Somebody should tell us at the start of our lives that we are dying then we might live to our limits. – Michael Landon
What is a Personal Legend?
A Personal Legend is your life’s spiritual purpose. It’s a spiritual calling that awakens a deep desire and passion to live with a sense of purpose for something greater than yourself. Some people might call it a mission or a vision statement, however, it’s more of a combination of the two that ultimately helps you leave a lasting legacy behind.
- A Vision Statement: Is your ultimate life’s purpose. It’s the contribution you make to the world, to society, to your community, to your industry and/or to your family.
- A Mission Statement: Is a code of conduct you live by. In other words, it’s a set of standards you have for living your life’s roles. These standards are built upon your personal values and they help shape the kind of person you seek to become through your daily choices, decisions, behaviors, and actions.
Let’s however not confuse a personal legend with the amount of success you can muster over a lifetime. This is not about success, accomplishment or about the longevity of life. It’s about working towards something that’s greater than yourself; it’s about working towards something that supports your highest spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical needs for living your life with purpose. It’s an ultimate goal that you have for your life that’s driven forward by “possibility”, not fear. You follow this path because it has a purpose, it serves a purpose, and it helps you live with purpose.
To live your life in pursuit of your personal legend is to live in accordance with your ultimate spiritual destiny. This means living “well” by living up to your highest potential as an extraordinary human being. You might, of course, need to develop certain skills, abilities, strengths and/or work on developing your talents in certain areas of your life. But that’s all part of the work you need to do to fulfill your personal legend.
All this basically comes down to building a compelling future and leaving a lasting legacy that stands the test of time. This, of course, requires you fully appreciate and understand what you must do and the kind of person you need to become as you move through this process.
Ultimately, to live in accordance with your personal legend means satisfying your six human needs to their highest level, while focusing on things that promote Class One behavior: feels good, is good for you, is good for others, and serves the greater good of all and everything concerned. That is essentially how a fulfilling life should be lived, and that is how a personal legend begins to manifest in your life.
For more information about the six human needs and about the four classes of behavior, please read Exploring Your Six Human Needs.
The Source of a Personal Legend
What follows is only speculation based on spiritual teachings that have been integrated into the MasterMind Matrix.
A personal legend is tied to your spirit. Your spirit exists outside of space and time. It’s connected to this world, however, it also has connections to other worlds. It is, therefore, a multi-dimensional entity existing on many different planes of existence all at the one time. And because your spirit exists beyond time itself, it therefore only exists in the present moment. As such, from a spiritual perspective, your past, present, and future all exist at the same time. Therefore your spirit is experiencing every moment of your physical existence in this world all at once.
You are the way you are “physically” and your life is how it is because of how your spirit has decided to shape this physical experience of reality. Your DNA is, therefore, nothing more than a physical manifestation of your spirit’s intentions (this includes your genetic predispositions). In other words, you are not really who you are physically, you are rather only one small part of a significantly larger consciousness that manifests from your spirit’s intentions. It’s very much akin to acting out a role in a movie.
Within a movie, you play a specific character who has their own beliefs, values, perspectives, fears, doubts, insecurities, etc. However, in real life you are not that character, you are a very different person who plays many roles outside of this movie. Therefore, the movie character is only one aspect of “you” that is part of a much larger and more complex personality that lives out many different roles of a parent, sibling, teacher, employee, lover, friend, colleague, teammate, etc. All of these roles create the “whole of you” in the same way that the many roles your spirit plays create the “whole of you”. However, because you exist within this physical world you are only aware of one of those roles, which is the person you recognize yourself to be.
Your spirit decided to express itself in physical form in this world because it wanted to experience life within this world. There were certain lessons that it needed to learn in order to grow and express itself to its fullest potential. It might, for instance, have come into this world to learn more about expressing love; to learn more about overcoming fear; to learn more about fighting through adversity and hardship; to learn more about nurturing and/or caring for others; to learn more about serving others, etc. And each of these lessons, of course, came with a plan that supports the growth and development of your spirit.
The plan that your spirit had when deciding to manifest physically in this world is linked back to all other manifestations it has made over many lifetimes (in this world and in many other worlds). Each life provided the spirit with valuable lessons that helped it grow and learn more about itself. Some of these lessons were, of course, full of hardship and despair, while other lessons were filled with love and hope. As such, some lives were very difficult on the physical body/psyche it manifested into this world, while other lives were more pleasant and satisfying. And yet from a spiritual perspective, there is no good or bad, right or wrong, weak or strong, etc. Everything is simply a lesson that helps the spirit grow to its fullest potential.
