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Your personal mission statement is another topic that I feel is widely talked about with business owners but seldom acted on. The following is probably the most extensive post on the web about the subject. Take your time going through this, and you may want to re-read certain sections as you start to take action on what you have learned.

Even if you already have a personal mission statement, this post may awaken a desire within you to revisit your purpose in life and revise your mission statement to reflect that.

Lonnie Gienger, our resident business systems and success guru, delivers some awesomeness for us. Enjoy, get inspired, and act!

I would love to see your mission statement in the comments below!

 

 

Your Personal Mission Statement

Once you have defined your personal values you need to determine how your life will represent those values. It clarifies what’s important to you providing you with focus to help you design your life, instead of having it designed for you.

There are a lot of people who go to work day-in and day-out, putting in long hours of hard work, who never feel any personal connection with their work, much less any personal reward. They feel dissatisfied, directionless, without purpose. They don’t have all of the elements of their lives working together toward a common purpose.

If you have ever experienced absolute fulfillment and even joy in the middle of a doing something that others might find hard and you feel like saying, “I was made for this,” then you understand what it’s like to function in the space of your life purpose.

 

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When you live your life with a clear purpose, you not only have more fulfillment and passion but you also have the controlling vision you need to make wise choices, and judge important issues in your life.

Your personal mission statement builds on your core values to function like a  personal constitution by which you make all decisions for your life. The more you check in with it, the more truly successful you will be in life.  This will not be something you write down and stick in a file somewhere. You’ll use it and refer to it often.  So write a mission statement that you can remember easily and reference often.

The best mission statement captures an overriding theme already present in your life. It puts down in words what flows out of you as the real passion and purpose of your time on this earth. It describes the cause you will pursue, the wound in individuals or society that you want to heal, the problem you will devote your life to solving.  It states the highest, purest, most others-oriented aim of your life.

Keep in mind that your life mission is broader than your business.  In fact as you discover your life purpose you may be surprised to find that whatever business you are in now could take on completely new meaning as you find ways to use your business as a vehicle to accomplish your mission.  Or you may find that clarity of your life mission will lead you, over time to change how you do business. Or it may lead you to even start a different business that allows you fuller expression of your life purpose.  A clear and compelling personal mission statement is more powerful than your present circumstances and more influential than the baggage of your past.

 

The Process of Creating Your Mission Statement

Creating a mission statement is not something you do in an hour. It takes deep thought, careful analysis and often many rewrites to create a final version that will serve you well for years. One of the best ways to get started is to take a half day to a day off by yourself with no distractions to make space to hear your heart and plan your life.  Most of us don’t need more information, we just need to make space and time to think and write.

Ideally you can take a large block of time to get started on this process then continue to fine tune it days after.  It may take several weeks or even months until you think you have a clear, concise, compelling expression of the outcome you want for your life. Even then, you will want to review it regularly and will potentially make minor changes as the years bring additional insights.

 

Looking Through the Lens of Your Key Roles and Relationships

A good way to begin gaining insight into what you want your life to be about is to look back from the end of your life through the lens of your key roles and relationships. When you examined your personal values you thought 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.

Take that a step further now. You’ve already answered the question of how you want to be remembered in terms of character. Now think of the same roles and relationships 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 about the contribution your life made?  How about your friends? Business associates? Children?

Think about your various roles in life and imagine how you want the important people in those roles to describe their thoughts and feelings about what you have accomplished in your life.

You could start by writing a purpose statement for each of roles you fulfill, such as:

 

My spouse ⎯ My spouse is the most important person in my life. I will love and cherish my spouse and pursue intimate friendship at all times.

My children ⎯ My children courageously lead generations of people to be devoted friends and sold out followers of Jesus. I will provide them the foundation for fulfillment in life and effectiveness in building a better world.

My friends ⎯ My friends are my devoted support community. I take time to develop meaningful relationships that add value to them and they add value to me.

My business associates ⎯ My business associates look to me for influence and inspire them toward worthwhile dreams and goals. I will always be an example of value based leadership and continual growth.

