Create a Mission Statement for Your Life
"Is the system going to flatten you out and deny you your humanity, or are you going to be able to make use of the system to the attainment of human purposes?"
— Joseph Campbell
What is your purpose? If you're like most people, you have no idea how to answer that question, because you've never considered it. That's unfortunate. Companies have mission statements, and you should consider creating one for your own life. How can you make the best plans and decisions for yourself if you lack a mission statement?
Writing a mission statement has three primary benefits. It forces you to consider what your purpose in life is. It also gives your life direction and something you can use to measure yourself by. There's no reason not to create a mission statement for your life.
Create a mission statement and give your life direction and purpose with these strategies:
1. Determine the person you want to be. Imagine the person you would be prouder being. What characteristics does that person possess? Give yourself the benefit of the doubt and assume that you can become anything you desire. Who would you want to be? What qualities do you want to stand for?
2. Consider your heroes. Whom do you look up to? Why? The people you most admire can leave clues about what is most important and impressive to you. Whose life would you like to live? It can even be someone from the past. Whom did you admire when you were a child? It might be a relative or neighbor.
3. Look online for a few examples that can inspire you. There are several CEOs and other famous people that have posted their mission statements for the world to see. Check out a few and see if anything appeals to you.
4. Imagine looking back on your life. Picture yourself on your deathbed. What would you like to see when you look back on your life? What legacy do you want to leave behind? Having regret at this stage in your life would be a tragic thing. You can prevent that by considering this circumstance today.
5. Write your mission statement. You have enough information now to write your mission statement. Try limiting yourself to a single paragraph and hone in on the essential elements. Describe the mission for your life. There's no reason to feel tied down to anything you write now. You're in control. You can always make adjustments in the future.
6. Set appropriate goals. Now that you have a general direction for your life, set some goals that support your mission statement. What can you do today to begin living the life you desire? What kind of goals would the person you describe in the first step pursue?
7. Get busy. This can be the challenging part. Many of us like imagining and planning, but balk when it's time to actually take action. Avoid allowing this step to halt your progress.
8. Reevaluate. Take stock regularly. Do you need to modify your mission statement or your goals? What can you do to make them better? What is working for you and what is not working? Your mission in life may be a moving target as you age and mature. Your experiences will also change your perspective on life.
A mission statement forces you to evaluate your interests, values, and priorities. You also consider your death and your legacy. If you want the best possible chance of living an amazing life, a mission statement is crucial.
Take the time to complete this important exercise. You're bound to learn things about yourself you never knew and to re-energize your passion for living.
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