Why You Should Write Personal Mission, Vision and Values Statements

Most decisions are truly ours to make, but the decision-making process may be stressful because we cannot always predict the consequences. What criteria can we use to help us select the best choices for our lives? One way is to write and implement personal mission, vision and values statements. Really?  Let's go on a journey....

Companies use mission, vision and values statements as a scale when weighing the pros and cons of business ventures. For an example, a successful toy company with a vision to become the largest toy company in the world will probably say 'yes' to an opportunity to invest money in advertisements, but 'no' to selling cheeseburgers. Why? Selling cheeseburgers does not align with the mission of a toy company. Do companies decide to expand their vision and invest in other industries? Occasionally, yes. However, most successful companies stay true to their mission, vision and values, and only change them after careful consideration of the effect a new direction may have on their brand.

Defined: Mission, Vision and Values Statements:
     Mission - Purpose. Reasons for existence
        Vision  - Long-term goals
          Values  - Beliefs. Standards used to evaluate choices

Below are summaries of the mission, vision and values statements of selected successful global companies. Notice the specificity of each statement.

Company Name
To refresh the world in mind, body and spirit.

Offering the world a portfolio of drinks brands that anticipate and satisfy people's desires and needs.
Our shared values guide our actions and describe how we behave in the world: People, Portfolio, Partners, Planet, Profit and Productivity.
To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. If you have a body, you are an athlete.
To remain the most authentic, connected, and distinctive brand.
We’re committed to creating better, more sustainable future for our people, planet and communities through the power of sport.
Air Travel
“… dedicated to bettering standards of living and the environment where we and our customers live and work.”
To be the World's Most Trusted Airline.
Honesty: always tell the truth
Integrity: always keep your deals
Respect: don’t hurt anyone
Perseverance: never give up
Servant Leadership: care for everyone
To offer reasonably priced quality food, served quickly, in attractive, clean surroundings.
To be the most profitable QSR business, through a strong franchise system and great people, serving the best burgers in the world.
“…four key areas – Food, People, Environment, and Corporate Governance.”

Personal Mission, Vision and Values Statements

Organizations and companies are not the only entities able to benefit from clearly written mission, vision and values statements. Individuals may use the same tools for decision-making in their personal, social and professional lives to create meaning and purpose. It is easy to lose track and wander through life without clearly defined aspirations. Without focus, you can easily succumb to the whims of others who do not have your best interest at heart. Without using discernment, you may become prey to ideas unsuitable for your goals. Every choice you make either gets you closer or further to where you want to be in life. Clearly written mission, vision and values statements provide clarity and criteria for evaluating opportunities.

Consider the following Opportunities:

These are examples of how a personal mission statement can be used in decision making:

Personal Mission Statement
Does the opportunity fit your mission?
Should you accept the opportunity?
Open a franchise of childcare centers to enrich the educational lives of children in my community.
Should you Invest in a skating rink with a group of friends?
No. Follow your passion. Invest in the childcare centers. Stay focused.
Graduate from high school and college.
Should you skip class and hang out with friends?
No. Avoid distractions.  Stay focused. Go to class.
Share knowledge and wisdom with the world through writing.
Should you invest time and energy and write?
Yes. Follow your passion. Focus your time and energy into activities that give you pleasure and purpose.

Risks and Rewards

Writing personal mission, vision and values statements is a way to clarify your plans and help you determine which invitations to accept or avoid. However, even with perfect planning, we cannot always control the outcomes. We learn about ourselves with each success and disappointment. Therapist Michael Vincent Miller, PhD states in his article, After the Beginning,Disappointment keeps you connected to life as it continues to unfold and places an important choice in front of you.” When disappointment happens, it is a time to reflect and understand the causes. Maybe your vision was too broad. Maybe it is not the right time. Be willing to learn from disappointments and find the courage to keep working towards your goals. Companies often try new products that are not always successful. Thriving businesses continue to invest in themselves until they find their niche. Likewise, it may take trial and error before you settle on a specific direction. Be patient. Go at your own pace.

The Choice is Yours
Your personal mission, vision and values will change over time. Be open to editing and rerouting your path as needed. Life is about growth and change. When growth stops, decay begins.

Do you agree? Please share your comments and insights. Thank You 

Friesen, C. (2016). How to write your personal mission statement. Retrieved from https://www.success.com/how-to-write-your-personal-mission-statement/.

Wloczewski, C. Three things you can't do without: mission, vision, and values statements. Retrieved from https://www.cellaconsulting.com/blog/three-things-you-cant-do-without-mission-vision-and-values-statements/.

Choice picture retrieved from http://www.picpedia.org/highway-signs/c/choice.html.