How would you describe your purpose in life? Have you ever taken the time to consider your life mission? As you look at your life – your values, your passions and your abilities – it is wise to consider where you are going and what you want to accomplish.
It’s easy to allow distractions and opportunities to pull us away from what’s truly important to us in life.
Not too long ago, I had a conversation with my dad about goals and priorities in life. As I visited with him, he got up from his chair, walked over to his desk drawer and pulled out a stack of old 11” by 14” cardboard pages. These cards were originally shirt boards that the cleaners placed in between his folded and pressed shirts. Dad used the cards to write out his mission statements and goals, but the incredible thing to me was to see that he wrote these out every single month. Handwritten!
Yes, he revisited his life mission and goals every single month. And he didn’t just read them and review them every month, he wrote them and updated them when necessary. This was incredibly inspirational to me. I must admit, I simply glanced my goals occasionally throughout the year and had never written out my mission statement.
I began to realize the power and impact of not only revisiting my life mission and goals, but writing them out and reviewing them on a regular basis.
When we utilize the lost art of hand-writing (not simply reading or typing) to reflect on our mission, we increase our capacity to remember and internalize what is important to us. It helps to keep us on track for where we want to go, what we want to be and how we are going to get there.
So what does a broad life mission statement look like? How do you determine what your overall purpose in life is, and how do you put it into a concise statement? First, consider your unique gifts and talents and how you hope to use them in this world. I like to ask questions such as:
“What were you created to do on this earth?”
“What is unique about you that can be a blessing in this world?”
Think big, think bold and think confidently.
Choose one verb that would describe how you use your gifts. For my dad, it is “to help.”
Here’s what my dad wrote as his life mission statement:
To help literally hundreds of millions of people to better lives: more secure financially, more satisfying spiritually and more fulfilling emotionally!!!
Just so you know, at 85 years old we can confidently say that he has fulfilled his life mission statement and continues to do so every day. Recently, when he sent out his retirement announcement (yes, at 85), he received hundreds of emails and notes in gratitude for all he had done to invest in the lives of business associates and sales people. It was clearly evident that he has fulfilled his life mission statement. Here’s a few quotes from the many notes he received:
It is hard to estimate how may people you have impacted over the years, but I know the ripple effects have reached and impacted countless individuals and families…You have impacted my sales and now management career in this great industry.
You had a huge impact in my professional and personal life.
I salute Gary Kinder as an awesome example of how sales people and sales executives should operate. Thank you Garry…thank you sir. You changed my life and made it fulfilling.
The impact you’ve have had not only nationally, but internationally is quite a legacy that will live on!
Take some time this week to create your own Life Mission Statement.
And just in case you are interested, here’s mine:
To encourage men and women around the world to live out their God-given responsibilities in a positive and productive way.