In the last article, we discussed the first principle to keep in mind when constructing your personal mission statement- we become what we think about. The second principle to remember when you create your personal mission statement involves a very important body organ, other than the brain. I’m talking about the heart. A college professor, Dr. Arnold, learned the importance of linking his personal mission statement with his true feelings and emotions. One of his life’s goals was find a better way to relate to the people he supervised at work by reading the book, “Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman.
Despite his efforts, he couldn’t get his employees to cooperate with him or to work with each other as a team. But, he persisted with one major principle which Goleman espoused. Goleman, an accomplished author and Harvard professor, described how we can make better decisions in life when they’re in harmony with our true feelings and emotions. His theory holds credibility outside the classroom where, as every business owner, necktie-donner, parent or guardian, supervisor or shop worker knows, life’s sticky decisions are made.
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Dr. Arnold‘s office was, indeed, a “sticky” place. Despite the criticism and lack of cooperation, he continued to make daily deposits into the emotional bank accounts of those he supervised. He was empathetic toward their concerns and listened to their interpersonal feelings. In addition to dealing with the feelings and emotions of others, Dr. Arnold focused heavily on his personal self-awareness, his intrapersonal-self. Likewise, it is crucial for you to write your personal mission statement and make sure it’s in harmony with your true emotions, for you cannot be totally aware of the feelings and concerns of others unless you‘re in touch with your own.
We all live in three social/emotional worlds- how we feel about ourselves, how we think others feel about us, and how others actually feel toward us. As you grow more self-aware of your own emotions and feelings, you’ll more readily recognize the feelings in others by tuning into the verbal and nonverbal cues they give off. A college diploma and high IQ won’t help you become sensitive to the feelings and concerns of others. But, by linking your personal mission statement with your true emotions and feelings, you will grow emotionally smart. Dr. Arnold had a significant influence on his employees and cooperation was born at his office, and it occurred from the inside-out.
Our fate, what we achieve and don’t achieve, is directly related to our personal thoughts. If you diligently work on transforming negative thoughts into positive ones, you will eventually become a different person. Why? Because humans have the ability for creative imagination. So why not take advantage of this unique ability. It’s holed up within many of us, but is suppressed by passive TV viewing and by a civilization which carries out vital functions for us and bestows bounties upon us…with little mental sweat required.
A study of the 400 most prominent people of the 20th century, like Thomas Edison, Helen Keller and Eleanor Roosevelt unveils how crucial our thoughts are in determining our fate. Three-fourths of these dignitaries utilized creative thinking to overcome personal tragedies, terrible frustrations and debilitating handicaps to achieve their victories. You, too, can overcome the frustrations and traumas which life bestowed upon you, too. Instead of carrying mental baggage around with you, try writing down your personal thoughts- what you’d like to achieve and contribute, your long-range goals and aspirations…your dreams:
Exercise 2: Paint a picture of your ideal life in real-time. Then, rephrase it, not as a wish list, but as if you are already there. Describe how it feels to have your dreams actualized. What does it feel like? What emotions do you now have, or not have, anymore? What does it feel, smell, and taste like? This is your first creation- in your mind.
Congratulations! You are well on your way in constructing your personal mission statement!
Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. has retired from his positions of School Psychologist and adjunct professor in the School of Leadership & Policy Studies at Bowling Green State University. He is author of the book “Finding Happiness in America: a unique American journey of self-discovery!”. Please SUBSCRIBE to his Cleveland Parenting Issues Examiner column.