A Personal Mission Statement: 5 Steps to Making Your Own

Why a mission statement?  It’s simple: it helps keep you in your lane.

Have you been to a bowling alley lately?  Have you seen the bumpers they put on the lanes to stop your ball from landing in the gutter when you’re way off center?  A mission statement is like putting bumpers on the bowling lane of your life — it keeps you on course and in your lane, especially when you begin to veer off.

gutter bumpersHere’s a practical example:  assume you know your mission statement and you’re happy in your job; you enjoy what you do, and you’re doing valuable work that is aligned with your mission. Then a recruiter reaches out with a very enticing offer. Now what? If your mission is clear, you’ll know right away if the new offer is worth pursuing or not.  Maybe that company is offering free lunches and better health benefits, but maybe those perks aren’t so important to you because you don’t like the company’s values.  Or maybe that company has been on your “top ten” list for a long time, and you should definitely follow up, even though the timing isn’t right. Your mission statement provides a vision of the bowling pins AND the bumpers, so two things happen: 1. you know where you’re aiming, and 2. you don’t waste time in the gutter. Continue reading “A Personal Mission Statement: 5 Steps to Making Your Own”

Ask Five Good Questions

imgresIn May of 2016 James Ryan, Dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, gave a commencement speech  about asking good questions.  While his words were directed at future teachers and leaders in education, they are invaluable to a much broader audience.
His speech includes a reference to Raymond Carver’s poem “Late Fragment.” In just thirty words, Carver beautifully articulates the simple desires that so many of us want at the end of our lives: “to call myself beloved” and “to feel myself beloved on the earth.”

Seems simple.

And it is.

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