Once you’ve got your mission statement down in writing, here are some things that you can do to make it even more effective.

#1:  Make sure it focuses on something greater than you.

For example, the statement, “To make myself as rich as possible,” is too self-focused and illustrates a “means” value rather than an “end” value.  A means value is something that is important as a means to an end.  In the above example, one might ask, “Money for what purpose?”  In addition, the “rich as possible” mission statement may be unfulfilling in the long run.  At some point, the acquisition of currency becomes insignificant unless you are using it to satisfy some other need, such as the need to contribute.

#2:  It should not have an end.

It should not be something that you can actually achieve or accomplish.  It simply has to be something that you do, where the reward is not completion but rather the process of doing it.   When you write your mission statement, simply ask whether or not this is something you can achieve; if it is, it is most likely a goal rather than a mission.   Simply put, your mission should be about the journey and not the destination.

#3: Describes the way in which you fulfill your mission.

What type of emotional states do you want to experience as you carry out your mission? Do you need or want to feel courage, strength, happiness, or excitement?  Be sure that your important values are included in your mission.

#4: Keep it current.

Before you go ahead and create your personal mission statement, I want you to remember that a personal mission statement is not a static thing.  It is a dynamic element that has the potential to live, breathe, and grow just as you do.  Feel free to change, update, and add on to your mission statement as you see fit.

With your personal mission in mind, you now have the backbone of all the decisions that you make in your life.

John Ryan

Host of Key Conversations for Leaders Podcast, Executive Coach, Consultant, and Trainer

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