"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a little better; whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is the meaning of success."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Corporations know that a focused mission statement is essential to success - and now people are catching on. A personal mission statement can help you pinpoint what's important in your life and serve as a kind of compass to guide your decisions. Most people find they learn a lot about themselves during the process of developing a mission statement, and often make realizations that certain areas in their life are being neglected. And, besides, making your mission statement can be fun! So get out a pen and paper and ask yourself the following questions:
What is important in my life?
What do I believe in?
What action am I taking to live what is important and what I believe in?
Try these exercises to help you come up with the answers:
Imagine what you would like your obituary to say (maybe a bit morbid, but can be very enlightening).
Describe your ideal day - what would you do, where would you be living, etc.
Once you have answered the questions to the best of your ability, use them to build your own mission statement. (Which can be, by the way, anywhere from one sentence to a page long.) It should include expressions of: how you wish to live, what you wish to accomplish and contribute, and who you want to be (the character strengths and qualities you wish to develop). You can write it on some fancy paper, include some applicable quotations and either keep it somewhere private or post it where you can be reminded daily. The most important thing is that you actually take action towards satisfying your "mission". Actions speak louder than words, right?