When you’re an actor, you will take on many roles in many different movies over the course of your career. Each role presents you with new learning experiences. Some of these roles will, of course, be difficult to work through. In fact, you might experience a lot of hardship playing certain roles. However, there will be other roles that will be much more pleasant, fulfilling and rewarding. And yet, when it comes to your overall growth and development as an actor, you will appreciate all the roles you played — no matter how difficult — because they helped you learn, grow and develop your acting skills. Without those hardships, you simply would not have learned the lessons you needed to learn to become a master of your craft. And it’s the same with your spiritual journey. Your spirit has all these lessons it needs to learn, and every lesson — whether painful or pleasurable — adds richness and allows for growth in every experience.
Your spirit, therefore, came with a plan to experience certain things within this physical reality. This plan the spirit had for the “physically manifested version” of itself is called a personal legend. This is a spiritual calling and/or purpose for living in this physical world that is greater than the physical body/psyche. It is “greater” because it is tied to not only this life but to the growth of the spirit as a whole. However, this isn’t necessarily about “doing” something specific in this world. It’s more about “experiencing” something specific in this world. That is really what a personal legend is all about.
It is, however, important to note that if the spirit moves through a lifetime and doesn’t end up learning the lessons that it intended to learn over this lifetime, then it will manifest in physical form again and again up until the moment that these lessons are learned and growth is successfully obtained. Only then will it move onto other lessons/experiences that will lead to further areas of growth and development.
All this is very important because when you are living in alignment with your spiritual purpose/personal legend, you experience a sense of euphoria where everything just seems right and makes absolutely perfect sense. That is when you know you are on the right path. And that is when you know that your spirit is learning the lessons it needs to learn to evolve to the next level of consciousness. Now, of course, some of these experiences you have might be painful and full of hardship, however, if you tune-in to your spiritual calling you may find that these are important experiences that you need to go through in order to grow and express yourself to the fullest of your ability over a lifetime. And that is when you will find peace, serenity and the self-assurance you need that tells you, you are on the right track.
All this can, of course, get extremely complex very quickly. Nothing here is clearly understood or proven. However, it just feels right. Doesn’t it feel as though there’s something here that makes sense? And even if it’s not right and completely out of left field, will it hurt you to think about life in this way? No, of course, it won’t. It won’t hurt you in the slightest. It will at the very least provide you with the hope, belief, and inspiration you need to keep plowing through all the challenges and the painful experiences in an effort to pursue something much greater than yourself that will eventually lead to a life of incredible fulfillment.
For more information about the role of the spirit and how it interacts with a collective consciousness, please have a read of The Science of Manifestation.
The Idea of a Personal Legend
The idea of a personal legend was taken from the classic best selling book written by Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist. This book tells the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and above all, following our dreams.
This book is highly recommended, and will undoubtedly provide further insights and ideas on how to go about finding your own personal legend.
Unlocking Your Personal Legend
Now that we have a clear understanding of what a personal legend is, let’s now work through a process that will help you discover your unique gift to the world. This process is broken down into two parts that include your mission and vision statement. Let’s work through each of these parts independently before merging them together to form your personal legend.
Your Personal Mission
Your personal mission is a code of conduct you live by. It’s a set of standards you have for living your life roles. These standards are built upon your personal values and they help shape the person you seek to become through your daily choices, decisions, behaviors, and actions.
In order to outline your personal mission, ask yourself the following questions:
Who am I?
Who am I really?
Who am I seeking to become?
What does this person no longer accept in their life?
What does this person no longer make any compromises about?
What rules does this person live by?
What kind of values does this person live by?
How does this person think and talk to themselves?
What beliefs govern this person’s thoughts and language patterns?
How does this person emotionalize their experiences?
What kinds of habits and behaviors does this person indulge in?
How does this person work on satisfying their six human needs?
How does this person live each of their life’s roles?
These questions will provide you with a good understanding of the kind of person your heart and soul is striving to become. However, there are three additional questions you should also be asking yourself that will help you bridge the gap between the “person” and the “legend”. Ask yourself:
What kind of person do I want to be known for?
How would I like to be remembered by others?
If I could become anyone, how would I spend my time?
Having answered all these questions, it’s now time to write out your personal mission statement, which is typically about a paragraph in length.
Here are some examples of personal mission statements. However, as great as these mission statements are, it’s important to use them only for guidance. Your mission statement must be unique and must come from the heart; it must come from the answers you formulated above.
Please, however, keep in mind that many of these examples don’t go into the depth of the kind of person that these people are seeking to become through their daily choices, decisions, and actions. In fact, many of these mission statements “border” on vision statements. And we certainly don’t want to get them confused. As such, it is recommended you focus your mission statement on the person you are seeking to become rather than on what you’re trying to do.
