Making a personal statement   Leave a comment



A personal statement is a phrase or sentence that sums you up. It could be what you are, what you hope to be, or the person you are determined not to be. Everyone should have their own personal statement locked away in their mind for when life gets rough. Underneath is a list of possible statements to use in your life. You may decide to write one in your diary, your English portfolio, or your journal. If none suits you, then make one up and keep it locked away in your brain gym for future use.

  1. Better, smarter, nicer: Pick any two.
  2. Walk a mile in my shoes before you judge me.
  3. Those that doubt me don’t know me.
  4. God don’t make no junk, baby.
  5. No one defines me except me.
  6. If I’m not learning, I’m not earning.
  7. Courage is never loud. It’s a soft voice saying: “I will try again tomorrow.”
  8. Let others doubt. I know the universe is big enough to contain all my dreams.
  9. I must be the change I wish to see in the world.
  10. If I treat others well, God will give me an alibi.
  11. Real people fail. I’m going to fail better than anyone else.
  12. Stupidity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting a different result.
  13. I was sick, but I’m better now, and there’s work to be done.
  14. You can’t get to me. There’s ice in my hands, my friend.
  15. Effort comes from the muscles, not from nerves.
  16. I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.
  17. Yesterday I did, today I do, and tomorrow I will.
  18. I belong where I choose to go.
  19. Pain is weakness leaving the body.
  20. If I can’t make them understand, I will make them marvel.

Pick your favourite 10 statements and write a detailed explanation of what you think they mean. You should also see what other schools/cultures/individuals adopt as their personal statement (or mission statement) and see if you have something in common.





You are going for a job interview. In the lobby of the company you are visiting, your eye drifts up to the poster on the wall. In big, bold lettering, it reads:


Perhaps you should get up and leave now. You know the quote is by Spencer Johnson. You and your class have adopted this as your mission statement since day 52 in first year English. You have lived by its motto and you turn to your friend. You say: “Should we go?” Instead, he says: “We’ll buy the company first.” Congratulations. You are a multimillionaire and you are conducting an interview to see if the company is suitable to add to your portfolio.

Many companies have recently added mission statements and vision statements to their company mottos. A mission statement is a statement of your goals and ambitions. It is based in the present. It is who you are today and what your class represents. It is also the statement that sums you up best and that you want the world to see. Here are some famous companies and their mission statements:

  1. Dell: Dell’s mission is to be the most successful computer company in the world at delivering the best customer experience in markets we serve.
  2. Facebook: Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.
  3. Google: Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
  4. Skype: Skype’s mission is to be the fabric of real-time communication on the web.
  5. Yahoo!: Yahoo!’s mission is to be the most essential global Internet service for consumers and businesses.

As you can see, the statements are short and to the point. You (and your class) should make out a list of ‘power’ words that you feel represent your mission as English students. Compile them in a grid and then choose the most important two or three to go into a statement. The grid below should help with this.

delivering the best customer experience …nurture and
give people the power to share …enrich and
organize the world’s information …harness and
fabric of real-time communication …empower and
essential global Internet service …educate and


The mission statement can now be printed off and put on the front of everyone’s English portfolio and journals. It should also be made into a banner to put on the wall of the classroom.



I hope this post helped you to understand the difference between a personal statement and a mission statement. This is just one lesson from the book ‘Blue-Sky Thinking’, available now on Amazon. It is a workbook for secondary school students to practise their descriptive, thinking and life skills. It can also be viewed for free by clicking on the link underneath:


or the Teachers’ Guide with the solution to all the grids and fill-in-the-blanks in the workbook:

Teachers’ Guide




You can also click on any of the book images below to see more of Liam’s books. The images will take you to the bookstore.




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