Say What You Want Already!

I can’t look at my newsfeed without seeing a story on Millennials and their commitment to meaningful careers. Surveys say that as a group, Millennials believe the ultimate goal of businesses should be to do good in the world. They want something more from a job, a higher purpose. But they also seem very frustrated. From my perspective, the really frustrating thing is that a lot of Millennials aren’t doing a good job of saying what it is they want out of life.

Word is, Millennials are looking for a “sense of meaning.” But nobody’s actually defining what that means. Millennials are all about the other M-word that’s buzzing through corporate America: Mission. In response, an increasing number of businesses out there are talking a lot about how they pursue their mission-centered objectives.

What is it that makes mission-centered companies so appealing? Are we really that much more enlightened these days? Eh. I wouldn’t go quite that far. What makes the notion of mission so compelling is the purposefulness of the story it advances. There is a depth and thoughtfulness to the narrative that captures people’s imagination. Mission makes the story memorable.

And that’s exactly why being able to articulate your personal mission matters. If you can’t say what you want to do, exactly how do you think you’re going to be able to do it?

To find your fulfillment, to get more out of life, you need to work toward the mission that matters to you. And that requires really getting in touch with what makes your heart beat faster. It’s an intensely personal thing to know and pursue your life’s mission. Take the notion of meaningful work. What is that? Is it saving the world? Eco-friendly manufacturing? Healthier eating? Only you can answer that question. Meaning is something that each of us defines in a very personal way.

As you think about your commitment to telling your story in 2015, start thinking about how to say what you want to accomplish. When you take the time to understand what matters to you, to advance your mission, it will enrich your life. When you make it real, put it on paper, bring it into the world, getting what you want out of life becomes much easier. Once you can define your mission, your story will become memorable, inspiring even, and it will empower you to move forward.

And that may be your key to saying what it is you do want.