Over quarter of a century ago, a supervisor challenged me to develop my personal mission statement. The process forced me to consider my life purpose, my priorities, and how my life would be lived. I did not take the assignment lightly.
First I determined the personal part of the mission statement: what defines me – and how should my future define me? After months of consideration, I concluded the most important aspect affecting all parts of my life was education. During my formative years, it seemed my family and friends promoted the value and resiliency of education – no one can ever take education away from you. Education appeared as an open-ended path with lots of possible options. Both learning and sharing education comforted me. The process of education had to be part of my mission statement.
Next my definition of ‘me’ created my mission. What about education? One supervisor once asked me if education was important to me only to acquire knowledge. He may have thought he was insulting me – maybe implying my education was never put to good use – but instead he gave me more to ponder. What is the purpose of education – what do we do with the information, the insight once we receive it? How does education impact me?
Oh yeah, and the mission statement had to be 20 words or fewer – the hardest part!
What did I find? My mission statement created 25 years ago: Education at every turn.
What does it mean? Regardless if I am the student or the guide, education occurs. Regardless of the outcome, something is to be learned and implemented by someone. How has the mission statement guided me over the years? When I make mistakes (and I have doozies), I see them as learning experiences. When something works in my life (every now and then), I want to know how to incorporate more of the same into my life.
Over all, my mission statement has proven to be individual, driven, and easy to remember. When difficult decisions arise, I rely on my personal mission statement to guide me – and so far, I am pleased with the results. What is your mission statement and how does it propel you throughout life?