A personal mission statement can be one of your most liberating assets. With it, you can maintain focus on what’s most important to you and more rapidly evaluate new opportunities that come your way. Crafting a personal mission statement, however, can be somewhat daunting. If you’re like me, with a broad range of interests, it can be downright frustrating. Narrowing a mission to one thing can feel like picking a favorite child and giving the rest up for adoption. Even if you could, how do you decide among the array of possibilities?
That was my dilemma when I reevaluated my personal mission statement last year. I knew something needed to change because my prior mission statement failed to adequately capture both my professional and ministry interests. So I decided to subject myself to a month of harmonic scrutiny. The idea is simple and based on a few principles:
- We are uniquely crafted by God, each of us manifesting something of Himself as we set about to do what we were created to do (Eph 2:10).
- We will be held accountable for the gifts that have been entrusted to us. That’s stewardship and was the point of Jesus’ parable of the talents (Matt 25:14-30). Part of that stewardship is taking inventory of our design.
- We learn something about the way we’re made from our response to our environment. Musical instruments are crafted to capitalize on acoustic resonance—the innate natural frequencies which require little energy to produce. Likewise, we respond to the things that we do from day to day with more or less energy depending on our design. Focusing on the things that amplify our design resonance in part of discovering our perfect pitch.
So here’s what I did. Daily, I recorded the activities and interactions that either energized or depleted me. I didn’t bother recording events, activities and interactions to which I was neutral. After a month (it could be shorter or longer for you), I reviewed the results and looked for consistent themes. When I looked at my list, a clear pattern emerged. I liked interactions and activities that provoked change and stoked creative development, particularly entrepreneurial endeavors. As I looked over my list, I had another startling discovery. My interests weren’t as divergent as I had first thought. In fact, I equally enjoy applying change and breakthrough work to both personal and corporate development. As a result, my four word mission to ignite change & inspire breakthroughs was born and, with it, a clearer sense of my purpose.
If you’ve been struggling with crafting your personal mission statement, this exercise might be helpful. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you.
What are some other exercises you’ve found helpful to discover your wiring?