MISSION – What am I committed to that is greater than myself?

What this is about:

  • Having a professional direction. Smart people can do any number of things, but what issue is important to YOU? What do you want your career to impact?
  • Knowing your “Why”. Why are you going into medicine? When the going gets hard, what will keep you “in the game”?
  • Being committed to something greater than ourselves. Are you a ‘giver’ or a ‘taker’ in life?

Why it matters:

  • Leadership. If you’re in it for yourself, your ability to influence and impact others will be severely limited. People follow those who have a purpose that is greater than themselves.
  • Professional Advancement. When you apply for career opportunities, and you are asked about your career direction, will you have a well-considered, compelling response?
  • Resilience. Medicine is challenging, in training and in practice. Having a greater sense of purpose will allow you to persevere.

Prompts for Reflection:

  • The people who most need what I have to contribute are…


  • The problems I feel most compelled to address are…


  • If I had $100 million in the bank, and money was not an issue, it would be meaningful for me to do…


  • The ways I can best contribute towards solving a problem are…



  • Five Years to Live: You found out that you only had five years to live. (Gulp.) You can’t put off your dreams any more. You must start the process to realize your dreams today. What would you be building towards with your last five years staring you in the face?
  • Volunteer for Something You Care About: I’m not talking about volunteering in order to have it on your resume. I’m talking about the type of volunteering where you are doing it because you believe fully in the cause. If you’re ever stuck wondering about what your “cause” is, go out there and volunteer. That is a powerful way to awaken your purpose.
  • Just Ask Yourself: Take about twenty to thirty minutes by yourself and ask, “What is my authentic purpose in life?” Then, just start writing down the answers that come to your mind. For every answer you write down, you will feel the emotional charge of that statement. Some will have more, some less. Just keep writing. At some point, you will write something that will have such a high charge that you will begin to cry. That’s the one you’ve been waiting for.