This is a personal mission statement that I crafted to enumerate and solidify my ideals and goals to myself after reading Steven Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I am publishing it here so that others may have an example of a mission statement if they wish to create their own. Without further ado:
Maintain my sense of direction. “You have to have a vision of who you want to be otherwise, as Thomas Burnes said, ‘you are just a leaf being blown around by the leaves of circumstance.’”(1) Hone an honest self-image and start living a life true to myself, not the life others expect of me. Be the kind of person I want to meet. Either hack at the roots of evil, or work to get in position to. Do the first things first. “Seek not to imitate the masters, seek what they sought.”(2) Be a light, not a judge. Be a model, not a critic. Be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem. Always try to get better, but maintain realistic expectations. Some is better than none. Introspect often. Nourish self-control. Strive for balance, don’t let anything consume me. Remember that moderation in all things includes moderation in moderation. Differentiate the important from the unimportant. Prioritize my life and health over my career. Continually try to develop new proficiencies and learn new things. Keep trying to build good habits and don’t give up on the habits, keep working until they are fully integrated. Free myself from procrastination, and try to keep a routine. Get rid of excess baggage. Subject my wants to my needs and my means. Exercise wisdom in what I choose to eat, drink, read, watch, and do.
Remember: “You cannot play with the animal in you without becoming wholly animal, play with falsehood without forfeiting your right to truth, play with cruelty without losing your sensitivity of mind. He who wants to keep his garden tidy doesn’t reserve a plot for weeds.”(3)
Try to meditate and exercise daily, and get good sleep every night. Hold onto my hobbies. Free myself from swearing, especially inside my head. Regularly save or invest my income. Try to appreciate all things. Plan for things in advance. Plan for what I want to do tomorrow, next week, next year, within five years, before I die. Think about all decisions in terms of the long term goals and long term ramifications. Take one step forward in some direction that matters to me each day. Stay strong, stay focused. Feed opportunity, starve problems. Always question my views and opinions. Be flexible and open minded. Laugh more. Do the right thing or the most right thing. Lie as little as possible. Make commitments and keep them. Accept others so that there is no need to forgive and forgive those I have yet to accept. Let go of grudges. Avoid hurting others, and be understanding of their faults. “If you bow at all, bow low.”(4) Find happiness in the process of accomplishing my dreams — and remember, happiness is best shared. So work to make life more enjoyable for others, and therefore, for myself. Forge valuable relationships. Do more than I say. Listen to understand, not to reply. So seek first to understand before attempting to be understood. Scrutinize assumptions. Avoid arguments which bring no prize, propound no change, or offer no reward.
It is not what the world can do for me; it is what I can do for the world.
Go all in.
(1) Hunter S. Thompson, written as a young man in a letter to a friend who had requested life advice.
(2) Matsuo Basho
(3) Dag Hammarskjold
(4) Chinese Proverb