Imagine has been a place for you to find out about your personal goals, the path you want to take, the achievements you’re going to strive for.
Your goals can be social: save the environment, help to build up education in a developing country, motivate people to change the world with small actions.
Your goals can be business: find a new job, move up in the company’s hierarchy, earn more money.
Your goals can also be very personal: lose weight, stop smoking, learn a new language.
Some people tell you how to define your goals correctly, using techniques like SMART for example. SMART means make sure your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, rewarding, and timely. But only few people apply those principles to their goals.
This is why I separate between a goal and a mission. A goal is whatever you believe a goal is. A mission is a clear picture of what, when and how.
If your goal is to find a new job, your mission might be to start as a project manager for a CSR consultancy before July 1st this year.
If your goal is to stop smoking, your mission might be to not smoke a single cigarette for the next six months.
While a goal can be vague and general, a mission tells you what to do next. And if you still can’t find out what your next action should be, a mission enables you to asks others for help.
Have you identified your mission?
- Can you describe it in less than 60 seconds using less than 100 words?
- Can you explain it to people that don’t have the same background as you?
- Do you know how you recognize that you’ve successfully achieved your goal?
- Can you imagine how it will feel like for you after you achieved it? And does it feel good?
- Have you set a deadline when you’ll either have achieved it or will stop trying?
- Do you sometimes feel confident that you’re going to make it, and other times you feel unsure if you can really do it?
If you cannot answer all these questions with a heartfelt yes, you might probably want to take some more time to think about your mission.
However, if you can answer all these questions with „Yes!“, you moved a big step towards success.
If you’re still stuck with your goals and haven’t yet identified your mission, you’ve just come to the right place. Tell us about your goals! Ask your questions! Let the Imagine community help you define your mission!
The Risk of Failure
You probably noticed the last question above: Do you sometimes feel confident that you’re going to make it, and other times you feel unsure if you can really do it?
I put it there, because I believe that for a real mission you cannot be certain to achieve it at all times. Of course, you should feel confident most of the time. But there has to be a risk involved, a chance to fail. If you don’t believe you can fail, it’s just a job you do, not something you feel passionate about.
Risk is what makes the difference between doing something good and doing something great. That’s why many people don’t start their mission, or don’t keep going.
If you know your mission, you reached an important milestone. You already put a lot of work into it, and it surely was hard to get here. But you’re just about to realize that this was only the beginning. On your way you’ll certainly experience that although starting something can be hard, finishing it is even harder.
You need motivation and support to stay on course. I know from my personal experience that the best type of support you can get is from people who understand your mission and who have an interest not so much in the mission itself, but in seeing you succeed. They often find the right words to get you back on track.
I’d like to invite you to a social experiment.
- Do you have a mission?
- Have you just started your mission, or are you about to start it?
- Will your mission end in six to nine months, or are you planning to reach a really big milestone in that timeframe?
- Do you have these mixed feelings of confidence and uncertainty to succeed?
- Could you use some help to keep up and stay motivated?
- Are you willing to share a small amount of your time (~30-60 minutes/week)?
If you can again answer all these questions with ‚Yes!‘, I’d love to hear about your mission and invite you to nCourage, a project / experiment I’m setting up, based on collaboration, tapping the power of networks and putting some technology to use.
Your mission doesn’t need to be linked to Imagine and isn’t required to be social in any way. If you have a personal mission or something in your job this is just fine. Should you be in a position to choose from a couple of missions, please focus on one of them for nCourage.
If that sounds interesting to you, please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with:
- a short description of your mission (you know my definition of ‚mission‘)
- your current status (What did you do already? What are your next actions? What are the challenges you struggle with at the moment?)
- a language preference (English or German?)
- your contact information
I’m going to get back to you with details on nCourage either through email or (based on the number of Imaginers interested) here on the Imagine Blog.
Looking forward to hear from you.