I’ve had a mission statement on this site for a few years now. I’ve felt uncomfortable with it almost since I wrote it, and this year I plan to make a revision.
What’s wrong with the statement? I have a few things that bother me.
- It doesn’t say anything about my family, my friends, and in particular my kids. They’re why I’m here and what I work for; shouldn’t that be part of my mission?
- It doesn’t talk about the epicurean way of living I tend to live by. Where is the travel, the cooking, the good conversations with friends, the board games, the making of family traditions? Taking joy in making things, in having ideas and writing about them?
- I don’t like the Role section. It acknowledges a lot of privilege but also sounds a lot like bragging. What purpose does it serve?
- I’m also not sure about the Beliefs section. I think it could easily be subsumed into Values.
- It’s got a lot of meta-comments. I think those should speak for themselves.
- It mixes up “mission” and “vision”, which I think might not be the same.
- I don’t know if I need “Strategies” either. I think this statement is the Why, not the How.
- I don’t see anything about climate in there. I don’t see anything about biodiversity. These seem like the most important issues for me to work on, and they’re not represented in my mission statement.
- I don’t see anything about passenger rail transportation. This feels like a part of the climate effort that I can put a shoulder behind, but I don’t have a place for it.
- And, also, I kind of threw together this mission statement without doing a lot of research on how people write them. Maybe there are other formats or templates that could be clearer.
I know, I know; it’s a lot of navel-gazing over a document about my ideas and beliefs. But how else am I going to know what to do with my one wild and precious life? Maybe it’s obvious to everyone else, but I need to write it down.
So, I’ve been looking at ways to update and improve my statement. Here’s what I’ve read.
- Mission statement and Vision statement on Wikipedia
- This concise article about writing a mission statement by answering four questions
- This three-step process for writing a mission statement from Howard Schultz
- This Indeed article about writing a personal mission statement
I’m still getting through it all, but I think the eventual outcome will be a smaller document, with a vision statement and a bounded list of personal values.
Do you know how to use your life? How did you figure it out? Did you write it down, or is it more like a Vibe? Let me know.