Personal Vision Statement – a first draft

For the Sunshine State Library Leadership Institute (SSLLI), our homework for the next session is to create a personal vision statement, and mission statement.

While I am still working on refining my professional statements, I also took the opportunity to take the long view of myself in my personal life. What I want to be able to say about myself forty years from now, or what others will say about me.

This is very much a work in progress, and I’m sure it will continue to be so over time (one’s goals and aspirations change as one moves through life, after all), but in the spirit of the new year, I have decided to share the first draft of my personal vision – of who, and how I want to be.

  • to be proactive, not reactive
  • to cherish experiences and relationships over objects and things
  • to always find joy in creating
  • to never stop learning and improving
  • to let things go, but keep the fond memories
    • not be shackled by ideas of the past, or of my past self, but see it as a stepping stone on the path to my present and future
  • to not allow things I will regret into my life
  • to value others, to not see myself as superior to others, only different


I know that these are things I will have to strive to achieve every day, one step at a time, but hopefully writing them down in a place I can go back to and refer to them, and reevaluate them every once in a while, will help me to become the person that, through this process, I’ve discovered I want to be.


Self evaluation and review

I work within the library system at the University of Florida. In effort to increase my professional development for my role there, I have been taking the Supervisory Challenge courses at UF (that is where the values survey that vexed me came from).

In addition, I applied, and was accepted to the Sunshine State Library Leadership Institute (or SSLLI). With the SSLLI, I have a mentor who is there to help me along my journey of gaining leadership skills and the practical application thereof via our class project.

In preparing for my next meeting with my mentor (we use Google Hangouts, as she is in Tallahassee, and I’m in Gainesville), I decided it would be prudent to review the handouts and notes from session 1. That then drove me to describe how I would define success in my current position, and in my career. I also looked at what I thought were the skills the “perfect candidate” for my position would have, noted the ones where I didn’t feel confident in my own skills, and flagged those as areas of improvement.

This took a while, and a lot of hard thinking. So hard, in fact, that I got up and walked away from the introspection a few times because I was uncomfortable. But I came back to it, every time.  I ended up with a list of talking points for when I meet my mentor. And I have a better idea of where I am actually heading with this process – I have a metric of success, not just the vague notion “I want to learn leadership skills.”

I acknowledge these goals will change over time. That the job will change. I will change. But I feel more confident my my enrollment in this program now that I know what I expect to get from it.

And I realize that the same kind of evaluation of my self outside of my work environment – at home, with my writing, with my relationships – would be just as beneficial to me. If I know what kind of person I want to be (and yes, this does include going back and looking at the values survey), and can set goals that I know can change, I think I can make the most of each day. Or at least feel that I’m heading towards something, rather than just floating free, aimless, in the ether, waiting to see what life brings me.

I’m beginning to understand that life is about choices, but sometimes you need to know where you are headed – at least for now – to help you limit those choices so you are not overwhelmed. So you don’t shut down. So that you don’t lose days just drifting.