Here is a test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't. - Richard Bach
To get what you want, you must know what you exactly want. If you are tired of drifting in vagueness and uncertainty in life, it is time that you give your life a purpose. Without a purpose or a mission, we are like rudderless ships lost in an ocean, tossed around by the vicissitudes of life.
It is time to take control over your own life and move decisively in a precise direction, guided by a purpose. A mission statement is the embodiment of your purpose as an individual or an organization.
The Statement Defined
A mission statement is the purpose of existence of any entity, put into words. The entity may be a person, a business, or any organization. It is a clear listing of the goals that you as an individual or your organization hopes to achieve. To put it in a nutshell, it is a vision statement that defines what you want and how you plan to get what you want.
A student seeking admission to a graduate school may require a mission statement (also known as 'Statement of Purpose') as part of the application.
A business needs a statement to focus its resources in the right direction and attract customers who approach them for a particular service. This statement, for a business, also serves as a marketing tool for the services offered by the company.
Tips on Writing One
To write a good mission statement, you don't need big words. What you need is precision and sincerity in stating your objectives. Just stating goals is not enough. You also need to chalk out a strategy or road map that describes how you go about achieving the aims you set for yourself.
If you are writing the statement as a part of your own self-improvement plan, you need to think long term. Brainstorm and visualize where you want to be in the next five years. Be brutally precise about chalking a plan for what you plan to do, how you plan to do it, and determine the time frame in which you want to execute it.
Be brief and try to be as exact as possible in stating your objectives. Take time and don't start writing anything until what you want to do, is not clear in your mind's eye. Let your goals be specified in a crystal clear manner and let there be concrete steps on how you plan to reach there.
If you are applying for admission to a graduate school, you will need to start with what your interests are and what you are passionate about. You need to underline the subject area in which you plan to work. You need to make the admission committee understand why you will be an indispensable asset to their department.
Emphasize your goals and also talk about your experience of working in that field. Be classy and to the point.
For Your Business
The goal behind writing this statement for a company or nonprofit organization is twofold. First is to define the goals for your own company people as a vision for the future and the second is to market your company's services.
Mission statements for companies and organizations need to be necessarily brief, all encompassing, and still to the point. Your objective needs to be put forward broadly.
It should neither be too narrowly specific, nor should it be broad enough to be ambiguous. You need to emphasize how you plan to make a difference in the world around you, through your company's services.
It needs to be a grand and yet down-to-earth take on your company's mission. Don't stop brainstorming until you arrive at a statement, which you think is the essence of what your organization stands for.
This statement is perhaps just what you need, to eliminate uncertainty and channelize, as well as focus your energy to achieve a predetermined objective. As a business organization, a clear mission statement eliminates doubt and uncertainty from the minds of team members, who are part of your crew.
Objectives are simpler to achieve when they are stated in clear terms and without ambiguity. You need a mission statement to provide the much-needed purpose to your life, without which you are simply lost.