Crafting your personal mission and vision statements
A guiding set of principles or core values are important for every organization, but they’re also important for individuals. Creating a mission and vision statement for yourself gives you stability and direction to create the life you want to live. When new opportunities arise, you’ll be able to see how they fit in with what you hope to become, helping to ease any guesswork in long-term planning. While discipline to principle is critical to a life well lived, tactical plans can and should change over time. In terms of what principles to include, each individual must decide what is important to them. Here are five core concepts to consider:
Deepening your level of commitment comes through practice and is often in the service of others, whether for a cause, organization, or set of core beliefs. One of the best ways to do this is by simply getting involved with your local community, like volunteering to sit on a board, participating in a campaign, or attending an event. By making definitive choices and actively engaging, you are setting yourself up for success. There is no shortcut, and this principle will compound to your benefit as you stick with it.
Making and keeping commitments is accelerated by having solid decision-making skills and making these decisions without second-guessing. Strong decision-making skills become increasingly important when developing into a position of influence. The power to choose with clarity and decisiveness can become a superpower. Unfortunately, many people struggle to choose due to “analysis paralysis” or not liking the trade-offs, but we all must remember that no decision is still a decision. Individuals can offset the uncertainty by developing a rubric to follow, such as not spending more than five minutes on a decision that will not matter in five years.
The ability to commit to and process decisions are clear indicators of directional progress. Strategic movement gets you closer to your desired destination. Sometimes it’s simply the next step in a long journey, such as taking a job that might not be perfect but gets you one step closer to the career you want or working on a community project to meet more people in your industry sector. If something feels like a side-step or lateral movement, that does not necessarily mean it is a step backward or in the wrong direction. No matter what stage you are in, you still have the opportunity to learn and grow from every experience. Never be afraid to start something new. The main thing to remember is that when you get stuck, realize quickly that it’s time to get moving.
"Deepening your level of commitment comes through practice and is often in the service of others, whether for a cause, organization, or set of core beliefs."
There is no better gift you can give yourself than a personal investment. Continuously growing your skills and experience will help expand your knowledge and expose you to new opportunities. Take a certification online, sign up for a professional development course from a local university or college, or attend an industry conference. There is no wrong way to go about it. Businesses always look for talented individuals who challenge themselves to become better, more well-rounded people.
Finally, cultivating a sense of exploration has been critical to many great leaders throughout history. Albert Einstein examined physics, Ferdinand Magellan sailed the high seas, and today, Elon Musk is interested in the cosmos. The ability to approach opportunities without a preconceived notion will set you apart from others as you accumulate diverse experiences. Having a strong sense of curiosity and wonder, in addition to structured goals, can create a life that multiplies into community advancement and prosperity.