Mission statements are often thought of as the purview of businesses. Businesses need to have mission statements and stay on mission! Why not people? Each individual is unique and has a unique impact on the world. Why not a unique mission statement?
Mission is Derived From Purpose
It’s impossible to define a person’s mission until you understand their purpose. Mission is derived from purpose. Our mission is an expression of our purpose.
Purpose is the compilation of our skills, talents, abilities, cultural influences, family influences, etc. Let’s look at that in terms of a simple example. A hammer has one purpose, a screwdriver another. At the same time, there are many different kinds of hammers and many different kinds of screwdrivers. There are sledgehammers that are large and made for breaking things. There are picture-hanging hammers that are smaller and more delicate.
By the same token, many of us may have a similar purpose, but it’s going to be more specific as determined by how we function. That’s where nuances like culture, family, and influencing talents come in.
Determining your purpose is one of the great challenges of life. It requires self-exploration, self-knowledge, perhaps even some testing.
What is Mission?
Mission, therefore is the application of our purpose in life. Mission is the difference that we make through the application of our purpose. Through mission we experience fulfillment. We are fulfilled because we found the best way to use all of who we are to make the greatest impact for those we care for.
A personal mission statement will reflect our purpose, as well as the difference that the application of that purpose will make. Last but not least, it will also encompass our personality.
It’s simple but not always easy.
How Useful is a Mission Statement?
If there’s one thing we all know, it’s easy to get sucked into the day-to-day of our lives. It is easy to lose sight of what our dreams are, as well as being consistent in focusing on our skills and abilities.
When we create a mission statement, it is a message to ourselves that we are clear about why we’re here and what the difference is that we’re here to make. Whether you’re getting a doctorate, in sales, caring for the household, working at a job just for the money, or a combination of any of these, a mission statement is going to remind you why you’re doing what you’re doing.
Why do we need reminding? Sometimes when we’re working a job just to pay the bills, we lose sight of what most fulfills us. We forget that this is a short-term choice that we’ve made to make ends meet. We always want to keep our dreams and ideals on the front burner especially in these situations!
Writing Your Mission Statement
When you read mission statements, it seems like a simple enough process. The fact is the process is simple but it’s not always easy. Anything worthwhile is going to be challenging. Remember that being challenged always makes us stronger!
Mission statements are founded on who It is you want to help, what it is you want to help them with, and what the results will be.
The who could be a specific group of people. It could be the whole world. It could be families, women, men. Finding the who has to do more with what’s the specific change that you want to make in the world or what is the impact that you want to make through your mission.
The “what”, is the specific change that will occur in the target group. In the who. For example, my own mission is to “help people discover their inner divinity so that they live in greater love peace, and harmony as they Walk in faith”. The “what” in this instance is discovering inner divinity.
Lastly is the why. Why are you helping with the what? In my example the why is so that they live in greater love and harmony as they walk in faith”.
Writing your mission statement is a simple as filling in those three areas. Don’t worry about whether you’re going to get it perfectly right. My mission statement has altered over the years and yours will as well.
The reality is that we are evolving and growing human beings. The more we discover about ourselves, the more we evolve and grow, the more our mission becomes clearly articulated.
If you’re struggling to find your “who”, “what”, and “why”, there are some areas you can explore that’ll help you discover more about yourself, your purpose, and how to apply it.
An important factor is what’s the difference that you want to make in the world? A way to get at this is to think about what is the single biggest thing that you believe would make a difference in the world today or in the lives of your family?
Something that might help with this is to think about the principles and values by which you live your life. What is the highest value for you? The next highest value? These are all going to be clues as to the kind of difference that you want to make.
Life goals can be a big indicator here as well. We set goals based on our values and desires. On the difference that we want to see. Review some of the goals you’ve made in your life and some of the goals you have standing today. This is going to reveal a lot to you!
Working That Mission Statement
Don’t take this lightly! Once you’ve written the mission statement put it somewhere where you can see it. Frame it and put it in your home office, put it on the first page of your journal. Make it part of your screensaver.
Start looking at all the productive aspects of your life and see how well does this mission statement fit? If it doesn’t seem to fit is there a problem with what you’re doing? Or is the mission statement needs to be adjusted?
Talk with your friends and loved ones about it. Let them in on the secret! Let them know it’s a work in progress. These are your partners in life, your greatest supporters, and cheerleaders.