This is a guest post by Melissa Heisler. She is a Stress Reduction Expert. She is also the host of the Empowerment Show weekly podcast. You can find and follow her on her It's My Life, Inc. website or at @ItsMyLifeInc on Twitter.
A business defines success as reaching the expectations of their vision statement through completing their annual and long range plans. But how do we define a vision statement and the tactical goals for a business? I believe it starts with the mission statement. The mission statement defines why the company is in business, what it hopes to achieve, and how it goes about accomplishing those hopes.
It is less about revenue earned, market position, and growth. The mission statement is the Big Why. Why does the company exist? The bottom line of any company is to make enough money to continue to grow, therefore supporting their employees and stockholders. But why is the business in the business of doing what it is doing? Why does it provide services versus selling goods? Why does it serve women versus men? Why does it do what it does? The Big Why reason for existing and purpose is expressed in the mission statement.
The Big Why
When it comes to individuals and their true happiness the Big Why or our mission statement is a better tool for defining and achieving happiness than our tactical goals or vision statement. Our personal long range tactical goals – moving up in the company, buying a house, finding love – are all transitory. They come and they go. They can be taken from us. They change in priority and definition at different times of our life. But our Big Why exists no matter the physical manifestations of our life. Our Big Why is the undercurrent of it all. Achieving our Big Why on a daily basis can provide us with more joy, happiness, good health, and well-being than the accomplishment of any vision statement goal ever can.
But what is your Big Why? This is a hard one for so many people. The main reason is that society and institutions focus on the tactical goals – degrees, positions, money, objects, and relationships. We often do not realize there is a Big Why behind all we do. Until we have awareness and focus on our Big Why, we will not feel successful.
How to Uncover Your Big Why
To uncover your Big Why, it is important to first and foremost turn inward. The answer is within you. When I help individuals find a job, I often come across frustrated individuals who are trying to force themselves into positions which already exist. I then coach them to first turn within and define what they want. Then they can search for jobs which match them versus changing themselves for a job. The key is to know yourself and not to change yourself to fit whatever your mind tricks you into thinking is the best for you. Learn to be quiet and still and listen to what your heart wants.
Then uncover your Experiential Values. Instead of looking at the manifestations, look for the feelings and experiences those things give you. What feels best to you? Are you looking for peace and serenity or are you looking for exhilaration and creativity? I once had a client who came to me wanting to have a million dollars (tactical goal). In working together, we uncovered that what he wanted, his Big Why, was to feel secure, safe, and free. In focusing on helping him experience those feelings he gained more than if he just had the money.
Look to your Experiential Values and focus on your Big Why. Redefining what success is to you will lead you on the path to inner success independent of your physical situation.
Question: How do you define success?