Are you at a fork in the road on your journey and forgot your map? Are your
trying to figure out what the heck you are doing and what’s the next step? Do
your hopes and dreams seem long forgotten?
Maybe it is time to create a personal mission statement?
The business dictionary defines a Mission Statement as a “written declaration of
an organization’s core purpose and focus that normally remains unchanged over
time. Properly crafted mission statements (1) serve as filters to separate what is
important from what is not, (2) clearly state which markets will be served and
how, and (3) communicate a sense of intended direction to the entire
Why don’t we all have one of these?
Can you imagine what the world would be like if we all thought about and
carefully crafted a declaration of what our core purpose in life should be and then
filtered the rest of our day through that idea?
How much crap that derails us from our goals would be passed by?
And what if we effectively communicated that statement to the world? Confusion
would be a thing of the past, for us and for those we talk to.
Why would we really need one you ask?
Let’s say you are a high school student who always wanted to go to college. The
summer after graduation you get a full-time job to save for school. The job is ok
but you really enjoy the money especially since you have never been financially
independent before. As the deadline for Fall semester approaches, you are
invited to go on vacation with some friends and decide to defer until Spring so
you can have some fun and earn a little more money. Spring comes and the
savings isn’t there like you thought so you push it back to the next Fall vowing to
Do you see where this is going?
It is like that Disney movie UP where Doug, the dog, is going one way, sees a
squirrel and darts off somewhere else.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we stopped chasing squirrels?
That is what a personal mission statement is; an internal mantra of what we want
which we can filter life through. And as an added bonus, by being able to
effectively communicate our statement to others, we are making a clear
declaration to as to where we want our life to go.
And how do you do this you ask? It is easier than you think.
First, think about your strongest characteristics. What words do people use to
describe you. List your fav five. Now think of your top goals for the future and
list them as well. Next, think about what you want out of life and if those short
term goals match your long term ones. If so, great. If not, throw them out and
add a couple more. Finally, review your list and pick the top three from each
category. This will give you a platform of who you are and what you want and a
strong foundation for your mission statement, your can create from there. It is
also a great review of where you are and a roadmap of how to go to your next
level of growth.
Play with these ideas until you find something that gives you an ‘aha’ moment.
That is when you know you are on the right track and you ready to get moving.
Once you get it, write it down were you can see it regularly, tell your friends, tape
it on your forehead, shout it from the highest mountain, do whatever you need to
to imprint it on your brain. This will help filter out all those ‘squirrels’ that pull us
away from our goals.
We all get derailed at some point in life. It happens. The goal is to keep your
eye on the end game so we can navigate through or around those distractions to
stay focused on what and who we are truly meant to be.