Why You Need An 8 Word Mission Statement

The effective mission statement is short and sharply focused. It should fit on a T-shirt. It must be clear, and it must inspire. Every board member, volunteer, and staff person should be able to see the mission and say, ‘Yes. This is something I want to be remembered for.’ – Peter Drucker

What would it look like if you had an eight word mission statement for your life?  Seriously! Your company has a mission statement to guide it and explain to others what it does and why. The non-profits and charitable organizations you support have mission statements. There is really no reason why you cannot have a mission statement to guide your own personal life.

While it may seem like an odd exercise, it’s an important (and potentially eye-opening) one to undertake. Clearly understanding – and being able to articulate – your values and purpose are important:

  • You will be better equipped to make decisions, take action, and interact with others in ways that are consistent with who you are.
  • By knowing yourself better and acting in accordance with your values, your relationships will improve, and you’ll be better able to lead your team as well.
  • You’ll probably also be happier, or at least less doubtful when you have to make a tough decision.

To get started, brainstorm your values and jot down whatever pops into your head – you’ll be able to refine your list later. Ask, “What is important to me? What traits do I look for in others?”

Do you like people who are honest, open-minded, generous, always cheerful and quick with a compliment?

Do you admire people who are adventurous, tenacious, willing to work hard to achieve their goals?

Do you always try to be punctual, thoughtful, and respectful of others’ time and opinions?

Next, think about your purpose. How do you contribute to society? How do you try to make the world a better place for your friends, family, and even random strangers who you cross paths with? How do you want to be remembered?

I know that writing a mission statement can be hard, so for a little inspiration, please share with us your favorite mission statement (it could be your company’s or that of a brand or a nonprofit you admire).  If you want we will share them in an upcoming newsletter/blog.
How could having a mission statement for your life impact your year?  I always have a word for the year and it helps me stay focused on my intention for the year.  Give it a try.  Make it the best year yet!

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