How to Define Your Mission in Life (Part 1 of 3) (#9)

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How to Define Your Mission in Life (Part 1 of 3)

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Is achieving professional success taking too high a toll on your personal life? Is there something in your personal life that is not allowing you to do your best at work? Do you feel like you’re living your life based on someone else’s priorities? If you answered yes to any of these questions, the solution lies in defining your mission in life.

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Defining your mission in life starts with defining your values. Do you know what your values are? The definition of values from Dictionary.com is “relative worth, merit, or importance.” If somebody close to you was asked, based on the way you behave in life, what your values are, what would that person say? What are your behaviors communicating to those around you? Get ready for a potential “Aha” moment. For example, it is not unusual to claim that family represents our No. 1 value in life, but our behaviors may say otherwise, if you are placing work or other relationships before family. I suggest you ask a close friend or family member what she/he believes your top 5 to 10 values in life are.

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The second step in defining your mission in life is deciding what are the top 5 to 10 values you want to live your life by? Think in future terms. Think about the kind of values that you want a person close to you to mention after you have died. How will you be remembered? What values would you like to be included in your epitaph? One way to create this list is by looking at those people who have touched your life in a meaningful way and pinpointing which values they stood by. These people could be your spouse, parents, relatives, teachers, co-workers, or any public or historical person. If you would rather pick from a larger list, you can leverage the several online resources on this topic. One which I found particularly useful is www.stevepavlina.com/articles/list-of-values.htm. It provides a long list of value terms from which you can prioritize and eventually come up with your short list.

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The third step is to analyze and compare the two previous lists: Any major surprises? Any adjustments you want to make to your list of “desired values”? You should feel fairly comfortable with the resulting list, as it represents the set of “non-negotiable” behaviors you will commit to live your life by. It represents the essence of your mission statement.

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This leads us to the final step I want to cover in this newsletter: Write a first draft of your mission statement that is based on the refined list of values from the previous paragraph. Don’t feel compelled to look for examples from other people. Just write down what feels like a good description of the kind of person you want to be thought of by the end your life. Review this first draft as often as needed until you feel comfortable with it.

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I want to close this newsletter with a quote from the American writer Mark Twain: “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born. . . and the day you find out why.” As you embark on this journey, count on me to help you succeed.

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In the next newsletter, I will share further tips and insights on how to expand your mission statement to include your key roles and goals in life. Stay tuned!

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Percy M. Cannon\r\nAuthor, Business Consultant and Professional Coach\r\nwww.cannonbalance.com\r\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.\r\nPS2: Use this link to subscribe to future newsletter issues or review previous ones.\r\nPS3: Use this link if you want to buy my book, The Business Apostolate, Insights to Define and Achieve your Mission in Life with a special discount for newsletter readers. Just enter code UN2WS547.

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