Do you know your direction? (Pixabay/Efraimstochter)

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Corporate-speak uses terms like "Mission Statement," "Vision" and "Values," but when it comes to us, we don't often think in terms of having a personal life message. In my work consulting with visionary leaders I deal with it all the time, but when it comes to normal, everyday people, not many understand the importance of having a message. But as some have said, "Your message is your life."

Why do we need a message? 

  • If we're going to stand out in today's cluttered, distracted world.
  • If we're going to get noticed.
  • If you have expertise or information people need.
  • If you want to be promoted, have influence or change anyone's life, you need to be known for something.
  • What are you most passionate about? Where is your expertise? What are the issues you spend most of your time wrestling with?

Think of it as an epitaph. What do you want to be remembered for? What do you want engraved on your headstone?

If we asked a handful of famous people, here's what they might say about their own life message:

  • Confucius: Life is simple, not complicated.
  • Gandhi: Be the change you wish to see in the world.
  • Pastor Jack Hayford: Understand the power of worship.
  • Henry David Thoreau: Slow down. Start observing.
  • John Wooden: Make each day your masterpiece.
  • Richard Branson: Live life to the limits.
  • Seth Godin: Be remarkable.
  • Tony Robbins: Live life with passion.
  • Walt Disney: Dream big.

With me it would be "Be unique." Billy Graham is known for salvation, John Maxwell for leadership, and Joel Osteen for hope.

What will you be known for?

We all know that actions speak louder than words, so who you are matters far more than what you do. Think about it today. Your message can help define your career and calling, focus people's perceptions about you and determine your legacy, so it's not something to take lightly.

What are your thoughts about the importance of a life message?

An internationally known writer and speaker, Phil Cooke has produced media programming in nearly 50 countries around the world.

This article originally appeared at

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