Next, you will work on formulating your personal vision. While going through this process it’s important to keep in mind that your personal mission and personal vision must align in every way. If for instance, they don’t align, then you will struggle to find the inspiration you need to follow through with your decisions and actions, because the person you seek to become cannot coexist with your life’s purpose. But more about that later.
Your Personal Vision
Your personal vision is your ultimate life’s purpose. It’s the contribution you make to the world, to society, to your community, to your industry and/or to your family. This contribution can, of course, be big or small.
Your purpose might transform the world in a significant way, or it might dramatically improve a single person’s life. It really doesn’t matter. It’s not the size of your life’s purpose, but rather the intention behind that purpose.
In order to outline your personal vision, ask yourself the following questions:
What are my core values and life priorities?
What are my interests, hobbies, strengths and talents?
When do I feel most alive and passionate? What specifically am I doing?
What are some of my most inspiring moments?
What’s my ultimate dream?
These are some of the foundational questions you should be asking yourself that will help you pinpoint the things that are of most importance to you. However, these questions might not be enough. You might need to dig a little deeper to discover your true life’s purpose.
There are three things you can do that will help you dig a little deeper. These things include:
- Unlocking your childhood experiences.
- Presenting “what if” scenarios.
- Working in imaginative ways.
Childhood is a very innocent period of our lives where we are often more in-tune with ourselves and with our purpose for living. And it’s this innocence that we want to tap into to help provide a little more perspective on our life’s purpose. Ask yourself:
What childhood dreams did I have?
What’s significant about these dreams?
Why didn’t I pursue these dreams?
What would working towards these dreams today mean to me?
Did I have any specific emotional longings as a child? What were they?
Who did I look up to as a child?
What role models and mentors did I have?
Why did I look up to these people?
What’s significant about all this?
What insights does this provide me about my life’s purpose?
It’s important to never rule out your childhood dreams. Maybe on the surface they seem too far-fetched in the adult world, and yet there could be something in them that can open new doors of opportunity to help you discover your life’s purpose. Therefore never discount your childhood fantasies, because they might very well hold the seeds to the answers you are after.
Let’s now jump back into the present moment and play around with “what if” scenarios. Ask yourself:
What if I had one ultimate wish? What would I wish for?
What if I had unlimited talent and potential? What would I do?
What if I had an unlimited amount of money to spend on my dreams? What would I do?
What if I had an unlimited amount of opportunities I could take advantage of? What would I do?
What if success was assured? What would I do?
Many times we get stuck because we put all these limitations on ourselves. And yet the moment we release these limitations, a world full of possibilities opens up for us. And with these possibilities come new perspectives and ways of viewing our lives, the world, and circumstances. And that’s exactly what these questions help you do. They help you expand your mind while encouraging you to think about your life in very different ways.
So what if you don’t have enough money, talent, opportunities, etc. That’s irrelevant. Many people have achieved great things with far less money, talent and/or opportunities then you currently have at your disposal. They achieved these things and pursued their passions because they didn’t put any limitations on themselves. And this is exactly what you must do moving forward. That is really the only way you will discover your true life’s purpose.
Discovering your life’s purpose might, however, require you take on a different approach. Ask yourself:
What if I only had seven YEARS to live? What would I do? What would I experience? What would I contribute?
What if I only had seven MONTHS to live? What would I do? What would I experience? What would I contribute?
What if I only had seven WEEKS to live? What would I do? What would I experience? What would I contribute?
What if I only had seven DAYS to live? What would I do? What would I experience? What would I contribute?
What if I only had seven HOURS to live? What would I do? What would I experience? What would I contribute?
What if I only had seven MINUTES to live? What would I do? What would I experience? What would I contribute?
As you move down this list of questions you dig ever deeper into what’s most important in your life. With seven years to live you think about your life and circumstances on a surface level. However, as you move down to months, weeks, days, hours, and ultimately minutes, you begin to think about your life and circumstances in very different ways. The things that seemed important with seven years to live may no longer have any significance in your life when you get down to seven days. With less time, you think differently about your life, and as you think differently your priorities change, and the things that are of most significance in your life come to full view.
Take a note of the things that come to mind when you get down to weeks, days, hours and minutes to live. Hidden within these things could very well lie the key to your life’s purpose.
To further stimulate your imagination, you might also like to involve yourself in more creative pursuits that might help you discover your life’s purpose. For instance:
Write a Letter from the Future
Write a letter 20 years from the future to your present self about the life you are yet to live. Explain what you are doing, how you are living, and the things you are experiencing. Also, provide your present self with some guidance that will help them move in the right direction.
