What are the odds that you can jump in your car, with zero preparation, take off without a map or any serious idea of where you want to end up, and truly find yourself taking the journey of a lifetime? Yeah, a big fat long shot, right? If you want to take that grand expedition that you’ve dreamed about forever – the one you’ve saved a lifetime for – you are going to read, plan and research every minute aspect of that trip so that you make every single moment count. Guess what? Your life needs that kind of planning, too.
Having a personal mission statement is akin to the roadmap or your life. It is the culmination of some deep, soul-searching work we all need to do to question the true purpose for our being. We need to take a seriously hard look at ourselves and be willing to ask: What are our values? Why are we here? What is the legacy we want to leave behind? Who do we want to become?
“To come to be you must have a vision of Being, a Dream, a Purpose, a Principle. You will become what your vision is.” –Peter Nivio Zarlenga
You might think that writing a personal mission statement sounds a little bit of daunting. Maybe it sounds a little too serious. Don’t think of it that way at all! Instead, think of it as you own personal manifesto on your fabulousness! Your symphony. Your recipe for life. Whatever you want to call it, it is your own personal letter to yourself on the critical guide stones and touch points that make your life worth living.
If you need a little inspiration on where to start, here’s a few suggestions on some writing, thinking and pondering you need to do. And before you look at the list, keep in mind this isn’t a “sit down and slam it out in twenty minutes” project. This is your life we’re talking about! This is a curl up in a favorite chair over many weeks assignment. It’s a pull out your ideas when you’re stuck on a plane and refine it kind of project. The kind of project when you are running your morning miles that you mull it over and over in your head type of work. Got it? Most of all, it is meant to be fun! You get to seriously throw all rules and limitations about everything you were ever told you could and couldn’t do, be or desire in life to the wind and define your future. So, get a fresh notebook, a sharp pencil and let’s get cracking!
1. List your things you absolutely love to do!
2. I am at my utmost best when I am…
3. If you could throw a dinner party, name the five people you’d invite because you truly admire them and list the one quality they possess that you admire the most.
4. If you could do anything in the world, and time, education, money, etc., was no obstacle, what would you spend the rest of your life doing?
5. Name the five characteristics you admire most in successful people.
6. What about your current job do you absolutely love. What do you despise?
7. What do you want people to say about you at your 90th birthday party?
8. What are you most proud of accomplishing for the people who matter most to you?
9. What is the one thing that you can consistently lose all track of time doing that you absolutely love?
10. The things you know, deep down, you need to change about yourself, but have repeatedly dismissed doing many time are…
Now, draw a big square and divide it into four quadrants. Assign each square a section: Physical, Spiritual, Social and Mental. In each section, write down the three things you can do in each area to improve your life. Focus on those short- and long-term priorities which can bring you the inner-peace and balance your life needs to open the door to true happiness and contentment. Circle the one which will have the greatest impact. Are you starting to see a theme? You should be!
As you work through these questions, you’ll start to experience the power of your unchained thinking! Don’t succumb to the limits of censorship! Don’t worry about what anyone would think if they saw your work in progress! This is your private work here, so don’t you dare allow anyone to squash the potential of what you are creating…it is your future! Be honest and open with yourself and allow the power of your mind to truly explore the potential of who you are destined to become!
“If you don’t have your own plan, someone else is going to make you fit into their plan.” –Anthony Robbins
As you work through all your thinking, you will be ready to start to pull your ideas and thoughts about where your future is taking you into the framework of your personal mission statement. There is no prescribed format or specific way you must write your statement. It is yours. You need to write it in a way that inspires you, motivates you and helps you chart your life course. After all, that’s why we’re doing this, right? So that on those days when the wolves are at the door, we can stop and remind ourselves of what is important, refocus and make sure we’re still on the right path.
If you need some help in coming up with some good examples or formats, you can always go to the Franklin Covey site, as they are the experts in helping people find purpose and order in their lives. Their online tool is pretty amazing! There are some interesting resources on the value of a personal mission statement, as well as some motivating videos about change on The Change Blog. Check it out! Other cool and helpful tools are available on Time Thoughts.com and through personal coach Debra Moorhead.
Regardless of what tools or resources you choose to use, I hope you’ll have the courage to put yourself on the path of a wonderfully empowering and introspective journey of writing a personal mission statement. It will open your eyes, your heart and your destiny to a life of passion, happiness and fulfillment!
I’m going to write my personal mission statement and I promise I will share it with you here. Because it isn’t really real until we have the courage to show others who we are and where we’re planning to go. Wish me luck!