Raison /RĀ ‘ zōn/ : An explicit statement or representation expressing the fundamental purpose of your actions and the meaning of your existence.


Raison App IconTaking control of your circumstances is an ongoing practice requiring critical thinking about how to meaningfully contribute to the world around you. Fundamental to this philosophy and practice is defining explicitly what is most important to you, and how you will live your life in a way that will focus your attention and effort on what defines you as a person.  Articulating this definition is a Raison.

The Raison App

A Raison can come in the form of a mission statement, a personal manifesto, mottos, to-be list, or any kind of statement that expresses the core of who you are.  Following a Raison gives your life meaning, purpose, and direction. It helps ground you and remind you of the things that are important to you. Keeping those principles in the forefront of your mind gives you guidance for setting your priorities, and reminds you why you’re doing what you do.

Below are some tips on how you can write your Raisons—mottos, missions, manifesto, or any document that provides that meaning and purpose to your life.

Raisons direct your effort to what’s most important to you. They help you explicitly know your priorities so you don’t put the trivial stuff or somebody else’s stuff before what is most important to you. The exercise of writing out your thoughts in this way gives you the opportunity to articulate your principles so that there is no confusion about what is meaningful to you.

Creating Raisons is an ongoing process. You will write and re-write as you discover things you hadn’t realized before.

You want your Raisons to motivate you and keep you moving especially when it gets tough. The statements should inspire you and make you a little uneasy.

Raisons can be grand, as in save the world, or modest, as in get through the day.
Your statements might be:
  • A commitment you’ve made to someone who matters to you — someone you don’t want to let down
  • An expression of who you are or who you want to be
  • The articulation of what has consistently inspired you to take significant progressive action

Here are a few questions you might ask yourself to inspire your own Raisons:

  • What are the principles that will never change about me?
  • What do I want most out of life?
  • What is my idea of a perfect day and why?
  • What is most important to me?
  • What drives me?
  • What should I do more of to be my idea of a better person?
  • What makes me feel most alive and passionate?
  • What is my value in the world or the difference I want to make?
  • Who do I want to benefit?
  • Whose life do I want to make amazing?

Here are some ways you can use Raisons in your life:

  • Guiding you to live by your motto
    • “Follow your passions”
    • “Do good.”
    • “Help those who need it most.”
  •  Reminding you of your personal mission
    • “Make my daughter proud of her father.”
    • “Appreciate the small stuff.”
    • “Live a life that makes for a good story.”
  • Helping you to build healthy habits
    • “Stretch”
    • “Breath deeply” 
    • “Stand up Straight”
    • “Take time to be thankful”
  • Suggesting a moment of prayer
  • Maintaining a personal manifesto
  • Writing your To-Be list
  • Prompting you with affirmations
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