A personal mission statement can be a valuable aid to success in life because it gives you a strong sense of purpose and direction. This can help you stay focused on your best future while feeling better about the present.
While a vision statement is a picture of your desired future, a mission statement describes what you must do to achieve your vision or your desired future. It’s also a way of stating your life purpose.
If your vision was to become a successful entrepreneur, your mission might be to gain the education and funding needed, choose a business category and location, and attract customers.
But some people prefer to think of a mission statement as a life purpose, what you must do to fulfill your potential and achieve your highest good. It can be very rewarding to feel you have a noble purpose in life and are working toward it.
If this is the kind of mission statement that appeals to you, one way to define it is to think about the intersection of your greatest abilities with the greatest need in the marketplace, community or world. For example, perhaps you want to be a manager for an international organization fighting hunger. Or perhaps you want to be a professional athlete where the demand is great for your skills and the pay is outstanding.
Personal mission statement and purpose in life
An excellent TEDx video on YouTube by Adam Leipzig tells about his participation in a 25th reunion of Yale alumni. He found that many of his classmates were deeply disappointed with their lives, but others including him were very satisfied with theirs. Leipzig said of the satisfied group, “I discovered that each of them knew something about their life purpose because they knew five things:
- who they were,
- what they did,
- who they did it for,
- what those people wanted or needed,
- and what they got out of it, how they changed as a result.”
Leipzig gave as an example, if you were an author of children’s books, you might say, “your life purpose is: ‘I write books for children, so they can fall asleep at night, so they can have awesome dreams.’”
You don’t have to wait 25 years after graduation to come up with your own inspiring life purpose or mission statement.
Take the time now to craft your own personal mission statement using the five points above or what it would take to turn your vision into reality. Put it in the present tense, as if it were already true. This can be a great motivator and guiding tool if you keep it handy in written form and refer to it often. Feeling that you have a clear mission or purpose in life is very uplifting.