If you don’t know what you’re looking for, how will you find Mr. Wonderful? A well-written mission statement places a pin on your personal map. Without it, you’ll quickly become a weary wanderer, wandering hither and yon but making no real progress. Make a plan, choose a destination, and begin your journey!
1. Pay attention to your heart. According to Fred Rogers (children’s television host), the beauty of imagination is that it allows you to consider potential futures and then decide if that is the future you want. Take a few moments (or a few days) before writing your mission statement to really listen to those “whispers of the soul.” What qualities would you seek in a romantic partner if all potential constraints were lifted?
2. Don’t give up. Do you remember the film “Thelma and Louise”? That film contains some of the best advice for romantic partners. “Remember, you get what you settle for,” Thelma advised Louise. Think big when imagining your potential future. Later on, you’ll have time and opportunity to make minor course corrections.
3. Prepare to make adjustments. The large passenger planes that crisscross our skies are guided by computers, satellites, and other high-tech gadgets, but they’re off course 90% of the time. Constant minor course corrections and adjustments ensure that the planes arrive exactly where they should. Your mission statement will not be set in stone. You’ll most likely revise it every month, if not every day.
4. Feel free to ask questions if you see happy couples. “What is his best quality?” is a question that makes a wife happy. What qualities do you seek in a man? What is it about your closest friends that you admire the most? What are your strongest points? Consider these characteristics and then make a list of what you want in a romantic partner.
5. Consider principles and qualities rather than specifics. Instead of saying, “I want a husband who earns $138,000 per year,” you could say, “I want a spouse who has achieved some financial stability and exhibits wisdom, patience, and intelligence in all his financial affairs.”
6. Begin writing once you’ve considered all of these points. Writing is a skill and an art form, and practising it will help you solidify some of the ideas that have been occupying space on your mental hard drive. Writing is also a discipline, and putting your thoughts on paper will force you to refine them. Consider it a mental spring cleaning. You’re moving everything from your mental home to the front yard, where you can see the big picture and make decisions about what to keep and what to toss. The mission statement begins in your mind. There are no restrictions. None. Proceed from there, fine-tuning your work later.
7. Keep your mission statement in a separate file on your computer. Make a new file called “Mission Statement” and label it with the date. For example, MSN STMT 1.23.2010. This will help you keep track of revisions, and it’s fun to go back and look at the changes you’ve made a few weeks or months later.
8. Print out the mission statement and keep it somewhere you’ll see it frequently. This is critical. Your mind is a powerful tool, and you should see and read this mission statement at least once a day. Prepare to be transformed. Examine your mental garden to see if there are any impediments to making your mission statement a reality. Are you, for example, envious of others? Stop. When you see a happy couple, replace your envy with gratitude. “If it happened for them, it’s a sign that it’ll happen for me, too,” you tell yourself.
9. Don’t be afraid to make a few “course corrections” and revise your mission statement as you learn more about yourself and potential partners. You could have a column labelled “can’t live with” and another labelled “can’t live without.”
10. Prepare yourself for your new life. Change the way you think about yourself if you don’t think you’re lovable. If you believe *anyone* is too good for you, consider why you have such thoughts.
11. Have some fun. Take pleasure in the process. You can get there from here, but you’ll need a map and a compass. The mission statement serves as both a map and a compass. It’s a good place to start and will get you where you need (and want) to go.
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