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What Is Your Personal Mission Statement? A Moment With Bill Series

Updated on October 6, 2014

DEFINITION

A mission statement is a statement of purpose or a reason for being. This concept has gained popularity in the business world as a way of maintaining focus for the company. The statement is used as a guiding light when decisions are made. Does the new decision or action correspond with the purpose of the company? If not, should it be done?

I will borrow the mission statement from a movement I began a couple months ago, namely H.O.W., or Humanity One World. Our mission statement for that movement is as follows:

“If anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, I want the hand of H.O.W. to always be there, and for that I am responsible.”

In other words, the goal of H.O.W. quite simply is to help others and to make this world a better place.

Following the river of life is much easier with a well-defined purpose
Following the river of life is much easier with a well-defined purpose | Source

Why Is It Important to Have a Mission Statement?

We live in a complicated world. We are bombarded daily by thousands of stimuli, and it is very, very easy to get distracted or sidetracked as we travel this journey. In business, staying on course can mean the difference between success and failure. Decisions made that are not in keeping with the mission of the company can have disastrous results that will cost the company millions of dollars.

The same can be said in our private lives. Each of us has a central purpose, but oftentimes we have either forgotten that purpose or we never really knew what our purpose was. We wander around aimlessly, tossed about by the winds of fate, and mourn the fact that our lives did not turn out the way we wanted them to. Sad but predictable, for we all need to understand what our purpose is so that we do not get tossed around by fate and lose our personal compass.

So I ask you: what is your personal mission statement?

I Will Gladly Go First

I have thought often of this. I can safely state that when I was a young lad I probably did not have a mission statement. Life was about living and experiencing, and going hell-bent-for-leather at one hundred miles per hour. I did not have time for deep-thinking and reflection, and as I think back on those years I can see that my life reflected that lack of purpose. I was, for lack of a better word, frantic to live life quickly and to embrace as many thrills and risks as I possibly could. It was a rush for sure but I’m not certain I can say now that it was meaningful or for that matter noble in its headlong sprint down the highway of life.

I had to suffer in order to finally step back and take a look at life and formulate a purpose. You see, it is my personal belief that suffering is the great motivator in life. Pain is a wonderful learning tool if used properly.

I have often heard the tale of the cat who burns its paw on the stove and learns never to do that again. Unlike the cat, I have had to burn my paws several times but I do, eventually, learn.

Pain has a way of helping me to focus, and I am of the belief that the richest lessons that we learn in life are a result of pain experienced earlier in life. How can I be empathetic of others without first experiencing the pain they are going through? How can I be compassionate, or a good listener, or dedicated to a cause, without first experiencing life to the fullest, the good and the bad?

So I have paid my dues. Been there, done that and bought the damn book, and because of those hard-earned lessons I can now state my own personal mission statement, and guide my life using this as my true north.

“From this day forward I will live a life of love. I will be a living, breathing example of love. I will be a support to others, a shoulder to lean on, and an ear to listen. I will treat others as I want to be treated, and where there is no love I will be the glimmer of hope and strength needed.”

Today I try to live my life in accordance with that mission statement. Before I make any large decision in my life, I first ask myself if it is in harmony with my mission statement. When I go to bed at night I ask myself if I strayed from my purpose and if so, what do I have to do to make it right and return to that purpose?

Once I actually wrote out my mission statement and began to live by it, a funny thing happened to me. I found a new appreciation for life. I found a tranquility that had been missing before, and I found that I had depth and an inexhaustible supply of love inside of me. I found that as I lived by that mission statement I was happier, and when I strayed from it I was unhappier. Like the cat on the stove, I learn each and every time I do not live by my mission statement. I get burned, I do not return to that sort of action and I am happier because of it.

A Moment With Bill

So Now It Is Your Turn

I have walked you through the definition, and I have given you a personal example. We now come to the time when you give thought to your own mission statement.

What is your purpose in life? Only you can answer this, and it needs to be extremely personal. Why are you here and what do you wish to accomplish? If you do not have one then I strongly suggest you give it some thought. Rudderless ships rarely end up at their planned destination. Are you rudderless or are you steering to the port that you planned to visit all along?

