Write Your Personal Mission Statement

Putting it all together…

Have you been using the resources and working towards writing your own Personal Mission Statement?

A  good, working statement will guide your decisions….large and small.  Let’s begin to put it all together into a meaningful and useful Personal Mission Statement.

Remember that your Mission Statement is:

–Based on your strengths (personality, experience, skill)

–Based on what you consider important (values and qualities)

–Based on what you would die for (so you know what is worth living for).

A Mission Statement is not…..

Your job, or…

Prescribed by someone else, or….

Your role, or…

Your destiny, or….

Your to-do list, or….

The same as the mission of those around you.

Your Mission Statement is your clearly defined territory of responsibility.

To begin writing your Mission Statement:

 >  Download this free worksheet

 >  Circle all the words that mean something to you… that make you want to DO them (these are verbs…action verbs).  If a word that you want to use is not there, add it in.

 >  Narrow it down to three (3). Choose the 3 that HAVE to be on the list.

 

I have a long list of verbs that I like….so feel free to circle a lot of verbs, but think about them as you read along.

Deciding the words that I like best comes by recognizing the things that I do all the time. Affirm – daily affirmations and helping others replace their limiting beliefs with truly spoken personal affirmations is one of my favorite coaching techniques and a workshop I love presenting. I LOVE connect(ing) people to make good networking possibilities (I even say that it is what floats my boat when I am feeling cheerful and resorting to a clever cliche). Forgive(ness), of myself as well as of others, is core to my growth and is deep in my own story. I am a woman of faith and, daily, I return to what I believe to be true; what is most important to my life and world view.

All those verbs I like BUT, to narrow down, I have to choose three (3) that are my favorite.

The three words that connect with me most, the words that I WANT TO DO are:

Live.  Communicate. Inspire.

I want to LIVE to the fullest. I want to LIVE every day with purpose and intent. I want to LIVE, not wasting a day, enjoying the breath and thought and opportunity and experience what each day affords.

I was born to COMMUNICATE. I love to tell a story. I love to hear someone else’s story. I love few things more than communicating a story that helps someone connect their own dots, work out their own life puzzles, give value to their own story.

When my mother learned that people paid me to speak, she wagged her head. “Your Daddy (who died much too young and who I miss to this day) would be amazed,” she said. “There were times he wanted to pay you to shut up.” I have worked hard at learning to COMMUNICATE well, speaking and writing, learning to use words to encourage and motivate others.

And I want to INSPIRE other people. I know that the struggles and victories, the hurts and forgiveness, the challenges and fun times that I have are both uniquely mine and very much not at all unique to me.

We have all struggled and are looking for victory. We have all been hurt and can find forgiveness when the time and understanding are right. We each and all face challenges and have the opportunity for fun on a daily basis.

I believe that each life is worth a lot.

So, my three verbs are LIVE, COMMUNICATE, INSPIRE.

> Now to connect your three verbs with who (or what) and why.

Remember the Values and Qualities most important to you?

My values were Wisdom, Openness, Self-awareness, a sense of humor.

My chosen qualities were Honest, Logical, Respectful, and Forgiving.

Boiled down, I can combine all of those words and attributes to two words: GRACE and TRUTH.

So, with my VERBS (what I want to do) and my VALUES (what is important to me), I can state what I want to DO: I want to LIVE a life full of GRACE and TRUTH. And, I want to tell my stories (COMMUNICATE).

That is the beginning of my Personal Mission Statement.

It is my WHAT.

Yours will be different.  Maybe yours is to teach… or to MOLD… or to EQUIP… or to PROVIDE.

Often, there are two or three verbs that go together….

….to serve and support.

….to teach and to inspire.

….to create and demonstrate and reclaim.

….to engage, enlighten, and embrace.

YOUR Personal Mission Statement will begin to emerge…. keep working at it. Distill it down.

Now, I need a WHY and a FOR WHOM.

My WHY is to help people see that they are NOT STUCK.

They CAN CHANGE.

