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We begin this seminar with the development of a personal mission or vision statement. We use this statement in this seminar to emphasize that your time at the UW begins with dreams and visions you hold for the life that is still ahead of you. We ask you to write a mission statement that is reflective of who you are and what your sense of calling, purpose, vocation, or meaning of life. Mission statements are helpful for many reasons, but primarily they are used as a tool to encourage you to consciously reflect on who you are and what you are doing at the UW.
As you progress through your educational experience here, you will find that you will take many side roads, you will wander off the path, hurry ahead of yourself, and even become unsure and hidden in the brambles. We have found that a personal mission statement is helpful when the way becomes cloudy; to return to a written statement of your essence and purpose in life can often help you forge your chosen path.
Definitions: • “Values: ‘Concepts, principles, or standards that drive one’s decisions and actions. ’ Examples of values are honesty, persistence, dependability, self-sufficiency, and faith.
A vision statement: ‘A statement of three or four sentences describing a desired future – not a predicted future. ’ Here is an example of a vision statement (stated as if the vision has already been achieved, so that it is positive and powerful): ‘I am a person who is peaceful and an example to others of that peace, which comes from faith in God.
I am considered to be an inspirational teacher of great integrity. I lead a simple life style that includes plenty of time for myself, my family, and my friends as well as service to others. ’
A mission statement: ‘A succinct, easy-to-remember statement that provides direction for one’s life. ’ Here is an example of a very short mission statement developed from the sample vision statement quoted above: ‘I am committed to living in accordance with my faith in God, maintaining a happy marriage, and being a loving and supportive parent. In my professional life, I seek to empower high school students by providing quality teaching while adhering to my religious principles. I want to live a simple life style. ’ Note that a mission statement may be lengthier if desired, but brevity is important.
During this process it is critical to ensure consistency between values, the vision statement, and the mission statement. If these three components are not consistent, it is not possible to devise a workable plan. ”To get you thinking about the development of your mission statement, please spend some time thinking about the following questions: Why are you here today? What are the life values that you hold most near to your heart? What is it you are most passionate about? What hopes do you have for your UW experience? What hopes do you have for your life beyond the UW?
The answers you develop through these activities and exercises will be the basis of your personal mission and vision statement. Most are 1 page or less in length. We also see this mission statement as highly fluid. As you continue your education, we hope that some of your initial ideas and longings remain the same and we also hope that you will be changed. To this end, the personal mission statement is a malleable document that begins today, will be submitted formally at the end of the seminar, and will continue to represent you and your becoming while at the UW.
The following worksheets are a guide to help you answer some of those significant questions in an organized format. Creating or Revising Your Personal Vision by Dr. Linda Phillips-Jones It’s good to create or revise the “personal vision” you have for your life. A compelling vision can help you succeed, be more satisfied with your life, and get the most out of your all relationships and experiences. Following is a tool for doing that. Importance of Having a Personal Vision Numerous experts on leadership and personal development emphasize how vital it is for you to craft your own personal vision for your life.
Warren Bennis, Stephen Covey, Peter Senge, and others point out that a powerful vision can help you succeed far beyond where you’d be without one. That vision can propel you and inspire those around you to reach their own dreams. I’ve learned in my own life and in working as a psychologist that if you don’t identify your vision, others will plan and direct your life for you. I’ve worked with too many individuals who late in their lives said, “If only. . . .” You don’t have to be one of them. Senge defines vision as what you want to create of yourself and the world around you. What does your vision include?
Making a vital change in an area such as health, technology, or the environment? Raising happy, well-adjusted children? Writing a book? Owning your own business? Living on a beach? Being very fit and healthy? Visiting every continent? Helping others with their spiritual development? What are you good at? What do you love to do? What aren’t you good at now, but you’d like to be? All of these important questions are part of identifying your personal vision.
The 1995 Annual – Volume 1 Training, Pfeiffer & Company, Sand Diego, CA, p. 63.
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