Living Your Purpose

One of my training programs last week included working with an emerging leaders group at the Tractor Supply Corporation. They are always an inspiring group for me to work with, as they talk about both their professional and personal goals. Prior to my program on Wednesday, they were to comment on their work on applying training from a previous event, including development of a personal mission statement. Talk about an "aha" moment. Several were very clear about their purpose or mission, while others were still struggling to define it. In my training session a short time later, I noticed that some of those with the most clarity about their mission statements and purpose were among those who were most engaged in the training. I shouldn't have been surprised.

When we have a clear understanding of our purpose, the choice about how to use every moment is more clear. Our plan of reaction to a problem or challenge is also easier. We know the outcome we are looking for, so we plug in the appropriate attitudes or actions to work toward that result-or that will equip us to do so later.

To best help guide your thoughts and actions, consider dusting off (or creating) your mission statement. While organizations usually have long ones, yours doesn't have to be. One of the most powerful and practical ones I heard last week was, "I want to be a value-added person to everyone around me." The goal in creating one is to crystallize your purpose in such a way that you can align what you say is important with what you actually do.