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Kelly J. Cooper

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Life By Design [Apr. 25th, 2008|01:12 pm]
Kelly J. Cooper
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As always, I'm working on organizing my head space and it seems like lots of books encourage one to have a mission statement type of thing, expressing your intentions and maybe summarizing your personal philosophy or moral code. This then helps you, when you next write down long, medium, and short term goals, to see what fits and what conflicts with your overarching goals. Then you can eliminate the conflicting stuff or consciously change your mission statement or acknowledge that you're confused about stuff (and, presumably, work on that).

Yeah, it's a little woo-woo, but bear with me. Thanks.

Poll #1177023 Life By Design

Do you have a mission statement/uber goal kind of thing for your life?

What the hell?

If you do have one, would you mind sharing it with me? (It's totally OK if you don't want to... but I am curious how many people have one, even if they don't wish to share it.)

Don't mind at all - see comments
Don't mind at all - check your email
Sorry, but no
What the hell?

If you don't have one (I don't), would you like to draft one? I'll help you if you'll help me...

No thanks
What the hell?

[User Picture]From: istemi
2008-04-25 01:27 pm (UTC)
It always sounds like a useful exercise, and I am always unable to write one. Le sigh.
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[User Picture]From: kjc
2008-04-27 01:06 am (UTC)
I suspect that you actually have one.

It's something like "Learn, always" or "Never be bored."
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[User Picture]From: metagnat
2008-04-25 01:32 pm (UTC)
I put "what the hell?" for the last question, but what I really meant by that was, "Huhn. This is an idea I've never considered. It sounds like it could potentially be helpful, but also like it would take a lot of time to do and then maybe sort of lock me into something. It's worthy of more thought on my part, and I'm not sure where that thought will take me."


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[User Picture]From: kjc
2008-04-27 01:10 am (UTC)
Well, it's just sorta taking a look around your life and writing down a few things. Who are the people most important to you? What are the things that are most important to you? Name some stuff you'd like to accomplish.

Then you look at that and roll it around. What comes out?

"I hope to serve my community to the best of my ability."
"I want to protect and care for my family as well as develop my skills."
"I will stop at nothing to rule the world."

Then, once you've got your mission statement, you can focus your short, medium, and long term goals.
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[User Picture]From: kjc
2008-04-27 01:11 am (UTC)
I suppose i could write a long thing on how i think "well" expands.

You could, but only if it's important for helping you focus on goals and next steps. If it's clear in your head, it's good.
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From: selkiechick
2008-04-25 01:52 pm (UTC)
Revel and celebrate all the good things and good times, this is what gets you through the grim times.
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[User Picture]From: kjc
2008-04-27 01:12 am (UTC)
That's an excellent mission statement!
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[User Picture]From: miss_chance
2008-04-25 02:12 pm (UTC)
I have short/medium/long range goals, does that help?

within 2 years I'd like to be teaching at a school of fine arts, rather than the school I'm at now.
within 5 years I'd like to be in the DeCordova's Annual
within 20 years I'd like to have a show at a Big Name Museusm (Whitney, Guggenheim, MFA, that kind of thing)

Important to me is to continue to have friendships and relationships throughout my life, and not be committed only to career/art goals. Also important to me is to inhabit my whole body and not become too head-centric.

It matters to me that people to enjoy being at our home; feel comfortable here when we entertain (anything from parties to informal porch gatherings).

I'd like to ride a century this year or next on my bike, and develop kayaking skills over the next several years so that maybe kayak-camping along the coast is not out of the question.

I try to keep the five precepts of my spiritual practice as a guide for how to live in the world.

Does this answer the Q.?
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[User Picture]From: kjc
2008-04-27 01:15 am (UTC)
It does mostly answer the question.

I think your mission statement is something like, "To achieve artistic success in both teaching and producing; to create a warm and welcoming home; to increase my physical stamina and specific skills; to maintain a healthy balance between my emotional, spiritual, and creative life; and to cultivate good relationships."
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[User Picture]From: catness
2008-04-25 04:00 pm (UTC)
I don't have a mission statement, per se. There are things that matter to me about how I move in the world, though:

- Remember the positive, and create it when possible, for myself and others
- Impact negatively less often, be thoughtful and efficient about physical path through my universe and others'
- Stop waiting to do X until I feel better, I might not ever and I could get worse
- Only be frivolous or time-wasting with intent
- Strive for excellence, but not at the expense of well-being
- Provide alternate pathways if I'm going to build roadblocks

I think all the tangible goals I may or may not have will fall into place if these guidelines are consistently met.
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[User Picture]From: kjc
2008-04-27 01:16 am (UTC)
Hmm. I'd say we're talking about roughly the same thing.

Guiding principles are a little less goal-oriented, but still reveal what's important to you and give the shape of your ethos.
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[User Picture]From: sweetmmeblue
2008-04-25 05:27 pm (UTC)
To help people lead happier lives. Sometimes it's to make people think.
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[User Picture]From: kjc
2008-04-27 01:16 am (UTC)
Good missions, both.
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From: moria923
2008-04-26 12:25 am (UTC)
I have various short- and medium-term goals, but nothing that could be called a mission statement. I'm familiar with the concept, and a little wary of it. For a long time my life's goal was to become a professor of Russian literature. When i didn't get into the doctoral program, I no longer had a purpose.
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[User Picture]From: kjc
2008-04-27 01:21 am (UTC)
Well, there's a difference between a particular goal, or even a set of goals, and the guiding principles of your life.

Instead of "get this job" you might think in terms of "get a job that makes me happy" or "get a job that challenges my abilities and encourages me to grow" or "get a job where I work in a warm and supportive atmosphere."

I hear you on the pain of a purpose lost. Mine's a little more positive, but it left me deeply depressed. After 6.5 years, I finally graduated college back in 1994. I'd thrown all of my resources into surviving and graduating; it was like pushing against a stiff wind. Then, the wind died away and I fell forward. I didn't have any real plans for "what next" nor had I done much in the way of career planning or internships or cultivating contacts or anything like that.
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[User Picture]From: wonderreader
2008-04-27 11:23 am (UTC)

mission statement

No 3-5 year plan every time I try to create one - some small or major life event happens that throws it all out the window. After reading the replies I decided I did/do have some. Short term goal - "Make it through the night" a driving factor now seems to be "create something...anything". Also "stop wanting/accumulating so much stuff" has been around a long time with only moderate positive results. Since I found "you can be right or you can be happy" it has become a goal to chose happy, also with moderate success.
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[User Picture]From: kimberlogic
2008-05-01 08:32 pm (UTC)
I have had one for the past few years (since the huge life upheaval) but it needs revisiting/revising. I'll try to do that this weekend and would happily share it with you.

miss you babe.
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