I am on a mission. My mission is to commit my voice to those who have none, to those whose voices have been stripped, silenced or ignored. My mission gives me unstoppable clarity and power. My actions are laser focused, and I have an ability to "see" connections that eluded me before.
How does a mission generate such power? I recently connected the dots with the help of my friend, Mary Atherton. Mary is the former editor of Modern Salon Magazine, and joined P&G about four years ago.
Mary told me one of her former companies sponsored teamwork workshops with a symphony orchestra. Mary was paired with the first chair violinist. She told me that when the violinist played, she played from this "kernel of joy" and that joy emanated from her and transported her audience.
When I heard this story, I realized my mission comes from the center of me and powers outwards. My mission started with a core belief, but that belief was not enough. I had a sense of vagueness and I wasn't sure where to start or what to do. When I looked for the power from within me, I was not generating enough power to make a meaningful difference.
That is how I discovered that mission clarity and personal "wholeness" are related. For a variety of reasons, I was living with a lot of protective barriers. My life of safety was limiting my exposure and growth which caused my lack of clarity.
Commitment to my mission made me determined to break out of my comfort zone. As I stretched myself, my mission got clearer. As my mission became clearer, I stretched farther with more confidence. My life and my mission propelled each other until finally, they overlapped perfectly and became my kernel of joy, my source of power. Now my mission powers every action, thought and choice.
Let me close by asking you to reflect on where you are on your life's mission. Are you off balanced and need to center yourself? Are you feeling centered, but missing the concrete next steps? If you seek more clarity for your mission, take a journey to the center of you. When your life and your mission are centered, you will find your kernel of joy. Then feel your mission power your life.
PS. I have a great exercise on cocktail napkins that will help you unlock areas where you are stuck. Check out Facing Fear on Paper in Evoke Leadership
Here is Ji-Hae Park, a violinist whose performance beautifully illustrates the power of joy from within.
In her quest to become a world-famous violinist, Ji-Hae Park fell into a severe depression. Only music was able to lift her out again -- showing her that her goal needn’t be to play lofty concert halls, but instead to bring the wonder of the instrument to as many people as possible.