My God ⎯ My God is the highest priority in my life. I will always seek to more fully experience God more his principles for life success.

My community ⎯ My community is my responsibility to transform with an enduring self-perpetuating legacy.  I will develop my family and my business as a platform for improving the world in every way I can.

 

super_heroTo help you define your life mission statement, review 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.

You can also gain helpful insights into your life mission if you think about your heroes. Who has impacted you in the most significant, positive way? Was it a friend? A teacher? A relative? A peer? After you identify your “personal heroes,” list the qualities, accomplishments and values you most admire in them.  What does this tell you about what you want people to say about you at the end of your life?

 

Looking Through the Lens of Your Values, Passions, Abilities and Dreams

The most effective personal mission statements are created by looking through the lens of your values, passions, abilities, and dreams.  These are the four most clarifying catalysts for defining life purpose.

 

  • Core Values: What kind of person do you want to become? What character traits do you want to possess?  What values do you want to be known for?  What you want to accomplish in life should be based on the core values you have identified.  Make sure the personal values you have identified are the foundation of your personal mission statement.
    • Values are the non-negotiable principles that will guide the way you go about living your life mission.
      • For example, if one of the values you are most committed to is bringing hope to the hopeless, your life mission should give you a platform to express that value of bringing hope to some segment of society.
  • Passions: What do you care deeply about?  What makes your heart sing and what makes it weep?  What lights you up and what energizes you?  What makes you get off your chair so you can’t sit still anymore? What is wrong with the world that drives you crazy?  Passionate discontent can lead you to your place of most meaningful purpose.
    • Your passions help you know where to live out your mission and provide motivation or energy to excel at it.  Passion moves us to action in a way that causes us bring all that we have to the cause.
      • For example, if you are passionate about eradicating child abuse then your mission might have something to do with bringing hope to victims of child abuse.
  • Abilities:  What are you really good at?  What do you do that regularly produces good outcomes?
    • Your skills and abilities give you ideas for how you can be most effective in getting something of importance done related to your passions.
      • For example, if you are passionate about eradicating child abuse and you excel in your ability to show compassion, it might indicate that your life purpose has something to do with demonstrating compassion to those who suffer from child abuse. But if instead your primary ability is leadership, then your life mission might have something to do with developing an organization or leading a movement that addresses child abuse.
  • Dreams: What do you want to accomplish in your life? What dreams do you want to fulfill?  What are the primary outcomes you want by the end of your life?
    • Your dreams of what you would love to accomplish are indicators of the outcomes that would make you feel that your life really counted.
      • Following the example above, if your passion is eradicating child abuse, what specific outcome do you dream about?  Do you dream of children being free from hunger or free from sex slavery or free from poverty?  Or do you dream of providing and safe, comfortable home for every child?

 

It can also be insightful to look back over the history of your life and reflect on how the experiences of your life have shaped you and prepared you to make a valuable contribution to this world.  Think about life situations that have caused great joy or success as well as those that have cause significant frustration or pain.  You might even do a timeline of your life and make note of key milestones, significant people, times of great joy and times of great pain and times you felt you were operating in your “sweet spot”.  How might these life experiences prepare you for, or focus you on a worthwhile cause for your life?

Maybe you experienced abuse as a child and because of that horrible situation, you have a unique understanding and compassion for abused children that puts you in a better position to address that need in society than others.  Or maybe when you were a child, you had an amazing teacher that significantly changed your life for the better, so you may have a deeper understanding and appreciation for the power of mentoring children than most.  Or maybe as you reflect on the timeline of your life you see a recurring pattern of related activities that each made you feel you were in your sweet spot doing what you were meant to do.

In addition to thinking about what’s going on inside you right now and in addition to reflecting on your life experiences, take some time to think about the situations and events taking place around you. Your life mission will obviously take place in the country, the community, the culture and the generation where you live.  When your life mission intersects with the deep needs of people and society around you, your life will result in a better world!

 

Your place of greatest effect is the place where your greatest passions and the world’s biggest problems meet.

 

Drafting Your Personal Mission Statement