What is your mission in life? Do you have a mission statement? Do you know your reason for existing? At Mission Statements website, the home page states, “A mission statement defines in a paragraph or so any entity’s reason for existence. It embodies its philosophies, goals, ambitions and mores.” It is common for companies and organizations to write mission statements. Nike has a one-sentence mission – “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.” Now, think about it, how many individuals do you know who write personal mission statements? Why do you think there are so few?
If it’s true that an entity attempting to operate without a mission statement runs the risk of wandering through the world without having the ability to verify that it is on its intended course, is it not also true of individuals? If you don’t know what your mission is, how will you know if you are accomplishing it? In other words, how will you know you’ve arrived if you don’t know where you are headed?
A personal mission statement provides clarity and gives you a sense of purpose. It defines you and how you will live. For years, I didn’t have a written mission statement. Fortunately, I did have a fairly clear sense of my call and mission in my head. Having a sense of purpose kept me from wasting a lot of years wandering without direction.
About ten years ago, I wrote a life purpose statement that I’ve carried on a laminated card in my wallet: “To be an authentic connection between God and people through exercising my leadership gifts and unique personality.” That written mission frequently was a filter for choosing between offers and opportunities that came my way.
With the help of a mentor, Lloyd Reeb (author of Success to Significance), I recently revised my mission statement to reflect what I had already written before launching this blog: “Inspiring transformissional living in adults over 50.” My newly updated statement is a more precise and appropriate focus for me at this stage of my life and career.
Just this week, my mission statement helped in my decison to decline an invitation to serve on the board of a ministry I admire. I’ve worked along side this organization for nearly two decades. This board only meets a couple times a year for a several hour meeting. It really wasn’t the time commitment. When I looked at this opportunity through the lens of my newly focused mission statement, it was perfectly clear to me that I should say, “No.” Serving on this ministry board would not help me to “inspire transformissional living in adults over 50.”
Over the next several posts, I want to inspire you to write a mission statement if you don’t have one. If you have one, I hope to help you make sure it is clear to you and to others. I hope to assist you in exploring what make you tick? And, I plan to help you think about your gifts and abilities and how these fit into your mission. Let’s go on this journey together, okay?
QUESTION: If you have a mission statement, would you share it with us in the comment section below?