Mission vs Goal
Mission and goal are two words sound similar, don’t they? This is why many people remain confused while using these words. Though both mission and goal talk about what you want in your life, there is a lot of difference between mission and goal which will be clear after reading this article.
Let us try to differentiate between mission and goal a fun way. Suppose you are playing a game of football. Now your ultimate objective is to win the game. This is your mission. Now, to achieve your mission, you need to score goals, but merely scoring goals does not mean you will win the game. Similarly, if you fail to score goals, you will not achieve your mission, that is to win the game. Even if you fail to score a goal on a few occasions, but score enough, you can still win the match which is what your mission is.
I think this game explains a lot. You can have a lot of goals, but all of them are designed to push you in a particular direction that will take you to your ultimate mission. Thus, mission is something broader than goals. You can have various goals in life and goals keep changing depending upon your age and thinking. When you are a kid, you set a goal of getting a decent job, to marry and to settle down with family. All these goals are overlapping and come within the larger mission in your life to be successful.
A mission is a long term objective or result that individuals, groups, organizations and even governments set to achieve. There can be various ways, strategies, plans, and even goals that are used to achieve this mission. Thus it is clear that goals are only milestones on the grand road that takes one to his mission and mission is the biggest and most important thing to be achieved or accomplished.
Companies usually have a mission statement that reflects their long term goals. It has a future orientation and tells us what the aim of the company is and how it proposes to achieve that aim.
Goals are ends towards which effort and action is directed. Although it is an aim, it is not the supreme goal which is always the mission of an individual or a company. Goals are always smaller than mission. This is also reflected by the fact that there can be many goals but there is always one mission.
One should know the difference between goals and mission or else he is doomed to move in circles, round and round. There should be no ambiguity about the mission of an organization which is always supreme and the sole purpose of any organization while goals are minor milestones that need to be achieved to get to the final objective that is the mission of the organization.
To end on a funny note, here is a meaningful quote. The difference between a mission and goals is reflected when one says that he wants to get married which is a goal and that he wants a successful marriage which is his mission.