Create a Collage
Purchase some random magazines and a large piece of cardboard. Then go through the magazines and cut out any words and pictures that you are drawn to. Paste these on the large cardboard paper to create a collage. Then spend the next few days or weeks observing all the intricate details of this collage. Who knows, your life’s purpose might be hidden within? 🙂
Write a Eulogy
This might sound depressing, however, it can be a very worthwhile exercise because it will help you put your entire life in perspective as you reflect on how you lived, what you did, and the legacy that you left behind as a result of your choices, decisions, and actions.
Create a Coat of Arms
Creating a coat of arms or a symbol of some kind that represents your life can potentially help trigger some ideas that might provide you with relevant insights about your life’s purpose. And all you have to do is just take out a sheet of paper and start drawing whatever comes to mind. Just set your imagination free.
Draw a Mind Map
Mind maps are fantastic because they help create associations by connecting seemingly random ideas together. Just take out a piece of paper and some colored pens and start writing random words about your life. Then take those words and connect them through association using a mind map. For more information about mind mapping please read, How to Mind Map.
Having gone through all these exercises, you should now have a fairly good idea of your personal vision. In that case, ask yourself:
What is my life’s purpose?
What is my ultimate goal?
What is my ultimate destination?
What is my life purpose not?
Stipulating what your life purpose is NOT is probably as important of a question as the other questions because it can help you narrow down what your life purpose actually IS. It’s therefore important not to skip over this question, as it can provide you with some valuable insights.
Having now gone through this entire process, it’s time to write out your personal vision. Vision statements are often not as long as mission statements and should ideally be no more than one or two sentences in length. In fact, the more succinct the vision statement the more effectively it will convey your life’s true purpose. Here are some examples.
Aligning Your Mission and Vision
As previously discussed, it’s important that your mission is aligned with your vision, or otherwise, conflicts will result and you will, therefore, struggle to fulfill your personal legend.
Alignment means that the person you are seeking to become (your mission) is the person required to fulfill your life’s purpose (your vision). In other words, you must become the person who is capable of fulfilling your life’s purpose. This ultimately comes down to your values and priorities for life. If the values and priorities of the person you are seeking to become are aligned with your life’s purpose, then you are unlikely to experience conflicts. However, if your values and priorities are not aligned with your vision, then working towards your purpose will not be fulfilling. And when something is not fulfilling you will easily get distracted and sidetracked onto different paths.
To ensure this doesn’t happen, it might be helpful to read How to Transform Your Values.
Making Room for Your Personal Legend
As you work towards fulfilling your personal legend, you will undoubtedly come across numerous roadblocks and setbacks that can potentially derail your efforts. You may even find that you simply don’t have enough resources, knowledge, skills, tools, or support on hand to follow through with your actions. There are in fact many obstacles you could potentially face. Let’s, therefore, take a look at them in a little more detail so that you can better prepare yourself for what’s to come.
External obstacles may include people, your environment and/or certain circumstances that might throw you off course. Let’s specifically take a look at your peers and the negative influence they might have on your life.
Your peers might for instance not believe in what you’re doing and will, therefore, throw doubt on your chosen path. There is no reason to be surprised when this occurs. People always doubt anything new or different. In fact, they will often cast gloomy shadows over anything that doesn’t align with their own personal values, beliefs, and perspectives. This is simply a part of the social world we all live in, and it has absolutely nothing to do with you or the path you are on. Instead, it has everything to do with the other people in your life. Just follow your heart and don’t feel that you must change your path or yourself just because other people don’t approve of what you’re doing.
For more information about peer influences, have a read of How to Overcome Peer Influence.
Internal obstacles are obstacles related to your psyche. For instance, a negative attitude, using limiting language, asking unhelpful questions, indulging in hurtful beliefs, overly emotionalizing your fears, etc. All of these obstacles can potentially derail your efforts as you work towards fulfilling your personal legend.
There is a very real reason why each one of these internal obstacles is prevalent in your life, and this reason often has to do with your inability to adapt to change. You might, for instance, fear moving forward because you have negative expectations of what might happen in the future. Furthermore, you might have a negative attitude because you use limiting language and ask unhelpful questions throughout the day. And all this comes full circle because of a set of limiting beliefs you hold onto that cast a shadow of doubt upon your life.
As a result of all these psychological limitations, you become less resourceful and therefore don’t follow through with the actions you know you need to take in order to fulfill your personal legend. In fact, the moment an external obstacle arises, you immediately sink right back into your comfort zone and deny yourself the opportunity to change your life for the better.
