What if you had one powerful question to help you make the right decisions about your personal, creative and business life every day?
Forget the idea of a lengthy manifesto outlining behavioural strategies for all the different areas of your life.
Who’s got time for that?
Think instead of a succinct statement that sums up exactly what you do and why you do it.
As a coach, I get to witness some wonderful revelations on the part of my clients. But equally, I get to experience those same kind of revelations because of being a coach.
Last week one of my clients gave me one of those moments. He did one of those Myers-Briggs personality-type quizzes.
Turns out his personality-type is ISFP (Introversion, Sensing, Feeling and Perceiving). One of the characteristics of ISFP’s that really resonates with him is that they:
“...always seem to find a way to make the world a little more beautiful and exciting, and to make a living in the process.”
After a little back and forth, we concluded that my client could ask himself this question daily to orientate his priorities:
‘How can I make the world a more beautiful place to live in today?’
Over the next few days we saw some really powerful results from him asking himself this question. Results that caused him to be more present at work and in his relationships. And even caused him to start focussing on what’s limiting him from being his ‘best self’.
It got me thinking about the usefulness of having a succinct question to ask ourselves when decisions are difficult to make. A question whose answer orientates us towards what’s good and healthy for us.
It’s ‘what am I really trying to do here?’ answered in a sentence.
Not that different from an elevator pitch or even a strap-line...
How I Found My Mission Statement
My business strap-line - Grow Creative Wings - finally emerged after I’d struggled for years to understand and encapsulate exactly what I was about.
The phrase totally answered my question. I knew instantly it was right.
(Many pieces of my art feature women who are trying to escape the confines of their earthly environment - essentially grow wings so they can take off.)
I’ve had that strap-line for a few years now and it’s really helped me hone my marketing message and even my creative voice.
But until now I’ve never thought of using it as a daily yardstick by which to measure my actions.
It never occurred to me that I could get up every morning and ask myself,
“How will I grow creative wings today?”“How will I help other people to grow creative wings today?”
It’s like a gratitude journal in advance...
“What will I be grateful to have spent time on today?”
Or like having a mission statement and asking yourself every day, “Am I fulfilling this mission?”
How to Find Your One Powerful Sentence. Or Not...
You’ll be surprised to find that I’m not going to suggest a formula for writing your personal manifesto / mission statement / strap-line / elevator pitch.
I’m not at all convinced there is one.
“Grow creative wings” came to me when I was preparing for a networking event and struggling to find a phrase to explain what exactly I do.
“Make the world a more beautiful place” came to my client because his girlfriend pointed him towards a personality test.
Perhaps our mission finds us when we’re truly ready for it.
But you’re unlikely to be satisfied with that as a way forward, are you?
You want actionable advice!
I honestly can't guarantee there is a short-cut to doing this. But if you really insist, one way to begin to prod your personal manifesto into appearing, might be to ask yourself questions such as:
Then remain very alert for any messages you receive from your subconscious.
And remember, if you find your one-line manifesto, please don’t do as I did and confine it to a strap-line under your logo.
Use it as a daily yardstick to live by.