Sean Covey wrote the book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens” to help young people learn the value of healthy habits in all areas of life. As a part of this foundation of wisdom, Covey urges teenagers to create a personal “mission statement” that defines a motto or philosophy about life.
To get an idea of the messages that resonate, teenagers might read inspirational and motivational quotations. For example, Babe Ruth’s statement, “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run,” shows tenacity and determination to succeed. Reading similar quotations can help a teenager achieve a mindset of courage, purpose and inspiration. Teens might copy specific quotations that have special significance to use when creating a personal mission statement, suggests a teaching resource published by Northshore High School.
Write it Out
Sometimes a mission statement might hide deep inside a teenager, accessible only with a little personal exploration. A free-writing exercise may uncover personal beliefs, goals, fears and ideas. By filling a page with unstructured writing, the teen may find valuable insights lurking within the random words. Once written, the youngster can then go back through the writing to extricate common themes and ideas that seem to encapsulate a personal mission statement. For example, a teen might see a recurring theme of fighting for personal beliefs and passions, which might become the focal point of a mission statement.
Covey encourages teenagers to think carefully about who they are and what is important to them to create a mission statement. Some points that can help with this self-discovery include considering positive qualities of an influential person, thinking about personal inspiration, listing 10 favorite activities and thinking about spending an hour with any person, past or present. The answers to these questions can help form a mission statement.
Keep it Simple
For a mission statement to be effective, it should be simple and concise. A teen might create an acronym of powerful words that help motivate and focus the youngster. For example, QARLP could stand for Question, Achieve, Reach, Learn and Pursue. A mission statement could also be several concise bullet points that briefly describe a mindset the teen wants to maintain.
Once the mission statement is crafted, the teen should use it to remain focused on the goals. Youngsters could place copies of the mission statement in strategic spots, such as a bedroom bulletin board, the inside of a locker door or a bathroom mirror. By reading the mission statement regularly, it’s likely that the teen will stay focused and moving forward toward goals. Teens might also write the mission statement on an index card to carry with them. Mission statements can also change as a teen matures and evolves. Teenagers can revise their mission statements whenever necessary.
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