What is a Personal Mission Statement?
There are several reasons why a person should have a personal mission statement. While you may share it with family or friends, you can also use it to share your core values when applying for a job or spearheading a project. Above all, it can serve as your guiding principle as you tread through life.
What is a personal mission statement?
A personal mission statement is a purely subjective statement that reflects your values, skills, aspirations, and potential contributions to your surroundings. A personal mission statement is like your Northern star as you create goals, make decisions, and focus on your dreams. It also guides you and filters out actions that are not in line with your personal values.
Personal mission statements of famous successful people
To inspire you to write your own personal mission statement, here are a few examples from some of the most influential and successful people we know today:
“To be a teacher. And to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they thought they could be.” —Oprah Winfrey, founder of The Oprah Winfrey Network
“If something is important enough you should try, even if the probable outcome is failure” —Elon Musk, Tesla Founder.
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style” —Maya Angelou, Poet, and activist.
“To make people happy” —Walt Disney, Founder of Walt Disney Productions.
“I want to serve the people. And I want every girl, every child to be educated” —Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Prize laureate, and activist
What makes a good personal statement?
How can you tell if your mission statement is good enough? There are three main qualities to a good personal mission statement; brevity, sincerity, and inspiration. Apart from being grammatically correct and impactful, it has to possess the three qualities mentioned earlier.
A personal statement should be one sentence. Think of a strong slogan that represents you. It should not be long and winding; you need to save that for your cover letter. Your personal mission statement has to be impactful, and the best way to achieve this is through concision.
Sincere and reflective
You have to be honest in your personal mission statement. Make sure that what you put down truly reflects who you are, what you want to achieve, and how you want to be remembered. If you take a look at your finished statement, it has to be true to who you are.
You need to go beyond yourself with your personal mission statement. Even if it is a personal statement, it has to reflect a sense of purpose. You may not be capable of making the world a better place, but your mission has to somewhat go beyond your own needs.
How to create the best possible mission statement
When creating a personal mission statement, you can look at several factors that can help you come up with something that is truly reflective of who you are and what you want to achieve for yourself and for others. Try considering the following:
What have you done so far? Did you create something? Did you help someone? Have you made life better for a certain group of individuals? Did you contribute to the improvement of something? Taking a look at what you’ve done so far will give you an idea of what you are capable of achieving in the indefinite future.
Core values are at the heart of a mission statement. A personal mission statement is never complete without core values. Take a look at some of the mission statements of these top companies:
“To build the web’s most convenient, secure, cost-effective payment solution.” –PayPal
“Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. If you have a body, you are an athlete.” –Nike
“To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.” –LinkedIn
“To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” –Tesla
“To inspire humanity — both in the air and on the ground.” –JetBlue
There are a ton of core values you can choose from, and you may include more than just one in your personal mission statement, provided that it reflects your character and goals. Here are a few good examples of core values that you can pull inspiration from:
- Honesty and integrity
- Reliability or dependability
- Positivity and optimism
- Innovation and creativity
- Sense of adventure
- Compassion and kindness
After determining what you’ve done in the past, it’s time to face forward into the future and see what you can offer. Just like the examples of mission statements from the companies mentioned above, you can address your mission statement to a particular group such as your family, your country, your organization, your community, and the world in general.
Do you aim to always lend a helping hand to your friends? Practice sustainability for the good of the environment? Be a good example to your family or members of your community? Your mission statement should include intentions such as these to give it meaning and purpose.
You do not have to be conservative or too particularly realistic with your personal mission statement. Remember that you are aiming to shoot for the stars and inspire yourself and your decisions with it. With that, it should include goals that can either be short term or long term.
If it is a long-term goal, expect your mission statement to stick with you for a long time. It’s okay to change your personal mission statement as time goes on. You might encounter situations or changes that will alter your perspective on life or shift your career direction. These instances sometimes call for a change in your personal mission as well.