I have promised in my last post that you will learn how to prepare your mission statement. Today you will have an opportunity to accomplish this goal. How?
What Is It?
You have probably heard about mission statements presented by various companies. However, you also need to treat yourself as a kind of company and therefore, create your own mission statement.
So what it is? Usually, a mission statement comprises of a couple of sentences describing the “why” of a company. It’s like their DNA. It includes things like their goals, philosophies, and who they serve. The same will be in your document.
Think of it as your personal “compass” for life, defining your life purpose, your roles, your priorities, what you stand for, how you want to live, and why.
And your mission statement is not just about your career path. It’s a compass that directs ALL aspects of life. It means your relationships, health, spirituality, life goals.
How To Write A Personal Mission Statement
I have to warn you at the start: this takes effort. It is not something you squeeze into the last 5 minutes of your lunch break with your colleague. It may take one hour or more and still requires updates.
But the more you put in, the more clarity you will get and your mission statement will be more tuned with your real self. In other words, it will pay dividends for the rest of your life.
An Express Version Of Mission Statement
Let’s start then. At the beginning. I will ask you to answer these questions:
- What’s the main impact you want to make in your life?
- Why is making this impact important to you?
- What character traits are needed to make this impact?
How To Create an Express Mission Statement
Having answered the questions above, put the answers to the following formula:
“To [main impact] by being [character traits] so that [reason why].”
BAM! Your mission statement complete. This is the method to be used when you need your document quickly and have little time for thorough analysis. But I will advise you to follow the method described below the next time you write your mission statement.
The Thorough Mission Statement
This kind of a mission statement requires more thorough analysis and therefore, is more time-consuming, but as I wrote earlier, will pay bigger dividends.
Get To Know Yourself
It is the foundation of your mission statement because then this document is perfectly tailored to you. Let’s get organised first:
- block out some distraction-free time,
- grab a notebook,
- write down the answers to the questions listed below.
A useful tip: Write down everything that emerges in your head. No censoring and judgement, just brainstorm. This process will be like a funnel. You will start with a bunch of raw info and filter it down into a concise mission statement.
1. List all your roles.
Just list who you are. In my book Awaken Mega Happiness, I have described this process in detail.
To define your life roles, just write who you are in your family (e.g. a husband/wife, mother/father, parent, brother/sister, daughter/son, grandfather/grandmother…). Do the same for your job (the boss, an employee – specify your position, e.g. an accountant, a labourer) or in the case of being a business person – also specify the branch). You can also list the profession learnt and the role you do in the community (er.g. volunteering). Choose 5 to10 roles.
2. Rate your personality.
Again, in my book, there are detailed examples of defining your character traits, both positive and negative. Because the mission statement has a decent purpose, let’s focus on the positive ones. Firstly, start the list yourself. But later, you might think of what your friends, teachers, family appreciate in you. Again, list 5 to 10 traits.
3. List out your top 20 interests and passions.
This one should be easy. Just think about what you happily spend your money and free time on and what activities would be hard to give up.
4. List out your top 20 strengths, talents, and skills.
For best results, ask others for input, starting from one family member, one friend, and one work colleague for more well-rounded answers.
5. List out your 10 most important values.
This one’ may be tough because it is easy to confuse your true values with the values society says are important.
If you write your answers based on what others might think, you’ll end up with a map to the wrong destination. Remember, this is YOUR mission statement. Therefore, choose YOUR values. Let me give you some examples:
More Clarifying Questions
However, you will make better use answering the questions below than relying on the examples above. Remember to brainstorm the answers, not censor them.
- What do I want most out of life?
- How do I want people to remember me?
- What do I want my life to stand for?
- What qualities and values do my role models have?
- What impact can I make with my uniqueness?
- What are the five most important things in my life?
- What do I most want to contribute to the world?
- Which one would be the most horrible to have taken away from me?
- What would I have to achieve to consider my life a success?
Create Your Unique Personal Mission Statement
Now you know more about yourself than ever before, therefore, it is the time to polish that raw data down into your one-of-a-kind personal mission statement.
Remember that there is no one right way to write a mission statement. But let me give you an example of the mission composed of 3 sections:
1. Your mission (shoot for one sentence)
2. Essential characteristics needed to fulfil your mission
3. Roles that will take priority in achieving your mission
Polish Your Mission Statement
Think of it as a treasure hunt. Start by scanning through all your answers and look for patterns. Keep an eye out for:
1. Similar items that fall under an overarching theme
2. Any point that basically summarizes everything else
3. Any point you resonate extra hard with you.
Work until you have narrowed it down to one sentence that sums up your most important points. This will be your mission which can be updated anytime later.
In a Nutshell
Today you have learnt how to write a personal mission statement. You can choose the short formula (main impact, character traits, purpose) or a more thorough one, with listing your values, roles, personality traits. Good luck.