Do You Need A Personal Mission Statement?

 
 

BY TYSON POPPLESTONE

 

THE NIGHT I WROTE MY MISSION STATEMENT

In early December 2015 I was sitting in a café in Kathmandu drinking Nepalese tea and journaling about how I could best use my talents and passions from that night forward.

I had been in Nepal for a little over a month with a Canadian mountain climbing company who were considering whether I was an eligible candidate to climb Mt Everest with them in April-May this year. As I had no mountain climbing experience, I had been feeling a little pressure to perform in the month that had led up to this moment. 

In order to qualify to climb Everest, I had to climb two mountains, both of them over 6000m.

Not a huge ask, but a challenge.  

On the morning of my first climb in mid November 2015, I woke at 1.00am for our 2.00am start. I packed my bag and ate some porridge.

Terrible decision. 

This turned out to be a famous bowl of porridge on my trip as it gave me the worst dose of food poisoning I have ever experienced. Within forty minutes I was vomiting, shaking, and in no shape to be out of bed, let alone climbing mountains. 

At that moment, Everest 2016 was over.

Despite getting to the top of the next mountain, the deal was, I had to climb both.

The twelve months of work that had led to this moment played on my mind.

I was disappointed. 

Really disappointed. 

I was craving a fresh sense of hope. 

I was wondering whether Everest would be something I would do again, or if it had just been something that excited me, rather than something I was actually passionate about.

Maybe I had confused excitement for passion?

At this time, I had been reading Stephen Covey's book 'The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People' in which he speaks of how so many of us are swayed and distracted by the shiny things in life. 

The exciting things that we busy ourselves with, so that we never really have time to decide what it is we are trying to achieve. 

I didn't want to be in that category,

But...I was

His thoughts?

Write a mission statement. 

 

WHAT IS A MISSION STATEMENT?

A written declaration made by an individual to clarify their core focus. 

 

WHY WRITE A MISSION STATEMENT?

  • To keep your priorities clear
     
  • To simplifiy your decision making process
     
  • To help you focus
     
  • To establish what you value most

 

HOW DO YOU WRITE A MISSION STATEMENT?

How your statement is structured is not as important as what it contains. Simply start by answering these questions.

  • How would you like to be remembered?
     
  • How would you like people to describe you?
     
  • What is it you want to be?
     
  • Who matters most to you?
     
  • What matters most to you?
     
  • How do you define success?
     
  • What will make your life great?

I started by writing down pages of qualities that I most respect about people I know, that I would like to develop in my own life. Over the following months I edited and adjusted it.  

If you would like a little more help putting a statement together, click here.

 

MY PERSONAL MISSION STATEMENT

Those who know me well will know that I have a long way to go in so many of these character traits. The aim is to develop them, not to make you believe I've reached them yet. 

  1. Love always wins

  2. Never compromise honesty

  3. Seek counsel from others

  4. Defend the absent

  5. Be decisive

  6. Seek to understand others

  7. Think carefully before every purchase

  8. Stress has no place in my life

  9. Be known for patience

  10. Be known for positivity

  11. Keep a sense of humour

  12. Listen more than I speak

  13. Don't fear mistakes

  14. Don't chase praise or fame

  15. Start each day with a great routine

  16. Only commit to what I love

  17. Be flexible, not perfect

  18. Continue to ask "What will make it better"?

  19. Begin with the end in mind

  20. Speak confidently and kindly when asked my opinion

  21. Act brave when I'm not

  22. Choose my focus carefully

  23. Rest every Saturday

  24. Speak into the potential of others

  25. Be extremely generous

  26. Faithful husband with eyes, mind and body

  27. Choose language carefully

  28. Show interest in everyone

  29. Nurture your health

  30. Give people hope through coaching