As a woman of over 40 years old, at times I’ve felt the best years of my life were behind me.
I can feel like I’m spinning my wheels getting no where. Do you ever feel that way?
What foolishness! That’s just plain, crazy talk! But, it prompted me to review my over 40 mission statement.
Usually this sentiment is nothing more than a brief moment of stupid self-pity spawned by my scale on weigh-in day. I swear that thing loses it’s sense of direction when it registers toward a wickedly high number.
Or, the mood could be brought on by the stubborn, mean-spirited gray hairs determined to contaminate my once beautiful hairline. I even think those all too brief moments of melancholy are linked to … ummm…errr…. power surges or personal heating spasms (i.e. my over 40 hormones). You know the ones that cause you to feel heat when no one in the room does.
Anyhoo, when I feel that way – which not too often – I quickly shake it off and remember I have a whole lot of living left to do and tons more to contribute to this world! I’ve lived (and girl, I really have) and I’m in a perfect position to help and support young women on their journey.
No, I don’t know everything – but I know a lot.
Sharing it -the good and the bad – is a huge part of who I am.
I strive to leverage my experiences and talents improve the lives of others in some shape or form. It could be as simple as prompting a giggle or encouraging them in some way. It could be empathizing with someone’s struggles and reminding them they can make it or just by simply being of some sort of service to them. Humbly put, that’s my way of contributing to the world. It is one of the reasons my heart beats.
Do you know what your life [motivation]? Can you articulate it? I’m talking far beyond motherhood or being someone’s wife. I’m talking mission.
My Over 40 Mission Statement
I love mission statements. I know they may seem so 90s, but these statements are like personal little “lighthouses” ensuring you are authentically living your path. They can govern your life efforts and the activities you allow into it.
My personal mission is so much a part of me that I live it out regardless of where I am, whose in my company or where I work. It’s my resolve. Want to hear it? I hoped you would and here it is:
“My mission statement is to inspire, encourage and empower others.”
I wrote this over 20 years ago and it’s still a huge part of my identity. Heck, it is my identity. My personal goals stem from it and my relationships are largely driven by it.
A simple Google search can yield millions of online articles to help you write your own mission statement. However, since you’re here with me, let me give you a few quickie tips on writing your over 40 personal mission statement and the easy process that worked for me all those years ago.
Think about who you are… who you really are at your core?
Sometimes, life forces us to wear masks because of what it requires [of us] in a particular life season. For example, maybe you chose a career in your twenties that really doesn’t speak to who you are now in your 40s.
That happened to me. My very first “real” job was in banking. I liked the structure and culture of it. It seemed like a good fit for me “an up and coming” 23-year-old. Nevertheless, the person I grew into was really more interested in helping others in relevant and meaningful ways. Thank God I switched careers before my 30s. Banking, and it’s culture, would never suit me in my current life season. I’d be absolutely miserable!
Now, let’s think about you and your mission statement
Who is your truest self?
I mean who are you when no one is looking? What sorts of things do you think or dream about? Do you tend to daze about artistic, creative peaceful things. Maybe you think of ways to advocate for those who need it. What about bringing order to chaos? Perhaps, you muse about solving problems or making the world better by removing efficiency barriers.
Who exactly are you deep down? What are your core values?
Review these words and see if any fit. Those that do, jot them on a piece of paper or in your journal.
Ask yourself: “which activities in life bring me the most fulfillment and enjoyment? Answers could be writing, helping, repairing, diagnosing, creating, teaching or something else. This is part of your mission statement.
Here is another prompt: reflect on the last thing you did that really made you “exhale” in your spirit. I’m speaking of that feeling you get when you felt you did something incredibly worthwhile, constructive and needed. I’ve had that feeling a million times doing what I do best – training or instructing.
Most recently, I experienced it during a team-building workshop I facilitated for a small company in Kansas City. The staff was somewhat newly assembled and worked remotely from all across the country. Being the catalyst for them coming together and watching them connect as a team was sheer magic for me. I empowered them in ways that will benefit them for years to come. The post-training evaluations made me feel alive or “gave me life” as the young people would say! What makes you feel that way? Your answer is likely linked to your mission.
Don’t be intimidated by writing this statement. Hey, a personal mission statement doesn’t have to be complex. In fact, it’s better if it is shorter. Shorter statements are easier to internalize and remember long-term.
See if it helps to finish this sentence: I live and breathe to:
Your” Short-Term” Legacy
Have you ever been around someone wearing an appealing fragrance? I’m not talking about a scent that made you long for a haz-mat suit in order to escape it. I’m thinking of something like Chanel No 5; that’s rather soft, lingering and pleasant when applied correctly.
Did you know people have the same impact on you emotionally? Some can be immensely pungent and “stinky” to the soul. Maybe because they are negative, judgmental or just mean. Those folks emotionally repel me.
Some people are like Chanel to be around – un-intrusive whispers of emotional cheer. Being around them makes you feel…just good. Even after you part their company, you still feel lifted.
This is what I call a short-term legacy. You’ve heard of long-term legacies, but these are shorter happenstances that pack a punch inter-personally. It could be a checker at a store. A very sensitive and kind server at a restaurant could also have that short-term legacy effect.
What is the short-term legacy you aspire for yourself. How do you want to leave people after being in your presence? List three words describing how you want people to feel when they leave your presence:
__________________________ _____________________ ________________
I hope you’ll use these mini-exercises to scribble out a tentative personal mission statement for this season of your life.
You’re so much stronger and better than who you were in your 20s and 30s. Embrace memories of your younger self, and then begin the process of defining your over 40 mission statement.
Write it down. Make it plain. Next, I want you to date it and revisit it in about two weeks. Amend it as necessary and re-visit it again until it is just right.
Remember, this should be something you can “live out” no matter where you are, regardless of your job title or station of life. Good luck and let me know what you come up with!
Additional Resource for writing your over 40 mission statement:
Why You Need to Create a Personal Mission Statement
Accepting Getting Older (and thriving)
Accepting Getting Older
I may be over 40, but my best years are ahead of me! Click To Tweet