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The Value of a Personal Mission Statement

Vision Mission and Idea

Vision Mission and Idea

I don’t know about you, but in my own professional life I often get so bogged down with the details of my daily work that I forget – or I ‘don’t have time’ – to sit back and widen my vision, to fly up and take a bird’s eye view of the whole landscape. Being in the thick of it all, I often don’t see the wood for the trees. In fact, the very idea of ‘sitting back’ and looking at the bigger picture somehow seems like laziness – shouldn’t I be working, doing something, being productive, not just floating around watching while everyone else gets on with things?

I am going to suggest that this attitude is quite wrong and that we should, in fact, be habitually taking in the bigger view, surveying the entire terrain of our lives and our world. If we don’t do this, we run the risk of being reduced to machines, trudging along, doing what we do without really thinking about why.

I suggest that coming up with a mission statement can, as part of a package of changes, be a very effective way of bringing more meaning and happiness into your life.

Most individuals don’t have a mission statement. They don’t have a clear idea of where they are going in life; they don’t know what they want to achieve. They just drift along, year after year, decade after decade. Most people live like that and they die like that. Napoleon Hill, in his famous book Think and Grow Rich, wrote that most people did not have a goal, did not now where they were going. He also presented a six step plan by which anyone could achieve financial success. If you want to find out about the plan, it’s presented in chapter 2 of the book, but the key element in the plan is that a clear statement of purpose, and a mission statement, can be a powerful way of achieving this.

A mission statement, however, cannot just be thrown together. It needs to be carefully crafted. Here are the elements of a good mission statement.

It should indicate how you are going to achieve your goals – this does not contradict the previous statement. You must not include a specific, detailed plan, but a statement about what you are going to offer in exchange for meeting your goal. For example, your goal is to be the best sales person in your company – you will achieve this goal by giving outstanding service to every customer. There’s nothing here about sales targets, how many clients you need to see, how many sales you need to make etc. Once you have written down the ‘how’ in general terms, the universe will do the rest.

Taking time to write and regularly review your mission statement is one of the most important things you can do in life. Next time you get bogged down in the day-to-day detail of life, stop and think about your mission statement. It will keep things in perspective; it will clarify your vision and it will keep you moving on the right course.

Your life is like a ship – of course, you need a crew, busily working away to keep afloat and keep moving, but even more importantly, you need a map, you need a compass and you need a captain. Without them, your ship just won’t get anywhere.

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