helping changemakers shine

How to say what you mean

Picture public domain via Lenny de Rooy.

Picture public domain via Lenny de Rooy.

“…You should say what you mean,” the March Hare [said].

“I do,” Alice hastily replied; “at least–at least I mean what I say–that’s the same thing, you know.”

“Not the same thing a bit!” said the Hatter. “You might just as well say that ‘I see what I eat’ is the same thing as ‘I eat what I see’!”

“You might just as well say,” added the March Hare, “that ‘I like what I get’ is the same thing as ‘I get what I like’!”

“You might just as well say,” added the Dormouse, who seemed to be talking in his sleep, “that ‘I breathe when I sleep’ is the same thing as ‘I sleep when I breathe’!”

(Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Chapter 7)

One of my favourite words right now is intentionality. Particularly as it applies to building an online platform.

I find the main dilemma is that if you’re a madly curious person, there are so many directions you can go in regards to content creation.

But what if you don’t want to be another “random musings” blogger?

Inners reflecting outers

Writer and speaker Jeff Goins suggests that rather than picking a single topic to write about and focus on, to instead pick a worldview. Then the assumption is that you’ll be able to write about anything and everything, so long as it reflects that world view.

Your inners will reflect your outers and vice versa.

Like the Mad Hatter’s spontaneous lesson, you’ll say what you mean and not just mean what you happen to say.


Tidy topic? Lucky you.

You might be one of the lucky ones. Your worldview (or aim, or ethos) might conveniently collide with a tidy topic. A few lucky blog types that come to mind are:

  • Simple living blogs. Possible aim: Spread a “less is more” eco-friendly ethos.
  • Financial blogs. Possible aim: Help people live debt (and stress) free.
  • Foodie blogs. Possible aim: Promote mindful and sustainable consumption.

For the rest of us

But what if you’re a multi-genre writer and don’t just want to settle on one topic online?

What if you’re a restless evolving activist, still fishing for that one cause you can devote all your energy to?

What if you simply want to join the conversation even though you haven’t yet had the “driving worldview” epiphany yet?

What if you’re a creative who (gasp) actually wants to create rather than fritter away your time in dubious social media engagement?

Perhaps you identify with at least some of the descriptives above. You’re not alone.

Your mission, values, goals

I blame the late, great Stephen R. Covey–author of “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”–for helping me to summarize what intentionality and “pursuit of the best” means in my life this year (and for the next twenty).

In 2011, I summarised his amazing time management matrix from the book into a visual on my wall including this quote:

Importance has to do with results. … [Whether] it contributes to your mission, your values, your high priority goals. … [The most important tasks] require more initiative, more proactivity. If we don’t have a clear idea of what is important, of the results we desire, we are easily diverted into responding to the urgent. – Stephen R. Covey

Three years later, and on the cusp of launching my online platform, I had multiple mind maps and journal scraps to prove that I’d given extensive thought to my mission, values, and high priority goals.

But the visual reminders were scattered all over the place. I needed one reminder in one place to keep me on track.

To help me to say what I mean.

So when I stumbled onto the FranklinCovey mission statement builder I was able to distill into just one page what’s most important to me. You don’t have to use this one–it’s not an affiliate link either–but it’s just one idea that might spark something in you too.

In an upcoming blog post I’ll share a summary of my mission statement. But now it’s your turn.

Do you identify as a proud “random musings” blogger, a “tidy topic” (lucky you) blogger, or a willful misfit (the rest of us)?

Have you picked a worldview or written a mission statement that helps you to say what you mean?

About Anaik Alcasas

I'm here to demonstrate that your editor can also be your ally, and to talk all things clarity, influence, and connecting through story. I'd love you to join the conversation.