The fast-paced nature of a home-based business emphasises, if not emphasises, the importance of each family member feeling grounded and united in what the family is all about. Everyone goes their own way without such anchoring, and the family stops being the crucial source of nurturing support and enabling power that it can and should be.
Making a family purpose statement can be a life-changing experience. The majority of people make their initial mission declaration during their wedding vows. The second occurs in phases, frequently unnoticed, when major life decisions are made.
Your mission statements will alter over time as your family changes, but they will provide a shared sense of goal and mode of travel that reflects your family’s social will and culture. It directs your family, whether directly or indirectly, consciously or subconsciously.
The Mission Statement of the First Family
Take the time to talk about what marriage or a long-term relationship means to you if you plan to marry or be in one. Disseminate information about your respective families and origins. Discuss which of your relationship’s customs and acquired behaviours you want to keep and which you’d prefer to change.
When you present these concepts as two half of a unit, you are presenting them to both yourself and your families. This can give you the courage to apologise, forgive, be compassionate, and return to the joint flight path again and again. You may find that the more you can centre your lives on these values, the more knowledge and power you’ll have—especially in situations where it’s easy to be centred and even controlled by other things like work, money, possessions, or even family itself.
A family mission statement is a commitment to follow a set of shared values. If you don’t make that decision, you may become increasingly reliant on one another’s moods or other uncontrollable events to maintain your sense of security.
How to Write a Mission Statement for Your Family
In principle, creating a family goal statement is straightforward, but it takes each family member to show up vulnerable and trusting. It all starts with three basic steps, each of which should be customised to your own needs and preferences:
- Learn about your family;
- Create a family purpose statement;
- Use it to stay on track.
Step 1: Find out More About Your Family.
Begin by asking each family a series of questions about what they value, what is important to them, and who they see as a representative of those values. You’ll almost certainly get a variety of reactions. Keep in mind that everyone in the family matters. Everyone’s thoughts are valuable. You could be confronted with a wide range of good and negative expressions. Don’t pass judgement on them. They must be respected.
Allow them to openly express themselves. Don’t strive to solve every problem. At this point, all you’re doing is preparing minds and hearts to think critically. In some ways, you’re preparing the soil and sowing a few seeds. Don’t go after the harvest just yet.
You’ll find that establishing three ground rules can help these discussions go more smoothly: First and foremost, listen with respect. Ascertain that everyone has an opportunity to contribute. Remember that participation in the process is just as vital as the finished output. People will not be committed until they believe they have had a part in the creation of the vision and principles that will regulate, guide, lead, and measure their progress.
“No participation, no commitment,” to put it another way. As a result, make sure that everyone understands that their ideas will be heard and valued. Assist children in comprehending what it means to show respect while others speak. Assure them that others will respect their thoughts in return.
Second, reiterate the information clearly to demonstrate that you comprehend it. Reiterating others’ views to their satisfaction is one of the best methods to demonstrate respect. Then, especially when there are conflicts, encourage other family members to reiterate the thoughts that have been communicated to the satisfaction of the other. Mutual understanding can soften hearts and liberate creative energy as family members accomplish this for one another.
Third, consider jotting down your thoughts. Perhaps you could enlist the help of a family writer. Instruct that individual to jot down all of the thoughts that are shared. Don’t make any judgments about the ideas. Don’t pass judgement on them. Comparing their respective worth is not a good idea. Those are chores that will be completed later. Simply record them so that everyone’s thoughts are “on the table” and visible to everyone.
Then you can begin the process of refining. Prioritizing destinations and values—in other words, selecting what is the highest purpose and highest value, and then the next highest and next—is the most difficult part of writing mission statements. This is a difficult task.
Step 2: Create a Mission Statement For Your Family.
Now that you’ve gotten your ideas out on the table, it’s time to have someone in the family refine, distil, and pull them all together into some form of expression that will reflect the collective sentiment of those who have contributed.
In one sense, it is critical to get this expression down on paper. The act of writing itself crystallises thoughts and distils knowledge and insights into words. It also imprints the brain and reinforces learning, as well as makes the expression visible and accessible to all family members.
In another way, writing a mission statement on paper isn’t as effective as writing it in family members’ hearts and thoughts. However, the two do not have to be mutually exclusive. It’s possible that one will lead to the other.
Let me be clear: anything you come up with first will be a rough draft—possibly the first of many. Family members will need to consider it, think about it, live with it, talk about it, and make changes as a result.
They’ll have to work with it until everyone is on board. It’s important to remember that a mission statement does not have to be a lengthy, formal document.
It could be a single word or a phrase, or something completely unique, like an image or a symbol. Some families may compose a family song that encapsulates their values. Others may use poetry and art to convey a feeling of vision. One family built sentences around each letter of their last name to create their mission statement. A 4-foot stick can even provide a family with a great feeling of vision.
This stick travels straight for a while before abruptly corkscrewing and gnarling near the end. “When you pick up one end of the stick, you pick up the other,” this acts as a reminder to this family. To put it another way, the decisions you make have consequences, so choose wisely.
It doesn’t have to be a particularly impressive spoken expression. The only true criterion is that it reflects everyone in the family, inspires you, and unites you.
And whether your mission statement is a word, a page, or a document; whether it’s expressed in poetry, prose, music, or art; if it catches and unifies what’s in the hearts and minds of family members, it will inspire, energise, and unify your family in ways you have to see to believe.
Step 3: Make Use of it to Help You Stay on Track.
A mission statement is not a to-do item on your to-do list. It’s designed to be the bedrock of your family’s existence.
And, just as the United States Constitution has stood the test of time, your family constitution can serve as the foundational document that unites and holds your family together for decades, if not generations, to come.
Will you carry out your mission statement on a daily basis? You’ll try, but you’ll also make a lot of mistakes. You’ll find yourself having to pause, reconnect, and apologise on a regular basis. Isn’t that what life is about: apologising and forgiving when you know each other’s hearts, intents, and desires?
Remember that great families, like most planes, are 90 per cent of the time of course. The important thing is that they have a sense of direction. They are aware of the “track’s” appearance. And they keep going back to it over and over.