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A Personal Life Mission Statement:
1. Gives focus.
2. Keeps us accountable.
3. Encourages us to do the best things rather than just the good things.
4. Simplifies our lives.
5. Increases productivity and morale.
Create a personal life mission statement based on your deepest convictions and beliefs. What are you to be about? Every goal you have should point to fulfilling your mission, otherwise you need to change your goal or change your mission.
One of the simplest and fastest ways to write a personal mission statement is by thinking in terms of your obituary. What do you hope people will say at your funeral?
Think in terms of the greatest words you hope 6 different people groups would say:
1. Your spouse.
2. Your children/family.
3. Your friends.
4. Your Co-workers.
5. Those in your community, neighbors, fellow volunteers, church members, etc.
Don’t think of what they will say, but rather what you most hope they will be able to say. For instance, you may hope your spouse will say, “He was person of integrity and an example of someone who always did what was loving and right.” To make your mission statement out of your obituary you simply put the word “To” in front of the sentence. In other words, the above line as a part of your mission would read, “To be person of integrity and an example of someone who…” This would be the statement under number 1.
Next, think of how you would want your children/family to remember you, and so on through the 6 different people groups.
Above all of the lines that start with “To” you simply write, “My Mission is”
1. To . . .
2. To . . .
3. To . . .
4. To . . .
5. To . . .
6. To . . .
Once you have written your first draft take some time to think through it. Can you make it shorter or clearer or more memorable so that it stays on top of your mind? Can you make it more actionable? Have you covered the important areas of your life? Do you need to add something that is unique to you?
STAYING ON COURSE
1. Put it in a visible place.
2. Read it daily.
3. Share it with others. This will increase accountability.
4. Plan times to review and revise it either semi-annually or annually.
To the extent that one shares meaning with another, the two parties communicated. Anyone familiar with the academic side of communication can tell you, it’s very difficult for any two people, much less groups, to accurately convey meaning to one another. Our minds are too filled with our own assumptions. For example, suppose I asked you to think of a person riding a horse. Some of you, by virtue of your background or imagination, might picture a cowboy galloping through the mountains. Others of you might instinctively envision a girl, jumping gates in an arena. Your mind’s eye colors things differently than others based on your experiences. No two people ever perfectly communicate. However, the more clearly we communicate, the greater the ability to trust.
Clear communication is difficult for another reason. Some studies suggest that over 90% of the meaning we derive comes from non-verbal cues that one person gives to another. That means only 10% of communication is based on words we say! Clear communication is work. As Bill Gates said, “The vision is really about empowering workers, giving them all the information about what’s going on so they can do a lot more than they’ve done in the past.”
Tips for Being a Clear Communicator:
I have dreamed of surfing since I was a teenager. One problem - I grew up in Minnesota. My state is the furthest from any ocean in North America, so waves were not easily accessible. Having been recently invited to speak on the island of Kauai, where surfing originated, this bucket-list opportunity was primed. On top of that, my wife Lisa’s childhood friend, a school teacher and surfing instructor, now lives in Kauai. As we walked along the beach, numerous surfing outfits and locals greeted Jill who clearly had become a well-loved local. I didn't know how hard it would be, or if I would ever stand on the board. I had heard stories of people renting a board and struggling for hours. Brian Foote said, “The key to achievement is having a mentor.” Brian was right. Jill had us surfing in no time. She knew the right place, the right waves, the right board for each of us to use, and the best way for us to enjoy early success - this included her watching the waves while we laid in “paddle-ready-position” until she shouted, “here it comes, okay, go, go, go, paddle... stand...” Her expertise and mentoring is what made the difference.
Do you need to grow in an area or learn something new? The quickest way is to find a mentor you can trust. Click here for some tips on how to find one.