“My mission in life is to not only survive but to thrive and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style” -Maya Angelou
We have all heard the term mission statement, but typically in relation to companies and corporations. Mission statements help explain the direction of an organization and typically give employees clarity on why the organization exists. By reading a well thought out mission statement, people from the outside can have an understanding of what the organization is trying to accomplish and how they would like to be portrayed by the public.
Here are some examples of mission statements:
Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.
Spanx’s mission is to help women feel great about themselves and their potential.
So why do we not all have personal mission statements?
If you already have a mission statement, kudos to you, high five, and cheers. This is something I have never clearly defined. While I have certain beliefs and morals, I have never clearly defined my mission statement. Really taken a step back and thought big picture. What is my purpose and what am I truly trying to accomplish in life? I don’t want to get morbid on you, but what if I were to pass away tomorrow; would people know what I stood for through my actions, words, and lifestyle. I’m not so sure… and how could they when I did not fully even know.
This realization lead me to want to define my personal mission statement and core values. Here is what I learned through the process.
- As Louie Giglio (from Passion Church) said, we waste time by not having time to think. This was true for me. For those of you that personally know me, know I am busy… like always busy. This prevented me from having time to actually think and reflect. Through this process, I have learned the power of silence. I recommend spending 10-15 minutes per day reflecting on life. Keep a journal and jot down some thoughts that come into your mind during this time.
- Don’t dwell on the small things; Think bigger! We all get caught up on small things that don’t really matter from day to day. Dwelling on these things, prevents us from focusing on the big picture and the things in life that truly matter. Defining my mission statement allowed me to redirect myself when I started drifting to things that were only road blocks delaying me from achieving my goals.
- Each interaction is either portraying my mission statement and core values or it simply is not. Negativity and/or complaining is toxic and it does not help me get any closer to my goals and ambitions. For one week, I decided not to say a single negative thought out loud. Prior to this exercise, I would have described myself as an optimistic person. However, I quickly realized how often I complained about small things like traffic, weather, lack of sleep, or not having anything to wear (when I have a packed full closet). After the week, I started automatically making a negative situation positive in my mind before words came out of my mouth… how cool is that! We can truly train our brains and thought process.
- Finally, mission statements evolve over time. I started putting too much pressure on defining my mission statement. Just like each company’s mission statement is evaluated and altered as the company grows and develops, our personal mission statement should. Today my mission statement may look very different than it does in 10 years. What is important is that you are continuously checking in on your success. Are you portraying your mission statement? Have you outgrown your current mission statement? This goes back to the importance of quiet time and self-reflection.
I challenge you over the next couple weeks to take the time to define your mission statement. Write it down and frequently check in on how you are doing. Do your priorities and lifestyle match? Are you living out your mission statement? This will give you purpose, focus, and motivation to achieve your goals.
I look forward to hearing from you all!