By Dayna Mason
This new year, many of us are thinking about resolving to change something about our lives. Maybe we want to lose a few pounds or eat healthier. But what if instead of focusing on small goals, we looked at the bigger picture, and asked ourselves, “What do I actually want from my life?”
Most corporations have a mission statement, which helps them stay aligned with the goals and values they deem most important for the company.
A personal mission statement can help us stay aligned with who we are and the impact we want to make on the world. When we are trying to figure out our next best step, we can reread the words of our mission statement to help guide that decision.
Building a Personal Mission Statement
- Begin crafting your mission statement by asking yourself these questions:
- What do I value? What’s important to me?
- What do I want from my life?
- What are my talents?
- At the end of my life, what do I want to have accomplished?
- Take an inventory of your strengths
List your strengths. Are you creative? Do you love to learn? Are you empathetic? Are you artistic? Are you good with people; good with animals? What activity makes you lose all sense of time?
Next, based on your information gathering, start writing. Describe the qualities that define and differentiate you. Declare who you are and what you want to do with your life.
Information Gathering Example:
I value compassion and care deeply about others especially the disadvantaged. I am pulled in the direction of helping others discover themselves, so they can make their best life choices and define a practical life path. In the end, I want to know that my life mattered because I made a difference in the quality of other people’s lives.
Mission Statement: “To inspire positive change through teaching and coaching.”
Other Mission Statement Examples:
Statement of Purpose/Personal Mission Statement
- “To be a teacher. And to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they thought they could be.” – Oprah Winfrey
- To know and love myself, my neighbor, and my world and to encourage and inspire others to know and love themselves.
- To have faith in destiny and bravely take the path that unfolds before me.
- To create opportunities for today’s youth.
- To use my skills as a journalist to inspire people, so that they are educated about the world around them and are energized to make change.
- To positively impact the life of every person I meet.
- To recognize Truth in myself, the world and others, and inspire and share Truth in God’s way and timing.
- To create art that brings people joy.
- “To make people happy.” – Walt Disney
We can learn a lesson from Apple’s current mission statement:
“Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork, and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.”
Under Steve Jobs, Apple’s mission statement was:
“To make a contribution to the world by making tools for the mind that advance humankind.”
Which mission statement inspires you and feels limitless? The current mission statement leaves no room for out-of-the-box thinking, innovation. This may be why Apple hasn’t delivered anything truly new in a long time (Steve Jobs died in 2011.) The mission statement under Steve Jobs’ direction speaks to what Apple became known for—doing the impossible.
When creating your mission statement, keep it simple (one or two sentences). Make sure that when you read it back to yourself, the possibilities feel limitless and you feel inspired to make a difference in your own unique way, aligned with what you value, and that it encourages you to leave a legacy you’ll be proud of.
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