How to Define Your Mission in Life (Part 2 of 3)

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How to Define Your Mission in Life (Part 2 of 3)

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Last month I started my newsletter posing the following three questions:

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  • Is achieving professional success taking too high a toll on your personal life?
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  • Is there something in your personal life that is not allowing you to do your best at work?
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  • Do you feel like you’re living your life based on someone else’s priorities?
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I suggested you address these questions by defining your mission in life. In Part 1, I suggested drafting a brief mission statement describing the kind of person you wanted to be remembered as at the end your life. In this newsletter, I want to outline how to develop the next level of detail for your personal mission: defining the different roles in your life. Warning: If you don’t have a written mission statement, I suggest you create one before you jump into defining your roles. Review last month’s newsletter here and at least develop an initial draft.

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Roles are the different responsibilities you have or wish to have in life. Although there can be numerous types of roles, a basic list to pick from could be the following three broad groups: Personal, Professional and Personal Development. For simplicity, let me provide a few potential responsibilities in each bucket:

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  • Personal: family relationships and financial responsibilities
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  • Professional: your job, career, profession, and network
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  • Personal Development: your spiritual, physical, and mental health
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Next, I suggest you run a brief self-assessment (rating your responses from 1-5) of how satisfied you are with each of the three role groups. Try to connect your assessment to the draft mission statement you have prepared. A few potential self-assessment questions are:

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  • Personal: Are my important family relationships on the right track? Are my home economics under control?
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  • Professional: Am I satisfied with my job? Do I see potential for career growth, or am I stagnant? Do I have a plan B in case I lose my job?
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  • Personal Development: Am I properly feeding my spirit, soul, body, and mind? Any signs of undernourishment?
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What insights did you generate from this self-assessment exercise? Is it clear what led you to assign the lowest ratings to a specific role group? How relevant is this group within your mission statement? Is there a need for an urgent intervention? And moving to the highest-rated role group, is there something that is working well that you can extrapolate to another group?

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The outcome of this brief exercise should be a list of three to five roles, all aligned in some shape or form to your mission statement. Your choices should reflect the areas where you plan to spend a significant amount of time and energy in the next 12 months. You can define them at a high level (e.g., the three role groups I outlined above), a more detailed level (e.g., spouse, manager, physical health), or a combination. The important tasks are to pick this initial list, keep it short (no more than five), and rank order it from most to least important. As you go through this process, don’t be surprised if you realize that you need to adjust or expand your initial mission statement.

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The next and final step of this three-part newsletter series will be to assign long- and short-term goals to each role. I will cover this next month.

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I want to close this newsletter with a quote from Richard Koch, the British author of The 80/20 Principle: “Few people take objectives really seriously. They put average effort into too many things, rather than superior thought and effort into a few important things. People who achieve the most are selective as well as determined.” As you embark on this journey, count on me to help you succeed. Stay tuned!

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Percy M. Cannon\nAuthor, Business Consultant and Professional Coach\nwww.cannonbalance.com\nwww.thebusinessapostolate.com

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PS1: Use this link to ask questions, post comments, and request topics you would like to see in future issues.\nPS2: Use this link to subscribe to future newsletter issues or review previous ones.\nPS3: Use this link if you want to buy my book,The Business Apostolate, Insights to Define and Achieve your Mission in Lifewith a special discount for newsletter readers. Just enter code UN2WS547.

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