ADHD APPROVED | Define Your Purpose
What are your mission, vision, and values?
ON LOSING YOUR PURPOSE
The other day I went to the kitchen to get some moisturizer, but I came back with nothing because I’d forgotten why I was there. This sort of thing happens to me all the time. This is partially due to my ADHD- poor working memory is one of the symptoms. But from my understanding, everyone gets a little lost at times. We get a little turned around, or find ourselves doing things without knowing why we’re doing them.
Sometimes we, as artists and entrepreneurs, may occasionally lose our purpose. Even while you’re taking actions to get to your goal, you may lose sight of why those actions are necessary in the first place. For example, you could be an actor, sending your reel to director after director, and quickly lose sight of where you wanted to go. If you’re in business, you may pitch to clients day in and day out, but if you’re not careful your pitch may become more manufactured than inspired. This leads to a loss of interest from everyone, including yourself. These instances of loss can have much larger ramifications than just forgetting some moisturizer. It’s easy to forget your purpose after a long period, especially if you think there’s little to no progress being made.
ON HOW TO RECONNECT WITH YOUR PURPOSE
When you begin to forget your purpose, you may have to make a difficult decision. Should you go back to the beginning, and abandon your progress? Or should you continue, and potentially doom yourself to a sunk-cost fallacy? While I can’t make that decision for you, you should first try to recall why you’re doing what you’re doing. It’s time to reevaluate your daily actions. How do they relate to your goal? Why did you begin doing these things in the first place? Are they truly still necessary, or can you replace these actions with more useful ones? These questions should help you, at the least, evaluate what you’re doing, and, with any luck, reconnect you with your purpose. Even if you saw no progress made towards your ultimate goal, your actions still weren’t a waste of time. You’ve eliminated certain possibilities, and have found things that don’t work for you, so you know to avoid them in the future. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Just because you’re lost and confused doesn’t mean that what you’re doing has no value. However, while your actions will always have value, it’s better to avoid getting lost in the first place.
ON MISSION, VISION, VALUES
At KIRUNIVERSE, we talk about this sort of thing all the time. To keep ourselves from getting lost, and forgetting our purpose, we keep our mission, our vision, and our values at the center of everything we do. Seriously, we talk about this all the time. To explain what each of these things are to us, we write them down in statements, and each of them serve a different purpose. Let me explain. A vision, as KIRU defines it, is your ultimate goal- it’s where you want to end up, the big picture. Your mission sums up the daily actions you take to get to your vision. Your values are what guide you in your decision-making process. Often, when you’ve found yourself needing to reconnect with your purpose, it’s because you’ve lost sight of how it connects to your ultimate goal, your vision. You feel lost because you can’t see what’s ahead of you. This is why having a mission statement is so important. Whether it’s personal or business-related, a mission statement can serve as a good reminder for why you do what you do.
Sometimes you’re disconnected from your vision because you’ve only forgotten how your actions can get you there. Sometimes, it’s because your mission no longer feels as if it has a larger purpose at all. And sometimes, it’s because you’re taking unnecessary actions simply because you’re used to doing them. This is why you need to not just write a mission statement, but also come back to it for a review. While changing it on the fly isn’t a good idea, sometimes things do need to be altered. One of our favorite resources for developing an effective mission statement can be found here.
Sometimes it can be easy to get lost after you start something, but the key here is to remember why you started. What are your mission, your vision, and your values? Define them, and keep them at the center of everything you do. And as you continue to learn and grow, don’t be afraid to change them. Whether you’re going into business, starting a new project, or simply entering a new chapter of life, knowing how to write a mission statement is a great way to start smart.