Over my life time I have had a few values that I have held dear and always tried to live out. One of my values is growth. Almost daily I am reading, listening or talking to someone in order to grow. When I go to do some training, consulting or coaching my confidence comes from all the hours of preparation I have put in behind closed doors.
One of my other values is ‘integrity’. This is trickier because there are times when the temptation is to take short cuts.
I remember one time some years ago when I had decided to give a certain amount of money to a friend who was doing some charity work overseas in the US. It was a sizable amount for me then. My friend didn’t know about it. I went to the bank and transferred the money I had decided to give. I hadn’t factored in the exchange rate. With the exchange rate it turned out that I was giving almost half in real terms to him as I decided too. I wrestled with what to do. An hour later I went back to the bank and a bemused teller and asked if she could make the amount in US dollars up to a specific value.
No one knew of this wrestle, but that day I fought for and won the battle for living by my values rather than circumstances. I know there have been many times when I haven’t won the battle and have let myself down.
There is a saying: ‘Champions don’t become champions in the ring – they are merely recognized there’.
To understand how someone develops into a champion, look at their daily routine and standards. Former heavy weight champion Joe Frazier stated, “You can map out a fight plan or a life plan. But when the action starts, you’re down to your reflexes. That’s where your roadwork shows. If you cheated on that in the dark of the morning, you’re getting found out now under bright lights.”
We must learn to live according to predetermined values and principles. Leaders who live according to their environment don’t engender trust or loyalty.
The best way I know is to develop a clear mission statement for your life.
Predetermined principles and values don’t change under different environments.
How to Develop a Personal Mission Statement
There are three important steps toward developing a personal mission statement:
1) Identifying your values,
2) Envisioning your values in action and
3) Writing your personal mission statement.
For most people, it is truly an eye-opening process to write out your values for your life and then compare them to how you actually balance your priorities. But what, exactly, is a personal mission statement, anyway?
“Your personal mission statement should be a concise representation of what’s most important to you, what you desire to focus on, what you want to achieve, and, ultimately, who you want to become. In its purest form, it’s an approach to your life, one that allows you to identify a focus of energy, creativity, and vision in living a life in support of your inner-most beliefs and values. Also remember that your mission will change over time as you and your life change”. Stephen Covey
An empowering mission statement:
- Represents the deepest and best within you.
- Is the fulfillment of your own unique gifts and capacity
- Addresses and integrates the four fundamental human needs and capacities in the physical, spiritual, social/emotional, and mental dimensions.
- Deals with all the significant roles in your life
- Is written to inspire, you, not to impress anyone else.
A number of years ago, I had the privilege of being lead through the development of a personal mission and values statement. It literally changed my life. Since then, I have helped numerous of people develop their own personal mission statements. There’s something really powerful and empowering about being able to say YES or NO to opportunities that come into your life based on whether it fits within your personal mission and how you want to live out your values.