A personal mission statement can help you identify your values and goals, defining what matters most to you professionally. It makes decision-making easier as well, as it clarifies whether the decisions you're making are in alignment with what you want for your life.
A personal mission statement does take significant time and effort to create, although when finished, it provides a substantial payoff. In this article, we discuss in-depth what a personal mission statement is and how you can write one for yourself, plus 40 examples you can use for inspiration.
What is a personal mission statement?
A personal mission statement is a statement that defines your values, who you are on how you define success. A personal mission statement can be used to guide your decisions and help you stay focused to meet your long-term goals. A personal mission statement creates boundaries that make decision-making easier, as it's easier to see whether your decisions align with your long-term goals.
Why is having a personal mission statement important?
Having a personal mission statement is important because it can act as a decision-making guardrail to decipher how you spend your time, how you interact with others and how you do your job. Deciding what to do with your time is equally important as deciding what not to do with your time. For example, if you’ve been asked to complete a task that is not in line with your mission, it might be best to say no. Generally, having a mission with which to guide your career can help you achieve both short and long-term goals.
Personal mission statement examples
Here are several examples of personal mission statements to help inspire you as you write your own.
1. "To serve as a leader by encouraging innovative ideas and forward-thinking so that our team can create technology solutions that will improve the lives of others."
2. "To use my writing skills to inspire and educate others around the world to make change."
3. "To use my gifts as a speaker to improve the self-worth of people around the world."
4. "To inspire children to be more than they thought they could be."
5. "To be a leader to my team, live a balanced life and make a difference."
6. "To inspire others to achieve great things."
7. "To thrive in my journey through life and learn life's lessons along the way."
8. "To be kind to others and myself."
9. "To create innovative healthcare solutions that improve the lives of others."
10. "To help as many people as possible."
11. "To be a teacher and inspire my students to be the best version of themselves."
12. "To help men, women and children find hope after loss."
13. "To bring joy to others around the world."
14. "To use my gifts to bring education to women around the globe."
15. "To positively impact the life of every person I encounter."
16. "To inspire and encourage everyone I interact with on a daily basis."
17. "To create new opportunities for today's youth."
18. "To encourage and equip others to live the lives they want to live."
19. "To inspire change through teaching."
20. "To equip others with the tools and resources to pursue the life they want to live."
21. "To support and elevate those around me."
22. "To give students the resources and attention they need to grow into confident, effective adults."
23. "To improve the quality of life of my patients."
24. "To create stories that educate, entertain and inspire people around the world."
25. "To pursue lifelong learning and inspire others to do the same."
26. "To use my gifts to inspire others to achieve great things."
27. "To improve the wellbeing of people and businesses throughout the world."
28. "To treat everyone I encounter with love and compassion."
29. "To use my gifts and talents improve the lives of others."
30. "To create innovative technology solutions that will improve the lives of people around the globe."
31. "To use my gifts to improve the self-worth and wealth of women around the world."
32. "To inspire others to live the life of their dreams."
33. “To create innovative healthcare technology for better patient outcomes in vulnerable communities.”
34. “To offer support and inspiration to others through leadership and subject matter expertise.”
35. “To be a source of hope by offering humility, optimism and support to everyone I meet.”
36. “To bring beauty into the world through graphic design.”
37. “To help level the playing field so everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed.”
38. “To educate young minds and create compassionate, empathetic and hard-working members of society.”
39. “To do the best work I can to help the most people possible.”
40. “To leave the world a better place than I found it.”
How to write a personal mission statement
Here are the steps you need to follow to write your personal mission statement:
1. Write down what's most important to you
Start by considering who you are and who you want to be. Write down what's most important to you and what you're most passionate about. Consider what or who you most value and how your life is connected to those people or things.
2. Articulate your most important goals
Next, take some time to reflect and write down your biggest personal and professional goals. Ask yourself what the "best" version of your life looks like, including your relationships, achievements and career. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to get started:
- What qualities would you like others to attribute to you?
- Where would you like to be in your career? (ex. Do you have a specific job title? Have you reached a certain level?)
- What would you like to achieve professionally?
- What would you like to achieve personally or in your community?
3. Talk to your peers
Talk to your peers and mentors and ask what they consider to be your greatest strengths. Think about what makes you exceptional compared to others who have similar skill sets. Consider how you want people to describe you. Write down a few words that you want to come to someone's mind when they think of you.
4. Identify the legacy you want to leave
Consider the mark you want to leave on the world and how your skill set can allow you to do that. Some questions you might ask yourself to get started include:
- How, specifically, would you like the world to be different when you leave it?
- What do you hope to create, change or maintain that will be lasting?
- Who do you want to support with your unique skills and abilities and how?
- Which skill set or knowledge base will help you achieve what you want to?
- What do you consider to be your purpose?
- What unique qualities, abilities, talents and traits do you have to offer?
- What mission or vision makes you feel motivated?
Personal mission statement template
A simple template to follow when crafting your personal mission statement is by combining the following elements:
I will make, challenge and change the law for communities with barriers to preserve their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
I will make innovative, artistic bakes for everyday customers so everyone can experience the joy of beautiful cooking.
To use my gifts for women around the world to improve their self-worth and wealth.
How to use a personal mission statement
After you’ve crafted your personal mission statement, it can be useful to understand how you can use and apply it in your everyday life.
In your career
The role of your mission statement in your career is to remember and start with the “why.” Starting a new project, task or program is often most successfully done when you first consider who you’re doing it for, why you’re doing it and what the best end-result looks like.
Consider writing or printing your mission statement and framing it or placing it in a highly-visible spot where you work. Doing so can remind you of the value of what you’re doing each day, and while your mission may require small and seemingly insignificant day-to-day tasks, they are contributing to a bigger-picture you can be proud of.
It can also offer a framework for how you should spend your time each day. For example, if you find yourself working on something for a long period of time that will not help you eventually accomplish your mission, consider why you’re doing it and whether you can change course.
During your job search
When searching for jobs, identifying jobs and companies that align in some way with your personal mission will help you find more interesting, fulfilling work. Make sure to research the company to determine whether they’re a good fit for you and to prepare your cover letter, resume and for your interview.
In your resume and cover letter
In your resume, it may be helpful to weave your personal mission statement into your resume header, whether you include a resume summary, professional statement or objective statement. Doing so can help employers understand your motivations and whether you’d be a good fit for their culture and company mission.
Read more: How to Write a Resume Employers Will Notice
In your interviews
In interviews, employers will likely ask you a question like, “Tell me about yourself,” or “Why do you want to work for this company?” or “What motivates you?” Using your personal mission statement to guide your answers to these questions can help you prepare a thoughtful and impressive response. Researching the company beforehand can help you identify the values you share—be sure to include those in your answer as well.
Read more: How to Prepare for an Interview
Tips for writing a personal mission statement
Here are a few extra tips to help you write a powerful personal mission statement.
Keep it short. Your personal mission statement should only be one sentence long. The purpose is to focus only on what matters the most. To help you identify that one thing, try writing down five words that describe you and your purpose. Using that list of five words, try writing down two words that describe you and your purpose. Then think of one word and write that down. Use these words as inspiration to help keep your personal mission statement short.
Be true to yourself. Your mission statement should reflect your greatest passion and what you believe your long-term purpose is. Know that it's okay to make changes to your mission statement as you grow and continue learning.
Get feedback. Share your personal mission statement with the most important people in your life. They can provide you with important insights that can help you improve upon the statement.