What’s Your Why-Mission Statement, Vision Statement, Core Values of K. TRÄUMER

“What’s your why?”

A good business, a good church, any good organization or individual ought to put some thought into this question. And yet it’s not a question we are asked frequent enough. Subconsciously, we may have embedded in our minds and souls principles and some guide towards meaning. Yet, when asked, we may find ourselves inarticulate or perhaps even begin to question our own intention in what we do. Even worse, we may feel dread, feeling a purposelessness about our actions, our aim, our very being. A boat is built with purpose and the captain sets forth a destination, but for that it needs to know how to steer and also anchor at points.

When we think about our daily routine, we rarely confront the topic of purpose. By and large, we can go on without it on a daily basis. We don’t need to be told or reminded of the purpose or principle behind brushing our teeth, eating, going to work, doing recreational activities or hobbies, or fostering meaningful relationships. Even important milestones of our lives don’t seem to require an explanation of the purpose. Do we really need to ask why we go to school, why we settle down and get married, get a job, have children? The principle or goodness of these things seems obvious or at the very least assumed, and yet even each of these require a particular aim. 

We typically don’t engage with the question “why” on a daily basis or even on milestones that will totally shape our lives.

We need a “why”

Having worked with more than a handful of individuals who suffer from depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation, I’ve seen how purpose and meaning are particularly tender points of hurt in many of our lives. Some of us attribute no value to their life because there seems to be no intrinsic purpose to life itself. Some of us misplace value in a particular job or relationship, and when either of those things goes away then our entire life crumbles. After such traumas and losses such as death, sickness, divorce, unemployment, etc, we find ourselves in a place where we might be open to reevaluate ourselves, our aim, our perception of the world and of others.

That being said, it doesn’t require loss or some life altering phenomena to bring us to existential dread or feelings of aimlessness. We may feel a kind of listlessness or emptiness in what we do, a lack of satisfaction in our work, a feeling of discontent in our relationships. Ultimately we may wonder “where is my life going” or “what am I doing that is significant?” There is a hunger or thirst we feel for something that is more than checkboxes of basic human needs, and too often we ignore those feelings that crave for purpose.

These feelings–like any physical sensation–inform something of our condition: there is an unmet need. We all have a need for meaning, for significance, for purpose, for a proper “why”; I would argue this need goes deeper than hunger or even safety. Unfortunately, too often, we ignore that feeling, satiating it with a distraction rather than doing some hard but necessary contemplation. We can numb the feeling for only so long, because the constant distractions we chase will not abate the storms that we will inevitably face and need to brave. When we experience sickness, loss, societal unrest, or even smaller aggravants such as irksome leadership in our work, badgering peers in school or in the office, or the mundane bad day that we all inevitably encounter, we will experience a kind of fall or stumbling in our minds and our hearts. Only purpose, only a proper “why” will endure these things.

And so, the good news is that we can lay a foundation for ourselves that will cushion these blows.

We can find our why

There’s a lot of excitement about this process. In beginning to ask this question, we can start to tease out what is most important to us, and thereby uncover a part of our souls and identities. We can live with an invisible coat of arms, a banner that we can look up to for inspiration, reminding us that whatever temporary grievance we encounter can be overcome by the everlasting power of purpose. We can accomplish incredible things with an aim to live by, enkindling a flame to burn us towards contributing something to ourselves, to our neighbors, to reality itself. The list goes on…

And we shall find that not only will we have bettered our lives through this consideration and contemplation, but  we may compel others when they see us buy into our own why to also seek out purpose and perhaps borrow from our own.

Simon Sidek in his famous Ted Talk explores how great businesses have thrived and boomed by beginning not with their product, but by a vision, a dream for what the future could hold for themselves and for others. People buy our “why”, not our “what” or our product.

So I invite us all to this exciting endeavor, and participate with me in exploring the why…whether that why be for your own personal life, for your project, for your business, for your family, what have you.

Three Exercises in Purpose

What’s your Mission Statement–What do you aim to contribute or add to life? What can you provide that there is a known need for? What can you transform for the bettering of the world?

What’s your Vision Statement–What do you dream of yourself becoming? What does the ideal you/project look like year from no? What will things look like so that you know you met your goal and accomplished your mission? What reachable bar is set to foster growth and creativity, to deter against idleness and complacency?

What are your Core Values–What are the defining attributes that you measure yourself or your work by? What are the pillars that keep what you do in focus, like the lines and guard rails on a highway? What helps keep what you do centered and anchored? What are endeavors worth putting your 200% into?

I appreciate these guiding questions of “why” for a few reasons. The Mission Statement is a succinct “about me” so people know what you are about. The Vision Statement spurns us to growth, reminding us that a beautiful and transformed entity awaits before each of us, the finished carving of ourselves still buried within the marble! And lastly, the core values allow us to focus on a handful of important principles rather than attempting to touch on all things or reach out of our scope of practice.

Take some time and consider these questions not only for your own project or business, but for your own personal life and endeavors. Be sure to share these musings with a close confidant to see if what you’ve written makes sense to someone on the outside, to see if others will “buy into” what you are penning down.

I wish you well in this endeavor and humbly submit my own contribution to this website and my writings:

The Whys of K. Träumer:

Mission Statement: To make use of my God given talents, to enflesh fantasy and imagination with literature, and to inscribe images in my literature which provoke edifying contemplation of metaphysics, existentialism, and the human condition.

Vision Statement: To be a published name regarded for infusing creativity and faith with books spanning a variety of genres that entertain while inspiring consideration of important themes and topics.

Core Values: Faith / Imagination / Metanoia

A blessed voyage to us all as we establish and rediscover our aim.

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