by Nate Truman
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” Anne Frank
A personal mission statement gives you clarity of purpose. Most corporations have them, but unless they are the written down vision of a single person who started the company, they often become politically correct mumbo jumbo and that’s not what I am talking about here. You are going to create a short, clear sentence that defines who you are and who you want to be in the future.
To start you off, here are some short, clear examples of corporate statements.
3M – “To solve unsolved problems innovatively”
Mary Kay Cosmetics – “To give unlimited opportunity to women.”
Merck – “To preserve and improve human life.”
Wal-Mart – “To give ordinary folk the chance to buy the same thing as rich people.”
Walt Disney – “To make people happy.”
Your mission should answer the following questions: Why are you here? What impact do you want to make when you get up every day?
You should also ponder your vision of your future, when composing your statement. Where do you want to be in the future? 5 years, 10 years? Where do you see yourself at that time? What changes can you see being made after years of your focus in a new direction?
The last item to include in your thinking is your values. They are your rule book, so to make sure you don’t trample your core beliefs in your effort to move toward your vision, also keep those in front of you as you form your personal mission statement.
Then connect all three as a single message. If you can make it as short as possible, it will be easier to keep in your head to redirect you when you wander off track during your day. Don’t get stuck trying to write the “perfect” mission statement, it will change over your life’s journey.
I think you will find that spending just a few minutes on creating a “slogan” for your life, you will gain a new clarity of purpose that you didn’t have before. If you have a favorite quote that resonates with all of these elements, use it as your personal statement, or change it so it calls you to action.
I have personalized a quote from Gandhi that keeps me more focused:
“I must be the change I want to see in the world.”
It calls me to action, it holds me accountable, and it applies in every aspect of my life. Feel free to use it for yourself! The quote from Anne Frank at the beginning has also been useful to me over the years. It too keeps me focused on the positive change I can dedicate myself too and that I can start right now.
Currently my personal mission statements are the following:
Today I have been given the gift of life; I will open it, enjoy it, and treasure it.
The longer one is “Spend each infinite now as best I can to leave the world a better, happier, love filled place.”
Enjoy the process of defining your personal mission statement. Once you refine it so that each time you read it, it has the effect of correcting your life’s heading with renewed vigor, you will have found your “magic” words to keep you living out your dream life.