In order to overcome these internal roadblocks, you must, first of all, solidify your beliefs. Secondly, you must work on expanding your comfort zone in order to become more comfortable dealing with uncertainty and change. That is the only way you will overcome the internal roadblocks that are preventing you from fulfilling your personal legend.
For more information on how to overcome obstacles, please read How to Overcome Obstacles.
Making the Necessary Adjustments
Change often requires sacrifice, and sacrifice requires letting go of the things that are holding you back from making change possible in your life. Therefore, if ever you find yourself stagnating and struggling to move forward, then it’s very possible you are being held back in some way. Ask yourself:
Is there anything holding me back? What specifically? Fears? Habits?
Why am I being held back in this way?
What am I afraid to let go of?
How is this hurting me?
What do I feel will happen if I let go of this thing?
Other times, your life may simply be out of sync with your personal legend, which is why you struggle to make the necessary changes. You might, for instance, lack the time in your schedule to focus on the right kinds of things that will help bring your personal legend to life. Or you might simply have all your priorities out of order. No matter what it is, you need to get yourself right back on track. However, in order to get back on track, you need to figure out what adjustments need to be made. Ask yourself:
Why does my life seem out of sync with my personal legend?
What am I doing that is causing this friction?
What am I not doing that is causing this friction?
What are my priorities like at the moment? Are they were they should be?
Why are certain things a priority and other things are not?
What can I do to re-prioritize my activities in such a way that can help me get back on track?
Finally, as you work on fulfilling your personal legend, you might find that you are lacking something. You might have clearly outlined the kind of person you want to become, however, this person doesn’t quite seem to be aligned with your life’s purpose. And as such, you feel kind of awkward and uncertain. In fact, you begin doubting yourself because you no longer believe that you can live up to the personal standards and expectations you set for yourself. And it’s at this time that you must clarify whether or not this person you are seeking to become is the right person for you. Ask yourself:
What am I lacking?
What specifically am I struggling with when it comes to this idealized version of myself?
What must I still do to become this person? What sacrifices must I potentially make?
Is this person still aligned with my life’s purpose? Or could I make some adjustments?
Given all the sacrifices I must make, do I still want to work on becoming this person?
You might very well come to the realization that maybe this personal legend isn’t right for you — at least not for right now. Sometimes we need to venture on numerous paths before we find that one ultimate path that takes us to our personal legend.
You might, in fact, need to spend more time developing yourself, growing your knowledge, and acquiring new skills, perspectives and experiences before you’re even ready to take that next step along your journey. And that is perfectly okay. This whole process isn’t a contest, and it, therefore, shouldn’t be rushed. It is instead something you must give your time and attention to, in due time. Only then will you have the necessary perspective and understanding you need to pursue your personal legend with purpose.
Time to Assimilate these Concepts
Did you gain value from this article? Is it important that you know and understand this topic? Would you like to optimize how you think about this topic? Would you like a method for applying these ideas to your life?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then I’m confident you will gain tremendous value from using the accompanying IQ Matrix for coaching or self-coaching purposes. This mind map provides you with a quick visual overview of the article you just read. The branches, interlinking ideas, and images model how the brain thinks and processes information. It’s kind of like implanting a thought into your brain – an upgrade of sorts that optimizes how you think about these concepts and ideas. 🙂
Recommended IQ Matrix Bundles
If you’re intrigued by the idea of using mind maps for self-improvement then I would like to invite you to become an IQ Matrix Member.
If you’re new to mind mapping or just want to check things out, then register for the Free 12 Month Membership Program. There you will gain access to over 90 mind maps, visual tools, and resources valued at over $500.
If, on the other hand, you want access to an ever-growing library of 100s of visual tools and resources, then check out our Premium Membership Packages. These packages provide you with the ultimate visual reference library for all your personal development needs.
Gain More Knowledge…
Here are some additional links and resources that will help you learn more about this topic:
- 6 Keys to Finding Your Purpose @ Psychology Today
- A Guide to Finding YOur Life Purpose @ Life Optimizer
- A Simple 3-Step Process to Finding Your Life Purpose Today @ Live Bold and Bloom
- Finding What You Want Means Realizing What You Don’t @ Tiny Buddha
- Have You Found Your Calling in Life? @ Dumb Little Man
- How to Discover Your Life Purpose in About 20 Minutes @ Steve Pavlina
- How to Find Your Purpose @ Think Simple Now
- How to Know What You Really Want to do in Life @ Pick the Brain
- The 17 Habits of People Who Change the World @ Live Your Legend
- The Secret to Finding Your Life Purpose @ Wake Up Cloud
- What is the Purpose of Your Life? @ Myrko Thum