Mission Made Simple!  How To Develop a Powerful Personal Mission Statement

Your personal mission statement is about the contribution you want your life to make in this world.  Values define who you want to be.  Mission declares what you want to accomplish with your life.

If you have listened to the last episode on values and taken action on it…you’ve taken some time to think about and hopefully write down your personal values… In that episode I recommended that you take some time to think about how you want to be remembered by the most important people in your life in terms of the guiding principles that affect how you interact with people — how you live your life. Who you want to be.

Your personal mission statement takes that a step further now. You’re values answer the question of how you want to be remembered in terms of character. Now think of the same relationships categories in your life and ask yourself what you would want the key people in your life to say about what you did in your life — your contributions, achievements, and experiences.


What would you want your spouse to say what you accomplished with your life? What would you want your friends or business associates to say about what you contributed to this world?

What would you want your kids to say about the experience you left behind on this planet when you’re dead and gone?

I think the first time I did something significant about this was after I went to a Stephen Covey seminar in the mid 90’s.  Covey talked about looking at my life through the lens of the different roles and relationships I have.  He suggested that the place to start understanding life purpose is to get clear on my purpose for each key role in my life.

Here’s what I wrote down back then.

My spouse – My spouse is the most important person in my life. I will treat my spouse with love and respect at all times.

My children – My children inherit the future. I will provide them with every
opportunity within my means to develop them to their fullest potential.

My friends – My friends are my devoted support structure. I will not neglect my
friends but will always be there for them, as they are for me.

My business associates – My business associates look to me for leadership and guidance. I
will set the example of honesty and integrity in all my business relationships.

My God – My God is the highest priority in my life. I will strive to live
my life in a way that is honoring to Him.

My community – My community is where my family lives, works and plays. I will be
involved in making my community a better and safer place for all who reside

Some people find that defining a purpose statement for each of the key areas of their life like this is the easiest way to start on the journey to living life with a clear mission behind everything you do.  If you haven’t done this yet, you might try that approach.

Think about each of the important people in your life and imagine how each would want to describe their thoughts and feelings about what you have accomplished in your life. Think about the key roles you play in your life. A student, friend, sibling, son/daughter, partner, employee, and so on. What impact do you want to have on others in each of those roles? What impression to you want to make? When you are at the end of your life looking back what would you feel really good about accomplishing in each of these key roles of your life?

You may start with a written purpose statement for each of the roles you fulfill.  If you just stay there for a long while that could serve you very well.

Eventually, you might want to develop one single statement of purpose for your life as a whole.   And in fact, some people find its best to start there with one statement rather than statements for each role in your life.  Some do both.  There’s no one size fits all to this.  It’s a very personal thing.  What counts is that you find the system that works for you to have great clarity on the purpose that drives what you do in your life.  The mission that will make your life matter.

If you want to move from purpose statements for each role in your life to one life mission statement look at all the purposes phrases you list for each role of your life and look for themes that may inform you of the overarching purpose for your life.


In my journey of seeking clarity on my life mission over the years another helpful system I’ve discovered is to think about my heroes. Who has impacted you in the most significant, positive way? Was it a friend? A teacher? A relative? A peer?  Make a list of your personal heroes.  Then list the qualities, accomplishments and values you most admire in them.

I don’t remember all the heroes I listed when I first did this exercise years ago.  Some heroes stay the same and some change over time as we learn and grow and meet new people. Some heroes are alive, some are historic figures.  Some are people I actually know and others are people I have just read about.  As I reflect back on my heroes over the years, they all have certain qualities and accomplishments in common.  All my heroes are courageous leaders who did and said things to positively influence millions of people around the world.  They all left some type of multigenerational positive impact.  They all left a pattern of success that they taught or that others could learn form and follow to become more successful, more fulfilled, more effective.

And that’s one of the reason why our family mission statement starts with to courageously lead generations of people.  And that’s one of the reasons why my personal mission statement is to develop and implement self-perpetuating leadership development systems that draw millions of people around the world to understand, live by and promote God’s universal systems for success.

Hopefully as you identify your heroes and write down the characteristics and accomplishments that you most admire in them, you will get valuable clues to help you develop your own powerful statement of life purpose.


Another way to get at understanding your life purpose is to envision and build the specifics for your perfect day, your perfect week, month and ultimately life. This is an exercise that starts to initiate you dreaming again. Moving you from your current situation to where you want to be, fully activated in your life purpose. The goal is to become passionate and committed, knowing you are in the process of living out your ideal life purpose.

Here’s how The Perfect Day Exercise works:

  1. Spend twenty minutes just imagining what a 24 hour day would look like where you were fully living out the ideal purpose for your life.
  2. Write down hour by hour what your perfect day would look like.  We’ll include on the Perfect Day Worksheet in show notes.
  3. Be as specific as you can about your feelings, what your environment looks like, smells like, and people that you are around.
  4. What time you wake up, travel, eat, meet, every aspect is to be as detailed as possible.
  5. Write down how you would feel inside as you go through your day.

After you’ve gone through this initial brainstorming process outlined there, you’ll take all the information and write as a narrative story called “A Day in My Perfect Passionate Life” authored by you.

If you want to go the extra-mile, write a narrative for your Perfect Week!

