If you’re reading this article, then you already have one of the keys to high achievement: the pursuit of self development. Even though psychologists, philosophers, and teachers have been writing about self development for centuries, less than 15% of the population studies the techniques that deliver success and happiness. Some 8% master the process, going on to achieve the lifestyle of their dreams.
Many more people can achieve this level of accomplishment if they take the time to understand and apply the fundamentals of goal creation to their lives. Reaching your dream – values and purpose define your journey. Have you already thought about your values? Do you have a mission statement? If someone came to you right now and asked you to say, out loud, your mission or purpose in life, could you reply without hesitation? If not, that’s ok, because most folks have not thought about it. Imagine going through school and not having a course in life achievement. Sadly, we do not get a chance to study this until we realize we are adrift or not getting what we want in life.
If you follow the 2 steps and short process I outline below, you can create and define values and purpose for your own life. Not only will you be part of a special group able to answer these questions, but you will also have more focus, more happiness, greater achievement, and more of what you want in life.
Step 1: Values. What are your values? Values are deeply held beliefs that guide your life. Each choice you make in life is a result of your subconscious mind operating by your code set, or values, whether you are aware of it or not. For this exercise write down 10 of your values. For example, values can be Integrity, Creativity, Love, Awareness, Respect, Accomplishment, Balance, Vision, Sympathy, etc. For a list of values, simply type “values” in your browser and watch what comes up! Take about 15 or 20 minutes to write a list of values for yourself; pick ones that really resonate inside you.
Step 2: Put your values list aside. Now think about your purpose, your mission, in life. If you have never done this, it may be quite revealing. What is it that people will say when you have passed on? He/She was a great ___? He/She cared about ___? Write down the answers to the following 2 questions. First, think of a time when you were really happy -“in the groove” or “in the zone” – feeling wonderful as you were doing something. What were you doing? Where were you? Who were you with? Take the time to really think this through; remembering everything you can about the time. Write for 5-10 minutes. Second, think about and answer this question: if you did not have to be concerned about making a living AND you were assured of complete success, what would you be doing every day? Again, take 5-10 minutes to think about this and write it down. You might have more than one thing! That’s ok.
Now reach for the values list you just made. Think of and read your answer to question 1 of step 2. Mark the 4 or 5 values that most fit or match this answer. The values will feel right to you. Look at your answer to the second question in step 2 and do the same. Are the values the same for both? If so, great – you are becoming aligned with your purpose. If they are not the same, that’s ok. Spend a little more time reviewing the values you chose as they relate to your answers. Be honest with yourself. They will emerge.
Now take your top 5 values, and thinking about your answers to step 2 above, write down what you think your life’s purpose is, or should be. For example, if you have always wanted to help people with their health and wellness, your purpose might be coach, healer, or trainer. If you love fixing electronic things and inventing gadgets, your purpose might be electronics guru, or inventor. Be bold! Think big! You are going to be the best there is.
Now back to reality. We know that we may not be able to fulfill our purpose or mission 100% right now – we have a job we can’t give up, we have responsibilities, we may have other limitations. But at least now you know how it feels to have your values align with your purpose and you can say it aloud. You may want to go even further and put together a mission statement. A mission statement takes your values and your purpose and links them in a sentence that is about your life essence. For example, a mission statement can be something like this: “My purpose is to teach others how to be as healthy as possible through exercise programs and I do this with honesty, listening, strength, care, and respect.”
Every chance you have, make choices based on your values and your purpose. You will find yourself with more happiness, more accomplishment, and more focus as you pursue your life goals.