One of my favorite Public Relations professors has repeatedly pooh-poohed the role of mission statements in an organization, and I’ve seen many that are just a string of Thesaurus.com power words at the bottom of corporate letterhead.
But today another equally-respected professor charged me with the task of drafting a personal mission statement for myself as a working document to reference as I attempt to build the daunting IKEA bookshelf that is my future. In a Google-fueled attempt to find any sort of direction, I stumbled upon the Franklin Covey Mission Statement Builder, a website that uses short, clever, and thought-provoking prompts to magically translate all your unspoken dreams and musings into a simple one-page PDF document.
At the risk of sounding like a PDF changed my life, I strongly recommend giving it a whirl if you’re ever overcome by a streak of introspection, have 30 minutes to kill, or want to trick yourself (and others) that you have your life together.
Despite staring at a blank word document for the better part of an evening, after 15 minutes of Mad-Libs: Feelings Edition, I ended up with this:
I can do anything I set my mind to. I will share stories with the world, I will travel the world, and I will change the world.
I will enjoy my work by building a career where I can write, collaborate, utilize creativity, and promote others. I will find enjoyment in my personal life through investing in people who I love and motivate me to be the best version of myself. I will find opportunities to use my natural talents and gifts such as writing, speaking, leading, and bringing laughter to others.
I will be a person who passionately pursues excellence not just in my work, but more importantly in my relationships, my personal life, and my faith.
I will strive to incorporate the attributes of determination, elegance, and humor into my life.
My most important future contribution to others will be helping them find their own personal mission through the understanding of their inherent self-worth, and the vision of a purposeful future.
Ambitious? Yes. Self-righteous? Possibly. But I’d rather partially succeed at greatness than be an expert at average.