Have you ever heard of a mission statement? I am certain that if you know anything about large corporations or you have worked for one yourself, you know that most of these organizations have a mission statement. A mission statement is basically a definition of who you are and what you are going to accomplish, more than this it is a definition of how you will meet the challenges that you face by defining the values that you wish to exemplify.
When we are young the last thing that we think about is our legacy. But as we get older we contemplate our own mortality and because of this we begin to think about what we wish to leave behind when are gone. We want to know that we will be remembered well and that the actions that we took in this life were positive and constructive instead of destructive or inconsequential. A legacy therefore is a way to extend the parameters of our mortality by leaving behind a positive effect upon the world that will be remembered.
In order to create a positive and worthwhile legacy, you need to create a ‘personal mission statement’. The difference between your ‘personal mission statement’ and the ones that you are probably used to hearing about, is that this one represents what YOU stand for and the challenges that you commit yourself to in order to make a difference.
A personal mission statement can seem a little dour but it is actually quite fun. It is also of extreme help because it helps you to define yourself, discover and define your value system, and motivate yourself to take positive action towards a greater good.
In order to begin your personal mission statement, you must define yourself. If you need help trying to come up with your mission statement, go to a major corporation and look up their mission statement on their website. This will give you a basic idea of what a mission statement can be like and how you should approach your own personal mission statement.
I mission statement though should always begin by defining yourself. Write down or type out a definition of who you are, where you came from and what you think were the most influential things that helped to define your life. In this mission statement you must also define your current self and how your life path has affected your present self. You do this by defining your values, that which is most important to you, and how it is that these values came to be through your past and present circumstance.
Once you have finished this personal history of yourself, you must also define who or what you are dedicated to. Define the values that you described above even further by writing down who and what is important to you and for what reason.
Another important thing that you must define is how you plan to grow. Here you start contemplating the future by defining how you will strive to become better than the person you are today. You write down how you will get better, what new things you will do, and how you will grow generally. Here is where the mission part of the mission statement comes in; you define the general objectives of your life. There is no need to get too specific, just try to give a general idea of how you wish to develop in the future considering the values that you have and what you think will make the greatest positive statement, allowing you to grow the most as a person.
In order to truly create a legacy that will be remembered by others, you must try and help the people around you. In your mission statement therefore you must commit yourself to community service, or at least helping your family and friends. More than this, in this mission statement, you need to define what it is that you will be doing. Again you do not need to be specific, what you need to do though is give the general feeling of what you wish to accomplish in order to define the parameters of the positive action that you will be taking in your community.
Once you have made this general statement, try to define how you will be doing this. How will you be making sure that your values are expressed in community service. Even if you don’t have exact ideas as to what you wish to do or when, make sure that you identify those things that you would like to do.
In order to have a positive legacy you need to live the kind of life that you think will be a good example for others. You essentially need to be the person you always wanted to be and the only way that you will be able to do this is to define exactly how you need to go about becoming that ideal person. The best way to do this is to create a ‘personal mission statement’ that will allow you to define:
- where you came from
- who you are
- what your values are and how they were shaped
- what your future objectives are and how these follow your values
- what positive actions you will take in your community
- and generally what kind of person you wish to be in the eyes of others
This type of personal definition is essentially the examples that you wish to set. Now there is no reason why this personal mission statement needs to stay the same forever, you can change it over time just as companies do as they change and grow. Always remember that your personal mission statement represents the ideals by which you wish to live, and if you remember this then you will have no problem creating a personal mission statement that will allow you to grow and expand positively and always.