There’s always a lot going on in the world and in our communities. As participants in our nation and local societies, we have an obligation to be aware, speak up, and vote. These actions matter, and make a difference in the greater picture for all citizens. But sometimes it can be confusing. There are so many viewpoints and opinions to consider. To truly feel peace through this process, it’s important to know what your values truly are.
A great way to solidify this understanding is through creating a Personal Mission Statement. The cost of writing one is small, but the payoff is huge. Most people fail at what they hope to achieve because they lack clear goals and focus. A successful person will have a rock-solid vision spelled out that will help them make tough decisions and cut through all the opposing noise. Everything you do – your investments of time, money, and relationships – should fit within the boundaries of that Personal Mission Statement. Here are a few simple steps to begin writing one of your own:
- Identify Past Successes. Spend some time identifying a few examples where you have had personal success in recent years. These successes could be at work, in your community, at home, etc. Write them down and try to identify whether there is a common theme (or themes) to these examples.
- Ask yourself hard questions. What is important to you? Where do you want to go? What does your best look like? How do you want people to describe you, now and one day at your funeral? What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?
- Identify Core Values. Based on your answers to the above questions, develop a list of attributes that you believe identify who you are and what your priorities are. The list can be as long as you need. Once your list is complete, see if you can narrow your values down to around five or six of the most important values. Finally, see if you can choose the one value that is most important to you. (Take our training course for additional instruction and insights.)
- Identify Your Roles. For example, these may include: spouse, son/daughter, brother/sister, father/mother, friend, professional, business owner, employee, citizen , etc. Consider the contributions you’d like to make in each of your roles. Think about your goals in each of these roles so your mission statement doesn’t focus too heavily on one area of your life and neglect others. Make a list of your personal goals, both in the short-term (up to three years) and the long term.
- Write a Mission Statement. Now that you’ve discovered what you want to accomplish and what matters most to you, describe it in a concise, direct manner. We recommend you keep it to 1-2 sentences max so you are sure to focus on what really matters.
Companies and organizations of all kinds and sizes have mission statements to keep them focused on their purpose. You can benefit from that same focus. Here are a few examples of mission statements from successful companies:
- “To use my gifts of intelligence, charisma, and serial optimism to cultivate the self-worth and net-worth of women around the world.” –Amanda Steinberg, founder of DailyWorth
- “To inspire hope, and contribute to health and well-being by providing the best care to every patient through integrated clinical practice, education and research.” –Mayo Clinic
- “To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.” –LinkedIn
- “Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.” –Facebook
Think of your personal mission statement as your version of the United States Constitution. It has been held in high regard for more than two centuries, despite dramatic environmental, social, cultural, industrial, and political changes. The Constitution is so stable because it’s based on such basic, timeless principles that its essence has been applicable across centuries in very different environments. Similarly, your personal mission statement reinforces such a secure sense of self that you won’t be threatened by the changes around you.
For more help creating your Personal Mission Statement, check out Franklin Covey’s Mission Statement Builder.