Every company has a mission statement. This mission statement drives the company to where it wants to be; serves to remind the people behind the company about the purpose of going to work each day; and reinforces commitment to the end goal. A mission statement gives a company its soul and injects passion into its core.
The value that a mission statement brings to a company can be directly related to the value a similar statement about a person’s own mission and purpose brings to that person’s life. There is a big difference between working because you want to, and working because you have to. This difference is what separates a life truly ‘lived’ from a life that is just ‘led’.
All too often I hear about two separate ‘parts’ of a person’s life – their personal life and their work life. I listen to people say that these two parts of their life are in direct competition with each other and I hear them complain that work gets in the way of their ‘life’. Excuse me, but how can you have two lives? We are all given just one life to live. If you spend much of your life complaining about the work you must do, then you must ask yourself, “What is MY mission statement?” Have you found your purpose in life?
Think about your attitude towards work. Are you waiting for your boss to tell you what to do? Are you just hanging around until work is given to you? And do you complain once you actually have work to do? Or are you excited to begin each day and work towards something you are passionate about? Do you take pride in yourself and what you do? Are you creating work for yourself and telling your boss what you are going to do in order to do your job better?
I have mentioned this quote by Theodore Roosevelt earlier this year in Gems of Wisdom, but I feel it needs to be stated again to make this point. Roosevelt once said: “Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” This is the secret to happiness.
Nothing motivates you to excel more than knowing you have a purpose and are passionate about that purpose. But no one can find your purpose for you. You must decide what it is you want to do. There is a saying, “If you can’t stand the heat… get out of the kitchen”. If you decide to be a chef, don’t step into the kitchen and start complaining about how hot it is in there. No one forced you to be a chef or forced you to be in the kitchen. But if you decided to be there, then get down to business and start cooking! And if you have identified cooking and being a chef as your purpose in life, then you won’t ever notice the heat at all. You will be too busy enjoying your work.
Don’t make excuses. Once you find your purpose, the excuses will disappear.
Please take a moment to ponder… What is your mission statement? What drives you and what excites you? Identify what this is and define your mission statement. And once you have found your purpose, communicate it to the people around you, as this then becomes your declaration of commitment to living your life to the fullest. Without your own mission statement to motivate you and to give you passion for your life, you are simply getting in the way of others who are living their lives with a purpose.
Group Managing Director, QI Ltd