The most successful individuals in the world share many commonalities. They’re passionate, they wake up early and they constantly strive to better themselves. And in order to do these things, they must first maintain a high level of focus on who they are and where they want to go. This is where their personal mission statement comes into play. Amidst the noise and conflicts and distractions that come along with everyday life, their personal mission statement serves as the common thread that hold them together and keep them balanced. It is what can separate the good from the great.
“To be a teacher. And to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they thought they could be.” -Oprah Winfrey
Mission statements are short—usually only 2-3 sentences long. Don’t be fooled by brevity, these succinct phrases can be more difficult to come up with than a novel. These sentences should be formed in a positive, motivating way, but they shouldn’t be so over the top that you’ll never be able to live them out. Stay on top of who you want to become, and what values and efforts you need to focus on to get there. Consider how you want to impact others around you; family, friends and the world as a whole. Make sure your mission statement invigorates and inspires you. If you don’t feel butterflies flying around in your gut everytime you read it, then you know it’s time to go back to the drawing board.
A Step-by-step Formula
- Put yourself into words: Brainstorm a quick list of attributes you believe currently describe you. Think about past successes and the moments you’ve felt most proud at work, at home, etc.
- Make a list of your skills: What skills are you most readily able to give to the world and make a difference?
- Link to a purpose: Combine your top attributes and skills, and link them to a purpose you’re passionate about. Think about the legacy you want to leave and how you will arrive at your end goals.
- Cut, paste and craft: By now you likely have way more than a few sentences if you took the time to complete steps 1-3. Move around words and phrases until you begin to see a final product emerging. You may want to take breaks and come back to this step multiple times until you feel content with your final product.
Putting it into Action
Your mission statement will do you no good if you write it down and file it away. Keep these words in front of you every day. Read them when you wake up. Read them before you go to bed. Put them on a sticky note on your bathroom mirror. Your personal mission statement is there to help you manifest your goals, so believe in it! Let it guide you and remind you of who you want to become, and where you want to go.
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