Have you ever wondered why there are people who succeed in their lives and while others don’t?
Of course, some may say: “well, they were just lucky of having the right resources at the right time.” Others will claim: “I started this when I was very young.”
But, I don’t think it has only to do with resources one has or age, or even location for a person to succeed. I believe success has most importantly to do with clearly knowing what you’re destined for in this life.
In other words, what sets people to succeeding is the ability to establish a personal mission statement for themselves.
An example could be Steve Jobs’ mission statement he shared, for instance, at a staff meeting when invited back in the company he co-founded:
Apple is not about making boxes for people to get their jobs done, although we do that well. Apple is about something more. Its core value is that we believe that people with passion can change the world for the better.
Therefore, the four reasons you and I need a personal mission statement for our lives is to ultimately become people with a passion to impact the world around us. Impacting the world around you is different from how Steve Jobs did it. The reason is that we all live our own lives in a variety of contexts. Your context of life is different from mine and that is why how you impact the people around you will also be unique.
Here are the four reasons why you need a personal mission statement for your life.
A personal mission statement gives you a sense of self awareness
A sense of self awareness makes you conscious of the four elements that make you as a human being: body, spirit, soul and mind.
Self awareness helps you be conscious of not just having the four elements that make you human, but it reminds you of a call to stewardship of your body, spirit, soul and mind.
For example, Paul, in the Bible, wrote a letter about the fact that you are to be a good steward of your body:
In the Bible, there is also mention of the other 3 elements of who we are: soul, mind (also referred to as heart) and spirit.
A mission statement starts with awareness of these vital elements that make you who you are. In a very practical way, here is what this means:
Realize that your body is a gift to you
If you don’t care for it, the other areas of your life will consequently be affected. How would you care for your body? First, watch what comes into you: healthy food. Then, make sure you sustain yourself through regular physical exercises. Next, get enough rest (sleep, naps whenever you can).
Develop some good spiritual practices
Find a way you can meditate everyday. Begin with baby steps. For example, you can set aside 10 minutes everyday to pray, read the Bible (holy book in my case as a Christian, which I would encourage you to read too), journaling, etc.
Feed your soul with spiritual and intellectual food
By this I mean, make sure you learn on your own. Today, there are many ways to learn, and for free. While you drive, you can listen to an audio book, a podcast or the radio.
Read the Bible to spiritually feed yourself.
In addition to reading the Bible, learn from other people. Those who can afford have coaches or mentors. I, personally, have virtual mentors. I listen to them through their podcasts and often read their blogs.
A mission statement will help you state how you will live your daily life, based on these areas of who you are: body, soul, mind and spirit.
A personal mission statement gives you a sense of clarity
Awareness of who you are in terms of body, soul, mind and spirit, will help you quickly learn that life is all about values and principles.
Values are a way of life you embrace in order to be who you should be. And you draw them out of being aware of the resources you have: body, soul, mind and spirit. These values come out of your inner self.
As a Christian, the Bible helps us frame our values. I am personally very thankful for that. That is why I read it as often as I can.
Out of self awareness, as described above, what happens next is that you know more about yourself than ever.
Imagine trying to build a house from the inside. That sounds impossible. Doesn’t it?
A mission statement isn’t just about identifying what you have and who you are. It is also about tapping into the geographical and environment location where you live right now.
Your values and principles are what make you impact your environment. These are the people you have in your life: family, work, church, community and stranger. They don’t see your heart (mind), soul and spirit. They hear your words and see you live life. How you live your life comes out of values you’ve established for yourself. How you relate to others is also as a result of personal principles in life.
A mission statement is drawn out of self awareness and awareness of your own surroundings. As a result of this exercise, you gain clarity about who you are and who you should always be.
A personal mission statement gives you a sense of direction
After you are aware of who you are and what your surroundings look like, you will be able to know what direction to take in life.
This is where your mission lays out the big destination, which is translated into little ones where you ought to get on a daily basis.
Let me give you an example here. If you decide to travel to another country. Don’t you also decide when and how to get there?
That also applies to life. The notions of time and means are very important to always keep in mind. Time is a gift and so are people whom become very instrumental as we each move to the different destinations in life.
As you think of a personal mission statement, keep in mind that it all comes down to how you want to be remembered when you are gone. That is your ultimate destination in this life. What of course people will truly remember is how you will have lived your life on your everyday living. Beyond that, only God knows what comes next for you and I.
With that in mind, then you will have clarity on what direction to take everyday. In other words, you tell yourself everyday how you want to end every single day, week, month and year of your life. That gives you clarity on who you should be and the different destinations you ought to get to, all the days of your life.
A personal mission statement gives you a sense of purpose
As a result of self awareness, clarity, destination, your life will have more meaning.
You will purposefully live every single day of your life.
This sense of purpose will help you be clear on what matters the most to you. You will identify relationships that help you grow as a person and also get rid of those that inhibit your growth.
Purpose helps with setting priorities too. Because of clarity on how you should live your life, you will be able to get everything done more productively and effectively so that you have enough time left to care for what’s most important to you: self, family, church and community.
Also, because of a clear purpose in life, you will know how to serve other people beyond your family and church. You will be able eventually to live a stress-free life and always enjoy life as a person!
A mission statement therefore gives you four things: self awareness, clarity, direction and purpose in life!
In case you want to get going on this, here’s Covey talk about how to develop your personal mission statement.
You can also check out how to write a personal mission statement by Barrie Davenport. There are also other resources you can find to help you get started on writing your own personal mission statement for your life.
In case you already have a personal mission statement. I would really like to learn from you on how you wrote it.
Also, please share this with someone you know. Thank you for doing so!