We have all seen a mission statement at some point—a lot of them, comprising of many meaningless phrases or words put together to impress the reader. Having a personal mission statement reflects positively on your leadership and personal development. It encourages you to think about your life and your purpose to identify what is most important. In expressing your mission statement, you are also pushed to express your aspirations in life and values as succinctly as possible. Having a personal mission statement provides focus, integrates who you are, holds you accountable, and simplifies your decision-making processes. Here are three reasons why you should develop a personal mission statement:
- Your “why.”
Developing a mission statement encourages you to contemplate deeply, who you are, the person you see yourself becoming, and the contribution you will make, and this provides you with identity and purpose. This will allow you to pave your path versus a path guided by society or peers and lead a life of significance and meaning. Looking back at a written statement can inspire you and give you sets of values to look towards when societal pressures are swaying you.
Life can be very distracting at times, so it is incredible to have something to keep you on track so you aren’t left astray after going from various ventures and following the herd. A personal mission statement reminds you of your purpose and what you need to do to be closer to completing your purpose and live a life of fulfillment. Starting with the end in mind, as Stephen Covey said in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the personal mission statement shows you where you want to be so that you can barrel through the noise and focus only on the things that lead you to your aspirations.
By having a personal mission statement, you have a standard set for yourself, and so you can measure choices against this standard. Knowing your purpose will ultimately guide your decision making because you will choose what decision will take you closer to achieving your end goal. Once you have identified your core values, your vision in life will be clear, and you can make decisions that align with your life purpose. The choices will become simpler.
Mission statements, in general, should be so much more than a pretentious attempt at PR. The mission statement should guide the reader’s decision-making by showcasing the company’s values or individuals’ values. The mission statement should be your why. Similarly, a personal mission statement is important for an individual to clarify their purpose in life and can be used to guide their behavior.