If you’re searching for a personal mission statement generator, there are many to choose from: from the silly What Is Your Purpose In Life Quiz by BuzzFeed to the serious Personal Mission Statement Generator by FranklinCovey with a multitude in between.
But there’s a problem with all of them.
Here is the core issue with these quick fix solutions…
They’re just that. Quick.
Defining your life’s purpose and writing a personal mission statement is important work. And it’s important work that only you can do.
If you’re feeling lost and like you don’t know what to do with your life, you’re wasting time trying to outsource the heavy lift to impersonal quizzes on the internet.
That’s the bad news.
But there is some incredible news, and it’s something I suspect you know deep down in your bones.
Here it is…
You already know what your purpose is.
And you have everything you need right now to write your personal mission statement yourself.
If those two statements feel untrue right now, I completely understand. I work with many people who feel lost when we first meet.
But here’s how I know that it is true for everyone - whether we’ve met before or not.
1. We all bring unique gifts to the world.
There are no exceptions to this rule. We all have special ways - both big and small - that only we can contribute to the world.
It all counts. It all matters. You matter.
Living your best life - which is to say a purpose-driven life - is the only way to both feel fulfilled and to send a ripple effect of positive change out into the world.
2. We all have an innate sense of what lights us up.
There are varying degrees of our own sense of internal knowing, but we do all know what we like.
Sometimes we are really clear about what we are both good at and passionate about.
Sometimes we’ve lost our sense of what we love most through messages we’ve received from those around us about the practicality of our gifts and what is of value in the world.
Either way, though, it’s in there. You know yourself best and, even if the flicker of passion is dimmed, I can help you fan that flame even higher.
3. The way we find our truest calling is by using the light of what we love to lead us there.
So often we’re told that we have to change ourselves to be of use in the world. That we have to adjust who we are to be of service to others.
What if we flipped that script? What if we started with who we naturally are and went deeper on that? What if we took a break from what the world tells us it wants or needs from us and, instead, dove inward and found what makes us most happy?
Like a treasure lying at the bottom of the deep well of our souls, we can pluck this gem from the darkness and bring it out to the light to share with the world.
That is the magic that you can create for yourself when you commit to crafting your personal mission statement.
Here’s how I suggest you go about it…
How To Generate Your Own Personal Mission Statement
This is an overview of how I help folks create their personal mission statements in my 8-week online course Big Why Life.
These steps are big so take your time with each and move through them in order to reap the greatest rewards and most uniquely you purpose statement you can muster.
Step 1: Consider your outside influences.
Motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said that you’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.
While we can’t prove that mathematically, there’s no denying that our beliefs and mindset are influenced to some degree by those around us.
What others believe or say can rub off on us or shape us, sometimes unknowingly, especially if we don’t take the time to step back to examine the impact they may have had.
So take a moment to get curious. Ask the people you spend the most time with lots of questions.
- Ask them what they believe.
- Ask them what they value most.
- Ask them how they view themselves.
- Ask them about how they see you.
- Ask them what they think your special gifts are.
You may be surprised at the clarity these questions give you about the unspoken beliefs that have rubbed off on you.
When it comes to the questions about you, your friends and family may be spot on and give you insight into a true version of yourself. Or you may find that their views of the world and of you don’t align with what you truly believe.
Either way, it’s information. And information is useful.
Don’t get emotionally sucked in. Step aside and observe.
Then decide how you will choose to move forward given this new information.
Step 2: Name your values.
Now that you’re seeing things more clearly and observing how others’ vision of you might be shaping your life, it’s time to state your values.
What matters to you? Truly.
Be careful not to fall into the trap of what should matter to you. Think about the things that genuinely light you up from the doing itself.
- When are you most in flow?
- When are you happiest?
- When do you feel most proud of yourself?
What values do these moments and actions illuminate as mattering most to you?
To help you get started, here’s a short list of values to guide your efforts….
These words are merely a jumping off point. Feel free to get creative.
The most important thing is to find 5-10 words that resonate deeply with you.
They should primarily represent your current values, but feel free to toss 1 or 2 values that you’d like to begin living out more fully.
Step 3: Envision your ideal life.
Now that you’ve named your values, it’s time to think about what you want out of life.
In my online course about purpose, I call this step Blue Sky Dreaming.
What you want matters. Your genuine desires deserve a seat at the table.
Keep in mind that these may or may not correlate exactly with the values you named, but it’s certainly not a one-to-one measure.
That said, in the same way that previously unnoticed outside influences may have been shaping some of your decisions, now that you’ve named your values and brought them into full view, they will naturally show up here.
Without forcing it, your values will help shape a life that is more in alignment with your highest vision for your life
Step 4: Write your personal mission statement.
Creating a personal mission statement for your life is no small feat.
In fact, we take 2 full modules to explore how to write your Big Why statement in the course.
But you can begin writing your personal mission statement by bringing together your values and desires and mission in life into one sentence that:
- is narrow enough to give you clear, authentic direction
- is broad enough to be lived out in a multitude of areas in your life (personal, professional, community, etc.)
- leverages language that resonates with you on a visceral level
Examples of Personal Mission Statements
I help others actualize their unrealized potential.
I help others see the big picture with good-natured jackassery.
I bring harmony to my life and to others.
As you can see in these examples from myself and from Big Why Life graduates, these statements are clear and concise.
It will be apparent when you’re living your Big Why and also apparent when you’ve stepped off the path of purpose.
This kind of clarity - in a single sentence - is what we’re after.
Be patient with yourself. The crafting takes time. Explore it. Write your process. Play with the language and intent.
You will know it when you see it.
Your Next Right Step
Now the final step, of course, is to live with purpose, which is such a deep exploration that it comprises the final 3 modules of Big Why Life.
The crux of that work is that in order to live a life that feels fulfilling and worthwhile, you will want to spend some time each and every day taking action that aligns with your mission statement.
This hinges on cultivating solid daily habits and holding your long-term legacy in mind at the same time. With a little practice (and grace!), this work is both challenging and rewarding. It’s the good kind of effort that makes you feel proud at the end of a day.
Keep in mind, though, that it is 100% needed and necessary to step off the path of your purpose too.
Naming your purpose doesn’t mean you have to live your purpose 24/7.
The surprising little gift buried in this work is that I’ve found that crafting my mission statement has given me tremendous clarity around when I am living purposefully and when I’m resting. This clarity has helped me relax and know when a good day’s work has been done.
Peace of mind is a lovely side effect of naming your purpose. And we all could use a little more peace in our lives, right?
I invite you to join in and follow the steps above so you can begin taking action and enjoy both true fulfillment and genuine rest - what I’ve come to believe are two sides of the same purpose-driven coin.
And, if you’re so inclined, join my newsletter below. I’d love to hear how this work goes for you and the easiest way for us to keep in touch is for you to reply to the welcome email I’ll send when you join.
Hope to hear from you soon!