Published on March 19, 2021

How To Write A Personal Mission Statement (A Step-By-Step Guide)

How To Write A Personal Mission Statement (A Step-By-Step Guide)

As an experiment, I asked several friends, “what do you stand for?” It was surprising how hard it was for some people to answer.

According to positive psychology, to live a meaningful and fulfilling life, you must cultivate what is best within yourself. To optimize your personal and professional life, you must visualize your future plans and place them against your current standing.

What better way to strategize your life goals than writing a personal mission statement?

Writing a personal mission statement might feel like a chore initially. Still, it has far-reaching effects that can change the way you look at yourself as a person capable of balancing between personal and professional aspirations.

You will never know where you are heading unless to assess what you have now that you can leverage in your current situation to advance where you are heading and what you seek to achieve.

The Search For Meaning

The author Emily Estaphani Smith, who has extensively studied happiness, says,

“Our culture is obsessed with happiness, but what if there’s a more fulfilling path? Happiness comes and goes, but having meaning in life — serving something beyond yourself and developing the best within you — gives you something to hold onto.”

Smith holds meaning upon four pillars: belonging, purpose, storytelling, and transcendence.


  • Belonging – Being a part of something.
  • Purpose- the reason for which something is done or exists.
  • Storytelling – The story you tell yourself about yourself.
  • Transcendence – Feeling connected to something vast and much more significant than yourself.

Watch this video for a more detailed explanation of Emily Estaphani Smith’s four pillars of meaning here:

These four pillars might not mean much to someone who lacks clarity in life, but to someone conscious of their choices and consequent results, they can serve as foundational blocks to personal and professional success.

The first step is going deeper into these concepts for a thorough self-examination.

Be Honest With Yourself

They say, “Honesty is the best policy,” but according to Judi Ketteler, the lies we tell ourselves are often more harmful than the lies we tell others. In her most recent book, Would I Lie to You? Ketteler examines how we lie about accomplishments; whether you inflate your abilities, leave things out, or cushion the full impact of honesty, many moments in life start with a lie.

If you wish for something to be true, the concept of “motivated reasoning” is an easy way to reach a particular conclusion and use that desire to guide your thinking.

These lies, according to psychology, are what impact our self-perception and attitude. When self-image (how you think you are) and ideal self (what you want to be like) are juxtaposed upon each other, we get these corners peeking out from everywhere called areas of fabrication. Interesting, isn’t it?

There are lies to our self-perception, regardless of whether they are used to overestimate or underestimate our capabilities!

A personal mission statement is an honest review of oneself, highlighting those very areas of fabrication that manipulate our assessment of the self and ultimately harm the potential we hold to make an impact. This step will shape the way you think about yourself, ensuring your personal mission statement isn’t just based on your perceived self.


Take a Double-Take at Your Mission, Vision, and Core Values

We all have goals in life; some are immediate, while others are long-term. Regardless of their immediacy, they hold value in our lives and determine our decision-making process.

Life goals allow for new ideas to be born in our minds and act as the foundation for innovation and creativity.

These goals, or missions, give us a vision for the world that helps us create our core values. Mission, vision, and core values are three interdependent and coterminous concepts that maintain the cycle of activity in our life. And guess the biggest obstacle in their smooth functioning? It’s our lack of focus.

Steven H. Cady, in a journal article[1] on mission, vision, and values statements, brings to light how individuals are more concerned with articulating the message instead of actualizing its insights. Our tendency to focus on the wrong things dumps us in unpleasant situations, which is exactly why we need to shift our attention to what’s needful instead of what’s attractive.

Ask yourself: Do your actions align with what you claim? Does the output tally with the input?

Whether you are a businessperson or somebody looking for valuable advice in life, searching for the answers to such questions will help you locate the areas of fabrication in your mission-vision-values cycle. Between what you think is happening and what you wish for to happen, you will discover what is actually happening!

Think of Your Ambition as a Rocket Ready for Take-Off

In almost every situation of your life, whether at work, at home, or with friends, your job is to create value that is not apparent. If you find your mission, vision, and core values too bland, a company called Brand Foundations provides an updated framework[2] — It’s called purpose, way, and impact.

  • Purpose: What is your goal?
  • Way: How will you reach it?
  • Impact: Why is it needed?

Your purpose must reflect a deeper understanding of the spaces you occupy as an individual by locating their problems. Next, you should be able to provide solutions to those problems by reflecting values based on things’ practical and philosophical nature. And finally, the impact needs to exhibit the sensitivity you possess to accommodate the diversity of thought and action in your proposal that does not fade away after your speech or presentation ends.