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, Violet, but I think you might have missed the whole point of the article.

    • profile image

      Violet 3 years ago

      You completely stole your mission state from Al-Anon/AA !

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alise, that is a beautiful missions statement. It will serve you well throughout life. Blessings to you and yours and thank you!

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      Alise- Evon 4 years ago

      Love this hub! For many people I suppose it is easier to have a small "mission statement" for the day- Do these 5 things on my to-do list, atend my child's band concert, etc. While some of this might be really important, we can end up getting bogged down in details and let true life pass us by. Thanks for challenging us to zoom out and look at the big picture- it is better to realize life is short now rather than later. My mission statement: "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." Eccl. 12:13. Just like your mission statement reflects, it all boils down to expressing love in its truest form.

      Voted up, useful, and shared.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, I love your comment. I wonder, if we asked one hundred people what their mission life is, if they could answer?

      Thank you for the visit.

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      Deb Welch 4 years ago

      I will write a mission statement. Missions can change in mid-stream during life and I believe this has happened to me a few times. I stand up and I am counted whether in a small space or in a larger area. I am a part of something good and hopefully worthwhile in dollar sense or nought and not an outsider hoping to get in someday. Thanks for this insightful and wise piece. Cheers.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, you summed up our earlier years perfectly. I simply didn't have a clue. I was forced into enlightenment. LOL

      How many high school kids do you think would pay attention to this message? Not many I'm afraid, but it wouldn't hurt for them to hear it anyway.

      Have a great weekend!

      love,

      bill

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      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, you are so right. I don't think any of us (at least we older folks) even thought of a mission statement or direction in life until we fell into self-dug holes. As long as life was a party and full of fun, there was no reason to look towards tomorrow.

      But tomorrow may not come. For that we need a mission statement, mantra or whatever it takes to gain the fullest from life and offer the fullness of ourselves back.

      This is a great hub. It should be taught in high school sociology classes. In fact, it should be a requirement just as is English and Math!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pickles, I just noticed the new profile picture. Very nice, as is your mission statement. I like it; no wonder I like you.

      Thank you and have a great weekend.

    • picklesandrufus profile image

      picklesandrufus 4 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

      This hub got all of your readers thinking! My mission statement, all thought I didn't create it , has been for some time: Be the Change I want to see and like you, I try to live up to it daily.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DDE, that is a great mission statement. Thanks for sharing.

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      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Experience life to the fullest and be happy and learn from our mistakes too. Face up to challenges and remember to take care.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, I know my mission statement has changed over the years. I'm pretty happy with mine now so I don't think I'll change it. Have a great evening and don't think too hard. :)

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      It took me forever to figure out a sentence for an objective on my resume. This will be even tougher...I think. Now you'll have me thinking the rest of the day. I think a mission statement might change as circumstances change.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, if that is the goal then I agree with you. :) I prefer the aid of a rudder these days.

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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Rudderless isn't always bad, for one gets to see the available options IF that is the true goal in life.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Leslie, you once again had me laughing.....you are indeed a fucking compassionate person. :)

      Love the last statement....at least do it no harm. Wouldn't it be lovely if we could all strive for that as a minimum?

      Thank you kind lady; I appreciate you stopping by. Stay away from the stove today, okay? LOL

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 4 years ago

      You are such a sweet, good, and powerful force in the world, Bill!

      Truth be told - i've had to burn my paw a time or 2 - or 3 - and on a number of different stoves, too..

      if empathy and compassion are linked to one's trials and tribulations in early life - then - i've GOT to be one of the most fucking compassion people on the planet..(LOL..)

      i guess i have little imagination, though, because i have always (or, since i have had time to be conscious of ME) gone by the mission statement of another..

      It goes something like this: "If you cannot help another living being - at least do it no harm..."

      Mmmmmm...i got nothing that compares...lol..

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I would say you are light years ahead of me. I really don't think I had a mission statement when I was younger. I had to learn about life before I could define what I was all about, and what I wanted to be all about.

      Thank you my dear friend; you are greatly appreciated.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Nailed it again Bill. You are truly a twenty-first century philosopher, making people stop and think about the why.

