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Mission: How do I get there from here?

A traveller on a farm road asked a passer-by the directions to get to a certain farm. After thinking for a while the passer-by started to give directions and then stopped. He then told the driver that perhaps he should take another route and started to give new directions. Then he stopped again to reconsider and then gave directions for yet another route. When he stopped the third time the passer-by concluded with; ”Sir, I think you cannot drive to that farm from here.”

But life does not work that way. Every journey has a starting point and you can only start from where you are at present. The same is true for your life’s journey.

You have a dream of what you would like to do (e.g. go overseas), you have a vision that forms a clearer picture of your dream (e.g. you would like to walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain), but how do I get there from here?

A vision is often referred to as a state of being that you would like to achieve, while the mission is the doing part to get there. How will you make that vision a reality? To make the transition from dream / vision to implementation requires action, yet action is usually preceded by a strategy. A well-known adage says

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Therefore it is important to begin with the end in mind.

To make it practical in terms of your own personal life, you may consider what you would like to be remembered for when you are 80 years old. Your mission would then be to plan and do the things that will be directed to fulfilling that dream. Therefore the difference between a dream and wishful thinking is what you do every day. If you don’t know where you are heading, you will most probably land somewhere else.

A good starting point for your life’s journey is to have a “personal mission statement.”

# Personal Mission Statement

According to Peter Drucker a Personal Mission Statement is a document in which you state why you do what you do, the reason why you exist and your goal in life. It states what you would like to do and what you would like to be remembered for.

It is like a personal constitution. Primarily it boils down to writing down steps you can follow to fulfil your dream / vision. Herewith a description and an example of what a mission statement may entail and look like.

  • Choose the Verb that encapsulates your preferred action – (Personal) What would you like to do? (Company) What is your company’s main business?
  • Get your specific Target Group! (Personal) Who you would like to serve? (Company) Who are the company’s clientele?
  • Formulate your Desired Outcome! (Personal) What is the outcome you would like to achieve in life? (Company) What is your market share or product range?
  • How would you do it? Decide on the vehicle with which you want to reach your destination. (Personal) What are your talents, your greatest gift? (Company) What competitive advantage does your company have?

For example I can write a personal mission statement that looks something like this:

  • I want to teach (Verb)
  • students & business people (Target group)
  • how to live their lives with direction (Desired outcome)
  • by means of talks, seminars and writing. (How)

Next week we’ll look at the reason why you do what you do, the purpose behind your doing.

The starting point for fulfilling your mission is to know yourself. A Career Direct Assessment will help you to know and understand yourself (or your son / daughter / spouse / employees). I can assure you, it makes all the difference to know the real you.

For a head start in business, click here to join us at the Business by the Book Course on 27 & 28 July 2018 at Val de Vie in Paarl.

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