Ask yourself:

What am I trying to achieve from this initiative? How am I going to make this idea actionable? Why am I doing this?

Writing a personal mission statement, with an upgraded touch, can add depth to your plan of action. The more you have answers to fundamental questions, the sharper your focus will be; doing so can help you discover your blind spots and overcome them.

Define Your Simple Marketing Promise

Once you have articulated your purpose, way, and impact, it’s time to complete this three-sentence marketing promise from Seth Godin that connects what’s important to you with what’s important to others (your audience).

  • My product is for people who believe _____________.
  • I will focus on people who want ________________.
  • I promise that engaging with what I make will help you get__________.

This statement is anything but easy and if you do it right, it will take you a week or so of refining until it starts to sing!

Here’s mine:

  • My product is for people who are curious about their full potential.
  • I will focus on talented people who are open to personal and professional growth but aren’t sure how.
  • I promise to use my candor, experience, & network, to guide you in building an action plan for your life and career.

What’s Your Movement?

As individuals, professionals, and entrepreneurs, a movement can be your reality IF you choose to prioritize it. Whether you are focused on financial inclusion, gender equality, or helping build up necessary skills in underserved communities, you can and should define your movement based on what gets you excited.

A movement can be a full-time job or a hobby after your day job. Either way, it is critical to define what it is and what you plan to do with it, or else you will never be able to measure your progress.


My movement is my company, Your Brand Coach. Your Brand Coach applies my diverse skills as a career corporate digital marketer, an entrepreneur, and a coach to help people understand what makes them tick and translate it into a real business or an actionable plan to connect your passion with your vocation. Seeing people receive clarity and a concrete plan from my workshops drives me to continue to evolve my movement and offerings.

Align Your Movement With Your Identity

There are three facets of a business that you must maintain to build a sharp brand image: Identity, Platform, and Movement.

Identity sets the foundation for having a crystal clear vision of who you are.

The platform (or channel) is the method you choose to establish your identity and share your message with your target audience. It could be your website, a social media handle, or simply a physical presence. Once you realize and form your business identity, it is essential to meticulously strategize how you will be approaching your customers on your platform.

And then comes your movement that acts as the icing on the top, enriching the customer experience. Your movement, presented as a promise, builds a deep connection with the audience.

Just like identity, your personal or company’s movement is also something that needs to be registered and organized by the self. You cannot perceive your movement (or come up with one) without truly understanding who you are and how your value and values resonate with your customers.

What are you waiting for?

According to social media today, here are the seven steps you can follow:

  • Step 1: Know your movement. Know those you wish to target and what action you want them to take.
  • Step 2: Get educated. What would be the concerns about people starting the movement?
  • Step 3: Make it popular.
  • Step 4: Rally the troops.
  • Step 5: Set up communication.
  • Step 6: Get noticed.
  • Step 7: Keep on showing up!

Bottom Line

Connecting your vision, plans, and actions with psychology helps gain a deeper understanding of your skills and plan of action. To understand what goes on around you, it is imperative to figure out what goes inside your head. And most often, we are unaware of what we truly desire and are capable of!


Writing a personal mission statement is like looking within to discover how you can impact what surrounds you. I hope this article helps you channelize your inner strengths and desires, productively!

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Featured photo credit: Darius Bashar via


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Jay Mandel

Jay is an Entrepreneur and the Founder of Your Brand Coach

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

20 Invaluable Things Money Can’t Buy

20 Invaluable Things Money Can’t Buy

George Lorimer contends,

“It’s good to have money and all the things that money can buy, but it’s good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven’t lost the things money can’t buy.”

In reality, everyone likes money. It has enough power to determine happy or sad moments for some people. This happens partially because money can trigger your emotions. However, there are many invaluable things money can’t buy.

Money will allow you to experience the luxury of things like a Tesla, an estate, or first-class tickets to anywhere in the world. But, money cannot buy you everything. There are aspects of your life, yourself, relationships, and encounters that forever will be priceless.

So, what are 20 invaluable things money can’t buy?

1. Love

You must have seen this one coming because of how much it is preached throughout life.

Love is a genuine action with beautiful emotions that develops between people who know each other to an extent.

People fall in “love” for different reasons. Love is unconditional and keeps people in connection with each other.

Money may earn you attraction and attention, but love? Not at all.

2. True Friends

Everyone likes to have money because there’s almost no way to survive if we didn’t have a cent or two. And it’s only normal for people to associate themselves with people who are making efforts to make the money.

But sometimes, people are only attracted to what you have and what you can give; not who you are.


It works just like love. When your money runs low, true friends should remain.

3. Family

We all know that family consists of a father, mother, and children, so let’s consider the individual elements.

