What is Your Mission and Vision in Life?
Recently I was asked to describe my mission in life and what I do on a daily basis to fulfill that mission. My answer was threefold: to grow, to contribute, and to experience.
If you’ve been hanging around here for a while you may have heard me say that I believe the purpose of life is to grow – mentally, spiritually, physically, emotionally, and financially. To that end it’s no surprise that I would say my mission in life is to grow. I do not want to stay the same person forever, limited by my past, my weaknesses, or my belief system. My mission is to grow. I want to push past anything hindering me and reach heights I didn’t even know existed.
My mission is also to contribute. From mission trips in Haiti and Colombia to mentoring young girls I live for contribution. I want to make a difference – or else what’s the point of life? My mission in life and everything I do is to contribute. And when I feel that what I’m doing doesn’t contribute to anything or anyone I have a hard time staying motivated. (A double edged sword). It’s why this blog exists. It’s an avenue through which I get to contribute.
Lastly, my mission is to experience life. I want to live. I mean truly live. My need to experience life led me to Ghana, skiing, trying crazy food, investing in real estate to fund those experiences and just being open to what life has to offer in general. If I’ve never done it before chances are I’m game. I crave experiences.
That’s my mission in life. My vision is to make contribution my life’s work (aka career), to build wealth, to grow into the woman that is capable of doing so, and to experience life, love, and family.
So enough about me. What about you? What is Your Mission and Vision in Life?
Let’s start with some definitions:
- Mission: an important assignment, a calling.
- Vision: a view or idea of how something could be in the future.
I often say that your purpose pulls you. It wants you as much as you want it.
What’s purpose have to do with mission? A mission is an assignment. It’s something that you are tasked or called to do. Your mission enables you to fulfill your purpose. Here’s an example. I’m Christian and so this is the first thing that comes to mind. If this is not your belief system no biggie. As they say – eat the meat, spit out the bones.
The purpose of Jesus coming to the earth was to save the world. His “important assignment” or mission was to teach and to lead by example.
You can identify your mission by understanding your purpose. What pulls you? What’s the thing you cannot shake? Where is the intersection of your strengths, interests, gifts, and passion? And how does this intersection collide with the needs of the world or your community?
“As God has not made anything useless in this world, as all beings fulfill obligations or a role in the sublime drama of Creation, I cannot exempt from this duty, and small though it be, I too have a mission to fill, as for example: alleviating the sufferings of my fellowmen.” – Jose Rizal
What needs do you even see? I can see things you can’t see. I can see needs, opportunities, weaknesses, etc. that you can’t. And you can see things that I can’t see. I can’t always see what doesn’t interest me. Have you ever thought, “Why can’t I come up with ideas like such and such?” I think that ALL THE TIME when I’m watching a million dollar business on Shark Tank.
If you can’t see something it’s probably not apart of your mission or purpose. This isn’t to say that you can’t condition yourself to see opportunities. But if you’ve been a part of something for a while – a job, business opportunity, etc. – and you can’t see those opportunities or needs it’s probably not your purpose.
When you get clear on your purpose, the thing that pulls you, you can pinpoint your important assignments.
Your vision is a result of your mission. Back to the example of Jesus. Jesus’ vision is that believers would come to know God, trust God, obey God, and have everlasting life.
What’s the result of you fulfilling your mission? What could the future be? What could your future be?
Knowing your vision is important because it keeps you committed. It also determines how you direct your efforts in the short term. If something isn’t aligned with your vision you probably don’t need to be focused on that thing. I know people who have stated that their vision is the be an entrepreneur. Yet, they spend all their time and energy focused on the next big promotion at work. Don’t get me wrong. Getting promoted is a great thing. But if you have a choice of spending your extra time and energy building your business or building the career you said you wanted to leave you should choose the former.
“The path from dreams to success does exist. May you have the vision to find it, the courage to get on to it, and the perseverance to follow it.” – Kalpana Chawla
When we lose sight of the vision we tend to focus on short term gains. Knowing and holding your vision directs today’s actions. It keeps you focused on the long term vision.
✨ Travel 5 years into the future. What do you want to see? Based on what you’re doing today what will you see?
✨ Travel 10 years into the future. What do you want to see? Based on what you’re doing today what will you see?
✨ Travel 20 years into the future. What do you want to see? Based on what you’re doing today what will you see?
Take the future you want to see and work backwards. What do you need to be doing today to get you there? Don’t limit your vision to what you think is possible. Don’t limit your vision to where you are today. Allow yourself to image your dream future without any limitations. When you put limits on your vision you stifle yourself. Dream big and dream often.
I talk more about purpose and vision in From Caterpillar to Butterfly: Transform the Life You Have into the Life You Love
Mission, Vision, and Purpose Statements
Based on all that I’ve just said, let’s write your statements out. This is a great exercise because it ensures that all three are aligned. If they are not aligned something’s not right.
Your Personal Purpose Statement:
(The first three will help you formulate the purpose statement)
My interests, gifts, and strengths:
The needs I see around me are:
The thing that “pulls” me is:
My purpose is:
Your Personal Mission Statement:
I can use my interests, gifts, and strengths to meet the needs around me by:
My important assignment is:
Your Personal Vision Statement:
My hope(s) for the future is (are):
Now ask yourself does your mission allow you to fulfill your purpose? Is your vision the result of you carrying out your mission?
If you answered yes to both questions, GREAT! You are on the right path.
If you answered no to either question revisit your statements.
It’s important you get this right. Imagine if Jesus had no idea what His purpose or mission was. How do you think He would have spent His days on earth? Fishing for fish instead of men? Hanging out, chillaxing all day? When you don’t have a clear idea of your own unique mission or vision you wander your way through life. I take it that you already know that, which is why you’re here. You tried of wandering through your life without clarity on what you’re here for.
With all that being said, no skip over this.
More Than One Mission and Vision?
I’m often asked is it possible to have more than one mission, vision, or purpose. Yes! It is. Your mission as a mother is not the same as your mission as a woman. If your mission in life was simply to be a mother and raise productive members of society what would you do when your children move out the house?
You can have a different purpose, mission, and vision for various areas and stages of life.
Which area of life should you focus on for this exercise? All. But if you had to choose one, choose the one you are most unsure of.
Again, your life’s mission and vision is such an important topic. It’s something you should know. To take it one step further you should life out your mission and work towards your vision every day. How will you make sure your mission and vision are apart of how you live your life everyday?
Get started today!
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