Your Personal Mission Statement

By Monica Reed, MD

Unlike goals, which are specific and time-sensitive, a mission statement is a set of guidelines for life. Mission statements usually address five questions:

  • What do I want from my life?
  • What do I value?
  • What are my talents?
  • What do I believe in?
  • By the end of my life, what do I want to have accomplished?

A mission statement is a way of discovering a sense of purpose by getting to know yourself on a deeper level. Your mission statement is a set of guiding principles for life. Hyrum W. Smith, author and motivational speaker, said, “Your governing values are the foundation of personal success and fulfillment.” I believe this to be true.

My friend Todd has a personal mission statement that he goes over weekly. He uses it to bring focus to his daily tasks and activities. More than a single mission “statement,” Todd has a set of statements that describe his ideals for the most important areas of his life, including marriage, family, spiritual life, work, community, character growth, and service. Rarely does he make a major decision without reviewing his mission statement first.

Arthur Gordon, British colonial governor, once said, “Nothing is easier than saying words. Nothing is harder than living them, day after day.” Having a mission statement that you regularly review will help you add focus and direction to your life.