Begin with a Guiding Mission Statement
I believe that a happier, balanced, even successful life begins with a personal mission statement. Everything begins with “Why are we here?” We need a point of focus, and an everlasting guide to lead our decisions and ensure that we engender what we really want most throughout our days, weeks, months, and years along our personal path of living. Your personal guiding statement is key to opening doors to a life more consistently, positively focused and distanced from the negative.
Just as the soul of a business is its mission statement, so it should be for you as well. A business has no path without it, and success would be an ongoing struggle. We need to have a cause — a cause that drives us and gives our choices meaning in the day-to-day. It will define so many details of your life, and allow choices to be easier for you and fueled by a higher purpose of your own making. We must have a present, active, and engaged guiding principle to help guide our days. And those quiet spaces in between everyday choices and decisions, and the larger choices, too — those quiet spaces become filled with peace, satisfaction, and joy. These experiences will fill you and carry you with purpose-filled momentum more effortlessly because you will have an overarching, guiding mission.
How can you best use your unique talents, drives, and even what calls to you? This is a good first step in developing your personal mission statement.
Creating Your Own Personal Mission Statement
Let’s think about your passions and what calls to you. Consider the things that make you feel happy, free, or creative. What makes your spirit sing? Connect those things with a higher cause that feels good to you. Coupling these is the beginning of creating your personal mission statement.
POPP is an acronym for Personality, Opportunity, People, and Places. These four things are the POPP of your life — they can help you discover and implement your mission. These four dynamics contain a myriad of valuable information. Let’s look closely at your life experiences and discover emerging patterns that will direct you toward your calling.
Over the course of our lives, beginning in our childhood, we receive clues or guides that begin to let us know our strengths, and where our heart and attention likes to be. Begin to consider, then list these things so that an identification emerges and feeds into your statement.
Watch Rabbi Simon’s short video here.
What are some of the things most important to you? Is it helping families get along better? Helping animals find safe, loving homes? Making people laugh? Bringing people joy and connection? Maybe it is focused on children? Think about the things that you naturally like to do — things that feel helpful and add something in some way beneficial to the world. The cause you connect to your natural abilities, personality, and passions does not have to be a big, formal cause. It can be borne of an affinity to help the elderly, and a desire to help make their lives more joyful or easier.
Think With a More Broad Perspective
If you feel drawn towards bringing joy and connection to people, for example, you may ask yourself each day: “How can I bring more joy and connection to people today?” It may not always be a grand gesture; it may be in the little things.
Think more broadly as you begin to pair your inherent characteristics, with a cause to create your personal mission statement. What is behind a desire to bring more joy and connection to people? It may be the compassion within your knowing that people sometimes carry burdens they do not speak of or get help for. Some people are lonely and miss feeling more connected to others.
Compassion, understanding, knowing, empathy, and connection are key themes in this example. Where can you use these unique-to-you characteristics?
Considering today’s level of social distancing and uncertainty, you may have more specific inspirations to bring more compassion and connection into the world. Consider using some of your leisure time sending notes to friends, family, or acquaintances on social media rather than scrolling and consuming negative messages. Each instance of these examples integrates the themes we discovered of compassion, understanding, knowing, empathy, and connection.
Put Your Statement to Work
This is not a test, and you may have several ideas about how best to craft your mission statement from your likes, personality, opportunities, and so on. So try a few out! See how they work for you. Do they help guide your day and your choices in a way that feels aligned? You must discover or rediscover who you really are, what you really love, and what is valuable and important to you. Enjoy this inner adventure.
Once you come to recognize your calling, all of your tools and resources will take on a new and focused direction. May you be blessed to discover and embrace your mission and implement it in your daily routines. In fact, you can say goodbye to some current routines or lack thereof, for when you know your mission, even the most basic activities are charged with meaning. And this is how you live a mission-driven life that brings you more happiness and purpose.