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Why You Need a Personal Mission Statement if You’re Serious About Achieving Your Goals




“Embrace the Human Spirit and Let it Fly” at first glance seems like a New Age quote from a poster hanging in a yoga studio somewhere. While it would certainly make for a trendy t-shirt slogan, it is the company mission statement from Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Atlantic.

One of the first things any entrepreneur with a big idea and lofty goals creates is their company’s mission statement. In many business curriculums, coming up with a mission statement is seen as an integral part of honing what the general purpose of a particular business is as well as figuring out the target customer. You would be hard pressed to find a single Fortune 500 company without a company mission statement, yet as individuals we are often plodding through life without a similar vision to guide our actions.

Developing a personal mission statement is an integral part of building the foundation for a successful life. In an increasingly connected world moving at breakneck speed, it can be disorienting to try and discern which opportunities will likely yield the highest payout towards your professional and personal success.

As deep work becomes more valued as a top skill, few of us can continue to multitask and expect to succeed. With a mission statement firmly in place, you view the world through a particular lens, using it as a barometer of what you should be focusing on and when it might be best to shift gears towards more fruitful projects or tasks.

If you have never crafted a mission statement, it can be daunting to try and come up with one, especially if you’re not used to introspection. Fortunately, there are some easy steps you can take which will reduce the stress of creating a mission statement and set you on a path towards achieving your goals.

1. Take notice of your values

A value-driven personal mission statement is going to generate the most benefit because it will be in harmony with your core beliefs and serve the mission aspect. Ask yourself how you would like to be remembered or what you hope friend’s family and colleagues would say about you if asked by a stranger.

Write down anything in a notebook or on a file which you feel defines who you are and is important. Take your time in this information gathering process as there isn’t a special prize for creating a mission statement in five minutes. A mission statement should strongly reflect your inner values and core beliefs, even if that takes days or weeks to come up with.

“To succeed in your mission, you must have single-minded devotion to your goal.” – A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

2. Solicit feedback from family and trusted friends

If you feel comfortable sharing with people who are close to you that you’re working on developing a personal mission statement, then they can be an invaluable resource. If you have a tendency to be self-critical, friends and family can provide a much needed source of inspiration as they know you best.

Friends and family can also remind you of situations where you felt particularly accomplished and proud because what is important to them is also likely to be important to you in crafting your mission statement.

3. Bring it all together in actual written form

While the mission statement is a personal motto, actually creating a final product and displaying it in a visible place is an integral part of the process. Crafting a personal mission statement and then shoving your creation in a file drawer or leaving it stranded in a file somewhere on your computer is not going to help you move closer to your goals.

Take a cue from the world’s most successful companies who proudly display their mission statements as soon as you enter their building or feature them prominently on their websites and other materials. My own mission statement hangs prominently in my desk at work and is the very first page of my personal journal.

“A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Finally, keep in mind that a personal mission statement doesn’t have to be clever or a particular length to be effective. It is your own compass, written in your unique voice to help steer you toward the activities which are going to create the most meaning in your life and align you closer with your goals.

Whether short and sweet or a full page of affirmations, a personal mission statement puts you one step ahead along the greats such as Richard Branson’s and Mark Zuckerberg.

Do you have a mission statement for your life? Share it with us in the comments below!

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Monica Lannom is a PHD candidate in Biology.  When she is not doing research or chasing after her dogs she writes about careers, productivity and balanced living on her website Follow her on Twitter @life_fuller.



  1. Monica

    Oct 25, 2017 at 2:50 am

    Thanks so much Thom. Glad you liked it!

  2. Thom

    Oct 24, 2017 at 6:27 am

    Essential reading. Great work.

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Don’t Want To Feel Like A Failure Anymore? Stop Doing These 6 Things



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It’s pretty annoying isn’t it? All those great and accomplished people telling you that FAILURE is a necessity on your way to success. Yeah, that’s easy for them to say; they’re already ‘on the other side’! You on the other hand, are still struggling all day everyday to get your business lifted off the ground and are really not that sure if you’re indeed going to make it.

There’s that little voice in your head that keeps telling you that you don’t have the stuff to make it all happen. Not now and not ever. You feel like a failure…it’s holding you back and you don’t know how to deal with it. Well you could do yourself a favor and start dealing with it by doing the following things:

1. Stop Denying You Feel Like A Failure

Telling yourself things are going great when they’re not is one of the biggest, though most useless, coping mechanisms human beings deploy in rough times. Common denial signals among entrepreneurs: trying to regain more control by working even more hours and on the other side compensating this by letting go of all this control by partying and drinking way too hard.

