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Meaning and Difference Between a Goal, Mission, and Dream (with Examples)

Nikhil is a freelance writer for a year who love sharing useful and interesting articles on various topics.


We all know the importance of setting up goals, missions, and having a dream. And many of us also follow writing them down on a piece of paper or on digital. But some of us get confused between the exact meaning of a dream, mission, and goal.

Let’s try to understand the difference between the three with the help of relevant examples.

Difference between a goal, mission, and mission

Difference between a goal, mission, and mission


Everyone knows and understands the concept of a goal.

We always talk goals in two forms, short-term and long-term. But have you ever thought about why we say so? It’s because your goals are what you plan to do in the future on a set deadline.

Your set goals can be short or long and can be again created as and when you achieve the previous ones.

Your goals ignite your dreams and help it inspire you to become the best version of yourself.

Unless you have a worthwhile goal to move forward in your life, you won’t find your purpose. Therefore, it’s important to set goals, revisit them frequently, and train your mind and heart to follow them.



Imagine yourself as a college-goer who is struggling to understand the concept of industrialization.

So, to improve yourself and understand it better, you decided to ask at least two questions related to this with your batch mates every day.

This plan of yours to ask doubts and queries on industrialization every Friday can be called as your goal. How? Well, it’s because you’re defining the actual deadline (here Friday) of doing this action.

Similarly, if you’re a writer and plan to write and publish at least 30 articles in a month, it becomes your yet another goal.

It’s because you’re drawing out a plan to write these many articles in a fixed period (deadline). Setting up these action plans or challenges are what we call goals.

When we define a goal to achieve in our lives, we give a clear message to our mind and body to work for that goal whole-heartedly every day.


So, a dream can be anything that you see or feel while sleeping. It is the combination of images, desires, thoughts, or fears that you have in your unconscious mind.

When you dream, you don’t do any action, apart from, of course, getting scared by the nightmare.

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Like just goals, you can have unlimited dreams one after another. But it’s something that cannot be controlled by our conscious mind.

So, we don’t have a hold of our dreams, at least not yet.



So, for dreaming, you don’t have to imagine yourself as someone else.

You can dream about anything that you want to have in your life.

You can have multiple dreams about buying a supercar, flying like a Superman, or touring the whole world without costing a single dollar. But don’t underestimate the power of your dreams.

Dreams can become so powerful that it can make reality someday. As the saying, if you can dream it, you can surely do it!

So, a dream can be anything that you saw or imagine while sleeping. Unlike the goal, a dream doesn’t have a definite deadline.

There no ‘doing’ when it comes to dreaming yet; it can influence your thoughts and, ultimately, your actions.


A mission is a statement that works in sync with your life’s purpose. The mission is usually a big target that you set to achieve something in your life or organization.

The statements that we write in describing our mission is what is called a mission statement.

A person or organization with a strong mission is usually self-motivated and self-guided. But that doesn’t mean he/she is perfect.

When we talk about a mission in general, you must have a picture in your mind with a long-term target that you want to achieve in your life, along with being successful.

Now, a mission shouldn’t necessarily be time-bound. But it surely has a clear message that can tell anyone to understand your cause.

It will be clearer if you see the below example:



So, you’re an office-goer now, leading a team of web developers in your organization.

Your life seems to be set in the corporate sector. However, you soon realized that you wouldn’t be able to lead a good life without any purpose and mission in life.

To solve this, you decided to create a mission of yours to teach 200,000 poor children for free and enroll them in a local government school.

Although this mission statement seems incomplete on first sight, it is enough to understand the concept of a mission.

So, this mission speaks a lot about the life-long plan what you want to achieve and do in your life.


With this, we came to the end of this article. I hope that you get to know the difference between the three terms in general language with this article.

I’m positive that this article will help many understand and become clearer about each of these similar phrases.

Did you like reading the article? Or did I fall short on something? Please do let me know in the comments down below.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Nikhil Sharma


Nikhil Sharma (author) from India on September 10, 2020:

Thank you, Liz.

Best wishes!

Liz Westwood from UK on September 10, 2020:

You explain these terms well in this article.

Nikhil Sharma (author) from India on September 10, 2020:

Thank you, Mr. Umesh Chandra Bhatt and Danny, for reading the article and sharing your valuable comments. Stay connected to read more such articles in the future!

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on September 10, 2020:

Nikhil, thanks for such precise explanation of these entities.

Danny from India on September 10, 2020:

Nicely explained the concepts.

Nikhil Sharma (author) from India on September 10, 2020:

Thank you, Ms. Suchismita, for taking the time reading the article and sharing your thoughts.

Keep connected!

Nikhil Sharma (author) from India on September 10, 2020:

Thank you so much, Ms. Poonam, for your encouraging words.

Yes, I'm doing my best to draw out the best quality writing out of me.

Thanks for your wishes :)

Suchismita Pradhan from India on September 10, 2020:

Good one.Keep writing.

POONAM MALIK from Faridabad on September 10, 2020:

Yet another feather in your cap,Nikhil. You are doing really well in your writing journey. Wish you many accolades.

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