Back in college I received a lot of information about career and further education. However, what I missed were some deeper, more fundamental questions about identity, vision and mission. Sometimes what we long to do is right in front of us, we have the skills and passion and our actions point in that direction. We just haven't been confronted with the right questions.
1. Who are you?
This is a fundamental question which has nothing to do with name or profession. It is about the fundamental feature of ourselves which transpires everything we do.
If somebody had asked me this question, I would have given a standard answer: 'I am Hermine Helleday (maiden name), I am 18, I live in Stockholm...' and so on). At the same time, I was reading self help books, watching Dr Phil, Oprah Winfrey, and even political debates because I could analyse people and could listen to engaging messages.
Today I give a totally different answer. I am a Motivator. That definition influences
- my work (life coach, motivational speaker)
- my relationships with people (focused on listening, providing support, asking questions)
- what I read ('I Declare: 31 Promises over Your Life' by J. Osteen, 'Daring Greatly' by B. Brown),
- what I listen to (motivational, spiritual podcasts such as the 'RobCast' and 'What I know for sure' by Oprah Winfrey)
- what I tell myself when I am alone (make up motivational speeches in my head!)
2. What do you enjoy doing?
When I was 18 I loved listening to lecturers in class, probably because I have always admired good public speakers. I also loved travelling and moved to Madrid, Spain at 17. Learning about a different culture, helped me understand other people.
Today I watch Ted Talks regularly, watch political debates and speeches, and love spontaneous trips to new destinations, such as Rome last week. My husband has now made it a tradition to give me a trip for my birthday (plus you can get a lot good deals in January!). Last year the destination was Valencia.
I am now able to travel and motivate people, sharing my personal story of overcoming difficulties and showing that change is possible. What could be better? Did I see myself doing this for a living at 18. Nope. But my interests certainly pointed towards that.
3. What are you about?
This is the question that relates to your tagline, your mission, what you want people to know about you, your USP if you so will. Back in my teenage days, I barely knew what tagline meant, let alone how to formulate one. However, in meetings with people such as employers and clients, the clearer picture you have of who you are and how you can contribute, the better.
As an example, Rhonda Byrne, author of bestselling 'The Secret', uses the mission statement "Bring joy to billions".
Today, my mission is: 'Help create life-changing moments'. It's your life, your moment. I help create the breakthrough, the first step towards change.
So, what is your mission? What do you take pleasure in doing? Who are you?