A personal mission statement defines three things for the world to see:
- What you do. This is the work you do that will take you where you want to go in your personal vision. It is the work that will give you satisfaction, meaning, and purpose in your life, one happy and content day at a time.
- Your unique value proposition. This is the unique value you provide to the world. This is the result that people or organizations (which are simply larger groups of people) get from you or your efforts. It could be joy, wealth, information, knowledge, skills, a better life, etc.
- Who you serve. These are your customers. These are the people or organizations that most value your unique value proposition. This could be anyone (as everyone needs food) or it could be very specific (such as – children with leukemia).
Creating a personal mission statement is designed to provide you with clarity of focus and direction in your vocation and align you to your passions and strengths. It tells everyone you come in contact with how you can be of service and value to them – or not. And it allows you to know, very quickly, whether you can be of service and value to those you encounter.
A personal mission statement also helps you focus on providing value to the world so the world may then give back to you, in abundance. Many people go through life thinking things like, “If only they paid me more, I would do more (work harder, be more productive, etc.).” Or they might say, “If they give me that promotion, then I will show them what I can really do.” Or, perhaps they say, “Why would anyone pay me to do what I love to do?” But the world and the universal laws of attraction in which the world exists does not work that way. You must FIRST provide the world with value and then it will give back to you in valuable abundance.
A personal mission statement is about giving up on outcome, which you cannot control, and focusing on freely giving of your talents and gifts to create real value, which you can control. You might be thinking, “I’m certainly not going to work for free,” and that is not what we are saying here. If you can clearly communicate the value of what you do to everyone you meet, the world, and the people and companies in it, will see that value and pay you more than adequately!
A personal mission statement also takes the focus off “making money” and focuses more appropriately on the value you provide. Money is a tool, it is not an objective. People may be highly motivated when they lack money, but according to most major studies in the area of motivation (notably Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory, Frederick Herzberg’s “Two-Factor” Theory , and most recently the work of Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman of the Gallup Organization), money rarely is a long-term motivator for continued achievement in any work environment. Money buys us the things we need and making money alone is rarely personally fulfilling. It is what you DO to earn the money that can be personally fulfilling.
It does not matter where you are in your life, nor does it matter how capable you are at the moment of delivering on your mission statement. That can occur in the future. The personal mission statement simply helps you create focus regarding the training, education, and career development necessary in order to “become” that someone who can deliver on the mission.