I published my mission statement on my site, and I've referred to it many times over the past 5 years. And the longer I've had it, the more I love it -- mostly because it has been broad enough to encompass all the various iterations of work I've had during those years. It helped keep me focused as I wrote my first book (and write my new book). It has kept me focused for my speaking career. And for my coaching work. And I can already tell that going forward, whatever may lie ahead, I'll be able to continue to refer to it to keep me headed toward my true north. Because it reflects what I want my legacy to be.
Now, writing a mission statement for yourself may seem as silly to you as my father's suggestion seemed to me over 30 years ago; but if it doesn't, I'd strongly recommend writing one for yourself -- it has really be powerful when making big decisions about my life. You don't have to publicize it, like I did -- in fact, I think it would be just as powerful to write one and then keep it tucked away somewhere, to refer to whenever you have a decision to make, and you're not sure what to do.
To get started, ask yourself the following questions:
Grab a pen and paper (or your journal), and actually spend some time writing down your answers. You'll appreciate having them all in one place to reflect on as you write your personal mission statement.
1) What are the things you love to do? This should include hobbies, things you love to do at work, things that you would do whether or not you got paid to do it. For me, those things include photography and writing. What do they include for you?
2) What are things that you know that you're really good at? Another way to ask yourself this question: what do people thank you for?
3) What are things you're passionate about? This could include things that you love, but they might also include things that make you angry, and you want to fight against (like, bigotry, racism, etc.)
4) What do you want to be remembered for? What do you want your legacy to be? What do you hope people say about you when you're not around? What message do you hope people walk away with when they experience your work?
Once you've got the answers to these questions, try writing your personal mission statement using what you've written down as prompts. To help you think about what your statement should say, think about it as a series of sentences beginning with "I will ..."
Have fun, friends. And if you're so inclined (but only if you're so inclined, no pressure!), please share a statement or two in the comments. I'd love to read what you all stand for.