I recently saw a video about Daniel Pink’s new book Drive. For those of you unfamiliar with Daniel Pink he is the author of several best selling books about the changing world of work and focuses on human motivation. In this short video titled “Two Simple Questions That Can Change Your Life” Pink discusses the importance of having a mission statement about your career and what you want to accomplish. He says that if you really focus on what you want to accomplish, you can use your sentence to navigate your life. His examples are short and sweet and don’t require you to get really deep and philosophical. One of his examples was simply “I taught two generations of kids how to read”. The importance of the statement is not the words, but it is the sense of knowing who you are and where you are going. This sense of clarity gives you the direction you need to accomplish things over the long term. So ask yourself, what’s your sentence?
The second important part of having a mission statement, according to Daniel Pink, is to ask, “Was I better today than yesterday?” If you take the time to ask yourself that question each day you will see the progress you are making. It also gives you the motivation to improve your daily activities in your career, business or life. Too many times people get overwhelmed with the idea of achieving greatness immediately. Being great is really just a matter of time and practice. We improve over time and if you can accept that challenge you are already successful.
Some people may be thinking that coming up with a mission sentence is hard because there are so many things they want to achieve. Here are some steps to getting started:
• Focus on the one thing you are most passionate about.
• What is it that you want to accomplish in this area?
• Who are the people you are trying to serve?
Once you have narrowed it down try to fill in the following sentence: I work with __________ who want to _______. I am the only _______ who _______. This will get you closer to figuring out who you are and what direction you would like to go. This sentence gives you a starting point; it’s not a life long commitment. It will grow and change over time and you will attain the goal and move on to the next action. The point of the exercise is to help you form the habit of setting clear intentions and then working towards meeting those intentions on a daily basis. Besides just helping you form a good habit, it can also reduce your stress. Constant multitasking can leave you overwhelmed and unfocused. When you allow yourself the time and space to develop skills and confidence with something you are passionate about, you are filled with a sense of peace that makes everyday smoother. Every action you take feels effortless.
Laura Tirello is a Career and Life Coach. Her company, Core Life Design, works with people who are looking to find their highest potential both in their careers and personal lives. Are you looking for ways to turn your ideas into goals for 2010? I am offering a free teleclass, “Shifting from Thinking to Doing: Creating a Mission Statement for Your Ideas.” Email Laura at Laura@corelifedesign.com to sign up or visit corelifedesign.com for more information.