Personal Mission Statements

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Personal Mission Statements

Background

Corporations write mission statements to guide the company and its employees, but personal mission statements explore what is important to you.

Personal mission statements do not focus on what you want to achieve, rather they focus on how you want to live. Focus on ethics and morals rather than status or salary. Think of the statement as a promise to yourself. What kind of person do you want to be? (Don’t ask what your parents, teachers, boss, etc. want you to be—this is YOUR statement!)

Start Brainstorming

What do I love most about my major or career?

What moral qualities and rules do you believe in? What values define you?

What are my natural talents and gifts?

If I had unlimited time and resources and knew I could not fail, what would I do?

What do I consider to be my most important future contribution to my community?

Steps Toward Personal Mission Statement Development

Step 1: Identify Past Successes. Spend some time identifying four or five examples where you have had personal success in recent years. These successes could be at work, in your community, at home, etc. Write them down.

Try to identify whether there is a common theme -- or themes -- to these examples. Write them down.

Step 2: Identify Core Values. Develop a list of attributes that you believe identify who you are and what your priorities are. The list can be as long as you need.

Once your list is complete, see if you can narrow your values to five or six most important values.

Finally, see if you can choose the one value that is most important to you.

Step 3: Identify Contributions. Make a list of the ways you could make a difference. In an ideal situation, how could you contribute best to:

• the world in general

• your family

• your employer or future employers

• your friends

• your community

Step 4: Identify Goals. Spend some time thinking about your priorities in life and the goals you have for yourself. Make a list of your personal goals, perhaps in the short-term (up to three years) and the long-term (beyond three years).

Step 5: Write Mission Statement. Based on the first four steps and a better understanding of yourself, begin writing your personal mission statement.

Remember:

• Don’t write a “Hallmark card.” Be personal, sincere, and thoughtful.

• Don’t just write a list.

• Tell how you arrived at your values so that your statement is more interesting and sets you apart from others. (Remember that the human brain is wired for stories!) You may include a relevant or inspiring quotation or a narrative.

• Update your statement. It should change as you grow and change.

Sample Mission Statement of future WWII Re-Enactor

I am Vasilli Yegorov, junior political officer attached to the 37th Guards Rifles Division. I survived the hell of Stalingrad and marched to Berlin with some of the finest soldiers the Soviet Union has ever known. My worn M38 uniform has seen more than its share of battles, and I’m lucky to even still have my mess tin.

Of course, this is all fictional, but as a re-enactor, I need to be accurate. My job is to faithfully recreate the battles of WWII’s eastern front, and by doing so, to honor the memory of the brave men and women who died there. In 20 years, there won’t be any WWII Veterans left, and the job of keeping their memory alive will fall to the historians and re-enactors. By taking to the field of battle as they did 65 years ago, I can forge a direct link to the past, one that I can pass on to anybody willing to learn. And that is the root of my re-enacting career: education. I am driven to keep the past alive, because without knowing it, we are doomed to repeat its mistakes. When the past is forgotten, the future is destroyed. My personal mission is to safeguard the future by making the past come alive.

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