      I have been fortunate enough to never have had real adversity in my life; oh I've made big mistakes, I've had pain, and I've experienced sorrow, but that is all part of life. Either way, I think I agree with Eric. My mission statement has changed many times over the years. When I was in grade school it was always "to be nice to everyone". When I was in high school it was similar but it included not gossiping or getting involved in pettiness. As I grew older, like Mary, it was to raise my children and teach them love and respect. Now, I would hazard to say it is to be a better person everyday and to help anyone and everyone I can...and now you have us all thinking yet again!

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Torrilynn, thank you for the visit. I do try to inspire; I want everyone to experience the joy of reaching their potential.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mel, it would truly be great. Thank you for your kind words. I can see you in your mission statement quite easily, and if I had to write one for you it would have sounded very much like the one you just wrote.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzie, thank you my dear friend. Here's hoping we both realize our mission statements for the rest of our lives.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruchira, that is as fine a mission statement as one could have. Thank you for sharing yours with us.

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 4 years ago

      I feel that my purpose in life is basically to help others and to inspire people to do what they want to do. I really like how you inspire people and try your best to spread optimisim and happiness. Thanks and voted up.

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      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Your mission statement is perfect, Bill. A true example of who you are as a person. And it's real, humble and heartfelt because of all you've been through in the past. I don't have the words summed up as well as you do for mine, but I do know that it has something to do with helping animals, or rather trying to spread awareness, even if it is in a small way. On the other hand, I've been told that I am enthusiastic, that I inspire and motivate some people. Whether it be about choosing to be happy in life or your career, this is also something I'm focusing on. And you're right - you do change the way you look at life and live by starting and ending each day with your personal mission statement. Thanks Bill for spreading this important message. Wouldn't it be great if we could all live each day like this? Imagine the change in the world!

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      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Wise words once more dear Bill. my mission statement has also been treat others the way you would want to be treated, a lesson I learnt from my grandfather and it has stuck with me and guided me through jobs to dealing with family and people in general. Great video too, you are a great reader of life and the man I always look to for perspective in life. Cheers Bill for another well written life learning hub. votes and shared, have a good one!!

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

      Love HOW's mission and also how you continue to inspire people all around.

      My mission is on my HP profile page...I dream of happiness and peace and aspire to spread it around.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, then I celebrate with you, for I am at peace too. Isn't life lovely now that the chains are gone?

      Thank you for sharing that my friend.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      This is my first to listen to your video, And it made a lot sense to me. I believe we all have a mission in life, we just have to find it. I am at peace for the first time in many years. The life lesson i learned unlocked the feeling of inferiority and brought a feeling of peace..Thank you..

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I would say that is an admirable missions statement. My best to you and yours, and thank you!

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      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      I guess I could say my life's mission statement is to simply finishing raising my children (I have one 17 yr. old son left) to be good, upstanding citizens with strong moral values, and to be an asset to this world.

      Great Hub, Bill. Voted it UP and shared.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, you are right, you are lucky to be in a job where you can do good. I was lucky as well, and I wish everyone could experience what you and I have experienced.

      Thank you as always my friend.

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      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      I've never considered a personal 'mission statement' as such; however, I do set myself short and long term goals. I've stopped asking myself why are we here? and just try to be the best that I can be. I guess I chose my mission when I chose a career, I'm lucky enough to be in a job where I can truly do some good. Another great lesson, teacher Bill :).

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kathryn, thank God for having character. I took a long time finding it but I won't give it up now. Thank you as always and I hope you are well.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Teacher, you are far too kind, but thank you! I know you have a mission, and I know you have goals and dreams. I hope they all come true soon for you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, I'm preaching to the choir when you read my articles. Isn't life wonderful now that we are on the right path?

      Thank you my dear friend.

      love always,

      billy

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      A very useful lesson. In my job-hunt, I have come across a similar notion, about having a mission statement for your career. I thought it was an interesting idea, especially since it helps focus on what is important to keep in mind regarding a job. But I think writing a mission statement for life in general would be easier, and more valuable.

      I can definitely relate to learning through suffering. It can be tough, but once it is over, you have so much more knowledge and empathy for others. It gives us character.

      Thanks for the lesson, Bill!

