Community & Government

Discovering Your Mission

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Lesson time 12:11 min

In this lesson, Hillary shares the roots of her value system and how she connected those values to a mission of advocacy, showing you how to create your own values-driven mission statement.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Discovering Your Mission • Learning Resilience From My Mother Dorothy • "Set Your Goals, Then Work Backwards" •


HILLARY CLINTON: Over the years, I've learned that the core of being resilient is to have strong values and a sense of mission. In this lesson, we'll discuss how you can identify your own values and approach your life with a sense of mission that helps guide you. I've had conversations with, you know, many, many, many young people over many, many years. And they often ask me questions like, what did you want to be when you grew up? What did you think you would end up doing? Things that are really about your life path. I had no idea where I would end up, but I have found myself accepting new things from time to time because of my values. Values are those things that you believe are important in your life, in your work, in your community that you are willing to stand up for, speak out for, work for, defend. You know, bravery and kindness, integrity and honesty, how you live your life, how you try to serve as an example to others. Service is a value for me because it takes you out of yourself. It forces you to empathize, to see someone, and think about being in that person's shoes. And it doesn't have to be big. It can be something, you know, as small as a kind word or a project that you enlist in to volunteer for. But service and recognizing the role that it plays has been a major value for me. And you know, different people have different values. I mean, for some people, their value as they think through what makes them happy is being out on that athletic field. Their value is physical effort and competition. But you should just stop yourself long enough to ask what is it that you care about, which is another way of saying what is it you value. So when thinking about your values, think about all of the things that are fundamentally important to you, including those related to your professional interests, your personal experiences, your culture, or your faith. Write it all down, revisit it, and revise it as you take on new challenges and have new experiences. My mother Dorothy was incredibly resilient and service-oriented. As I learned more about her difficult upbringing, her ability to persevere really stayed with me. And ultimately, it set the foundation for my own commitment to service and to uplifting children and families. One time, she told me she thought she was about three, and her parents left her by herself in their tenement walk in Chicago. And they left some meal tickets on the table, which meant that this little three-year-old girl had to walk by herself down the stairs and go to the corner restaurant with a meal ticket and buy herself, get something to eat to keep her going. And she was terrified. When she was about eight, by this time she had a younger sister. They put Dorothy and her sister, Isabelle, on a train in Chicago by themselves to go to Los Angeles. And eventually, when she finished the eighth grade, my mother left and got a job as a kind of babysitter slash housekeeper for a...

About the Instructor

With a lifetime of smashing barriers and achieving at the highest levels of public service, Hillary Rodham Clinton has learned to tap deep wells of resilience to reach her goals. Now the former U.S. senator and secretary of state is teaching the values, lessons, and practical tools that help her rise above, even sharing her never-before-heard 2016 presidential victory speech. Be inspired to own your ambition and make your mark.

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Hillary Rodham Clinton

Barrier-smashing leader Hillary Rodham Clinton teaches you how to overcome setbacks and build a life of principle and purpose.

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