You may have seen mission statements in a workplace. All good companies will have a mission statement and ensure their employees know about it.
It is also important that we have our own personal mission statement.
This can sound like quite a confusing thing to do and seem like hard work to make one.
I am going to show you not only how to create a mission statement, but also how it ends up saving you so much time in the long run.
What is a Personal Mission Statement?
A personal mission statement is a very short description of who you are.
It explains your life’s purpose.
These sound like very BIG and deep things to have to think about… and they are! But if you really want to live a life you are happy with and proud of, it is absolutely necessary.
Without this statement, every decision we make in life becomes harder than driving through wet cement with an elephant on the car.
Why is a Personal Mission Statement Important?
You are at a funeral. There are thousands of people there. There are tears running down people’s faces but they are tears of pride to have known this person.
A man steps up to read the eulogy. Story after story is told about how this person had helped people and laughter constantly fills the air.
You then get a closer look at the person in the casket… and you realise it is YOU!
Sorry! A bit morbid, I know!
The point I’m trying to make is that if you want to have an impact like this, or if you would want people to say certain words at your eulogy… you HAVE to have a personal mission statement.
Here are 3 reasons why it’s so important:
- It helps you to know how to focus on your long-term goals.
- It helps you to create a life you want rather than letting life dictate you.
- It provides clarity over what is important to you.
How to write your Personal Mission Statement
This is the hard part. But I’m going to break it down into small chunks to make it a bit easier.
If you really want to get the benefits of a personal mission statement you do actually have to really think about it!
Before you can just write your statement out it’s important to understand what your values are in life. This will help to clarify what is important to you.
It’s also important to note that your personal mission statement will probably change over time so you don’t need to worry about making one perfect right now.
Step one- Find out your own Values?
To find out your values, just think about what you feel is most important in your life (not what your parents want you to think or your friends or colleagues… only you!)
Questions to consider:
- What do you spend most of your time doing?
- What would you love to do all day without external pressure?
- What do you fill your space with (home, office, car etc.)?
- What do you consistently think about?
- What are you most known for?
Here are 2 steps to getting your values in order:
- Write down concepts such as family, health, learning, happiness, freedom, travel etc. Keep going until you run out of words or you look at the concepts and don’t feel inspired by them.
- Evaluate the list carefully, then reorder or remove according to what is most important to your life (e.g. move travel up the list)
Step two- Answer 5 Questions to help narrow down the Mission Statement
Once you have your values answer these 5 questions:
1. What is important to me? Using your values are there any specific things or people that are most important to you?
2. Where do I want to go? Your answer may involve a spiritual, mental, or physical destination. It might describe your career or what you want to achieve.
3. What does “the best” look like for me? This isn’t the time to be realistic. This is the time to dream. Think BIG!
4. How do I want to act? How do you want people to describe you? Think about the eulogy example earlier. What would you like people to say about you at your funeral?
5. What kind of legacy do I want to leave behind? Imagine you’re 100 years in the future. What does the impact you’ve left look like?
Step three- Get it written down- Top Tips
Once you have answered the above questions it’s time to actually get your personal mission statement written down.
Here are 4 tips to making sure it is effective:
- No more than 2 sentences long
- Easily understood by a twelve-year-old
- Able to be recited by memory
- A statement that creates priorities in your life
Just remember it WILL change over time! Don’t worry about it being perfect right now just get it written down.
Some Example’s of Personal Mission Statements
I always find it easier to do something when I can see examples… So here they are:
“To be a teacher. And to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they thought they could be.” — Oprah Winfrey
“To have fun in [my] journey through life and learn from [my] mistakes.” — Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group
“I shall not bear ill will toward anyone. I shall conquer untruth by truth.” — Mahatma Gandhi
And my own personal mission statement… (please note it has been adapted and changed a lot over the last few years and is still ongoing!)
“To help others live the life they want by showing them it is possible.” — Mike, Make Time Online
The Make Time Online Summary
Every decision you make in life is a lot easier when you know what your own personal mission statement is.
It helps to provide you with a vision and purpose.
To help others live the life they want by showing them it is possible
If you are doing something that doesn’t align with your mission statement it will become very hard to do it… so start doing more that aligns with your personal statement!
Just remember if you really think about your personal mission statement, then it will change over time as you tweak and polish it.
Keep changing for the better,
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