They ARE ABLE.

THERE IS MORE.

My WHY is also that I want to keep changing, keep growing, keep learning. To do that, I need to keep having stories to tell.  I need to keep hearing others’ stories and understanding. I need to keep living in GRACE and TRUTH.

My WHO is broad….and narrow. My WHO doesn’t have an age or a demographic or a particular audience…at least my personal missions statement doesn’t (My business plan does). My WHO is whoever I can reach…whoever will hear and appreciate my stories, whoever can relate.  Whoever is ready to think about change for better.

My own personal mission is to live a life of grace and truth
and to tell my stories that have the potential to change lives.

Here is the formula and the outline for Your Personal Mission Statement

Writing your personal mission statement is not starting something new.
It is putting on paper what you are already doing, in most cases.
It is identifying and defining how you want to live.

Identify Satisfaction

Do you know what would bring you satisfaction and fulfillment?

Before we come to the final step of actually writing your Personal Mission Statement, have you had the chance to think about what you value, which qualities are important to you, or which strengths you possess? 

Do you know what it will take to truly satisfy you?

Here is a true one-day story in my life that was life lesson and showed me the importance of identifying, and communicating, what would satisfy me.

Early in the day, I spoke on the phone with a friend who was complaining about her husband coming home and playing with her children instead of helping her with the after-dinner clean up.  I reminded her that a few weeks before, she had told me she wished he would spend more time with the children when he came home from work instead of helping her in the kitchen.  “hmmp,” she responded.  “This isn’t what I meant.”

A few hours later, I was on the phone with another friend.  I asked her if she wanted to run to the store with me.  “No,” she said.  “I have to go to town with my husband.  He is picking up horse feed and then we’ll get a burger.”  I told her that was awesome!  She had told me a week before that she had told her husband she wished he would include her in his life more.  “Going to town for horse feed and a burger is not what I had in mind,” she told me.

Later that day, Dave and I ended up in the same room at the same time for a bit and I told him I had been thinking about something and wanted his perspective.  “I think men want their wives to be satisfied,” I told him.  No argument from him.  “In fact, I think I understand that even if it is only because their lives will be easier, they want their wives to be happy, right?”  He was warming to my topic.

I had been thinking all day that these two husbands, both of whom I knew well, had every intention of satisfying their respective wives by doing what they thought their wife wanted.  One clearly had heard his wife say she would be happier if he spent more time with their children in the evenings, so he did exactly what he thought would satisfy his wife.  The other husband had clearly heard his wife tell him that she wanted him to include her more in his life which was very full with a job and then a large horse business with his father.  His intention was to satisfy her longing to spend more time together by asking her to ride along with him on chores.

But, neither wife was satisfied.  And it was not their husbands’ fault (at least not this time).

My conclusion, which I shared with Dave, was that if we could assume that men wanted their wives to be happy and that they would change their behavior to that end if they had a clue what to do, then it is a wife’s responsibility to determine what will satisfy her.  And to communicate that to her husband.  (And then, possibly, to remember it.)

A man wants a happy wife.  If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy and all that.  A lot of men, I am sure want to please their wives because they love them deeply.  But, even if the only reason is to simplify their own life and minimize the at-home drama and stress, a man doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize that a satisfied wife is a better life.

So, the responsibility for my own personal satisfaction lies squarely with me.  I need to determine what will satisfy me.  Not an easy task, really, with so many options and so little time (or discipline) to sort through all the options to determine what will deeply, not just make me happy for a moment, but satisfy me.

Dave whole-heartedly agreed with my conclusions.  Men want their wives to be satisfied.  It would be helpful if women figured out what would satisfy them and then communicate that to their husbands.  Complete agreement, we had on this topic, that day.

On that particular day, Dave and I had an anniversary coming up.  Our 25th, as a matter of fact.  I had been thinking about something significant to celebrate the fairly amazing fact that we had made it to year 25.  We aren’t that great at celebrating ourselves.   I don’t think Dave would argue that he has not exactly been the best at gifting.

