At this point, you have hopefully found your “why.” Now it’s time to create a “what” to accompany the “why.” By now you, know why you do the things you do, why you feel the way you feel, and why you dream your dreams.
Your “why” is what will drive you going forward. By defining your “what,” you are creating a larger, measurable goal. Your “what” is made up of the things you want to accomplish in the future. It is your personal mission.
In this phase of the process you don’t need to be super specific about your personal mission. As you can see in the image above, we have not yet arrived at the “how.” When you get there, you’ll make a plan to arrive at your own personal mission.
Because you’ve already defined your core values and competencies, you will have developed some clarity around your personal mission. You’ve got to be familiar with your personal values, interests, passions, skills, strengths, and talents. With that in mind, answer the following questions:
- What do I want out of life?
- What do I want to be remembered for?
- What gives me the highest sense of fulfillment?
- What is my purpose in life?
Put your answers into a paragraph and fine-tune it. No worries if the result is hard to explain to others — it just needs to speak to you personally. When you’re happy with it, lock it in. This is one of the key parts of your life plan.
Don’t stress out over perfection. Write it down, and let it be for a few days, or even weeks. After a while, revisit your paragraph and see if it is still as good as you remembered. This might take some time; you can’t force the magic to happen, and nobody can help you. But once you figure it out, all the puzzle pieces will come together — and you’ll be unstoppable!
Below are examples of five well-known people. As you can see, most choose to keep it short and simple.
Elon Musk – “If something is important enough you should try, even if the probable outcome is failure.”
Oprah Winfrey – “To be a teacher. And to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they thought they could be.”
Richard Branson – “To have fun in my journey through life and learn from my mistakes.”
Mahatma Gandhi – “I shall not fear anyone on Earth. I shall fear only God. I shall not bear ill will toward anyone. I shall not submit to injustice from anyone. I shall conquer untruth by truth. And in resisting untruth, I shall put up with all suffering.”
Walt Disney – “To make people happy.”
As with all of the exercises on this website, there is no wrong or right here. Your mission is personal to you. It is your dream — not anyone else’s. If you are reaching for the things you want in life for the wrong reasons, you’ll feel unfulfilled when you obtain it.
As Anna Quindlen so eloquently said: “If your success is not on your own terms, if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your heart, it is not success at all.”