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How to craft (or revise) your first personal mission statement

einsteinWe live in an exciting, but challenging time.

Technology changes the way we live, work and lead. And let’s just say it’s easy to get lost in all the noise.

What am I really doing with my life? How can I focus my efforts and make my greatest contribution?

As Albert Einstein used to say:

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

To answer those tough questions, you need some help. You need to become smarter. You need a personal mission statement.

What is a personal mission statement?

Broadly speaking, a personal mission statement is like your own constitution. It’s a piece of paper that reminds you of your most important values, what roles you have, and what you set out to do in life.

It sounds intimidating at first, but it can be comforting, too, because it gives you clarity and a stonger sense of purpose.

Discover your core values

James Clear shares a list of core values used by most leadership institutes and programs. It’s a great starting point to reveal your most important values.

When you craft your personal mission statement, look at that list and select 1-3 values. You may be tempted to choose more, but please try to resist this temptation. If you choose more than three values, you’ll soon end up having a bunch of them, and then none of them becomes a priority.

Remember to prioritise like a pro and let your core values drive your choices.

Bonus tip: Discuss your core values with a close friend or a spouse. Such a discussion can lead to interesting insights.

Identify your key roles

The next step is to identify your key roles. Here’s a short list to consider:

  • Grandparent
  • Parent / Step-parent
  • Spouse / partner / girlfriend / boyfriend
  • Child
  • Sibling
  • Friend
  • Employee / Co-worker /  Manager
  • Volunteer
  • … and so on.

The list is often much bigger than we expect, when we start to look at all areas of our life. It’s quite easy to overlook the role we play in other people’s lives.

The point about identifying your key roles is to remember that you mean different things to different people. You want to build and nurture those relationships, as part of living a meaningful life.

Look at your list of 1-3 core values, and you’ll be able to write down what kind of person you want to be in each role.

Set your goals

Here comes the last part of your personal mission statement. Rather than letting it sit in a drawer, you use it to set your personal growth goals.

You want to connect who you want to be with what you do. Your daily behaviour leads to certain results, so it’s always the behaviour you want to focus on because that’s what you can change.

Does it get you the results you want? Do your daily actions reflect your core values and key roles? Does it help you live out your personal mission statement?

With an overview from your personal mission statement, you can quite easily see who is most important to you.

Plan your life around your most important activities, and start taking action. Do ONE thing differently, and that’s a win. Turn it into a game if you like. Have fun with it.

Over to you

What one thing could you do right now (that you’re currently not doing) that would substantially improve the quality of your life? That’s what you want to focus on.

Take one small step every day, and you will reap the benefits over the long haul.

How about you? Do you have a personal mission statement? Or are you stuck? Let us know in the comments!

Do you need help with your personal mission statement?

Check out my first lesson in my free 10-part e-class: The Inside-Out Introduction to Personal Growth. It gives you even more valuable tips to consider. I think you’ll like it 🙂

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