“People with clearly defined missions have always led those who haven’t any.  You are either living your mission, or you are living someone else’s.”

—Laurie Beth Jones, The Path: Creating Your Mission Statement for Work and for Life

It was said that during World War II, if an unidentified soldier appeared in the dark and could not state his mission, he was automatically shot. (1)

Mission in World War II was a matter of life and death.

It still is.

Do you know your mission in life?  If you don’t, how do you make decisions?  As the World Series begins tomorrow, I realized that I don’t care about it. At all.  But for the two team players, coaches, personnel, and fans, it matters. A lot.  Maybe the biggest goal of their life.

If you don’t know the target, it’s rather difficult to hit it. So the old adage goes, “if you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.”

Your mission is the most important thing you can do with your life. What are your life values? Can you name three? Can you name one? What are your unifying principles (overarching guiding principles that help you stay on purpose)? What do you want to accomplish in this world?

You might not know and that’s okay. But the sooner you discover your purpose and figure out your mission, the sooner you’ll be able to accomplish it. The sooner you will have a lens through which to make decisions. Here are some questions to meditate on to begin crafting your personal mission statement:

  • If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
  • If you could influence a cause, what would you choose?
  • What are some issues that you’re passionate about?
  • What are you really good at?  Where do these overlap?

 

Here are some helpful links to begin developing a personal mission statement:

  1. How to write a mission statement in 5 easy steps.
  2. How to write a mission statement in 3 easy steps.
  3. 12 inspiring company mission statements.
  4. Franklin Covey’s how to build a personal mission statement.  (you have to give your email).
  5. How to write a personal mission statement (in the Christian faith)
  6. Michael Hyatt’s helpful 3 questions.

(1) Laurie Beth Jones, The Path: Creating Your Mission Statement for Work and Life (New York: Hachette Books, 2001)

Pete Hardesty

Author Pete Hardesty

Pete Hardesty is the Director of Young Life College at James Madison University. He grew up in Baltimore, went to college at UVA, and has worked for Young life ever since, first in Virginia Beach and now in the Friendly City of Harrisonburg, VA. During that time, he crammed 3 years of grad school into 17 finally getting an M.Div from RTS in 2014.

Likes: His nieces, Ravens football, college people (even though they make him feel old), movies, cigars, Thai food, the Middle East.
Dislikes: Country music, tomatoes, shrimp, rice crispy treats, and wet socks.

Pete believes because we only get one shot at this life we need to figure out what matters and give ourselves to it. Let’s make it count. If you have a problem with this, he challenges you to meet him behind the dumpster after school to fight.

More posts by Pete Hardesty