A father is only a father as a result of the relationship between him and his child. Can money buy a relationship?

The same concept applies to the mother and child and if a relationship with a father cannot be bought, then neither can one with a mother nor child be bought.

Even if it’s an extended family, you still have to have a relationship with someone who connects you to the other person. It’s not rocket science.

4. Wisdom

Someone defined wisdom as “the mother of knowledge,” and how does one acquire knowledge? He or she receives it from experience.

So, if you cannot buy experience, then you cannot buy knowledge. And if you cannot buy both, then wisdom is definitely out of your league. You have to study, meet people and just experience life to earn it.

5. Happiness

In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt,

“Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.”

    Mrs. Roosevelt even acknowledges things money can’t buy. She emphasizes that money can’t buy happiness.


    Despite all the money a person may have in the bank, he or she still may not have the happiness that we all crave and deserve. Money cannot afford happiness.

    6. Health

    Money can help us afford the best health care services, but health itself? Not exactly.

    We’ve seen millionaires and billionaires lose their lives to a range of diseases that all their money put together could not cure.

    The Dalai Lama said,

    “What surprises me most is ‘man’ because he sacrifices his health to make money then he sacrifices his money to recuperate his health.”

      So, besides the fact that it doesn’t buy us health, sometimes the pursuit of it takes good health away from us.

      7. Long life

      During birthdays, we wish people a long, prosperous and healthy life. Money would be the best gift to send to loved ones to buy these things.

      But since you can’t, you wish these individuals the best life has to offer. You may also give them fun and loving experiences without money.

      8. Time

      The universe has been impartial enough to give us all 24 hours to do whatever we want to. But nobody, with all his or her wealth, has been able to purchase an extra hour, not even a second.

      9. Respect

      They say it is reciprocal. In other words, you can only get respect when you give respect and the last time we checked, there was no money for respect.


      So if you can’t give something in any currency, then you can’t receive it in any currency either.

      10. Character

      Character is the sum of a person’s attitude. Attitude has to do with the way you behave and although money can influence a person’s character, it cannot buy a good one.

      11. Confidence

      Any “confidence” built on money really isn’t confidence. It’s a shade of pride and usually ends in sheer show-off. That, dear friend, is not confidence. Confidence is a quality you build with time.

      12. Beauty

      There are countless beauty products in the market and all of them cost money. These beauty products can only enhance beauty by covering up blemishes and some go as far as altering some features of the body.

      But none has been able to change the natural beauty of anybody. If you consider surgery, then you are still altering the natural features, not changing it. You can’t buy good looks from your mother’s womb. It’s just not possible.

      13. Sense of Humor

      Some individuals are born with the gift to make others laugh. Most of the comedians around became wealthy as a result of their sense of humor.

      The humor did not come after the money. Nobody became funny overnight because of a swell in their bank account.

      14. Trust

      Why do you trust people? Because they’ve proved themselves to be trustworthy by character. Their character earned them that trust.

      15. Talent

      Talent is a natural skill that has to be discovered and honed. Just like beauty and every other thing that comes naturally, talent cannot be purchased.

      16. Purpose

      People attend conferences and seminars to help them discover their purpose in life. These conferences may be free or paid but the money did not buy them the purpose.

      They already had the purpose way before realizing that they needed to find it. Lots of poor people discovered their purpose and leveraged it to become rich. This goes on to illustrate that money can come as a result of finding purpose but it cannot get you the purpose.


      17. Satisfaction

      If there’s one thing that money can never buy, it is satisfaction. Even if money finds a way to get any of the other items on this list, it can never afford satisfaction. Money increases our desire for more money. The more the money, the more the hunger.

      18. Empathy

      Never have we ever heard of a man who bought the ability to empathize and never would we ever because empathy is a feeling. Feelings cannot be bought.

      19. Peace

      Why do people employ sophisticated security systems? Because they want to have peace when they go to bed but even with all of that, peace has never been received in exchange for money. It comes as a result of a clear conscience and a good heart.

      Ironically, money may bring enemies which would end up disrupting your peace.

      20. A Good Name

      A proverb says “a good name is better than silver.” This is like comparing two different things: a name and silver (which could be referred to as money).

      What is a “name?” It is a form of identity and how is it received? Your way of life and character helps people to receive you.


        Overall, these things are invaluable and confidently show that money can’t buy everything.

        While this is the case, money is necessary, so don’t quit your job just because it can’t buy you happiness. And do spend your money and time wisely.

        Also, go out of your way to make people happy. Their money can’t provide this needed emotion. Do not lose or mismanage your health trying to get money.

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