One way to help keep a focus on your purpose in life is to develop and compose a Personal Mission Statement. The Personal Mission Statement zeroes in on your core values, principles, and key items you wish to accomplish with your life. In Stephen Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People he likens the Mission Statement to that of the Unites States Constitution, the core values of our country.
This Summer I have been going through his son, Sean Covey’s, book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens with my teen daughter. This is a positive book to help teens understand the 7 principles to living life with more purpose and finding more potential in their futures. I have enjoyed this time with my daughter discussing principles which will allow her to have the best life possible. We just finished the chapter where Sean describes the Mission Statement. I like how he brings out that it can be put into various forms of a poem, a song, listing of positive bulleted statements, or a poster to tap into young people’s creativity.
Before working on the Mission Statement there is a need to work on concepts that go into it. Take time to brainstorm a list of values that are important to you. What are some of the positive strong qualities that set you apart from the next person? Make a list of 10 of the most important things in your life. Think over and list 5 core principles that are unchangeable and are the basis for your worldview and lifestyle.
Just as the Constitution is the standard for our country the Personal Mission Statement is the standard to guide our sense of purpose through the storms of life. Our world is always changing but a mission statement can help remind us of the inner strengths and principles we believe in that do not change. It can help us keep moving towards our goals and pursuits in our life journey by providing a guideline to keep on track with what is important to us.
The Mission Statement also helps us be more responsible so more can be accomplished of what we really want for our lives. Stephen Covey quotes Victor Frankl in his section on Mission statements. “Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.” We are responsible for our choices and following our personal beliefs. Understanding our responsibility to follow our mission statement encourages a deeper motivation and commitment to live our daily life by the principles and values important and keep a vision towards being goal centered which is important in living more than ok.
Keep your Mission Statement in a place you can review it often. Place it at your desk, as a wall poster hanging in your office or bedroom, or laminate a small version to place in your wallet or purse. This way you can review it on a regular basis and keep in fresh in your mind as a guiding force in your life. Does the Mission Statement ever change? As we go through shifts in our lives aspects of our life change but our core principles are usually constant unless a major philosophical and spiritual shift occurs. As we review our Mission Statements during periods of shifts there are new items that may need added and others replaced.
Here is a rough draft to my Personal Mission Statement:
I seek to live a life pleasing to God as I follow the principles of Christ like living to the best of my ability.
I seek to be a positive loving support to my wife and daughter in the journey God has for them.
I am committed to grow in my creative and critical thinking skills in helping others grow to reach their God Given potential of living more than OK.
I desire to live a more simple life to appreciate the savoring of God moments in life.
I desire to live a thankful life for all that God brings into my life journey.
Get on Mission in your life. Take time to work on your Personal Mission Statement. Start by listing your core principles, values, things and people that are important to you. You can then write it out in a poem format, listing of declarative statements or in a narrative form. If you are really creative maybe do a poster using drawing along with your statements. Here are some examples of mission statements that may help in your constructing yours: