I recently spent some time revising my personal vision mission statement for my life and business. While doing this, it occurred to me that the vision I have for my work is closely related to my personal vision. Having a job that reflects my personal vision is powerful because it has allowed me to create a business life for myself that truly reflects who I am.
Businesses that have vision and mission statements know that it guides the company in the direction that they want, and ultimately towards success. Some of us have spent countless hours working on these statements to ensure that we are doing our part to contribute to the vision. And just like any business as a mission, people also have a purpose or mission in life.
What if you spent as much time getting to know who we are and what you want for yourself? A personal vision/mission statement is the framework for creating a powerful life. Unlike a goal, a vision or mission rarely changes because it is the core reason for our existence and guides us in the decisions we make and the directions we take.
Your Personal Vision
Close your eyes and picture yourself in the future. It may be a few months or years from today. See the person you are; what you are doing, who you are with, what you have accomplished, what is important to you, and how people relate to you. How does it feel to be you? Feel the person you are, your true self.
Now, open your eyes and see your life and yourself in the present, through those eyes. You will begin to notice the changes you need to make to honor this vision and lead a powerful life. A Personal Vision is a picture of your True Self in the future. An effective personal vision includes all the important elements of your life and career; it is who you want to be, what you want to do, how you want to feel, what you want to own, and who you want to associate with.
Although your personal vision helps you to see into the future, it must be grounded in the present. It is a statement of who you are, and who you are becoming. It is the framework for the process of creating your life. Your vision is where you are headed, how you get there is your mission statement.
Your Personal Mission Statement
A Personal Mission Statement is how you will bring your personal vision into your daily life. It may be a few words or several pages, but it is not a “to-do” list. It reflects your uniqueness and must speak to you powerfully about the person you are and the person you are becoming. Remember, it’s okay to be where you are while heading somewhere else. In fact, the only place you can start is where you are right now. Having a personal vision does not mean your life changes overnight. But it will change. Your personal mission statement provides the steps to get you there.
Your Personal Mission Statement should answer three questions:
- What is my life about (Purpose)?
- What do I stand for (Values)?
- What actions do I take to create my Purpose and my Values?
Creating a Personal Mission Statement will be, without question, one of the most powerful and significant things you will ever do to take leadership of your life. In it, you will identify the most important roles, relationships, and things in your life – who you want to be, what you want to do, to whom and what you want to give your life, the principles you want to anchor your life to, the legacy you want to leave. All the goals and decisions you will make in the future will be based upon it. It’s like deciding first which wall you want to lean your ladder of life against, and then beginning to climb. It will be a compass – a strong source of guidance amid the stormy seas and pressing, pulling currents of your life. – Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
A Personal Vision/Mission can help propel you into a new job or make your present job work better for you. The more connected your Personal Vision/Mission is to yourself, the better it can guide your career and your life.