When I wrote the blog post, “Living Life on Purpose – Your Personal Mission Statement,” I had no idea the impact it would make. Since it was published, it has been viewed thousands of times, and I’ve heard from so many individuals who have used it as the launchpad for creating their own personal mission statements. I’ve also heard from couples who have used my Couples Mission Statement exercise to help strengthen their relationships together.
So what are the benefits of getting clear on your purpose and writing your personal mission statement? Why are people so drawn to this post, and what kind of transformations are they experiencing when they invest time in walking through the Personal Mission Statement exercise I created?
Here are ten results that come from creating your personal mission statement…
- You get focused on going deep in what really matters, not wide in everything. That’s where the name Depth Not Width came from and why I started writing this blog when I did. I found myself in a place where I was trying to do too many things… I was good at most of them but not great at any. When I realized this, I spent some time working on my own personal mission statement, which ultimately helped me define what’s really important in my life.
- You find your compass, your North Star, your lighthouse. My personal mission statement has become a reliable guide for me in my life. I can take any opportunity that comes my way, both good and bad, and see how it aligns with my mission. If it does align, I spend more time exploring it. If it doesn’t, I can quickly drop it and move on. My personal mission statement keeps me on course. It’s helped me know what to let into my life and what to keep out, eliminating distractions and trouble.
- Your decision-making is simplified. Making smart decisions can be one of the most daunting tasks any of us will encounter. Should I accept this new job, invest time in this relationship, move to a new state, pursue more education? With your personal mission statement serving as your guide, challenging decisions like these can become a little easier to make. Your personal mission statement won’t eliminate all of the unknowns, but it will improve the odds of making a decision that aligns with your purpose.
- You quit wasting time. When you eliminate distractions and simplify decision-making, you take back ownership of your time – the one thing we all want a little more of. The things that used to hijack your energy and focus are no longer magnetic because they don’t fit your mission. Unless you have clarity on what your mission is, it can be easy to waste time on things that don’t take you anywhere valuable.
- When things get challenging, you are securely anchored. In my life, whether it’s been walking through my divorce, running a business, starting this blog, or leading a blended family, my mission has been my anchor. I am clear about what matters to me and what I am working toward because of my personal mission statement. In my most challenging times, being clear on my purpose has pushed me to fight for what I want and stay focused on the mission I’ve chosen – even when things are tough.
- Your mission provides you with meaning. We all want meaning in our lives. Most of us spend our whole lives chasing that, and some will never find it. Creating your personal mission statement is a catalyst for discovering your purpose. Then, with your purpose in hand, every day has meaning because you have a mission to pursue.
- Your feet hit the floor differently in the morning. Once you feel like your life has meaning and you have a mission, you begin to show up differently. There is a confidence and boldness that comes with understanding your purpose, and creating your personal mission statement will help you unlock that in your life.
- You quit getting beat down by comparison. Your personal mission is just that – it’s yours. No one else’s. When you create your personal mission statement, you’re developing a framework for your life that is unique to you. No one else’s mission is the same as yours, and so creating your personal mission statement allows you to explore what your purpose is and how you will activate it in your life – on your terms.
- You unlock your happiness. As you’re putting all of the pieces above together by creating your personal mission statement, something interesting begins happening. By living a life focused on your purpose and eliminating the things that are distracting you and hijacking your energy, your level of happiness will increase. Living in your purpose, on purpose, is the key to a fulfilled life. Your personal mission statement is the first step to getting there.
- You maximize your impact in the world. With your personal mission statement as your target, your energy and attention become focused on the things that will create the most impact. People talk all of the time about how they want to leave a legacy or make their mark. The ones that actually do make this kind of impact are the people who are clear on what their purpose is, why they exist, and what they are driving toward.
Creating your personal mission statement may feel like a daunting task. There’s nothing worse than staring at a blank sheet of paper or a blinking cursor with no idea where to start. I get it. With that in mind, I created the Personal Mission Statement exercise to eliminate the awkwardness and provide a quick and easy launchpad for getting started.
There’s a reason that this topic is so interesting to people. We all want to get more out of life and make sure that we spent our time on what really matters in the end. The Personal Mission Statement exercise will walk you through uncovering your purpose and creating your own mission statement. I hope it is as powerful for you as it has been for everyone else who has used it.
To help you get started, here’s my personal mission statement as it stands today. (Keep in mind, your mission may shift and evolve over time.) You’ll see that I repeated the exercise three times to reflect my overall life mission, my mission as I lead my family, and my mission as it ties to my faith.
“My purpose is to use my influence, creativity, positivity, and life experiences to serve others and help them reach their full potential. My purpose is to lead my family well, to help them grow in their faith, to love Cristina unselfishly, and to teach my kids how to be confident, others-focused adults. My purpose is to share Christ with the world, sometimes with words and sometimes by letting my life be a lighthouse.”
Curious about the Couples Mission Statement exercise and how you can do this together? You can find it here! Here’s the mission statement that Cristina and I worked on together over a weekend alone in a cabin…
“Our purpose is to reflect God by the way we love each other, our family, and those in our circles, to help one other become the best versions of ourselves, and to live as partners chasing new adventures together. We’re committed to forgiving quickly, communicating openly, and loving unconditionally.”
The benefits of creating mission statements like these, as I shared above, are so valuable. Yes, it can feel like a daunting task. Yes, it will take some time and energy to complete. And yes, it may change from year to year depending on what season of life you’re in. Don’t let those things stop you… Work on your personal mission statement and then use it to guide your steps every day!
Ready for more?
Follow me here for more tools like this, weekly encouragement, and insights to help you create more impact in your life. You can also listen in on the Grit Meets Growth podcast that I share with Chris Cathers. It’s available here or on your favorite podcast platforms.
Make it a great day and get after it! – John