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Mission: To Serve

In this column we wrap up a four-week series on personal mission statements. The objective is to encourage and equip you to put into words what you are all about and what you want to do with the gift of life. A good mission statement tries to answer some basic questions. "Who are you?" focuses on identity. "What draws you on?" asks you to deal with priorities. "What keeps you going?" gets at motivation. The last question is on method: "How do (or how will) you go about it?"

The mission statement should be consistent over some reasonable span, from a few years to a lifetime. If in the past we have got some basic ideas all screwed up, it's okay to reform, but change this deep is not to be undertaken lightly. Our basic identity and orientation to life are not like fashions, to be tossed aside and replaced with the seasons. We need steady perspectives to deal with all that life throws at us.

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