Not many of us would drive to a destination in a new area that we’ve never been to without a map. Yet that is exactly what the majority of us do with life. Many take the time to set short term goals. Yet few – very few – have crafted a Mission Statement for themselves.
I was one of the many that lacked that map. Almost 20 years ago I took the time to write down a one page mission statement for my life. I did the exercise on my Birthday. It was one of the best “presents” I have ever given myself. It is interesting that as life has changed and circumstances have changed, my Mission Statement has not. That doesn’t mean it cannot – it simply has not needed to change.
My Mission Statement has four paragraphs:
- My relationship and mission as a child of God
- My relationship and mission as husband to Susan
- My relationship and mission as father to my children (and now father-in-law to our two sons-in-law; and soon to be Grandfather!)
- My relationship and direction for the work that I do
I read my Mission Statement every week. It grounds me. It helps me keep my eyes on the bigger picture. It brings perspective. It challenges me to ensure my short-term priorities remain in line with my long-term direction.
When I worked at Microsoft the company Mission/Vision Statement was “A microcomputer on every desk and in every home running Microsoft software.” As tablets and new forms of computers came out the Mission statement was updated. Yet that simple original Mission Statement lasted untouched for the majority of my tenure with the company. It guided us and brought perspective to the decisions we made in the business. What was even more amazing to me was that everyone in the company knew the Mission Statement and could state it pretty much verbatim. That brought alignment to all of our work.
I want to encourage you to write down your personal Mission Statement. Give yourself a gift. Drive life’s journey with a personal map!