Is Having a Personal Mission Statement Important?

Developing a personal mission statement can be powerful and rewarding.

Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, promoted the idea of crafting a personal mission statement. He remarked, your mission is “ defining the personal, moral and ethical guidelines within which you can most happily express and fulfill yourself.”

Corporations have utilized their mission statements as a tool to help guide the business through decisions, provide direction for corporate goals and develop their corporate culture.

Individuals who create a personal mission may find that it helps them develop more focused goals and achieve more in their lifetime.

Sir Richard Branson, Founder of The Virgin Group, shared his mission with Motivated magazine. “To have fun in [my] journey through life and learn from [my] mistakes.” Followers of Branson’s path to success will recognize his mission as a driving force in the decisions that he’s made over the years. He prioritizes fun and is not afraid to fail spectacularly in pursuit of success. His failures only motivate him to try harder, and he pivots quickly when a mistake has been made.

Developing a Personal Mission

  • Identify your core values.

Make a list of the values that are important to you. What character traits do you see in others that you admire? This list should include the values that you consider important in a life of integrity. Your list can be as long or as short as necessary.

  • Consider your legacy.

What do you want people to say about you after you’re gone? Here is a twist to that thought. Alfred Nobel is famous for creating the Nobel Peace Prize. However, his fame was originally based on the development of dynamite. Due to a mistake, a newspaper incorrectly published an obituary for Alfred when his brother died. The headline read, “The merchant of death is dead.” When Alfred read the headline, he was deeply affected and resolved to change his legacy. He devoted the rest of his life and his considerable wealth to promoting peace.

  • Determine a purpose.

What are the ways that you want to contribute? How can you make a difference in the world around you? Compose a few sentences that describe what you feel like the purpose of your life may be.

  • Define your specific goals.

Use the SMART goal-setting system to write action oriented, specific goals for your life. Develop both short and long term goals.

  • Compose your mission statement.

With the information you’ve collected, write a mission statement that reflects your values and goals. Use succinct, short sentences. Your mission statement should guide your day to day decisions, as well as guide your long-term choices. Keep your words positive and meaningful.

Does your life need meaning and direction? A personal mission statement can be a powerful tool to guide you. Write your mission statement down and post it in places you’ll see it frequently. Memorize your mission statement and use it to help you make decisions. Are you ready to discover your life’s mission?

Michele Bailey is president and CEO of Blazing Agency and My Big Idea®. These two lines of business work congruently to support her clients’ success.

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