Alice in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, asks for directions in this way during her encounter with the Cheshire Cat:
“Would you tell me please, which way ought I to go from here!” she asks.
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get,” the cat replies with a grin.
“I don’t care much where,” she answers.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” the cat responds.
Drop Of Water by Jani Ravas
The prerequisite to living an intentional life is deciding where you want to go. Expecting to live an intentional life without a plan is like building a house with no architectural plans. Can you imagine how the house would look at the end of the process?
Yet, we expect our lives to matter when we (the architect) never really plan for where we are going.
On Wednesday, I wrote about the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People training that my school is currently experiencing. That post reflected on Habit 1 – BE PROACTIVE. Today, the focus is Habit 2 – BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND.
Habit 1 is about choice. Habit 2 is about vision. To begin with the end in mind, one must know what the end looks like. This is not easy work. Intentional living is about making conscious choices – one day at a time – to create a victorious life.
Question: Do you have a personal mission statement written down? You can read about elaborate methods of creating mission statements all over the internet and in books, but below is a 5-minute activity to create momentum and move you forward in creating your life mission statement. All you need is paper, a pen, and a watch.
- Number 1-7 down the left side of the paper, leaving a few lines between each number.
- Beside the numbers, list the roles that you currently occupy in your life (i.e. wife/husband, mother/father, daughter/son, sister/brother, friend, colleague, etc.). Do not over-think this step.
- Beside the roles, write the person's name who is most associated with that role (i.e. if your role is spouse, the person would be your spouse's name).
- Visualize your 80th birthday celebration. Attending the celebration are the key people from each role. Beside the role, write a few words articulating how you would want the key person in each role to describe you.
Congratulations – you now have the beginnings of your personal mission statement! Now, fold up that piece of paper and put it in your pocket.
As you walk through the remainder of today, imagine that your 80th birthday celebration is tonight. What would these key people say about you? It’s a tough question, but an important one. Take out your paper during the day and reflect on what you wrote.
A mission statement can be as simple as two or three words or as elaborate as a multi-page document. It might be a painting, a picture, a quote, or a scripture. The form is not important – the vision is.
Don’t wait another day. Live an intentional life - today! Go!