Purpose, Vision, Mission: Guides To Success

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Most of us seek a career that provides a service or product to others while also bringing satisfaction to our lives. There are different paths to discover and prepare for our chosen profession. If you choose college, no matter your major, courses, studying, assignments, and tests are in store. Unfortunately, according to recent research, 32.9% of college students do not complete their degrees (NSCR, 2022). Whenever someone is pursuing an accomplishment, there are highs and lows along the way. Nevertheless, graduation is in reach. Identifying your vision, purpose, and mission is a solid start for finding success. Creating and keeping these essential guideposts at the forefront will help keep pace toward earning your degree. If you lose focus or encounter difficulties, identified purpose helps you direct goals and actions in the best direction.

Purpose:

To begin, the first leg of this journey begins with knowing why you want to earn a college degree. Simon Senek (2009) explained to business leaders that knowing your why is an understanding forming in your brain’s neocortex. The neocortex controls our emotions and decision-making (Senek, 2009). Supporting healthy and productive emotions and decision-making is a worthwhile benefit for us all. More specifically, a personal purpose statement not only explains your ‘why’ it also declares who you are and how you contribute to others.

Some questions to consider for the present and future:

  • Why are you pursuing a college degree?
  • How do you serve others?
  • What are you providing to the community/society?
  • Why are you on this journey?

Example purpose statement frame:

  • I (verb) (your overall contribution to others/society/community) for (those you serve)

My example: I facilitate asset-based thinking and strategic growth for young adults

Vision:

Equally important, we want to know that our purpose is worthwhile. Your purpose statement states your ‘why’ and ignites your journey. The vision statement explains the condition or experience your purpose will produce. 

Some questions to consider for the present and future:

  • What is the end goal of the purpose?
  • What impact will your existence/work have?

Example vision frame: to (description of benefit to others)

My example: to support students’ potential and college and career dreams

Mission:

Last, the mission describes the actions that enact your purpose and cause impact (vision). You are stating the actions that will implement your purpose and vision.

Question to consider for the present and future:

  • What actions, methods, skills, or talents do you use to serve and create impact?

My example: through academic coaching and student engagement consulting

In total, if I pull each of the pieces together I have a full statement that explains what I do, why it is meaningful, and how I put my intention into action.

My purpose, vision, and mission statement:

What: I facilitate asset-based thinking and growth for young adults

Why: to support students’ potential and college and career dreams

How: through academic coaching and student engagement consulting

Now that your purpose, vision, and mission statement are clear, you can choose extracurricular activities, projects, research, and networking opportunities that help you learn more to support your future. 

One last note:

Also, if you believe that you have not yet, started a life of impact, …

  • you’ve had impact since you were young (consider how you help people smile, find peace, solve problems, etc.)
  • create and use your purpose, vision, mission statement to envision your college and career experience from this day forward

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