Creating a Personal Mission Statement

A mission statement is a clear and concise statement of what your organization does. Have you considered creating one for yourself?

When I taught media ethics at a university, the final project I required of my students was for each one to create a mission statement. They could write it. They could make a video. They could draw it. All that mattered was that they gave some thought to understanding what made them tick.

They really struggled with it, but the final projects were always phenomenal. I didn’t require them to share them with the class – only with me, the instructor, who almost always gave them an “A” as long as they put thought into the project.

When you have a mission statement, you know what you want and whether what you are currently doing is helping you to get there. I was reviewing mine the other day, and I realized, I needed to let some projects go because – although I enjoyed them – they were a distraction and were not part of my personal mission.

Another way to approach your mission statement is to think about what you would do if you had your life to live over. And then do it! Near the end of her life, columnist Erma Bombeck wrote, “If I had my life to live over, I would have talked less and listened more. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded. I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace….

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute… look at it and really see it … live it…and never give it back.”

If you don’t have a mission statement, why not create one. It’s not too late!