“Okay, then.  I have decided what will satisfy me for our 25th anniversary.  I want a ring.”   I do think Dave went a little pale at that point.  He told me later his first thought was, “Oh, no.  She finally wants a diamond.”

“I want a ring.  And I want to like it, so I will pick it out.  But I want you to buy it and give it to me in a way that will make it special.  That is what will satisfy me for our 25th anniversary.”

I have to admit that I sort of surprised myself.  I am extremely practical….to a fault at times, I admit.  Strengths in excess and all that.  I have been satisfied for 39+ years with the $40 white gold band Dave gave me when we married.  But, for some reason, I wanted a ring for our 25th anniversary.  Not to replace anything but to commemorate and celebrate 25 years of making it.  An anniversary ring.

I went off looking for a ring that would satisfy me.  At Sam’s , I looked at anniversary rings and the salesperson told me they were very popular….which made me want something different.  Not what everyone else had.  For several weeks, I casually looked at rings at the mall, in jewelry stores, on other women’s fingers.  Finally, I went into a specialty jewelry store and saw it.  And tried it on.  I liked it because it was different.Find Satisfaction

Rectangular blue sapphire stone, bevel cut.  Two tiny diamonds to the side (I liked it inspite of the diamonds and because they were, if they had to be there, tiny).  The salesperson told me it was one of a kind…..and that if I wanted it, I should at least put it on lay-away so it would be there for our anniversary.  That one-of-a-kind, not-to-be-found-elsewhere ring was truly what would satisfy me.

I told Dave about the ring.  He agreed to go and see it.  This was in May.  Our anniversary is in August.  We could put it on lay-away to wait for our anniversary.  I had it planned and now it was just Dave’s responsibility to buy it and present it in a way that I would be surprised.

At the store, I tried it on.  Dave admired it.  He asked me if I really liked it.  Was this the ring that would satisfy me?  Yes.  Definitely.   “Then,” my relieved and attentive husband said, “we will take it.  Today.”

No waiting for August.  Presented in a very clever and thoughtful way.   He had heard what I said would satisfy me.  And he did it.

I was completely satisfied because I had thought about it.  I had considered and weighed and, a crucial piece,—I believed that Dave wanted to satisfy me.

Now, it is a regular practice of mine to think about what will satisfy me.  It is not always Dave’s responsibility to satisfy me, of course.  I think through options for my day, purchases I need to make, the way I want to dress.  Then, I make sure that the way I spend my time and/or my energy and/or my money will be satisfying…that I will be happy with my decision and investment.

Satisfaction

Being satisfied is a good way to be at peace.

(full disclosure….I remember this as being a all-in-one-day mantra day, but I have a feeling that actually, it took a little longer for me to reach this good and deep insight.)

Know Your Strengths

strengths

Having a clear Mission Statement is at the core of designing Your BEST ThirdThird.

That’s why we have been devoting this blog to taking you step by step through a process to write your own Personal Mission Statement.

If you are participating and are in the process of writing your own Personal Mission Statement, you have considered and evaluated…

  • How you think of yourself (drew an image),
  • How others have articulated their belief in you (remembered others’ prophecies),
  • Your personal values, and
  • The qualities you most hold dear.

Why? So that you can focus on the MOST important opportunities you have.

And now, you are ready to consider your strengths… how you are wired and how that fits in with your great mission statement.

[It’s not too late to start writing your Personal Mission Statement]

You have a personality (though a common joke when I am presenting on this topic is that someone is fearful that they won’t have one).

It could also be said that we are wired to have certain Behavioral Tendencies. Or, we might suggest that a certain percentage of our emotional make-up is genetic wiring.

Whichever way you want to think of it, it is very obvious that we are each unique, and that we fall into similar categories, depending on…

Whether we are motivated by Task or People.

Whether we are Fast-paced or Slow-paced.

Where on the spectrum of each of those we fall.

How that all fits together.

