One Powerful Question to Live By

Cherry Jeffs
Aug 17, 2017 · 4 min read

What if you had one powerful question to help you make the right decisions about your personal, creative and business life every day?

Forget the idea of a lengthy manifesto outlining behavioral strategies for all the different areas of your life.

​Who’s got time for that?

Think instead of a succinct statement that sums up exactly what you do and why you do it.


As a coach, I get to witness some wonderful revelations on the part of my clients. But equally, I get to experience those same kind of revelations because of being a coach.

Last week one of my clients gave me one of those moments. He did a Myers-Briggs personality-type quiz.

Turns out his personality-type is ISFP (Introversion, Sensing, Feeling and Perceiving). One of the characteristics of ISFP’s that really resonates with him is that they:

“…always seem to find a way to make the world a little more beautiful and exciting, and to make a living in the process.”

​After a little back and forth, we concluded that my client could ask himself this question daily to orientate his priorities:

‘How can I make the world a more beautiful place to live in today?’

Over the next few days we saw really powerful results from him asking this question. Results that caused him to be more present at work and in his relationships. He even started focusing on what’s limiting him from being his ‘best self’.

It got me thinking about the usefulness of having a succinct question to ask ourselves when decisions are difficult to make. A question whose answer orientates us towards what’s good and healthy for us.

It’s ‘what am I really trying to do here?’ answered in a sentence.

Not that different from an elevator pitch or even a strap-line…

How I Found My Mission Statement

The phrase totally answered my question. I instantly knew it was right.

  • I want to grow creative wings
  • I want to help other people grow creative wings

Many pieces of my art feature women who are trying to escape the confines of their earthly environment — essentially grow wings so they can take off.

Metamorphosis — mixed media cover for Artist’s Book in progress ©Cherry Jeffs 2017

I’ve had that strap-line for a few years now and it’s really helped me hone my marketing message and even my creative voice.

But until now I’ve never thought of using it as a daily yardstick by which to measure my actions.

It never occurred to me that I could get up every morning and ask myself,

  • “How will I grow creative wings today?”
  • “How will I help other people to grow creative wings today?”

Or even

  • “What project is almost ready to take flight?”
  • “What can I do to help it lift off?”

​It’s like a gratitude journal in advance…

“What will I be grateful to have spent time on today?”

Or like having a mission statement and asking yourself every day, “Am I fulfilling this mission?”

How to Find Your One Powerful Sentence

I’m not at all convinced there is one.

“Grow creative wings” came to me when I was preparing for a networking event and struggling to find a phrase to explain what exactly I do.

“Make the world a more beautiful place” came to my client because his girlfriend pointed him towards a personality test.

Perhaps our mission finds us when we’re truly ready for it.

But you’re unlikely to be satisfied with that as a way forward, aren’t you?

You want actionable advice!

I honestly can’t guarantee there is a short-cut to doing this. But if you really insist, one way to begin to prod your personal manifesto into appearing, might be to ask yourself questions such as:

  • What is my go-to word or phrase?
  • What is it that inspires me to go forward?
  • What do I love to do?
  • What would I like to be remembered for?
  • What do people repeatedly say about me?
  • What do I give most readily and easily?
  • What do people often ask me for?
  • What brings me joy?
  • What theme reappears again and again in my life and/or work?
  • How do I want to be in the world?

Then, remain very alert for any messages you receive from your subconscious.

And remember, if you find your one-line manifesto, please don’t do as I did and confine it to a strap-line under your logo.

Use it as a daily yardstick to live by.

Better Humans

Better Humans is a collection of the world's most trustworthy writing on human potential and self improvement by coaches, academics, and aggressive self-experimenters. Articles are based on deep personal experience, science, and research. No fluff, book reports, or listicles.

Cherry Jeffs

Written by

Mixed-media Artist and Creative Practice coach on Coach.me. Let's grow creative wings and fly! www.cherryjeffs.com

Better Humans

Better Humans is a collection of the world's most trustworthy writing on human potential and self improvement by coaches, academics, and aggressive self-experimenters. Articles are based on deep personal experience, science, and research. No fluff, book reports, or listicles.

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