Making life decisions got a lot easier once I got clear on my personal mission statement.
It came to me out of the blue one day, and was startlingly different from the principles I’d been orienting my life around.
What I had been making decisions based on were the unconscious drives to a) have an impressive job title that would make people think I was smart at parties, b) never disappoint anyone under any circumstances, and c) never let anyone close enough to see how messed up I secretly was.
Imagine what kind of dilemmas I had and choices I made with those as my operating principles.
The new mission statement that landed in my brain was:
Get just a little better at giving and receiving love every day.
Now imagine how different my choices would be if THAT was my goal.
I’ve been playing with this mission statement for a few years now. It has radically altered the course of my decision making, and I continue to find new layers and nuances in it that keeps things interesting.
Here are some things I appreciate about this mission statement, that might serve as helpful guidelines as you craft your own:
-It’s process oriented, not outcome oriented. There will always be room to continue growing with it, and there’s no finish line.
-It’s broad enough to be applicable to every area of life. Love, in its many forms, is incredibly pertinent to work, health, finances, relationships, self-care, goal setting, educational pursuits, and more.
-It’s something so foundational that it isn’t likely to waver much over time. Unlike that embarrassing tattoo you got of the band you were really into at age 18, it anchors on something evergreen.
-It’s meaningful enough to keep me interested over the long haul. There is always a new application or situational complexity to examine within the rubric of “giving and receiving more love.” What it means in situation X is not what it means in situation Y, and I care deeply about examining every opportunity to exercise the mission statement.
I’m far from perfect in executing this mission, but it gives me a juicy, important, and consistent north star to aim for whenever life hands me another curveball.
To recap – guidelines for a personal mission statement: