FINDING YOUR FLOW TOOLKIT
DEFINING YOUR LIFE MISSIONS
There are four documents that every man, woman, and child should write if they want to find more flow in their lives. We do this in organizations, communities and nations as standard practice, yet for some reason these important documents are a rarity amongst individuals—not you.
By getting this far in the newsletter series you have demonstrated a high level of commitment to finding more flow in your life and to maximize your performance and effectiveness. So, to lay the groundwork, I am going to introduce to you these four essential documents and give you the chance to build them each week over the next month. If you have built any one or more of these documents already, this will be a good time to review them and spend some time refining them. You will be glad you did.
These documents are not complex and do not need to be long—but rich and full of meaning. So what are these documents? Four words sum them up: Mission(s), Vision, Legacy, and Philosophy.
Each of these documents plays a unique role to help you find more flow in any MLA that’s important to you.
Your Mission(s) Statement will help you look to the future and identify your big abstract and compelling objectives. Some call these “Big Hairy Audacious Goals" or "BHAG’S” because that’s what they are. The primary intent and focus of this document is to look towards the future—like a broad brush stroke on a canvas. When we get to future sessions, we’ll talk about goals in a more narrow sense—taking our life canvas and breaking them into bite-sized pieces.
Your Vision Statement will take on a different role. Supporting your Mission(s) Statement, your Vision Statement will be written in the present and tell the broader story of your mission(s) as if they are already happening. This document will help you expand your self-image and create a richer personal story that will stretch your capacities to a new level. In future FYF Tools we will introduce the power of visualization to internalize this vision as a daily practice.
Third, your Legacy Statement will take on the role of looking backwards. In this document, you will reflect on a life well lived and described all of the outcomes you have achieved. Part of this document will be to take on the role of those closest to you as they describe the goals you achieved, the difference you made, and the type of person you became.
Lastly, we will discuss your Philosophy or what I call your Philosophy of Engagement. Taking all three perspectives (future, present, past) into account, your Philosophy of Engagement will identify “how” you will engage each and every-day to support the Mission(s), Vision, and Legacy you wish to achieve. Does this excite you? It should, because once you complete these four documents, how you approach any MLA will dramatically change. So let’s get started…
Our work this week is simple. We are going to start with large and abstract objectives or goals that are the most important to you. These are the MLA’s where you seek to find more flow within.
While most organizations have a more focused mission (think Coke), people tend to have multiple missions because they play in multiple arenas. As such, your homework this week is going to be simple.
Please take a just 10-15 minutes and fill out the attached “My Top 10 Missions in Life” exercise and start writing. Identify the big things you want to achieve in each category (use bullet points, sentences, phrases, or whatever gets you thinking), then create a few categories of your own. Don’t worry about getting too specific. This is a time to think broadly and passionately. To help you think about this exercise, I’ll attach a sample for your review.
That is all for this week. Have fun with this exercise and we’ll pick it up again next week where we will expand these missions into your personal vision.
EXERCISE AND PRACTICE:
- Exercise: “My Top 10 Most Important Missions in Life” exercise
- Write down the major goals or objectives that you would like to achieve in each of the categories listed.
- Create your own categories and continue the process