Mission statements took surprisingly little time. However, that was after we spent our first hour pouring over reading material we'd brought to share, reading articles about personal brand development and branding companies re-inventing themselves. My mission statement needs a little more polish before I post it, but that should be later today. I actually concluded that my old one still applies very well and just needed some refining.
We talked about website development, the images that visually communicate our personal messages etc. These we will go into more depth about in a few weeks when we meet again to work on our life plan. atticuswest mentioned a really interesting approach he'd heard about: start planning your life from your death. If you know me, you know I already plan to live to be 100 as anything less is simply not enough time, in my book, and even then, who's to say that 100 years is long enough. For me it's merely the minimum. So planning back from 100, what do I want my life to be like? This approach also gives me time to plan projects I've already had in mind in a reasonable context. They don't all need to get done next year, but there is a natural progression to goals. If I want to travel around the world when I am 50, I will need to start planning and saving prior to that, which will affect what my priorities are in the years that precede that. If I want to still be living independantly when I'm 80, there's a whole lifelong pattern of health and well-being I need to set into place. And if I want to be with family at 100, instead of a home, I need to cultivate relationships in such a way that this will be a happy experience for everyone. See how it's not just about achieving goals but about setting a tone for your life so that you're steering the ship? It blows my mind.
Lastly, I got some great feedback last night about perceptions of me. atticuswest told me that when he was trying to explain to some friends what he was going to be doing last night and who I was, the first thing he thought about was creativity and the next was organization. Now I don't think of myself as organized, but this isn't the first time I've heard that that's how I'm perceived. I don't think it matters if it is true right now. What matters is that if I want it to be true and to be a part of my image over the longterm (and I do!) I need to make it true and I need to continue doing what I'm doing that conveys that idea.
When I got home, I checked email, and he'd sent me a testimonial I could use on my website eventually. I am honored and flattered by it. And empowered to live up to his words.