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The SeamLess Life

Isuue #10, September 14, 1998

Mission Possible: Part Two of Two

Recall from last week that "Your mission, Reader, should you choose to accept it, is to develop a Mission: Possible for your work and your life." See Issue #9 for the first five steps in completing that mission... and find here the remaining six.

6. Rank Possibilities.
For each of the clusters you've created, rank its appeal for you, as High, Medium, or Low. No need to justify why something appeals to you--just trust your gut feeling about it and pay attention to your energy and excitement as you imagine yourself carrying out the idea. The trick here is to actually let yourself imagine you are doing this thing. Then do the ranking. Don't just read the phrase and rank without actually letting yourself have a fantasy about doing it.

In our earlier article, Your Personal Declaration of Essence (Issue #7), we talked about Joan's work on Vision and Purpose. Joan's rankings for this activity could have looked something like this:

  • consulting with leaders of Fortune 500 companies (in her own city, without air travel)
  • keynoting at leadership conferences
  • writing a book on leadership factors of executives of recently merged companies

  • writing a column on business communications in a local newspaperTER> (national would have had High appeal for her)
  • creating a new seminar on business communication
  • training corporate staffs in communication during times of major change

  • speaking internationally (too much travel!)
  • teaching at a local university
  • developing curriculum for an on-line weekly class on writing via chat mode on the WWW
  • Go back and circle or highlight the Highs. These are the ones you'll be working with below.

    7. Identify Your Top Choices
    Using the "High" list, identify your top choices. How? Use these 4 criteria:

    1. Great appeal for you--
      you're excited about it
    2. Lets you satisfy your Needs easily and readily, without struggle
    3. Lets you use your Gifts
    4. Lets you live through your Values.

    We suggest you find your top 3-5 choices. But if you have more possibilities right now, you can work through your entire list.

    8. List Major Blocks to Success, Obstacles to be Overcome.
    Time to do a reality check. For each of the Top Choices you've listed, identify the top obstacle that could block your success. For each obstacle, identify the first steps you could take to overcome the primary obstacles. How feasible is each in the time-frame of the upcoming year. Check your resources--what will you need that you don't have now? Any need for new skills, special talents, or financial resources? Check your energy level around each: do you have what it takes to move it forward?

    9. Re-rate Your Options. Let the Top Choice(s) Emerge.
    Take each of the top choices you've worked through the rate them again, as High, Medium or Low. By this point you will know that some are not likely to be successful. Let them drop off your list. Others may not be attractive to you any longer. But several will start to stand out to you as attractive. Let yourself name the top ones. Once you make even one piece of a decision, the likelihood is that this will release energy for you to fully decide the rest.

    10. Use T.E.P. to Whittle Down Your List.
    Put the name of each remaining option on a 3" x 5" card. Sort the cards by T.E.P.: Your willingness to invest Time, Energy, and Planning in each. Your #1 option is the one in which you are most willing to invest.

    Put the #1 T.E.P. option on the top card, and label it #1. Sort the other options accordingly, giving each the number which reflects their TEP ranking.

    Now, spread the cards out and rearrange them from left to right. At the left, put the option that is the easiest to do. At the right, place the option that will be the most difficult to do. Arrange the rest in between.

    11. Apply The P.I.P. Factor
    Search for the option that gets you the most P.I.P.--the most Practical, most Interesting and energizing, and most Possible.

    Take that one, let yourself identify the barriers and ways to overcome them (see step 8, above) --and, you're home! You've created Mission: Possible!

    Why Create A Mission?

  • Your mission provides the concrete path to guide your daily tasks and decisions. It says what you are willing to do in your life, in exchange for what you want to gain. Success in your mission brings you acknowledgment from the world that you're on track, on purpose. And, it gives you an internal personal sense of accomplishment because your life is Purpose-full.

    Put a Stake in the Ground

  • Your mission stakes out the territory that you are claiming, the ground you are willing to stand on publicly and privately. It lets you know what you can commit to. After all, your integrity is founded on being able to give and keep your word. So, be clear about what you are claiming. Clarify your mission so well that it can only be yours, no one else's.

    As Laurie-Beth Jones says in The Path, "You are either living your mission or you are living someone else's. Those with a clearly defined mission have always lead those who haven't any."

    Contact us with questions or suggestions.
    Sherry can be reached at
    The Lowry Group, Austin, Texas USA,

    Ph: 512-527-0097

    Diane and Sherry's book, Discovering Your Best Self Through the Art of Coaching, can be ordered at

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    Text © Diane Menendez & Sherry Lowry, 1998, 1999. Part of the original Sideroad.
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