The Importance of Having a Personal Mission Statement
If you’ve ever written a mission statement for a business, you know that it’s a worthwhile exercise. While writing, you uncover truths about your values, driving curiosities, and a sense of purpose in direction. Once completed, it’s a great compass that’ll guide you back to your “true north” in your stickiest moments.
Want to know another great exercise? Writing a personal mission statement. You know, like, for you. And your life.
It can seem a bit daunting (rightfully so) to try to put into just a couple of sentences your singular mission in this life. After all, don’t our feelings, and subsequently our directions, change with new information as we continue to evolve?
Sure! Fortunately, you’re allowed to change your mission statement whenever you want to, because, well, it’s yours. ;) I’ll share mine with you as an example, and then I’ll provide you with prompts that you may find helpful in crafting your own!
When I first started to work hard to brand myself as an entity beyond my businesses, I did what a lot of resourceful entrepreneurs do: I asked for help. Yep. I hired someone who literally “brands” entrepreneurs for a living. A lot of life coaches and personal growth coaches do this sort of work, as well.
After a couple of meetings with my helper, we came up with the following: “Eli Walker challenges social norms to teach joy through self-empowerment.”
I thought it was pretty good! (I’ll give her most of the credit...) So, I let it stick for a couple of years. But, as an example of what happens when we inevitably grow and change (which is a good thing!) I realized that it’s not so much “joy” that I teach, but the “art” of it. I teach the practice of joy as an artform. So I added “...to teach the ART of joy through self-empowerment.”
And that felt much better. But then, sure enough, a few months later, I revisited this mission statement as I was revisiting my website, and I realized, it’s not so much “self-empowerment” that I want to teach. I mean sure, self-empowerment is great and it’s a happy bi-product of my work, but what I’m interested in is how we can cultivate personal joy through the communal.
How can we turn #selfcare into #communitycare, and let it teach us personal happiness?
So now I’m here: “Eli Walker challenges social norms to teach the art of personal joy through community.” (Not too shabby, right? It’ll do for now, anyway!)
You’ll notice that these extra little words I added and changed may seem like minor details, but in fact, crafting a personal mission statement forces you to pinpoint these minor intricacies of your “why’s.” Every noun, verb, and even preposition matter.
Okay, enough about me, and more about you. Without further adieu, here are some prompts to help you get started in crafting your own personal mission statement:
1. Who are you?
2. Who are you becoming?
3. What are you goals?
4. Why did you set these goals?
5. What do you stand for? Fight for?
6. What are you willing to walk away from?
7. If you are in a room full of five people with the same qualifications, what makes you
8. What impact do you currently have on the world?
9. What impact would you LIKE to have?
10. Finally, a great exercise (albeit somewhat morbid) is to write your own obituary...and see how you feel about it when you’re finished!
Indeed, I truly hope this exercise helps you narrow in on your envisioned future, and makes you feel ready and able to find the support you need to fulfill it.
Eli Walker is yoga/meditation teacher, speaker, author, and the founder of Drunk Yoga and Divine Your Style.