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let’s break it down

Clearly this whole mission-writing thing is going to be an iterative process, so let’s start where we left off yesterday, with the statement:

My mission is to illuminate the causes that matter most to me by creating art, stories, and tools that inspire people to connect to themselves, the world, and others and to act on their behalf. 

Here on day two of this process, we are focusing on the second section of the statement: the how. So let’s break it down and see what we’ve got.

  1. What: illuminate the causes that matter most to me
  2. How: creating art, stories, and tools
  3. For whom and why: inspire people to connect and act

Hmmm… looking at this again with fresh eyes, I can’t help but ask myself a truckload of questions:

  • What causes? Whatever strikes my fancy at the moment, or is there a single, overriding cause that I can identify and describe?
  • Is my passion really illumination or is illumination really a how? Perhaps my passion is really creation.
  • Are art, stories, and tools enough? Or do I also want to create a platform for sharing these things?
  • Where will the money come from? Do I even need to get that specific? Is selling these things implied?
  • What people?
  • How will they connect?
  • How do I want them to act?

What do you think? Am I right about the weak points or am I just over thinking things?

Here are a few more points to consider (or something like that — I’m just making this up as I go along):

  • Cause-wise, the word that keeps surfacing for me is Resilience — it applies to health, the environment, communities, skills, relationships, and personal, cultural, societal, and planetary survival; it even accounts for my obsession with apocalypse and holocaust stories and why, whenever my teacher asks what I will remember from a specific, often horrific book she’s assigned to us, my answer is always the part where someone stood up and tried to change things
  • I like the idea of a platform, but it may not be essential except as a delivery mechanism; still, it is something I am already considering
  • It doesn’t matter which people, it will be whichever people respond to my unique message formats
  • How they connect and their choice of action is also not my responsibility, but I may have a few ideas (which I will dig deeper into tomorrow when we are scheduled to tackle that third part)
The truth is, I have an idea. A cool, fun, crazy idea. Something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. And it is making me rethink my mission. But it shouldn’t. I can see now that different projects could require their own missions. Related to the personal mission, of course, but with a few tweaks for the specific implementation. So have I gotten anywhere with this little exercise? Not really, but that’s mostly because the more I think about it, the more I think the current version holds.

On a related note, I just visited the Franklin Covey website and used their mission statement creator just to see what came out and here it is:

I am at my best when creating and inspiring others.
I will try to prevent times when i feel trapped, uninspired, or bored.
I will enjoy my work by finding employment where I can solve problems.
I will find enjoyment in my personal life through making things, writing, reading, and research.
I will find opportunities to use my natural talents and gifts such as art, writing, empathizing.
I can do anything I set my mind to. I will make quilts, write novels, travel, and spend time with friends.
My life’s journey is to lead by example to inspire others to live healthier, more fulfilled lives.
I will be authentic.
My most important future contribution to others will be supporting and loving them, and encouraging their dreams.
I will stop procrastinating and start working on:

  • Being more socially active in the causes that matter to me
  • Sharing what i’ve learned about health, wellness, creativity, and happiness
  • Spending more time creating and finishing projects

I will strive to incorporate the following attributes into my life:

  • Fearlessness
  • Focus
  • Ground-breaking creativity

I will constantly renew myself by focusing on the four dimensions of my life:

  • Eating and sleeping
  • Being quiet
  • Reading
  • Connecting with others

There’s some great stuff in there, especially that first line, but still pretty sure mine is better.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Sharyn Dimmick 07.17.12 at 3:24 pm

That bolded statement up there could be me, Lauren: I am at my best when creating things (or “immersing myself in a creative process”) and when inspiring others. And I like it when I inspire others by example: when they learn from what I do, rather than my having to explain it to them, although I am good at explaining some things. It’s fascinating to watch you go through this process.

gardenlore 07.17.12 at 3:26 pm

i am really loving it and highly recommend it.

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