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You’re here for a reason. No matter how small you feel now, or how insignificant others may made you feel in the past, you have a purpose. Take the time to write your personal mission statement. It will bring some light and direction into your life.
You may have some hard time finding it, that’s true, but rest assured everybody has. As long as you don’t give up and really try to find it, at some point, it will reveal. And how would you know it’s your personal mission statement and not some borrowed mumbo jumbo?
Well, just do it. Live by it. See how you feel. If there’s enthusiasm and passion in your life, your personal mission statement is the right one. Those are the only two ingredients to assess: enthusiasm and passion.
Your personal mission statement is the phrase which puts back passion into your life. And make you live it enthusiastically.
How To Find Your Personal Mission Statement
A few years ago, when I was more into personal development than I am now, I was very keen on my personal mission statement. I invested a lot of time and energy in this topic. I went through a few versions, tested them and did my best to get the best out of them.
It was a rather difficult process. When you say “personal mission statement” it sounds so definitive and so clear. Like you really know what you’re talking about. Well, not so much. The process is rather tedious. It’s also very time consuming.
You know, some things, like the content of your breakfast, can be decided in a very short time frame. You get up, brush your teeth, go to the fridge and then decide what you’re going to eat. Easy.
Try to do the same with your personal mission statement. Hint: it won’t work.
For some people, finding their personal mission statement becomes their personal mission statement, if you know what I mean. They quit unsatisfying jobs, break out from frozen relationships, only to get in touch with themselves, to find “their true core”. And they do this for so long, that it becomes a lifestyle. They’re on a journey to discover themselves for years.
Truth is we’re all longing for meaning in our lives. We all share this deep feeling of belonging, of something bigger, of a more profound sense of the world. We all want to live a meaningful life. And, somehow, finding and then living by a personal mission statement works like a scaffold for it.
The problem is we get so caught in this scaffold that we forget about the building nearby. We focus on the personal mission statement and forget about fulfilling the mission.
Like I said, I walked many paths to find my personal mission statement.
For a while, I thought that my mission is to inspire other people, through writing. I still think I can inspire other people, but I don’t feel this like a personal mission anymore.
Then, for another while, I thought my mission is to wander around, as a digital nomad, to experiment and share a new lifestyle. It was good. Actually, it was great. For a while.
Then, I thought my mission is to help people connect. That’s pretty much where I am right now, I’m in the “connector” stage (hence all the occurrences of this word in my last couple of years projects: Open Connect, Connect Hub, etc).
If you carefully look at those 3 examples, you may find a very subtle resemblance. I will give you a few seconds, just look carefully. Found it? Nope? Ok.
The resemblance is that my personal mission, as different and fluid as it was in each of those 3 iterations, was never about myself, as it was about others. To inspire “others”. To experiment and “share” a new lifestyle. To connect “people”.
That’s where you should start, from that subtle common thing, if you’re looking for your personal mission. As I said, the process is not easy, nor fast. But as you gather experience, as you try and fail many times, as you learn, you understand that this whole “personal mission statement” has something very misleading in it.
It’s not about the “personal” as it is about “mission”. The “personal” part is overrated. It’s not personal as in “being about yourself”, it’s more like “this is your individual part from the bigger activity stream”.
Because that’s where people get stuck most of the time, at the personal level. They think (and I did that too, for years) that it has to do with themselves. I have to do this, I have to feel good about what I did, I have to, I, I, I.
You’ll never get it, if you remain at the “I” level.
Because it’s not about the “I” as we perceive it. It’s about the “I” as it fits into the bigger picture.
In much simpler words, your mission is what are you good at, for other people. It’s the service you can bring to others. It’s how you benefit others.
In the beginning, this realization may feel bad. Because we have our likes and dislikes and we may feel disappointed. “But I like so much doing this and it seems nobody needs it. I feel so good giving advice but nobody seems to care.” Well, that’s it. Keep it to yourself, if you really like it and then turn the page. See what else you have in the book that can benefit others.
At some point, you will find an intersection point. There will be at least one activity that you feel good doing and that will benefit others too.
That’s the starting point. That’s where you should stay for a while and keep doing it, until you sharpen the focus.