I have a personal mission statement for my life. Hokey… yes. Academic… just a little. Trite and frivolous… no way.
You see, my mission statement pushes me to live my life and to view things in a particular way…in a way that I have consciously chosen to look at things. A realist by nature and downright pessimistic at times, the life view demanded by my mission statement is completely different than how I would naturally look at things. This mission statement forces me in a direction that is uniquely different from the way I would approach life on autopilot.
My mission statement is a bit of intentional dreaming I did years ago under one of my mentors, Tricia Thurman. Tricia taught me that personal mission statements should capture the type of person we want to be, which for me was a long distance away from the type of person I was.
I wrote my mission statement as part of a class, and then reviewed it and edited it daily until it seemed right. It took me three week of off-and-on thinking to craft my mission statement, and the months and years following were perhaps the happiest time of my life. Everything I did, everything I saw, and everything I felt snuggled warmly against my newfound mission. For the first time, all of life seemed to fit together, like a jigsaw puzzle with no missing pieces.
But then life got busy, two more kids came along, my mother-in-law got Alzheimer’s, my father-in-law died, my dad died, and for some reason I forgot my mission. I started to withdraw. Life for me grew darker…not bad, just darker.
Out of the blue, my mission statement popped into my head the other day. I don’t know why it did. I was just driving down the road and I guess my mind wandered. (Thank you, wandering mind.) Since then, my view of life has been a little clearer, my work has been a bit more productive, and I have seen a joy I haven’t noticed in quite some time. Welcome back, mission statement. I’ve missed you.
I know the path to your mission will be different than mine. I know it won’t take you three weeks…it may be shorter or perhaps longer. But I also know you will be happier if you spend the intentional time deciding what type of person you want to be when you grow up.
Post your mission statements on this blog, and let me know the process you went through to get to yours. We’ll all grow from sharing our experiences.
James Hale—MISSION STATEMENT: Happy with my life, thankful for my gifts, and awed by inspirations from those around me.
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