The Importance of Having a Personal Mission Statement

At some point in our lives we will either question, or, if you are already at that stage, you have questioned, what your purpose is in life, or what value do you bring to the world, or where is your life heading, in what direction, and whether it is in a positive or negative direction. It helps to introspect from time to time to keep you on track. But sometimes you are unsure as to how to really act on this, or go about really understanding your life’s purpose. That is where having a personal mission statement can help. There are quite a few advantages to creating a personal mission statement. I thought in this post, I will talk about a few which you can implement right away to get a feel for what it’s like, and if you can really see yourself committing to something like this.

You can think of a personal and/or mission statement as a tool that can help guide you through life (like a compass, it keeps you on the right track). It can help provide a sense of purpose and direction that you want to move towards. It can keep you grounded and accountable and can serve as a constant reminder of who you are or want to be and what direction you want your life to take. It helps you understand yourself better, as well as your true nature.

When thinking about or brainstorming ideas, try to envision any past successes you may have had and how they made you feel. Look at it subjectively; was it a specific area (academics, advise, sports, something creative) and objectively  (what was the act you were doing at the time). Write those thoughts down on paper. Look at the lives of people you most admire, whether it be a family member, a figure in history, or a friend. Look at the reasons as to why you admire them, what about them that strikes you as virtues that you would like to imbibe in your own life.

Figure out what makes you authentic, the person you imagine yourself becoming, your ideal self. Sometimes it helps to visualize your ideal life, with your family or friends,and yourself. You need to be as detailed as possible when you visualize this, you almost want to be able to feel it as you imagine it. Think about how you see yourself in five or ten years. What core values do you associate yourself with. What do you truly love, hate, desire, respect. What are your strengths, weaknesses, what makes you happy, or sad etc. Really sit down and try to reflect on your aptitude and define your goals. Find out ways in which you can make a difference or contribute to the world, or your employer, or family, friends and your community. What are your personal short term and long term goals. Once you have visualized that, and thought about it, write it down on paper.

In a way doing this exercise will help you narrow down who you are, what you hold most valuable, and who you want to be or be seen as. The personal statement makes it real and reachable and acts as a compass towards those objectives in your life’s journey.

Finally edit your mission statement. Try to make it as brief as possible. It can be a paragraph or it could be in bullet points. Try to keep it as realistic as possible, and read it every morning and evening so that it serves as a constant reminder for your life. This can take several weeks or months to create, and can be revised or updated from time to time. The personal statement should be a written declaration of sorts of who you are, and what kind of person you want to become. You can alter it from time to time and even make additions to it, however, the central idea should remain the same, and you should always strive to work towards those goals.

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