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Personal Mission Statement

Picture of Karl Palachuk

Karl W. Palachuk
January 13, 2008

Goal-Setting Part 4

The first three posts in this series are
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Now we begin the actual Goal-Setting Process.

Once you have a set of Values or Principles, you get to work on the single most important sentence you’ll ever write: Your personal mission statement.

Once again, this takes some time. This is where you look over your values and principles and try to figure out the whole purpose of your life. That sounds dramatic. But, really, this is very valuable work.

It’s very sad, but many people spend so much of their lives chasing after “goals” without examining values and having a personal mission statement. In other words, they take visible action steps to achieve things that may not be related to the things that are important in their lives.

A personal mission statement is a simple, one sentence statement of what drives you in your life. It doesn’t have to be particularly profound. You can change it any time. When you boil it down to the basics, what brings value to your life?

The important rule to remember here is: Make this your mission statement. Make this your vision for your life. Do not accept “the world’s” vision about success. The last thing you want is to have lots of money, no friends, a family that can’t stand you, and to have a shallow, meaningless life. But that’s all that can come from following other people’s goals.

Your mission might be to related to your family or friends, to serving people or the community. It might be related to a cause you believe in, or to your religion. It can be anything that matters to you.

From the values you listed in the previous exercise, begin working on your personal mission statement.

Take Your Time

Now we hop back to the post on the First Habit of Success. That habit is daily quiet time. And that’s your time to consider all the values and principles, and how they all work together in your life.

Don’t be in a rush to get this right. You can’t get it right unless you take lots of time to consider how these values and principles work for you.

The mission does not have to be a perfect match. As a general rule, your values will only change very slowly over time as you evolve personally.

Your mission should also be flexible. Don’t be afraid to revisit this from time to time.

It probably won’t change, but as Socrates says, “An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living.”

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