What you’re doing is denying yourself the opportunity to actually feel what’s going on and acknowledge the problem; that both you and your business are in a bad place. Without acknowledging it, it’ll be pretty difficult to actually STOP feeling it. And remember, just because you feel like a failure, this does not mean that you indeed ARE a failure!

2. Stop Making It Bigger Than it Really Is

This is one of those other ‘fun’ things human beings do; we blow things way out of proportion in our heads! In business, when you lose that big client you’ve been working on for weeks, it feels like it’s the end of the world. You start doubting yourself, your strategy, your entire business model right up to the point where you barely sleep because you’re working on pivoting the whole thing.

But what if that customer simply didn’t have the money to go for your service anyway? Or what if they just decided to go for someone who is cheaper but who offers less quality? Does that mean there’s something wrong with YOU? Or that this was the ONLY customer out there and that you’re now doomed forever?

Of course not, it simply means that THIS CUSTOMER wasn’t a match. It’s a bit like dating actually…So if you take this into consideration, could it be that you just feel like a failure instead of really not succeeding in that what you want to at this point in time?

3. Stop Thinking You’re The Only One Who Feels Like This

You’re not! With the possible exception of the true sociopaths, that feeling you’re feeling is very normal to EVERYONE. It might not seem like it on the outside – because people don’t like to acknowledge this remember – but I can guarantee you that it’s true. But unlike 99% of the world’s population, YOU’RE not going to let this feeling stop you in your tracks. Are you?

4. Stop Thinking You’re Supposed To Be Superhuman

In fact, it’s very likely that you’re already doing, learning and succeeding at WAY more than most other people are. But for entrepreneurs, somehow, that never seems to be enough. You don’t just want to be successful after a few years of hard work (which is normal). You want to be successful after only a few months. Because you’re special…or at least you think you are…

Well, here’s the truth: you ARE special! But…it’s just not very likely that you’re one of those – very very rare – entrepreneurial superstars that – seemingly – just added some hot water and got instant business success as a result.

5. Stop Being So Incredibly Stubborn

Entrepreneurs are stubborn…almost by default. It’s what makes them push forward in the hardest of times. But…if you’re not doing the right things right you might just be hammering a square peg through a round hole. Which will only add to that frustrated feeling you’re already having. So why not stop being so stubborn for a moment, stop hammering away on that what obviously is not working and ask for help?

No matter who you ask – a business mentor or coach, a befriended entrepreneur – someone with a neutral perspective on you and our business will be very likely to see what’s going on with a lot more clarity than you can and can guide you to a place that will feel a whole lot more comfortable.

6. Stop Being Afraid Of Failure

I know, I know, you’ve heard this a million times before and you wouldn’t be in this pickle if you could do this. Right? I’m right there with ya!

But, if you get really rational about it, what’s the worst that could happen?

  • You might have to get a ‘real’ job for a while and start over on the side;
  • You might not be able to afford your rent anymore…but with Airbnb on the 1 hand and couchsurfing on the other, you should be able to work it out somehow;
  • You’ll have all the more experience to start over a whole lot faster;
  • You’ll be no less respected by anyone because it’s clear you gave it your all;
  • In a few years, when you’re an established and supersuccessful entrepreneur you’ll also have a cool failure story to tell;
  • None of your limbs will fall off;

Now that’s not too bad for a plan B is it? Failure is such a negative word. And the associated feeling is terrible and numbing. But really…how is giving it your all and not succeeding really the same as failing? Shouldn’t the definition of failure not be along the lines of ‘not even trying’ or ‘giving up when it gets hard’?

In other words: stop beating yourself up over this!

There’s really no need to feel like a failure at all because you’re sticking your neck out, you’re trying to make a difference and you’re still moving upward on that treacherous entrepreneurial mountain.

And that…is what success REALLY is.

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Quotes To Live By:

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy

“If you don’t try at anything, you can’t fail… it takes back bone to lead the life you want” – Richard Yates

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

“We are all failures – at least the best of us are.” – J.M. Barrie

“Success is stumbling form failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm” – Winston Churchill

“Don’t let success go to your head and failure to your heart” – Will Smith

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