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by Boysen Hodgson (This invitation is inspired by a blog post from Chris Brogan, “My 3 Words for 2013.”) 

Part of the work we do in the ManKind Project centers around purpose and mission in the world. By envisioning the kind of world we want to live in, and seeing what we are doing in this world, we craft a mission for ourselves. My personal mission statement is “I transform culture by designing change, building bridges, and co-creating space for connection.” My mission has changed several times over the past 14 years. (If you’re interested in embodying this process for yourself, come to the New Warrior Training Adventure.)

A mission is big-picture. It doesn’t contain lower level strategies or tactics to follow. The concept of ‘My 3 Words’ helps fill in some of the detail missing from the mission statement. Key questions are HOW and WHAT KIND? Using my mission as an example — How will I go about doing the actions captured in my mission? What kind of person succeeds at ‘transforming culture?’ What kind of ‘bridge’ or ‘space’ am I creating?

When searching for the words to capture for yourself, even if you don’t have a mission statement — start with the ‘big story’ of what you want your world to look like. Then begin to hone in on what you’ll need to get there. Let your mind go there and see, taste, hear, touch, and feel the world you’re creating. Brainstorm for a couple of minutes and come up with a list. Let the list include all kind of words: nouns (even proper nouns!), adjectives, adverbs, verbs.

From the brainstorm, narrow your focus even further by asking — Which three of these things resonate more deeply? Which can I actually feel in my body when I say them?

Here’s what I came up with for 2019.
incisive – Cutting through the surface levels to make clear decisions, focused on the end goal.
up-close – Powerful and meaningful change happens up close. Get face to face. Get in the conversation.
shared – Share the responsibility, share the credit, share the stage, share the gifts. Share it ALL.

Another concept we use in the ManKind Project is ‘anchoring.’ Anchoring is about developing a felt sense of the concept, word, or feeling we are working with and anchoring the experience in our bodies. Maybe there is a motion or a specific posture. Maybe there is a sound or a small reminder object to help you bring your three words back to you.

When you have 3 words that you can really feel, anchor them. And if you’d like, share them with us! 

Here’s wishing you a powerful #NewYear!

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