guess what? That’s allowed too.  

Through the years my statement has shrunk and refined to a simple One Liner that reads – I am a teaspoon. It gets a reaction from people. It provokes curiosity and interest. This opens the door for me to tell them: I believe that people have all the resources that they need for success within them. I am not here to teach anyone anything new, rather, I am here as a teaspoon, to stir the ingredients that are within you. I will stir your potential that you may realise how sweet and delicious your coffee (life) really is.

Knowing that I am a teaspoon creates awareness for opportunities to stir. These opportunities can arise in the most unusual places, like the bank, or the supermarket or even at a sports day. At anytime someone asks me “So, What do you do?” I feel the creative juices flow and I kick into high gear! I have a mission for which I am passionate, and each opportunity makes me feel like a Superhero saving the day.

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