Understanding our “personality” is crucial to our success in life.  Even understanding a few basics about your strengths will clarify your Personal Mission Statement.

 

For a basic, quick quiz to give you an idea of your tendencies, click HERE.  After you choose a few options given, it will give you a percentage of each of four “tendencies” and some suggestions as to how you might want to use your strengths in your BEST ThirdThird.

P R A C T I C A L   E X A M P L E 

At some point, I realized that the BEST use of my wiring was to stop trying to become a “pianist.” I could get to the right notes (eventually), but I could never feel, hear, sense the music like some of my friends could.  Instead of the precise, detailed piano playing that was not a natural connect for me, I  eventually helped to recruit and organize musicians for our church worship team instead.

Basically, while I can fill certain roles with some ability (one-handed piano notes), there are other roles that I can actually flourish in (seeing the possibilities in others).

I have other, more in-depth ways to help you tap into your personality and tendencies, if you are interested.

The Tendencies Quiz is a good place to start but there is so much more to discover about yourself. Contact me or leave a comment here if would like to explore more!

 

Your Values

values

What you do speaks so loudly
I can not hear what you say.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Values is our next focus for this process of writing your Personal Mission Statement.

What you value is an important part of who you are.

It says a lot about how you were raised and how you have evolved, grown, and changed through your experience of LIFE.

It is what has become important to you.

Here is one definition of Values:

“A person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life.”

Some synonyms are: Principles, ethics, moral code, standards, code of behavior.

Use this free workbook page for this part of your process.

The instructions should be clear on the worksheet… select the ones that are most important, then, rank them in order.

The two steps are important, even if tedious to choose and then rank.

Take your time.  Don’t rush.

Figure yourself out.

I do this exercise myself every time I ask someone(s) else to do it.  It makes me think, every time.

  • Do I value being appreciated or respected?
  • Is accumulating knowledge important to me?  (Yes….if it is knowledge to be used in understanding.)
  • While I prefer going to the grocery store without having to add up my costs as I put things in my cart (which I did for many years of raising a growing family on a budget) and while I enjoy having some discretionary funds, neither Financial Security nor Accumulation of wealthy ever make it to my list of 10.

That is always an interesting conversation I have with myself after this exercise.

I have consistency… Spirituality and Faith are always #1; Wisdom, Openness, Self-awareness, a sense of humor are always on my list.

Who I am is made up of what I value.

Tackle your worksheet with honesty and thought.

Choose values you hold dear.

 

 

Memorable Affirmation

Remembering comments from childhood often first brings negative thoughts.  It’s sort of amazing to me how true that is.  We can remember the scoldings or the mistakes or the failures, but it’s harder to remember any positive affirmation we receive through out our lives.

The stories that you tell about your past shape your future.

– Eric Ransdell in Fast Company

You have positive memories if you will take a few minutes to access them.

So….do that…..now!

Take a few minutes and remember some positive comments that were made to you about yourself when you were a child.

Who said something to you that shaped you in a positive way?
Who saw in you potential when you were too young or naive to see it in yourself?
Who invested in you in a way that you were challenged to see yourself in a new way?

I have to say that this was hard for me when I first did this exercise.  I did not have a lot of “cheerleaders” in my young life.  I can’t remember teachers singling me out for my intelligence or family members commenting on my positive strengths. No caring neighbor said to me, “You are special” in a personal way that I remember.

I had a softball coach, though.

Ethyl Lee Rehms.

She was my fifth grade teacher, too, and she gave me confidence in the classroom (once, by assigning me as one of four debaters for a class history).  She was also our physical education teacher and she made me see that I could be athletic (She told me I ran like a chicken once and that if I held my arms in, I could take a few seconds off my 50-yard dash).

But, as my softball coach, she brought out the best in me.

She put me at third base when I was 10 to get me strong enough to follow the awesome shortstop who was 3 years older than me.

Once, she sent everyone home except for the first baseman(girl) and hit grounders to me for another 30 minutes in the hot Texas summer sun. (I do think she went and moved her car so protect is from my occasional wild throws!)

