Written by Sarah Vanek.
Mission Statement: To convince you that you need a mission statement for your life, in order to enable you to reach your full potential.
The fact that I just told you that probably either annoys, or relieves you. Either way, though, it illustrates the points I aim to make. You see, having a mission statement--which includes both the objective and the intent behind it--actually has multiple benefits that extend to our personal lives and goals. It creates clarity, it promotes passion, and it enables effectivity.
It creates clarity.
Reading my mission statement for this blog gave both you and I one thing from the get-go--clarity. Even if you didn’t like it or agree with it, you knew exactly what I set out to do, and why. And so did I, for that matter. I no longer had to sit here and stare at the blinking cursor, wondering what I was going to write. The mission statement made everything much more clear.
Funny thing is, our lives work just like this. All too often, we set out and just start living. We think “someday, I’ll be successful” or “someday, I’ll reach that dream” but we leave everything just a little too vague. By choosing not to clarify our lives with a mission statement, we essentially set ourselves up to figuratively stare at the blinking cursor for the rest of our lives--living day by day without really knowing what we’re trying to do, or why we’re doing what we’re doing.
Think about it. Many of us are working 9-5 jobs every day, but aside from making a living, we don’t know why we’re doing it. We don’t know the purpose we’re trying to fulfill. And then, we age. We age, and we start freaking out because we’re not where we envisioned we’d be. We find ourselves looking back feeling as if we’ve wasted years of our lives.
Good news. Having a mission statement can partially prevent this by creating clarity. You see, if you clearly determine what you want to do and why, you can better understand how what you're doing now enables you to fulfill that (or not). Just like it did for you with reading, and me with writing, developing a mission statement will make your goals and personal lives much more clear.
It promotes passion.
Remember when you were a kid? When you were free to dream? When the idea that you could fail hadn’t even crossed your mind? When no one had yet told you that your dreams were impossible? When layers of sin, people-pleasing, and unaccomplished goals hadn’t left your heart buried?
In those precious moments, what did you do? You probably did what all kids do--you dreamed up the best thing you could imagine, and then lived as if it was real. You ran around the house with a superman cape, played school and house with your dolls, and pretended to be a firefighter or a doctor that saved the world. You see, clearly knowing what you wanted to be ignited the fire of the passion inside you. And even though that passion didn’t always last long-term, it was definitely there.
You see, this is what having a mission statement does for you—it provides the clarity that enables the passion to take hold. But as long as things are vague and unclear, you can’t count on the passion being there. This is why you need a mission statement.
So, if you are finding yourself sitting at that 9-5 job every day without really knowing why you’re there, take some time to understand what your mission is—you just might find that it awakens passions that have been sitting dormant in your heart.
It enables effectivity.
Now, here’s the really cool part. Once you’ve got the passion, you naturally begin to be more effective. Suddenly, working hard for your dream hardly seems like work at all. You can see that clear picture in the back of your mind, and it keeps you going even when things get tough. It drives you to spend hours and hours behind the scenes. You notice your work ethic increasing, and your overall productivity improving.
You see, clearly understanding the end goal is essential if you want to be productive and effective, regardless of the field you’re in. Creating that end goal—your mission statement—is what promotes motivation to come from within your heart. You go from an individual motivated by external factors such as money or vacation time, to a person on fire for your vision, motivated intrinsically by the deep goals and dreams that you want to see become a reality.
And it all begins with a simple mission statement.
Mission statements begin by creating clarity, which gives way for passion to bubble up inside us, ultimately enabling us to be the most effective we can be. It paved the way for this blog post to effectively communicate a message, and it can pave the way for you to reach your potential within your own hopes and dreams. Though you may say you don’t have time to sit down and flesh out some cheesy mission statement, my question to you is: can you afford to pay the price of not having one? What do you want to look back on when you’re reaching the end of your life? What legacy do you want to leave behind? A mission statement has the potential to change that legacy for the better. It’s your choice. The blank page and blinking cursor are now yours—make your decision wisely.
Mission Accomplished? You decide.