In order to write a personal mission statement, we must begin at the very centre of our Circle of Influence, that centre comprised of our most basic paradigms, the lens through which we see the world.
It is here that we deal with our vision and our values. It is here that we use our endowment of self-awareness to examine our maps and, if we value correct principles, to make certain that our maps accurately describe the territory, that our paradigms are based on principles and reality.
It is here that we use our endowment of conscience as a compass to help us detect our own unique talents and areas of contribution. It is here that we use our endowment of imagination to mentally create the end we desire, giving direction and purpose to our beginnings and providing the substance of a written personal constitution.
It is also here that our focused efforts achieve the greatest results. As we work within the very centre of our Circle of Influence, we expand it. This is the highest leverage PC work, significantly impacting the effectiveness of every aspect of our lives. Whatever is at the centre of our life will be the source of our security, guidance, wisdom, and power.
Security represents your sense of worth, identity, emotional anchorage, self-esteem, basic personal strength or lack of it.
Guidance means your source of direction in life. Encompassed by your map, your internal frame of reference that interprets for you what is happening out there, are standards or principles or implicit criteria that govern moment by moment decision-making and doing.
Wisdom is your perspective on life, sense of balance and understanding of how the various parts and principles apply and relate to each other. It embraces judgement, discernment and comprehension. It is a gestalt or oneness, an integrated wholeness.
Power is the faculty or capacity to act, the strength and potency to accomplish something. It is the vital energy to make choices and decisions. It also includes the capacity to overcome deeply embedded habits and cultivate higher, more effective ones.
These four factors - security, guidance, wisdom, and power - are interdependent. Security and clear guidance bring true wisdom, and wisdom becomes the spark or catalyst to release and direct power. When these four factors are present together, harmonized and enlivened by each other, they create the great force of a noble personality, a balanced character, a beautifully integrated individual.
These life-support factors also undergird every other dimension of life. And none of them is an all-or-nothing matter. The degree to which you have developed each one could be charted somewhere on a continuum, much like the maturity continuum described earlier. At the bottom end, the four factors are weak. You are basically dependent on circumstances or other people, things over which you have no direct control. At the top end you are in control. You have independent strength and the foundation for rich, interdependent relationships.
Your security lies somewhere on the continuum between extreme insecurity on one end, wherein your life is buffeted by all the fickle forces that play upon it, and a deep sense of high intrinsic worth and personal security on the other end. Your guidance ranges on the continuum from dependence on the social mirror or other unstable, fluctuating sources to strong inner direction.
Your wisdom falls somewhere between a totally inaccurate map where everything is distorted and nothing seems to fit, and a complete and accurate map of life wherein all the parts and principles are properly related to each other. Your power lies somewhere between immobilization or being a puppet pulled by someone else's strings to high proactivity, the power to act according to your own values instead of being acted upon by other people and circumstances.
The location of these factors on the continuum, the resulting degree of their integration, harmony, and balance, and their positive impact on every aspect of your life is a function of your centre, the basic paradigms at your very core.
So it's very important to have identified the centre of life before we even begin to write the personal mission statement. Just think about this very core of life till next week.