Each of us possesses a driving force in our lives. This essential framework defines who we are, how we approach life, and how we set goals and make decisions. A vivid vision starts by envisioning what you see as the epitome of your success. Once you have created the vision, you can begin writing your own success script. What will your personal mission statement be?
The process of creating a personal mission statement and our own vivid vision for success focuses us on something beyond a job title or salary. It encourages us to consider and describe in detail every aspect of who we are and how we approach life. It enables us to shape our purpose vividly, and since the purpose is at the heart of what leads us to accomplish goals and achieve success, it is an essential building block of our values and beliefs. Our values and beliefs form the foundation of goal setting, and research has repeatedly demonstrated that goals that emerge from our most deeply held values and beliefs are the ones we are most motivated to accomplish. Organizations and businesses have known that their mission is what makes them so much more than just the products they sell or the services they provide. A clearly articulated purpose and clearly stated values and vision serve as a constant reminder to all about where they are headed and lets others understand who you are, how you approach life and how you make decisions. Mission statements are not just for large organizations or businesses; crafting and sharing a personal mission statement that defines who you are, how you approach life, your priorities for setting goals and the values that govern your decision-making can be an extremely effective tool. Knowing what lies at your very core and being able to share that with others can be the competitive edge you are looking for.
Writing a personal mission statement requires that you follow an inside-out approach. It means that you need to take a hard look at your values, beliefs, and who you are at your core. You have to be fully open to the introspective work that can reveal your most deeply held beliefs and values. Personal mission statements do not have to be elaborate – they can be as simple as one word, a daily mantra or a favorite quote. It can be a simple sentence that brings into focus your core values, goals and purpose and can be a touchstone in difficult times and can help keep your focus on what is most important to you. Your mission statement helps you say no to things that distract you from carrying out your values, vision and plans. It becomes the roadmap by which you travel toward success, and it conveys your values to those around you. Your personal mission statement should not be static, and it should evolve and change over time as you do. Are you ready to begin creating or refining your personal mission statement?
Here are a few ideas and guidelines to jumpstart the process:
- Take an inside-out approach – be honest with yourself and don’t hide from anything. Here are some questions that you could ask yourself to begin this process:
- What are you most inspired by?
- What motivates you to action?
- What do you believe? What are your most important values?
- What do you want others to think when they hear your name?
- What is the core energy that drives you?
- What lies at your inner core: the pursuit of knowledge, power, love, wisdom etc.?
- What turns down the dimmer on your energy and leads you to conflict?
- Ask those who know you well what they would say your deepest values are. Be open to their feedback and notice how you respond emotionally to what they share. Often our emotions give us clues to what we feel most strongly about.
- Choose words and use word association to create a list of values. Choose words that are actionable, inspirational, simple and authentic to who you are.
- Look at who you admire and the qualities that draw you to them. Ask yourself what phrases about them mean the most to you. See what matches your goals and beliefs and adopt them.
- Look to historical figures, writings, poems, and quotes, and identify things that resonate and inspire you.
- Begin to brainstorm and draft your mission statement. Remember, it can be a word, a favorite quote, etc.
- Once you have your mission statement, make sure that it is:
- Simple and easy to understand
- Inspirational and motivating
- Is an accurate representation of your authentic self
- Expresses simply and clearly who you are at your core
Writing a mission statement is a little bit like trying on new clothes. If it doesn’t fit the first time, you can always go back and try something new. But once you finish writing, put it out there for everyone to see and make yourself a laminated copy that you can bring with you and pull out when you need motivation or to restore your focus.
I’d love to hear your personal mission statements and about your experience crafting or refining them. Please share them with me in the comments field below.