This week in my human relations class we're turning in a project that for me involves writing a personal mission statement...
What is a mission statement you ask? personal mission statements based on correct principles are like a personal constitution, the basis for making major, life-directing decisions, the basis for making daily decisions in the midst of the circumstances and emotions that affect our lives.
Stephen Covey: Mission Statements
I guess I find the idea intriguing. It would be nice to have a set of principles to fall back on. But to me living by a specific set of principles might appear to be noble and terrific but in reality can be a dangerous path. The mission statement is supposed to guide decisions "in the midst of the circumstances and emotions that affect our lives" but circumstances and emotions are perpetually changing. It's impractical to assume that we can stand by one principle no matter what the situation is. It's too easy to help a friend because it fits with a motto or "personal constitution" instead of doing it because we want to. It just seems contrived to me to attempt to plan our behavior in the future based on the things we think are important today, especially since statistically speaking very few of our opinions are likely to remain constant. But I suppose if I have to write a mission statement, it seems like the principle I'm espousing right now is flexibility, because the problem I have with the idea of a mission statement is that it has the potential to make a person so rigid.