“Have no fear of perfection—you’ll never reach it.”–Salvador Dali
Who are you, and what’s your story?
This might seem obvious. But you need to think carefully about where you’ve come from, and how to tell your story in an authentic and engaging way.
Starting from the beginning always help me determine my end goals and reach a purpose. I always begin with wiping my brain of assumptions. I write out every detail so I can narrow it down to its true essence. So I want to start by telling my story from the very beginning. This is such a cliche story but I feel like it’s a story that’s been told many times before and given me the connections with those story. I relate to them.
I am Lynn Nguyen. I was born in Denver, Colorado, 31 years ago. I am a first generation Vietnamese in America. Growing up, my parents worked really hard to give me and my brothers the life that they couldn’t have. They sacrificed their lives to give us the best life. As an adult, I truly understand their sacrifice. Knowing that motivates me to be the best that i can be to provide for them what they provided me. I wanted to make them happy. When I was younger, I wanted a career where I can make lots of money. I wanted to be in the medical field. The Vietnamese culture is all about status. A parent has pride based on the title of their kid. A doctor means much more that just a healer. My culture saw it has a symbol of wealth and intelligence. I wanted to give my parents that honor so I wanted to be a pharmacist. I tried my hand by starting out as a pharmacy technician and came to the realization that it was to repetitive for me. I wasn’t a 9-5, M-F kind of girl so I decided to go back to school. At the time, I was very passionate about solving crimes so I went to school to pursue a criminology degree. After realizing that you can’t solve crimes over night, I decided to cross that off my list. While all of this, I took an intro to digital design class and dipped my toes into the digital world. I fucken loved it. The funny thing was, I’ve been working with Adobe for as long as I can remember. It had always been a hobby of mine and never thought that I could make a career out of creating. So right then I know this was my path and entered into the digital world. It’s insane to see your growth as a designer. I love to learn. Design gives me the reason to learn different things. Its always changing and I love the versatility.
2 years ago, I lost my cousin to cancer. She was 34 years old. Her story inspired me to invest in my well-being but also share what I know to others.
What do you believe in?
What are your values? What drives you? What words would you want people to use to describe you at your funeral?
Knowing that I can help someone drives me. Knowing that I can inspire or motivate somehow drives me. Adventurous. Positive. Inspiring. Motivating. Thoughtful. Caring. Loving. Authentic. Transparent. Imagination. Simplicity. I see beauty in the simplicity.
What makes you different from other people in your field?
In branding terms, this would be your differentiator or USP (unique selling point). Look closely at your list of beliefs. Which of them set you apart from the rest of your peers? Which of them do you feel most strongly about? How does this manifest itself in your work?
I’ve always tried to create things that I have meaning. Meaningful work to me means dissecting a problem and a solution that is true to it’s essence but meaningful. I believe there is a true story to everybody and I want to capture that into its true and rawest form. truest self. I want my work to be authentic.
1. Schedule some quiet time just to write. Do this four times a day for three days. Schedule 5 minutes for yourself, but if you get into it just keep writing. Make sure that you schedule this time for when you aren’t rushed and can focus on just this. Write in a place that doesn’t make you tense or distracted. You might consider writing with pen and paper rather than a keyboard. Just like sketching initial design concepts, the inability to continuously edit and re-edit can be freeing and conducive to engaging new ideas. If you do go analog, please be sure to transcribe your writing into your blog for this post assignment (and let me know if you tried the old-school method).
2. Start with a question.
- What’s important to me?
- Kindness. Seeing a more kind world. Being authentic. Being your true self. Being conscious. Compassion. My craft. Everything about the process. Well-being. Conscious living.
- What do I want my legacy to be?
- I want to inspire and motivate people. I want to create change in the world and I must start with myself.
- What does my ideal day look like?
- Wake up, meditate, do yoga in my green house, go for a nature walk, drink tea, organize my space, make music, record videos, learn, create, go to a concert and dance or just dance like no one is watching.
- Who would I do anything for?
- I would do anything for anybody. I like to be helpful. I am very thoughtful of other people and always try to help as much as I can.
- What am I grateful for?
- Being alive, being able to go to school, having a roof over my head, being able to eat. Having a great support system.
- When do I feel the calmest?
- While I am sleeping, haha. While I am creating something for myself, when I am making music, when I am making music. Mostly while I am creating something for myself I am calmest.
- What makes me feel powerful?
- Matcha. LOL. Accomplishment makes me feel powerful. Knowing my self-worth.
- What makes me different from other people?
- I always think about the other person before I think about myself. How can I make them happy? I always try to encourage positivity. I speak my mind in what I believe in and try to be humble. I am my true self. I don’t give a fuck about what people say. Good vibes only.
- When do I feel most useful?
- What makes me feel alive?
- What do I wish I made more time to do?
- Create music
- learn music
- LEARN anything
- What am I great at?
- Great listening, great observer. I feel like I am an empath. I am an emotional person. Being thoughtful. Putting myself in other’s shoes.
- What’s something I haven’t done that I want to do before I die?
- Skydiving! Make music that people will enjoy. Believing in myself. Travel the world.
- If I had an extra hour each day, how would I fill it?
- Read, create, outdoor stuff, learn.
- Who inspires me? Why?
- Who do I want to inspire? Why?
- What am I most proud of?
- I am a deep thinker.
- The list can go on forever, and your questions can be as broad or as specific as you want. The point of this exercise is to get you to reflect on who you are now, who you want to become and what you’re willing to do to get there. Use concrete examples when you can, and don’t judge your answers.
3. Review your entries after you’ve been journaling for about several days.
- What patterns are emerging?
- Is anything standing out as a top goal?
- How does that connect to your greater purpose?
- Use these entries to figure out your life’s priorities. This should be for your professional life, your personal life, and your passions and interests. You can also name a top priority for who you are physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
4. Make a statement. Now that you’ve reviewed these entries, you should be ready to craft your own personal mission statement.
According to author William Arruda, you can think of your personal mission statement as, “The value you create + who you’re creating it for + the expected outcome.”
A great example of this is CEO Amanda Steinberg of Dailyworth.com : “To use my gifts of intelligence, charisma, and serial optimism to cultivate the self-worth and net-worth of women around the world.”
This is an excellent example of a personal mission statement that recognizes individual value and ability and identifies how the person intends to use her talents. If you don’t feel ready to draft your personal mission statement just yet, continue to steps 5 and 6.
5. Hung up on identifying “the value you create”? Just ask around. Look to people who really know you, and people who you spend a lot of time with in different contexts. Ask them what you do well. Ask for specifics, especially when it comes to less tangible skills – like charisma or creating a supportive environment.
6. Look to your idols. Research the people that you admire to see how they live their lives, and what practices helped them along the way. Do some detective work to find some examples of personal mission statements from the people that you look up to. There’s a good chance that you’ll find something that will inspire you to write your own.
I help___________________(audience) to ___________________ (reach primary benefit(s) or solve primary problem). I’m different from other ___________________ (category) because ___________________ (diferentiator)
My mission is to use my design skills to document my journey as a designer and to inspire many to be the most authentic version of them self through conscious living.