3 reasons why you should have a purpose statement

TODAY -- Pictured: Dan Brown appears on NBC News' "Today" show (Photo by Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

We are much familiar with mission and vision statements that companies develop in order to communicate their business much clearer to customers and business associates.

Now, I will not go here in detail what mission and vision statements are, but if you think more clearly, we all as individuals “project” ourselves and with our behavior, actions, language (both verbal and body) we communicate who we are. In one of my recent posts I suggested that we should revisit our core beliefs from time to time, as they change with our maturity and conditions around us. This time I propose, just as your business or company can have mission and vision statement, for you to develop your own purpose statement. I believe, by developing our own purpose statement (that encompasses both your mission and vision in life) we can:

  • become more effective; it helps keeping you on track with your goals and plans;
  • develop personal leadership; by referring to it and internalizing its meaning, we make choices that serve our values and discard the things that contradict them.
  • stay motivated to achieve our goals.

In this post, I talked about thinking in reverse,  which literally means having the end goal in mind: what do you want to achieve, in what sense do you want to contribute, what are your values and how your goals you want to achieve align with your values…all that in sum, represents your purpose.

By looking in front of us, that kind of thinking becomes more powerful, more influential in any further decision-making than by being chained by baggage of the past that doesn’t help us.

There is something powerful about writing these things down. And I mean writing by hand on paper: it’s like you are breathing life in those words, you are declaring what you want, who you are and everything becomes more real, and more probable to happen.

I don’t think it should follow any specific format or length, but it has to be relevant to you, to be your motivation in further life decisions.

Some ideas how to start:

  • Write about the project you’ll have in near future and think of outcomes you wish to achieve; what steps you can apply to get you closer to completing a successful project?
  • Collect all the notes, pictures, quotes, poems that inspire you, that you identify with and let that be your guidance in developing your purpose statement.

Of course, there is a flip side that we should all be aware of: life has unfortunately that ugly side of face – frustration, full of trials and errors when is so easy just to give up. For a real passionate purpose you are ready to work hard and endure long enough to get where you want to be. It’s like drudging through the drudgery as writer Joshua Fields Millburn refers to it.  It is part of the process and your purpose statement is there to remind you who you are and who you want to become.

Look at developing your purpose statement as a journey to self-discovery. Nobody can and no one expects from you to have figured all out at once, but it’s a step forward. Purpose can change and evolve with you, or you can have multiple purposes. And why not, as long as they don’t contradict your core values?

Life has loveliness to sell,
All beautiful and splendid things,
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And children’s faces looking up,
Holding wonder like a cup.

Life has loveliness to sell,
Music like the curve of gold,
Scent of pine trees in the rain,
Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
And for your spirit’s still delight,
Holy thoughts that star the night.

Spend all you have for loveliness,
Buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace
Count many a year of strife well lost,
And for a breath of ecstasy
Give all you have been, or could be.

Sara Teasdale

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