All successful men and women are big dreamers. They imagine what their future could be, ideal in every respect, and then they work every day toward their distant vision, that goal or purpose. – Brian Tracy
Your Personal Mission Statement
Creating a Personal Mission Statement will be, without question, one of the most powerful and significant things you will ever do to take leadership of you life. In it you will identify who you want to be, what you want to do, for whom, and the legacy you want to leave. All the goals and decisions you will make in the future will be based upon it. A personal mission statement provides clarity and gives you a sense of purpose. A personal mission statement is the guiding principle for your life; it may be only one line e.g. Walt Disney’s mission is “To make people happy.” Here is a slightly longer mission statement from attorney Robert W. Harris: “My mission is to learn and understand my clients’ needs and the external factors affecting them so that I can aggressively and professionally represent them throughout the legal process.”
Here is another example (source unknown): “My mission is to create a profitable restaurant with a delightful ambiance, delicious food, and excellent service where people can genuinely relish their dining experience.” Your personal mission statement defines who you are and how you will live. It should be able to guide your actions, spell out your overall goals, provide a sense of direction and guide your decision making. Your personal mission statement should contain two basic elements:
What you want to do – What you want to accomplish and what contributions you want to make What you want to be – Character strengths you want to have and qualities you want to develop
Your mission statement is not static. Over a period of several years, your priorities and values are likely to change. That is good because change means growth. Your dreams change and, therefore, so do your goals. As this occurs, it is appropriate for to update or expand your mission statement.
In your heart, you know what’s most important to you. Your every day activities – how you live – demonstrates your de facto mission and values. Detailed information on how to develop a mission statement is available from many libraries and bookstores. Also, there are several Web sites with on-line tools to help you define your passion and develop your personal mission statement. You may want to check out these Web sites: http://www.nightingale.com/tmission_examplestatement.aspx
The Worksheet to Develop a Personal Mission Statement below is a useful tool to help you develop your personal mission statement.
Think about how this individual has contributed to your life. This person may be a parent, work associate, friend, family member, or neighbor. Answer the following questions, keeping in mind your personal goals on what you want to be and do.
You live your life in terms of roles – not in the sense of role-playing, but in the sense of authentic parts you have chosen to fill. You may have roles at work, in the family, in the community, and in other areas of your life. These roles become a natural framework to give order to what you want to do and to be. You may define your family role as simply “family member.” Or you may choose to divide it into multiple roles, such as “mother” or “husband.” Some areas of your life, such as your profession, may involve several roles.
You may have one role in administration, one in marketing, one in personnel, and one in long-range planning. Two examples: • Wife/Mother, Manager-New Products, Manager-Research, Manager-Staff Development, Red Cross Chairperson, Friend • Husband/Father, Salesman-Prospects, Salesman-Financing/Administration, American Cancer Society Regional Director, Friend
Define up to seven life roles and then write these roles in the places provided. Write a brief statement of how you would most like to be described in that particular role. You will gain perspective and balance by identifying your life roles. By writing these descriptive statements you will begin to visualize your highest self. You will also identify the core principles and values that you desire to live by.