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The SeamLess Life

Issue #7 August 3, 1998

Your Personal Declaration of "Essence"

Do you remember how important the Declaration of Independence was to the founding of the U.S.? That one document put a stake in the ground for a new country. It DECLARED that the U.S. existed and what it stood for. It pulled a collection of random territories into a country with 13 states. It gave birth - brought into being - a whole new way of governing.

On the path to The Seamless Life™ you must make a DECLARATION for yourself. You must claim, by DECLARING it, "the Essence of Y.O.U." It's a set of stands that you take, standards that you hold yourself to, for the life that you are creating. It reflects the past and sheds light on your future in a personalized way. It's a powerful, 1-2 page statement that includes potent statements of 10 key life and work areas.

This article contains a brief overview of the whole of this DECLARATION. In the next several articles, we'll be describing in depth how you create this Declaration and implement it in your life.

You'll get to use all you've discovered so far through your SeamLess Life™ fieldwork. (If you've missed reading some articles -- they are archived in the Table of Contents.)

So far, you've:

  • examined the arenas of your life and noted where you spend most of your time and energy now vs. your ideal

  • learned that "the long view" of your life is at least as important as the "to do's" and deadlines of today

  • swatted a few "gnats" you were no longer willing to tolerate and identified several "sufferings" you don't deserve

  • identified your 5 current, primary Needs and the understanding of how these drive you if you are not satisfying them

  • discovered your core Values and what you'll want to have in place to live your life through these

  • determined your gifts and most important, satisfying talents-and the place they need to have in your life and business.

    If you've done all of this, you've done some in-depth exploration of your current situation. It's now time to "trim your sails," capitalize on all you've learned by letting it become part of how you chart the next leg of this journey. You're ready to move on into creating your future. You're ready to create your Declaration of Essence of Y.O. U. - YOU in your work, YOU in your life.

    When you've completed your Declaration, here's what it will contain:
    Your vision: A statement of the world in which You want to live.

    Your purpose: How you define what you'll do (your intentions and your actions) to create the type of world you want to live in. Your compelling reason for being.

    Your mission: Your map or plan to carry out your purpose, and the specifics of how to implement it.

    Your touchstones: Observable and measurable signs and signals that Are indications that you are fulfilling your purpose and mission.

    Your attributes: The special qualities or gifts you carry into your work and relationships.

    Your benefits: How others benefit through what you create in your work and your life

    Your credo: A distinctive belief you hold and are identified with, one that underpins what you do and how you do it.

    Why do this?

    Like the writers of the Declaration of Independence, staking out your territory will actually bring it into being for you. Here are reasons that our clients have given for undertaking this act of Declaration:

  • "I am selecting my own life view-and letting go of others' expectations."
  • "When I lose sight of my destination, I regain it quickly."
  • "Being focused becomes easier. There's not time to do it all, and my Declaration surfaces my priorities readily and naturally."
  • "I've avoided burn-out! I know what to choose, and my engagements are values-based."
  • "When all else gets in the way or I drift, I can reconnect with my True North through my Declaration.
  • "I've gained a clarifying lens which I now own for life. I know what my calling is."
  • All of these endeavors -- actively creating your own Vision, Purpose, Mission -- increase your sense of your own destiny. You get the courage to live more into and through your values. You may become aware of beginning to live from a deeper place. You feel more spontaneous pleasure, a sense of universal connectedness with others, with nature and with your world.

    The Michaelangelo Effect

    Michaelangelo's greatness as a sculptor came from his gift of "seeing" into the marble. He said that what he did was carve away everything that was NOT the true figure that was already in the stone. In effect, his work was to release the greatness that was already there.

    When you write your Declaration, you are releasing your life-another work of art which is confined within stone-- from its constraints. Uncovering your gifts and talents and letting the plan for your life unfold.. The art with which you apply them will become your technique and style. We can help shed extra light on the arenas for chiseling, sanding, and the refining of your life -- and your willingness and investment in the sculpting of YOU will carve and direct the shape of your future.

    Start by identifying your point of power.

    Have you reached the point in your life where you realize clearly what cannot continue to go on? This is what Robert Fritz called your Point of Power. Your Point is something which has served you in your past. Now it's your point of departure and the place to which you never want to return. It's your "backstop" - you can count on and push against it to help develop your future.

    Joan, a consultant to Fortune 500 Businesses, identified her Point of Power: She wanted to escape the tyranny of her calendar. As much as she loved the career she'd created, she traveled too much and spent too much time away from home. Her career was running more than its share of her life. She couldn't go on this way. She decided to recreate her life and her work.

    Here are examples of first drafts of her new Vision, Purpose, Mission .

    Joan's vision: My vision is that people will be able to live life from a choice position -- selecting day-in and day-out out how to do that in the way that matters most to them.

    Joan's purpose: My purpose is to support and partner professionally and personally with leaders and others who create profitable businesses that support human spirit.

    Joan's business mission
    My Mission is to have my own Needs met sufficiently enough,
    My own Values clarified
    So I can be my best self
    When I partner with clients
    To create the environment where they can do the same.
    I will do this through coaching, consulting, training, facilitating,
    mentoring, co-leading, speaking and BEing -- through the heart.

    In upcoming articles, we'll show you the specific process by which Joan--and you--arrive at a complete Declaration. Our invitation to you is to create these for your own life. Like the writers of that other Declaration, you'll go through several drafts of your work. You'll reflect on what you have. On what you want. On what you don't need any longer. And, you'll bring into being a powerful manifesto of your life and your work that will be rich, real, and long-lasting.

    Join us next week for another installment of Tips in Leading the Seamless Life™

    Come back August 17 for Issue # 8 in this bi-weekly series!

    Do you have any questions about this article? Need advice on your life? E-mail us! Diane can be reached at, and Sherry can be reached at

    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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