Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Day 7: Mission Statement

Alright.  With this post I think I'm officially on some sort of self improvement kick.  Writing that almost makes me want to cringe.  I've been witness to so much rude and self righteous bad behavior that was done in the name of 'self-improvement' and 'searching for one's authentic self' that I tend to approach anything that appears to be remotely related to either with a twenty foot pole...with spikes on the end.

However, in looking at the evidence:

1. I made an actual New Years resolution this year.
2. I'm tracking my morning moods for a week.
3. Four months ago I started seeing my therapist again.
4. I'm about to write a blog post about drafting a personal mission statement.
(5. I'm likely going to write about it when it's done...)

Oh dear God, self improvement here I come.  Sigh.

So this personal mission statement. Yesterday I came across an article in the New York Times titled Creating a New Mission Statement.  I'm not even really sure how I got there and I'm quite sure I probably rolled my eyes and thought, "Oh geez, what's this?" before I began to read it, but as I did I realized that it actually sort of made sense.  Particularly when it talked about the difference between a single act of self-improvement and actually seeking out the reason one wants to do it in the first place. 
"While it is common for businesses to define goals and values with mission statements, most people never take the time to identify their individual senses of purpose. Most focus on single acts of self-improvement — exercising more, eating more healthfully, spending more time with family — rather than examining the underlying reasons for the behavior..."
This just seems like a far smarter approach to things.  Having spent many, many hours in therapy it reminds of how when you realize that some bad habit you've developed is really a coping behavior that came out of some tragic event in your past.  Once you know why you do something it's so much easier to stop doing it, so why wouldn't it work the other way as well?  If you can discover the reason for your desire to change or improve upon something, it might be just a bit easier to actually make the changes you want to make.

The process as outlined in the article asks a series of seven questions to help you craft your mission statement.  None of the questions seem to have easy answers, but then I suppose that's the point.  Finding your purpose is not something to take lightly, at least I don't think it is.   And I imagine that for many of us it's deeply hidden.  We tend to bury such things beneath the day to day, 9 to 5 struggle to get by.

Anyway, I may or may not share the process as I go along.  It's tempting.  Those seven questions could mean seven neatly packaged blog posts, but it also seems like it might be just a bit too personal.  In any case, however much I choose to share, I will keep you all posted on the progress. And I'd love to hear from others who have done such things.


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