Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Importance Of Both A Vision And A Mission In Life

"People who use time wisely spend it on activities that advance their overall purpose in life."

~John C. Maxwell

I've been involved in an interesting project--we're working on chartering a brand new chapter of the Royal Arch here in Illinois.  In fact, our new chapter, Admiration Chapter U.D.,  met for our very first official meeting, under dispensation, just last week.  

We have some very different ideas about what we want to accomplish, so one of the first things we felt was important to do, was to come up with a mission statement and a vision statement.  It's a very useful tool in helping to establish where you want your organization to go and what you want it to be.  

People confuse the difference between a vision statement and a mission statement.  A vision statement is the long-term desired outcome of an organization's work.  For instance, the Boy Scouts of America's vision statement reads, "The Boy Scouts of America will prepare every eligible youth in America to become a responsible, participating citizen and leader who is guided by the Scout Oath and Law."  That's a very grand goal, but it's the BSA's "dream" to do just that.  In other words, the vision statement is the dream.  

The Mission Statement, on the other hand, is a little more specific.  It's a statement that explains the reason an organization exists and is used to help the organization plan their programs, and understand their responsibilities and priorities.  For instance, the Mission Statement of the Smithsonian Institute reads, "The increase and diffusion of knowledge."  Very simple, and very specific.  Everything they do, every action they take, and every program they put in place is towards that very specific mission.

But it occurred to me the other night as we're discussing a vision statement and a mission statement for our new Royal Arch chapter, that it might be a useful exercise for a person to go through as well.  I know there's a lot of times I feel like I'm not sure what my vision is--I lose sight of the big picture dream.  And I'm not always sure what direction to go in because I'm not sure what my mission is.  Perhaps we should all sit down and take a few minutes to consider who we want to be, how we want to be seen, where we want to go, and how we want to get there--and write it down.  Keep it top of mind.  

When you know what your vision is, and what your mission is, it is certainly much easier to make decisions in your life that are in line with your objectives.  I found it to be a very useful experiment, and I must admit I found it a lot harder than I expected. I discovered pretty quickly that my actions don't always line up with the direction I think I'm going.  I believe going forward, it's going to be much easier for me to use those two statements to keep me focused and on my desired path.  

But I encourage you--try it and see what you think. 

~Todd E. Creason
To prepare every eligible youth in America to become a responsible, participating citizen and leader who is guided by the Scout Oath and Law - See more at: http://topnonprofits.com/examples/vision-statements/#sthash.HMizYtlF.dpuf
To prepare every eligible youth in America to become a responsible, participating citizen and leader who is guided by the Scout Oath and Law - See more at: http://topnonprofits.com/examples/vision-statements/#sthash.HMizYtlF.dpuf
To prepare every eligible youth in America to become a responsible, participating citizen and leader who is guided by the Scout Oath and Law - See more at: http://topnonprofits.com/examples/vision-statements/#sthash.HMizYtlF.dpuf
To prepare every eligible youth in America to become a responsible, participating citizen and leader who is guided by the Scout Oath and Law - See more at: http://topnonprofits.com/examples/vision-statements/#sthash.HMizYtlF.dpuf

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