Your Life’s Story Told in One Sentence

Write One Sentence that Defines You

Constraints make us focus.  They force us to zero-in on a specific purpose.  The less material we have to work with, the more resourceful we must be.  Can you sum up your entire outlook on life in one sentence?  Do you have a personal motto you live your life by?  How about a maxim that perfectly summarizes your thoughts and beliefs, the very principles and values you uphold and apply on a daily basis? 

‘You’ in a Few Words

This is your inner dictum, the adage with which you conduct yourself.  Maybe you unconsciously put it together when you were young by watching a childhood hero, or perhaps you were inspired by someone you knew who struggled and succeeded against all odds.

Whether you call it a slogan, a motto, or a mission sentence, the idea is to use the advantage of constraints to capture ‘you’ and all that you stand for in as few words as possible.

What’s the point?

To construct a single sentence that embraces your aspirations, values, passions, and purpose.  All these points motivate us.  They shape who we are, the way we live, the choices we make, and the paths we follow.  They are extremely important to know because they impact our lives whether we are aware of them or not.  You have already been living according to your mission sentence even if you didn’t realize it. You just haven’t consciously defined it yet.

Bear in mind, a mission sentence is worthless if it isn’t true to ‘you’.  It should represent something you are, not something you aren’t, never have been, or never will be.

A Powerful Tool

When you define your mission sentence, you craft a powerful tool for yourself.  You create an abbreviation of all your goals, values, and passions… a guiding symbol of your life’s story.  It doesn’t necessarily have to be a phrase others will understand.  It’s not for them or for promotional purposes.  It’s for you.

Remember, words are not actually the things they represent. You cannot eat the word “delicious,”  “Delicious” is a just word that represents the sweet greatness of a tasty treat.

That’s what your mission sentence is all about, a clear representation of the greatness that is you.

Look inside yourself.  What’s your mission sentence?

As for me, I’ve lived by the same one for the last decade: “Trying is my business.”

Photo by: Mark78


  1. says

    Great, provocative post here. Given that I’m wordy, it’s especially a challenge. Here’s a start:

    “I help people spread value throughout the world in their own unique way.”

  2. says

    Thanks for giving us the opportunity to share our ‘mission sentences’. Here’s mine:

    Pursuing the presence of passion with persistence and promoting peace and prosperity to people who need it.


  3. says

    Most people that I meet have never thought to define themselves. But what works so well in business also works in your personal life.

    Developing an evolving statement of self-definition forces you to consider who you are; your value; your mission in life. And keeping it pared down to one sentence ensures that you understand your essential self, and that you are committed to your own personal evolution.

    What a great article; and you kept it brief, in keeping with the concept :-)


  4. says

    Love this post! So simple and thought provoking. A mission sentence is now something I will have on hand more often.
    Now heading off to craft my own..stumbled!

  5. says

    I am a coach and react to the word try since it is an open door statement. Jedi Master Yoda said “Do, or do not. There is no ‘try.'”

    My mission statement is “I am making the world a better place”.

  6. says

    I love the idea of a personal mission sentence and how it helps us align our actions with who we are and strive to be. As for mine, I keep it to myself because it needs explanation – not to me, I get it, but when I’ve mentioned it to a few friends, they look at me with a puzzled ‘whaaat?’ expression on their faces. That’s OK. It works for me and that’s what matters. :)

    Thanks for the post; it’s a good one!

  7. Gail says

    “Be the first” Be the first to smile to someone, be the first to say hi, be the first to help, be the first to share………..

  8. says

    Marc, for me it is: Turning limitation into advantages. Some people thinks that it’s an excuse for limitation, but I look at it that whatever limitation I have I still can smile, and there is something good that I can do, wherever I’m right now! That’s why I created reason-4-smile!


  9. says

    I’ve always loved the idea of creating a frozen moment in time with a set of words that is the complete embodiment of a given thought or feeling.

    My first epiphany that hit me when I was about 11 came from a VW commercial…
    I’m glad to say it still represents my existence today: “Smile.”

  10. says

    I just noticed Bengt’s moto, which is one I’ve always liked as well. “Try not. Do or do not. There is no try”

    Other favorites of mine:
    “Do it.” Which trumps inhibitions and hesitation.

    “I am.” Which, to me, offers an infinite amount of appreciation.

  11. says

    I think it’s really important when constructing your statement to make it very specific to you. My statement is “The be the shepherd for mankind to stand fully in their own light and bring Soul Purpose effectively to the marketplace.” When I look at it every day it empowers me to go out and live that. It’s also a very spiritual conversation for me as well.
    Great article. Defining your life’s meaning carries a lot of power in it and can completely transform your life!

  12. McBinder says

    I have been following this line from the Dalai Lama for as long as i can remember;

    “Be the change you want to see in the world”

  13. Tierney Britz says

    Although it is in the form of a question my mission statement is this: Am I a person I would like to meet?

  14. Damifino says

    “Your Life’s story told in one sentence…”

    “A hundred years from now, nobody will remember anything I made, anything I said, anything I wrote, or whose lives I touched and made better…….”

  15. says

    Mine is…

    Behold the light within.

    I always try to encourage others to see their value, and I suppose my greatest obstacle is that I wasn’t doing the same for myself. But now I am doing that, too.

  16. Cookie Monster says

    My mission statement is a verse from the Quran. ” For every human there is a purpose, a goal which s/he sets up for him or herself and which s/he pursues; let yours be the doing of all good deeds” (2:148).

  17. Wanjiku Muchina says

    Mine is;


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