Miss Rehms invested in me in my deepest places…..

She saw that I was good at something and she made me better.

affirmation

You have someone like that in your life.

     W H O   I S  I T ?

Download this free worksheet and write it down.

Commit to remembering a Positive Personal Prophecy someone had of you as a child.  Or more than one if you are so fortunate.

This is important.

That person identified an important part of you that will be an aspect of your Personal Mission Statement.

 

If you missed my post from Tuesday, go back and read Describe Yourself and work through part one of today’s free worksheet.

Image Credits: keniscott.tumblr.com/

Describe Yourself

Discovering your personal mission is key to living your life with purpose… and key in designing your BEST ThirdThird. Over the next 6 weeks here on the blog at YourBestThirdThird.com, we are going to be working through how to discover your personal mission statement.

The place to start in writing your own Personal Mission Statement is to think of how you see yourself.

Step 1: Draw a simple image that describes you.

The first thing that pops into your mind. This is not an art exercise! Don’t worry about your artistic skills.  But be creative and be honest.

How do you see yourself?

Here is my image of myself….

describe yourself

And I told you this is not an art exercise.  In case you can’t tell what this is…..it is a salt shaker.

I see myself as SALT.

Salt is one of the most important seasonings.  It enhances, adds, brings out, preserves.
I am an encourager.  I love to bring out the best in others, to help them identify their strengths, to help them keep going.

AND… too much salt can spoil a dish, sting a wound, makes things hard to swallow.

I have to keep myself in check. I have learned (am always learning) to share when it is welcomed, give my opinion when it’s asked for, invest in relationships more than attempting to solve others’ problems.  I want to be the good salt… not to “too much” salt.

AND… salt unused and left out can become un-salty.  Useless.

Those times I might be “too much” aren’t a time for me to stop adding seasoning but to learn to carefully spread my flavor where it is needed and ready to be used.


How you see your self is really, really important.  This exercise is not to be skipped if you want to come up with a clear Personal Mission Statement that you can own and use to build your BEST ThirdThird (or which ever Third you are in!)

Use this free worksheet to help you think about how you describe yourself.

As we work along, it is important to get an idea of what your mission statement will NOT be:
Not your job
No a to-do list
Not prescribed by someone other than yourself
Not your role
Not your destiny
Not the same as those around you

You are unique,
with history,
personality,
gender,
family of origin, etc.

Your MISSION STATEMENT will be your own.


photo credit: des mots insensés via photopin (license)


Your Personal Mission Statement

personal mission statement

… and they pass by themselves without wondering.

What is your mission?  You have one, you know. Discovering it is key to living your life with purpose… and key in designing your BEST ThirdThird.

Over the next 6 weeks here on the blog at YourBestThirdThird.com, we are going to be working through how to discover your personal mission statement.

Why write a Personal Mission Statement?

Defining your personal life’s mission helps make decisions of time, money, friends, profession.
  • If you have determined what is most important to you and distilled it down into a Mission Statement that you know and remember, it will give you solid priorities for making decisions.
  • Knowing your Mission gives purpose to every day. Even if you aren’t actively “on a mission,” you do have a reason and purpose and direction for how you invest your minutes, hours, days.
  • Having a stated Personal Mission Statement gives you the opportunity for satisfaction. When you have drilled down and defined what is important to you, then you can know when you have done it.
  • A Personal Mission Statement focuses energy. And, as we age, even if we are doing all we can to stay fit and active, we face the challenge of focusing the energy we have to maximize it every time!

Your Personal Mission Statement will be…

  • Short
  • Easily understood
  • Easily memorized
  • A combination of what you’re good at and what you stand for.

To get there, work through the worksheets that will be provided each week and they will lead you to a final effort of distilling it all down into a few words that will make sense to you and give you purpose.

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You should know these past iconic examples of people who had an obvious mission to accomplish (especially if you are past age 45). See if you can match the person with their mission:

 

What is your mission? Let’s discover together.