Finding Your ‘Special Purpose’

January 18, 2012 — 18 Comments

What’s your ‘special purpose?’

Purpose for … your job, your family, your creative projects, your blog, your entrepreneurial endeavors.

Why do you do what you do?

A 19 second scene from The Jerk with Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters:

 Perhaps I took that clip out of context. Still, you gotta get excited about finding your purpose right?

The Big Company

A purpose–or mission statement–must mean something. The best way for it to have weight and value is to determine it for yourself. Reading a fabricated mission statement and crafting your own are, as Mark Twain said, “the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”

Take for instance a recent company-wide training I crafted. I borrowed the Mad Libs concept, made a list of action words that applied to each individual department and voila!

Insta purpose.

Mission Statement Mad Libs

 The Start Up

A couple days ago my friend Mark e-mailed asking for some ideas for his film production company he’s opening. We again borrowed the Mad Libs concept:

Instructions:

  1. Pick a word from list one
  2. Pick a word from list two (if needed/wanted)
  3. Blend the words from list one and two
  4. Pick and ending
  5. There’s your name

List One (values, belief, purpose of company)

Grow, Vibe, Right, Wonder, Clarity, Squished, Senior/First/Master, Angled, ViewPoint, Real/Reel, Synthesis, Grafted, Definite/Definitive, Simple, Vibrant

List Two (optional)

Sharp, Reliable, Focused, True/Truth, Shine, Clear

List Three (endings)

Films, Productions, Company, LLC, Group, Chicken Fried Steak

End Result: Not sure. What did you chose Mark? Or did you come up with something completely different?

The Artist

A starting point…. or make your own and post it in the comments.

The purpose of my creativity is to                  (verb)                               (noun)           to/for           (noun)             and            (noun)           .

My work is         (adjective)                   (adjective)          and            (adjective)        .

 Why do you create? What’s your mission statement?

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Andrew Zahn

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I'm a son, husband, dad, business owner, actor and good sleeper/eater. On this blog, I pave a highway for creative growth by providing food, water, and shelter for those wishing to live, work, and play with creative zest.
  • Mark

    I made the blog! Thanks Andrew. I think we might go with Simple Reel. Brilliant idea.

    • Andrew Zahn

      I like it!

  • http://danblackonleadership.info Dan Black

    What a great starting point exercise, looking forward to doing it today. These are some great thoughts and insights.

    • Andrew Zahn

      Thanks for dropping in Dan!

  • http://sevensentences.com Geoff Talbot

    This is a really great blog. I love how you personalized the mission statement for the artist. Going to try this myself.

    • Andrew Zahn

      Thanks Geoff! I’m honored to have you reading.

      Go ahead and post your mission statement here or on your blog. We’d love to read it.

  • http://www.rebeccatatum.com Rebecca Tatum

    My purpose is to destruct creatively. Thank you for this fun, simple, yet flippin’ profound way to get vision. When there’s no vision, the people will perish!

    • Andrew Zahn

      Destruct creatively. Man, that’s an awesome title for something.

      What does ‘destruct creatively’ mean to you Rebecca?

  • http://www.indueseason.net Skottydog

    I love the movie reference. I strongly related to that, as I don’t always find my purpose so much as I find that I am a jerk!

    • Andrew Zahn

      You’re finding it though. Your writing, blog and purpose are really coming along Scott.

      And… you’re helping a lot of people along the way: bonus!

  • Aimee

    I have been a part of creating many “Mission Statements” both in ministry and while teaching and the task has always been rather dreadful. The thought of attempting to create a superb statement with a team of people was always a daunting task. The “Mad Lib” idea, particularly with a pre-made list of “idea words” is fantastic. This is your 1st post that completely excited my brain!

    • Andrew Zahn

      So glad Aims!

      Yes, this method had been helpful numerous times in the past three or four months.

      Some of those meetings can be agonizing right. Oooh, I’ll post a link on your FB about one such meeting. I think you’ll like it.

  • http://www.scrollwork.blogspot.com Scrollwork: Quirkyisms from a Tropical Transplant

    Squished Shine Chicken Fried Steak sounds like a winning company name to me.

    This will be the second time I’ll say that you’ve triggered a blog post idea. I already forgot what the first one was that you inspired so I’ll have to look for my previous comment. It’s not you; it’s me.

    • Andrew Zahn

      I can’t read one of your comments without cracking a smile…

      One word: Evernote. Great app for ideators like you! Keeps all those post ideas and other good schtuff in one place.

      Loved your piece on the zombie upcycler. Still trying to figure out if I like them or loathe them. . .

  • http://www.jonathanpettus.com JP

    No mission statement should ever be crafted without first watching The Jerk.

    • Andrew Zahn

      We’re 100% on the same page Jonathan. 100 per cent.

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