How to Create a Personal Mantra
Creating a personal mantra is valuable. This process requires significant soul-searching and introspection, looking deep within yourself to decide what drives you. You can’t just take someone else’s mantra and expect it to work. Using someone else’s mantra is like saying you hiked a mountain when you rode a helicopter to the top. The process of developing the mantra is the most important part.
Your mantra will be a 3-4 word phrase which explains your purpose in life. Guy Kawasaki suggests that a fast-food CEO might use a corporate mantra of “healthy fast food”. An artist might go with “re-inventing jazz guitar”. The idea is to come up with a succinct summary of what you live for.
Start your mantra journey by thinking about your life. Think about the decisions you have made, the joys and regrets of your youth, and your aspirations for the future. If that feels too vague, you can use the following questions as writing prompts. Try to write one paragraph for each prompt.
- If you only had six months to live, how would you spend the time?
- What does “success” mean to you?
- What are you most proud of in your life?
- Where do you want to be in five years? Be specific.
Feel free to modify these questions or come up with your own prompts. The goal of this step is to discover your priorities and your goals for the future.
Finding Your Mantra
After pontificating for an hour or two, it’s time to get more specific. Before you attempt to create your mantra, try to summarize your life in a two sentence format. The first sentence should explain your beliefs, and the second sentence should explain your goals.
For example, a social worker might come up with the following two sentences. “I believe that we all make mistakes and everybody deserves a second chance. Therefore, it is my goal to help people improve their lives and find true happiness.”
You can probably see how this person would find a mantra after that. Once you have a two sentence summary in the form of your beliefs and your goals, the mantra naturally follows. This hypothetical social worker might end up with a mantra of “Empowering People In Need,” or perhaps the more emotional “Everybody Can Be Happy”.
This is your big moment. Take a blank piece of paper and write your two sentence summary on the top. Beneath it, brainstorm for your mantra. This can require significant trial-and-error, so don’t get discouraged. Be persistent and you will eventually find one that feels right.
Follow this guide and you will find an excellent mantra for yourself. Whenever you feel confused or overwhelmed by life, you can return to this simple statement of purpose. Your personal mantra will be your compass in a crazy world.