I fucking hate mission statements. Fuc. King. Hate. Them.
The idea that Pret a sodding Manger is on some kind of a mission to provide us with sandwiches and coffee is hyperwank. The only mission they’re on is to make some cash out of a sandwich shop. The mission statement is almost always a big smear of cackbabble designed to make you think that the Estonians manning the counter on minimum wage care more about the arrangement of cheese and tuna than they do about sending their mammas enough money to keep them out of prostitution.
Anyway, beyond that, I also think it’s very important to have a mission statement.
You see, I think there’s a difference between corporate mission statements, which are usually designed to disguise a grasping desire for pots and pots of cash, and your own personal set of principles, which may include a grasping desire for pots and pots of cash, but you don’t have to disguise the fact because the whole thing is just between you and yourself.
Your mission statement need not be permanent or even completely clear, after all, life is an amorphous, constantly-shifting grey area where priorities can change on a daily basis. And it need not be noble, moral or ‘good’ (again, it’s just a little secret to keep in your head). All that’s required is a certain of focus on one thing, then that can point you in the right direction whenever you have to make all those important decisions.
If your primary goal is money, you can always choose the option that provides more of it. If it’s seeing your kids grow up, then you can decide to do only that which will maximise your time with them.
Of course, it can make you what some people refer to as a ‘cunt’, but it’s up to you: do you want to step over your friends for a more lucrative job or would you rather earn less money and have lots of mates who think you’re a lovely person/doormat?
Actually, you may need several mission statements for different parts of your life, but they’re always potentially useful, if only in the cause of avoiding the wastage of time.