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      LaDena Campbell 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      I don't have an official mission statement but I do have my mission! Another great lesson from the master!

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      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Another great write Billy and I must seem a little repetitive at times as I say "I can relate to all you say!!"However this is totally 100% truth.

      I know my mission and it comes stronger each day ;you are so right through suffering we do grow and we learn .

      Thank you as always Billy for your honesty,your kindness and for being just you.

      Here's to many many more hubs for us both to share on here. I wish you a wonderful day.

      Eddy.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Audrey, I am humbled by your words. If I truly do give you some sort of aid in life then I am very happy. Remember my offer to help with your manuscript whenever you need me. It would be my pleasure to help someone I admire so much.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, you may not be able to articulate your purpose but you are surely living one. You are one of the most aware people that I know. Just keep doing what you are doing and you'll keep experiencing the joy that you are experiencing. Thank you, Kindred, and how come you aren't working today? :)

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      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Bill - The tranquility you speak of is your own truth saying "thank you." I, like you, have burned my little paws repeatedly in order to learn the lessons I need. You are my angel. I am surrounded by divine light through your spoken word.

      You have so much to share with your readers. Great stuff! Messages to "take us a mile further." You have inspired me to write out my own personal mission statement. It could be a carbon copy of your own.

      Thank you, great teacher, for allowing me to be your student. I will work hard and earn an "A". Have an awesome day. Hugs.

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      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Great mission statement my friend and one that I could echo. No surprise there, I'm sure. But like Pearl, I am still wandering a bit and am plagued by the question of "what is my life's purpose". The question has haunted me at times but I am learning to accept that if I live each day without judgment or inflicting hurt on others, I am living with purpose and that the higher purpose is as you said, to give love and respect to every person I meet. Thank you for being a beacon of light and setting the example.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Donnah, every once in a while I make sense. :) We never know what day that will happen, but it's always kind of nice when it does. I'm glad I reminded you of that statement. Maybe you can write a hub after your reflections on this subject.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, always dream a little. Heck, dream a lot. It doesn't cost a thing. :) Thank you Sir!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, I can't imagine not doing some reflection. How empty and meaningless that would be, like some horny 20 yr old who just wants to party. Been there, done that and I'm not returning. :) Thank you my friend.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Liz, I suspect that isn't true, but I'll laugh nevertheless. LOL Show me a loving parent and I'll show you someone with a rudder. Thanks #2, as always.

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      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      No rudder in sight here! *sigh* I guess I need to get to work . . .

      Love,

      Rudderless on the Gulf Coast

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      Donna Hilbrandt 4 years ago from Upstate New York

      Hmmm...you have me thinking. In grad school we had to write out a sort of mission statement by crafting our philosophy of education. I am going to dig that out of the files and read it today. That is on a professional level though. I never thought about creating a mission statement for my personal life, but now that you mention it, it does make perfect sense. Thanks!

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      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Wow mine sure is different than what it was when I was twenty. The same for forty. Thanks for the reminder to look at the bigger picture, and even perhaps dream a little.

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      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      How blessed to have found a way to live that brings you joy and satisfaction. How many can say that? I think we should all delve into our inner beings and find our mission statement...Thanks for this lovely way to start a day.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pearl, truthfully, that is exactly how I would do it. I'm a note taker and a list maker, and the first thing I always do when faced with something like this is grab and pen and paper and start writing my thoughts down. I hope that helps. Thank you for the visit my friend, and I hope you are well.

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      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Okay, Billy, this is a question I have asked myself many times: 'Why am I here?' 'What is my purpose in Life?' I have often heard the question: 'Where do you see yourself in 10 years?' as well. I agree that this is a very personal mission statement that should be made and followed. Maybe I'm over thinking it, but I keep coming up with different possible answers! Guess the best solution is to write everything down and narrow my focus. What do you think? I need that shoulder to lean on that you have offered! Voted Up, Useful, Awesome and Interesting. Still scratching my head, my friend!

      Pearl

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Janine! That was very nice of you to say.

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      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Beautiful mission statement Bill and I honestly couldn't picture any less from you, because you truly are just a wonderful man. thanks for sharing and you know I have shared, voted and tweeted, too!! :)