But, if you want to do something different. If you want to see real change and movement toward a goal, then a mission statement can help. The idea is to balance description, prescription and prediction in one statement. What this often leads to is huge, messy, cumbersome paragraphs that try to encompass everything that a person or organization values. You can't do that in one statement and if you try, it'll be worse than useless. It's like packing your back for vacation - you can't take everything you have at home. You have to choose just what you need for the trip and leave the rest behind.
Start with figuring out your values. These are the things that you get passionate about that make you unique. Your beliefs underlie your values and may not be unique, but your values are the beliefs that keep coming up. When you find yourself gravitating toward certain topics or getting excited about specific actions, you can know that you're touching on your values. Spend some time writing down your skills, abilities and personality traits. What picture emerges for you?
Here are my values:
· Understanding: Knowledge and intelligence are tools for personal and corporate change. Without taking time to understand an issue, a solution cannot be formulated. However, knowledge and intelligence must motivate action.
· Experimenting: Trying different options is the best way to find the right one. The process of disciplined experimentation makes the end-product better. Without failure, progress is stunted and slow. All experimentation must happen in the context of understanding. It then adds to the understanding and provides fodder for further experimentation.
· Inspiring: Deep understanding and refined experimenting must be shared with others and move them to action. Stasis is tantamount to death, aimless activity is not much better. Inspired, thoughtful, risk-taking action, however, can move individuals and organizations toward growth and health.