CREATING YOUR WHY STATEMENT

Billy Ryan
March 14, 2023
CREATING YOUR WHY STATEMENT

What Are Personal Why Statements

From an early age, we begin the long journey ahead to discovering our purpose in life. Having a purpose in life allows us to experience more joy and passion for the world around us. That same statement of purpose helps us to more efficiently direct our resources and attention into actionable steps that may lead us to a more successful life. Many have taken note of this idea and have applied it not only to their personal lifestyle, but to their professional life as well.

Companies often use so-called “mission statements” in order to capture a compelling purpose or reasoning for their existence in order to advertise themselves to possible consumers. Individuals have even begun to develop personal statements in order to promote themselves on resumes, on social media, or in their college applications. Whether you choose to use your personal why statement to advance your small enterprise or simply keep it to yourself for personal development, the benefits are seemingly endless.

How to Find Your Why Statement

In simple terms, your why statement should be: simple and clear, actionable, focused on how you will contribute to others, and expressed in affirmative language that resonates with you. It should also be “evergreen”, meaning that it should resonate with everything you do, both personally and professionally. Your personal why statement should encapsulate all of these ideas within a single sentence; too many words and people’s understanding may become limited. In Find Your Why, a book by Simon Sinek, Simon and his team provide a simple format to aid you in creating your own why statement.

The Why Statement Format

TO ____ SO THAT ____

The goal of this format is to plug in the blanks with your own words to help you express your own why statement. The first blank represents the contribution you make to the lives and happiness of others through your why and the second blank is meant to represent the impact of your contribution.

Writing Your Why Statement

First, grab a pen and paper and write out the “TO ____ SO THAT ____” template. You may not come up with an answer right away and it’s important to resist the temptation to rush yourself. Feel free to draft as many why statements as you need to until you find the one that resonates with you.

Examples of Why Statements

Corporate Why Statements

We aim to challenge the status quo. We aim to think differently. – Apple

To empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. – Microsoft

To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. – Google

Personal Why Statements

“to share the power of therapeutic humor with others.” David Jacobson, President of Humor Horizons

“to help people be more connected in their life, career, and business.” Beth Bridges, author and creator of The Networking Motivator website

“To push myself to be the best version of myself so that I know my mom is smiling down on me.” Colby West, golfer

What is a Personal Mission Statement

A personal mission statement should be a 1-2 sentence motto that shows how you define yourself as a person or as a team member. Your statement should not only identify your personal and professional purpose, but it should also present why these purposes are important to you. Think of this concept as the building blocks to your success. This statement will allow you to direct your energy and time into pursuing actionable steps toward your goals. A well developed personal statement will give you a clear sense of purpose and allow you to move forward toward your goals in a more efficient manner.

How to Create a Personal Mission Statement

What to Include in a Personal Mission Statement

The first approach you should take when creating your personal mission statement is to concentrate on your core values and goals, as well as the things you’re passionate about. A common mistake people fall for when defining their statement is to simply say what they think others want to hear. Speak genuinely toward the audience you are most interested in – focusing your time and talents on them, as well as conveying your abilities and personality traits to them effectively.

Do Your Own Research

Instead of trying to come up with goals out of thin air to inspire yourself, look to the past successful experiences you’ve had in life. For example, try looking back to a time when you remember feeling a strong sense of accomplishment. Create a list of these accomplishments and look for any connections or similarities between them. In doing so you may discover common themes spanning across multiple past achievements, which will allow you to narrow in on one simple, united statement. An additional step that may help accelerate you throughout the struggle of identifying your statement is to create an extensive list including both what is most important to you and the qualities that make you who you are. After doing so, you may begin reducing the list down until you are left with only the most important values. If possible, choose one value or priority that surpasses all others.

Next, look outward and identify your marketing group by choosing which groups you’d like to have the most impact on. Maybe you have big dreams to create inspiration for the entire world or for a whole company. Perhaps your statement only applies to a smaller scope, for example; your family, your children, close friends, or your local community. Where do you want to leave a legacy? This group will be the recipient of the majority of your time and talents. Lastly, how do you wish to inspire people? Identify your life’s goals and include both short-term (meaning it could be completed in less than five years) and long-term (five years or more).

Personal Mission Statement Template

I will [actions I will take] for [focus group or person] by [abilities/skills/personality traits] to [goal or goals].

Using this template, one could say “I will [use my organizational skills] for [real estate agents] to [help expand their client outreach]. This template will allow you to gather all of your previous answers to questions and put them together into one cohesive statement. The template is invaluable to those who may find that narrowing down a multitude of purposes into one simple meaning is a struggle.

More Examples of Personal Mission Statements

Famous Personal Mission Statements

“To make people happy.” Walt Disney

“… to be a teacher. And to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they thought they could be.” Oprah Winfrey

“Not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” Maya Angelou

“I want to serve the people. And I want every girl, every child to be educated.” – Malala Yousafzai

Personal and Professional Mission Statements Ideas:

I want to use my gifts and skills to empower myself and the people around me.

To empower women to chase their dreams and to be confident in the workplace as well as in their own skin.

In one year’s time, I aspire to be a certified nurse who is helping save and change people’s lives.

I aspire to a promotion at my company through hard work, building relationships and learning from experts in the field.

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