Take the Perfect day and write out a perfect week by repeating the Perfect Day process for seven consecutive days. Watch out this could become motivating !


So this last system is a set of questions that will help you begin to think deeply about the passions, abilities, values and dreams that are deep within your heart and will provide clues to discovering your life purpose.

  • Find a time and place where you will not be interrupted. This is something that would be a great guide for an hour or two or even a half day of solitude and silence.
  • Write down your answers to each question. Write the first thing that pops into your head.
  • Write without editing. It’s important to write out your answers rather than just thinking about them.
  1. What meaningful activities make you lose track of time?
  2. What do you care deeply about? What makes your heart sing? What lights you up? What energizes you?
  1. What’s wrong with the world that drives you crazy? What makes you weep or angry at the wrongness of it?
  1. What are you naturally good at? What do you usually get great results from doing?
  1. What do people typically ask you for help with?
  1. If you had to teach something, what would you teach?
  1. Imagine you are now 90 years old, sitting on a rocking chair outside your porch; you are blissful and happy, and are pleased with the wonderful life you’ve been blessed with. Looking back at your life and all that you’ve accomplished and all the relationships you’ve had; what matters to you most? List them out.
  1. Who inspires you most? (Someone you know or have learned about…family, friends or authors, artists, leaders, etc.) Which qualities inspire you, in each of those people?
  1. What do you value most in life? What character qualities do you want to be known for at the end of your life?
  1. If you could get a message across to a large group of people, who would those people be? What would your message be?
  1. What would you regret not fully doing, being or having in your life?
  1. If you had all the time and money you need to accomplish anything, what would you be doing with your life?

After you have taken some good time alone to write down your answers to these questions, review all your answers and then start writing some statements or phrases that capture the themes you see in your answers. The act of even starting to write your personal mission statement is transformational because it causes you to declare your life priorities and you’ll be amazed at how your behaviors start changing to support what you say is important.


A personal mission statement can take many forms, from bullet points to a paragraph to a sentence.  But I’ll give a bit of guidance here on what I’ve found after helping thousands of individuals, families and companies develop mission statements as what I’ve seen is the most effective structure an ideal mission statement.

Don’t get hung up on the form or even getting the exact right words as you are starting to do this.  Just start writing statements that capture the essence of the answers you’ve given to these key questions.  I’ve seen people end up in their first drafts with several bullet points that they are really excited about.  I’ve seen some early drafts that are a long paragraph or even a few paragraphs.  Ultimately, I’ve found it’s ideal if you can boil it down to one simple sentence that is compelling and easy to remember.

Ideally, a personal mission has 3 parts:

  1. WHAT do I want to do?  List key action words or phrases that indicate what you want to do.
  1. WHO do I want to help? List everything and everyone that you really want to help.
  1. What is the RESULT? Identify the key outcome you see for your life…the value you will leave in this world.  How will the WHO from the second part benefit from WHAT you do? What difference, what result do you want your life to make?


Review your answers to the 12 Life Mission Discovery Questions and/or the 8 Purpose Factors that we discussed in the previous family round table episode on this topic. Review your answers from the Heroes exercise or the Perfect Day process.  Look at all your answers and categorize key words and phrases regarding WHAT you want to do. Then the key words or phrases that reference WHO you want to help.  Then list the words or phrases that describe the RESULTS or value for society that you want to leave behind at the end of your life.



To empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

WHAT: To empower

WHO: Every person and every organization on the planet

RESULT: To achieve more


To market the most appealing and widely worn casual clothing in the world. We will clothe the world.

WHAT: To market the most appealing and widely worn casual clothing

WHO: The world

RESULT: Clothe the world.

LONNIE’S PERSONAL MISSION (first drafted in 1996)

To develop and implement self-perpetuating leadership development systems that draw millions of people around the world to fully experience God and His enduring systems for success.

WHAT: To develop and implement self-perpetuating leadership development systems

WHO: That draw millions of people around the world

RESULT: To fully experience God’s systems for success.


To courageously lead generations of people to become devoted friends and sold-out followers of Jesus!

WHAT: To courageously lead

WHO: Generations of people

RESULT: To become devoted friends and sold-out followers of Jesus!


To lead generations of people to take extreme ownership, achieve their full potential, live gratefully and love unconditionally.

WHAT: To lead

WHO: Generations of people

RESULT: To take extreme ownership, achieve their full potential, live gratefully and love unconditionally.


Now it’s time for you to take action to create another system for your success. Download the systems for developing your personal mission. Then take some time answering the key questions that will help you begin to define your personal life mission.  Go ahead.  Take this foundational step to designing the life of your dreams…a life full of fulfillment and purpose!


  • Download the Roles and Relationships Purpose Exercise if you want to start this journey of living a mission driven life by first identifying the purpose for each of the important roles and relationships you have in your life.
  • Download Your Heroes Exercise to help you think about the qualities and accomplishments that would be most important for your life.
  • Download  The Perfect Day Imagination Exercise and take some time to expand your dreams for what might be possible in your life.
  • Download this Mission Statement Made Simple System and thoughtfully answer these 12 questions that will pull from your deepest core what is really important to you in your life.  Then create a draft mission statement using the guidance on the last page.  Once you have done this, you are now in the good company of the smallest percentage of people who make the biggest positive impact on this world!

Thank You!

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