Do you have a mission statement? You may be asking “what’s a mission statement?” According to dummies.com, a “personal mission statement or personal philosophy is what you feel you would like to become in your life. It is an internal process and needs to come from the core of who you are. There are no right or wrong answers; defining your mission statement is just a way to put your purpose or calling into words.”
It may help to understand it better by reading some mission statements from some very well-known people.
“To make people happy” –Walt Disney
“To have fun in my journey through life and learn from my mistakes.” –Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin Group
“Not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” –Maya Angelou
“To be a teacher. And to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they thought they could be.” –Oprah Winfrey
“Embrace something bigger than yourself. Continually improve your skills. Inspire others to achieve great things and make the world a better place. This is how the quiet humble person leaves their mark.” –Jeffrey Madden, Senior VP and Portfolio Manager at RMB Capital
As you can see, each individual’s mission statement is unique, and have helped shape them into who they are, and what they are known for.
Having your own mission statement will allow you to live more purposefully. It takes a bit of time for some to develop a personal mission statement, and some people just know why they are here and what their purpose is.
For me, my purpose is to help people find their peace. I didn’t realize this until later in life, but once I did, my reason for being here on earth was much clearer.
How do you create your own personal mission statement? It starts by looking deep within and asking yourself some hard questions.
It helps if you start by defining your strengths, interests, and values. What do you do well? Make a list of your natural talents and those areas where you’ve developed the most skill. Include the things you love to do, whether you’re good at them or not, look for any common themes.
Next take time to identify your heroes. Think about those you respect and admire. Consider people you know personally, people you know of, and people from history. What do they have in common? What traits or experiences do these people have that you’d like to see in yourself?
Ask yourself who you want to be – and don’t hold back. Life isn’t only about accomplishments and accumulating a list of impressive possessions. Life is also about the person you become and your contributions. Consider all the roles you might fill over your lifetime and define your ideal person for each of these roles: Student, Spouse, Parent, Grandparent, Employee, Employer, Friend or something else.
What legacy would you like to leave? As you reach the end of your years and look back on your life, what would you like to see? What do you want to be able to remember? Making a million dollars? Climbing Mount Everest? Starting a charity? Having happy, successful children?
Now begin to create an overall theme for your life and list the things that you want to accomplish. Your list of things that may fit into a central idea, but don’t worry if it doesn’t. It might require a couple of paragraphs to capture. These could things that are goals from any stage of life, or things that you admire in others, such as wanting to alleviate the suffering of others, fearlessly try new things and visit new places, make a living in the field of music or entertainment industry, be a supportive and loving parent, be a committed life-long learner. Don’t hold back – your list can be as long or as short as you like, with random items that may or may not go together.
Now put all your lists away for a day or two, then find some quiet time to reflect. When you come back to your lists, circle the things that really matter to you, cross out the ones that really don’t, and leave the ones you are undecided about. From here, write out your mission statement. Once you have it written, realize it is subject to change. Things change all the time, so know that your mission statement may change as well.
The final step is to put together the plan, and we will address that in another blog post. Until then, I want you to just ask yourself the question, “How would the person in this mission statement live his or her life?” From there, base what you do, think, and become on that answer. Fulfilling your mission doesn’t happen overnight, but if you take small steps each day to live like that person, you will get closer and closer until one day you realize you are there.
You may be wondering what my mission statement is – “I help you bring calm to your chaos, take back your control, and remove your blocks, so you can become your best self ever.” Please share yours in the comments – I’d love to hear it.
Find your purpose – find your joy!
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Did you find a few more ideas of your own? If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comments, and as always please reach out with your thoughts.
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