Identify Your Mission

To start with a clear understanding of your destination, you need to ask yourself “What are the things I want to accomplish?” The most effective way to begin is to develop a personal mission statement that focuses on what you want to be, what you want to do, and the values or principles that will create the foundation for these.

Stephen R. Covey explains in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People that we must begin at the very center of our Circle of Influence, the lens through which we see the world. Whatever is at the center of our life will be the source of our security, guidance, wisdom and power.

Security is your sense of worth, identity, emotional anchor, self-esteem, basic personal strength or lack of it.

Guidance is your source of direction in life, an internal frame of reference that includes standards, principles or implicit criteria that govern moment-by-moment decision-making and doing.

Wisdom is your perspective on life, sense of balance, judgment, discernment and comprehension.

Power is the faculty or capacity to act, the strength and potency to accomplish something.

A mission statement takes deep introspection, careful analysis, thoughtful expression and often many rewrites. It may take several weeks or months before you feel it is a concise expression of your innermost values and directions. Writing or reviewing a mission statement changes you because it forces you to think through your priorities deeply and carefully and to align your behavior with your beliefs. As you do this, other people begin to sense that you’re not being driven by everything that happens to you. You have a sense of mission about what you’re trying to do.

Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl is quoted as saying, “Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life. …Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone’s task is as unique as is his specific opportunity to implement it.”

Believe in Yourself

The greatest obstacle to success is a lack of trust in yourself, a self-imposed limitation. John C. Maxwell points out in Talent Is Never Enough that when people believe in themselves, they unleash power and resources around them that almost immediately take them to a higher level. His advice: You need to believe in your potential, believe in yourself and believe in your mission.

If you want your talent to be lifted to its highest level, don’t begin by focusing on your talent. Begin by harnessing the power of your mind because your beliefs control everything you do. Accomplishment is more than working harder or smarter, it’s also believing positively. If you expect to fail, you will. If you expect to succeed, you will.

* * *