Why Have A Mission Statement?
Having a clearly defined mission statement gives a person a description of purpose that can be used to initiate, evaluate, and refine all of their activities.
- They Help Us Have a Meaningful Life
Caty Medrano writes that the top human fear is fear of failure.[i] Richard Leider and David Shapiro say that the number one fear is living a meaningless life.[ii] Genevieve Bell says that humanity’s greatest fear is about being irrelevant.[iii]
What do all of these findings have in common? People have a deep need to fulfill a meaningful and relevant purpose. So discovering our purpose and fulfilling it is probably the most important activity that we can pursue.
- They Help Us To Become Effective In Life
Consider for a moment the cost of not having a clearly defined purpose or mission in life. Crime, unemployment, depression, suicide, inefficiency, lack of focus. The emotional, psychological, and spiritual consequences are enormous.
Now imagine what the world would be like if each and every person on the earth had a clearly defined purpose and mission statement and was committed to working full time to fulfill it. Work absenteeism would drop. Productivity would soar. All corporate and government rhetoric would become meaningful action. Unfulfillment would turn into satisfaction. Depression would turn into passion. Frustration would turn into energy. Every problem to avoid would become a challenge to overcome.
Research has shown that people with carefully and clearly defined missions have always led or surpassed those who don’t have one.
- They Help Us To Make Good Choices
In this world we are daily forced to make decisions that will either lead us closer to, or further from our goals, and our mission in life. Because of that reality, no tool can be as valuable in providing clear direction as a mission statement. Each one of us needs a brief, concise, and focused statement of purpose that we can use to initiate, evaluate, and refine all of our activities. A carefully thought-out personal mission statement acts as both a yoke and a knife — it yokes us to what is important in our life, and it cuts away all of the unimportant.
- They Help Us To Do What We Are Called To Do
Because of the pressure of family, friends and society on a person’s life, you can be sure that you will either be living your mission, or you will be living someone else’s. Having a mission statement can help you to choose which it will be.
- They Help Us To Choose The Best Career
Knowing our personal mission statement helps us choose the best career path. Once we are clear about what we were put here to do, then our “jobs” become only a means toward our purpose, not an end in themselves.
- They Help Us To Develop Beneficial Relationships
Having and knowing our personal mission statement can also help us to more purposefully make and nurture relationships, that move us toward fulfilling our purpose.
- They Help Us To Persevere Through Challenging Situations
Having a personal mission statement has been shown, in fact, to be the one thing that can keep someone alive in settings as brutal and life-threatening as concentration camps.
- They Help Give Us Peace Of Mind
Here is one person’s testimony: “In my own life I found that once I developed a mission statement that was broad enough to cover my interests and activities both on and off ‘the job,’ my life began to make a dramatic shift. Decision-making came more easily, because now I had something against which to measure my activities. I learned firsthand the terror and majesty and power of having an exciting mission statement — one that says ‘This is what I am about.’ I began to shed my fears about losing or not having a job, since I knew I would always have my mission, and any job I got would have to be an expression of that.”
Through the two seminars “Discovering Your Purpose”, Part I and Part II, you are going to be given the tools you need to discover what is your purpose in life, what path you need to be on, and how to get to where you need to go. That’s what “Purpose” is all about. Purpose is not just knowing what you should be doing, but also being able to “picture” what you should be doing, knowing what steps to take to get there, and being able to monitor your progress to make sure that you stay on track.