Say you are stuck in a dense forest, and you knew that your goal was to climb this mountain you saw way out in the distance. You could either wander aimlessly an hope to make it to the top, or you could map out your journey and take the most direct path. The same applies to planning your life.
However, sometimes, our designation is not easily known (such as the mountain peak in this example).
In most cases, it takes a bit of thought and self reflection to find a designation to head towards. I’ve found success in the idea of getting out of the forest and getting in an airplane to review the landscape of life, metaphorically speaking. While in the airplane, you can plot our your personal mission statement, and your life’s purpose.
Here are some of the main fundamentals of this 10,000 foot goal review, which I nickname, Your Life’s Purpose:
- Personal Mission Statement
- Life Aspirations
- Personal Policies
The Personal Mission Statement is a sentence or two that helps define your purpose in life and serves as a guide for all the other goals in your life. It doesn’t have to be a specific goal, in fact I encourage it to be open ended. An example of this is “Be the change you wish to see in the world, and inspire others to be one with themselves and their home in space”
Your Life Aspiration is a very far fetched statement that is similar to a mission statement but has a specific goal. It’s usually something that you, yourself, will not be able to accomplish alone. But, it’s something that your career choice should align with. An example would be, solving world hunger or colonizing Mars, or something truly bold and almost unobtainable.
Your Personal Policies are a list of attitudes you agree to coincide with throughout your life. Usually, what I recommend is creating a book of some sorts (either in physical journal or in an online journal like OneNotes or Evernotes) and continuously add or remove these as you see fit. I’ll cover the personal policies in more depth on a later post but for now, know that their purpose is similar to the personal mission statement. You use them as a guide for tough decision making and for determining your personal goals.
I encourage you to set aside a block of time (a few hours ideally) each year to review your Life’s Purpose (Personal Mission Statement, Life Aspirations, and your Personal Policies) to ensure that they are still relevant and to revise them as you see fit. Nothing is worse then striving to be someone who you don’t want to become. But also know that when you first develop your Life’s Purpose it will likely not be perfect and will change as your change over time.
Sometimes you’ll go into this review seeing only clouds but on a clear day you should be able to see the entire forest and landscape around you. With moments of clarity, you can determine your Life’s Purpose on the journey of life ahead.