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Written By: Maria Anwer:

A mission statement is a document which is the life blood of all organizations. This article will show you how to make personal mission statements so that it adds to your life and to the life of everyone around you as a positive living document which is spirited to keep one going in times of despair. It can be the mantra of one’s life or, the defining force behind actions.

Let’s start with business sector definition of the document. Hence in terms of business, according to the Entrepreneur magazine, a mission statement is,

A sentence describing a company's function, markets and competitive advantages; a short written statement of your business goals and philosophies.

The above definition highlights a fact that mission statements define business success and have goals which are, then again,according to business dictionary are,

Observable and measurable end results having one or more objectives to be achieved within a more or less fixed timeframe.

So it means that a business mission statement has goals which are Short Term (S), Measureable (M), Attainable (A), Realistic (R ) and, Time Bound (T). Such goals are called SMART goals. Hence goal setting is required for making a rigorous personal mission statement.

A life well lived is a life of purpose. To live a fulfilled life, according to Anthony Robins in his audio book on Personal Excellence, one has to have achievements connected with a greater purpose of life. Mission statement or, statement of purpose of life comes in handy here. It is the reason why is one placed on this planet earth is one of the most powerful statements of one’s life.

Now the question comes that why is a mission statement important? It is important because it is a living document of where the organization or, the person is going. A complete mission statement has the achievement and, the part of ‘connection’ with the higher purpose, both together in it. It is a directional document which reminds the employees of any organization or, a person that what are they working for.

In a personal mission statement, it crux is the same. It focuses on the person’s future, makes it easier to reassess life goals, helps to create a strategy to achieve the measurable goals as  it forms the basic underlining criteria of decision making.

Few MNCs and a home grown corporate giant have it as the following few examples:

  1. Nike: "To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world."
  2. Google:“Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
  3. Nestle: "Good Food, Good Life" 
  4. Engro: “Engro Foundation is committed to make a positive impact in the lives of those living in communities around its supply chain through the provision of improved basic services (health, infrastructure, water and sanitation); education and skill development; environment and livelihood training.”
  5. Unilever:to add vitality to life. We meet everyday needs for nutrition, hygiene and personal care with brands that help people feel good, look good and get more out of life. 

After having a look at what are the corporate giants putting in as their mission statements ,now we are going to look into what personal mission statements are made of.Anthony Robins in his program on personal excellence says that a good mission statement is required for a life is something which makes the life fulfilled. According to him, a good mission statement should comprise of the following three points:

  1. Firstly, it should be shared with humanity – It should have a message which we share with humanity so that we do not forget why we are placed on this earth.
  2. Secondly, It is to make the world a better place to live – It is a moment to moment decision which we make, it can be working on a goal to make the world a better place, and to add more forgiveness to the world. We fight harder when we lose the focus from humanity to only materialistic values. 
  3. Thirdly, It is a reason for being, what kind of person would you want to be and what is that, that you would want to do. It is something which we experience everyday. It is purposeful and, is the reason of being.

The author Anthony Robins separates goals from mission statements. Here the corporate business mission statements get mostly separated from the personal ones. He says that goals are with a beginning and, an end whereas mission statements encompass life, they are not an end in themselves. They are a part of an on-going process.

To quote a few examples of personal mission statements, a good one can be like,“ I am and everyone else is as vulnerable to life’s challenges and, unforeseen calamities equally. Hence I will add a little more kindness and, forgiveness to the world. I will nullify procrastination for fulfilling my larger goals in life and would move forward as Nike says ‘Just do it’.”Examples of successful peoples’ mission statements are as follows:

  1. Oprah Winfrey, the founder of own, the Oprah Winfrey Network: “To be a teacher. And to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they thought they could be.”
  2. Sir Richard Branson, founder of the virgin group: “To have fun in [my] journey through life and learn from [my] mistakes.”
  3. Amanda Steinberg, founder of dailyworth.com: “To use my gifts of intelligence, charisma, and serial optimism to cultivate the self-worth and net-worth of women around the world.”

A personal mission statement changes over time with changing life events and, alsoas one ages the learning matures. Hence a personal mission statement can be made by keeping in view that life throws many challenges in everyone’s sphere of control. Sometimes things turn out as not per plan. People in life go through many ups and downs. It is vital to have a mission statement which keeps reminding us and, connecting us back to our larger goal in life.

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