Monday, August 31, 2009

Writing your purpose and vision statement

Your purpose and vision statements are the next step in your walk to define who you are and what your life will stand for. My statements have changed many times over the years as my life circumstances have changed and as I have learned more about the world in general. Don’t worry about the wording or how it may be interpreted by others. These statements are for you.

Steven Covey has been recognized as the personal development pioneer in this area. In his book First Things First, he offers the following three basic elements that must be present in a meaningful personal vision (mission) statement. The first is what you want to be—what character strengths you want to have, what qualities you want to develop. The second is what you want to do—what you want to accomplish, what contributions you want to make. The third is what you want to have—what possessions, money and so forth you wish to have.

My statements are simple and easy to remember. Also, I am not much of “what you want to have” kind of person. Instead, I focus more on who I want to be. What you write is up to you.

Use the following exercise to help you write your statement:

Who you want to be—Imagine it is many years from now. You are walking into a large auditorium filled with excitement. You can tell from the crowd that this must be a ceremony to recognize some young people who are soon to graduate college and begin the great journey of life. At the podium a person appears and gives the introduction to her speech. It goes a little like this; “Ladies and gentleman. I am excited to be with you here today to tell the story of a life. Not just any life. This is story of a life that was lived to its fullest potential.

Today I am not here to tell you my story. Instead, I want to spend the next few minutes telling you the story of my good friend ___________________. To me he/she was a true example of someone who created a life of joy and fulfillment.

What would this speaker say about you?

“I am grateful to have known this person because…”

“My friend’s purpose in life was to…”

“In his personal life, my friend….”

“At work, my friend was known for…”

This exercise is personal by nature and there are many ways to approach it. My best suggestion is to just find a quiet place to be alone with your thoughts and truly reflect on the life you want to live. Share the results with a close friend when you are done and post your value list, purpose statement and vision statement somewhere close by.

I wish you the best and hope you found something about yourself that you may not have known.

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