Some of the most illuminating moments in our life can be in the midst of transition. These are the moments we need clarity to be our guide. Several years ago, I was facing a significant and unexpected transition. Fortunately, the uncertainty and tension it created forced me to reach out for counsel and allow someone with outside eyes to speak into my life. I turned to an acquaintance whom I respected that coaches high-capacity leaders at Fortune 500 companies. My friend listened to me and took me through an exercise that changed my life, and brought great clarity to how my experiences and skills connect with my calling and work.
I’ll never forget that day– it changed me. I decided to capture the exercise he took me through so I could share it with others.
Below is a simple exercise to help your work and mission intersect:
1. Write down 1-2 responses to each of the following:
-Think of a time when you were most effective (on a team, leading an initiative, project, etc.).
-Think of a time when you were most energized by something you did, accomplished or were a part of.
-Think of a time when you had a great sense of purpose, learning, and effectiveness.
-Think of a “moment in time” experience related to something you accomplished/were part of.
-Think of a something you did that still creates great emotion when you think about it to this day.
2. Write down 1-2 of the needed skills/characteristics from each of the above experiences.
3. Write down the common theme/s from all of the experiences above (as a whole).
4. Questions to ponder:
-What does this look like (job/position) today?
-What landscape of opportunities exists that need these things?
-What was the “A-HA” moment or greatest learning about who you are from this exercise?
5. Get feedback from 3-4 people who know you well about your responses.
6. Take what you learned and write a life mission statement.
I decided to focus on my mission statement that day. After walking through this exercise, I marinated on my responses and started thinking about some key words and themes I discovered. After some thought, I landed on this as my mission statement on how my work and mission must intersect:
“I’m relentlessly focused on helping leaders and organizations thrive.”
To this day, that sentence has served as a filter for what energizes me in the work I do. It helps me decide what projects I want to involve myself with. Most importantly, it provides a compass for where I bring the best value and find the most joy in the work and ministry I’m involved in. If you are in a season where you need clarity, I encourage you to set aside the time needed to engage the questions above. Let clarity guide you to workjoy.