It is the new year and for a few weeks I’ve been thinking about my new year resolutions. You know, a set of thoughts and ideas you’ve wanted to do, should do, but never got around to doing throughout the past year. And then low and behold, the new year comes rearing its ugly face at you taunting you for all you haven’t done!
It seems like the new year is a perfect time to “start over.” But the reality is that you can’t start over. You are where you are right now, never in the past, never in the future. The reality is that you have to change yourself right now.
But instead of the traditional resolutions, I thought it more appropriate to define my mission statement. Yea, I know, it sounds like one of those lofty-dofty dreamy things. But in reality it is something that everyone should do.
A few years ago at work I got a new boss and the first thing I asked of him when we first met was for him to define a mission statement for our team. For you see, I had grown tired of working in the cubical nightmare and not really knowing what our team was really being asked to do. I realized that in order for our team to be effective, and to be able to keep our manager honest with us, that we needed a “contract” to define what we put our energy towards. A statement that told other teams who we were, what we did, why we did it and to some extent how we did it – a mission statement.
Some time later after I went to work for another team my former boss sat with me and told me that it was a learning experience to go through that exercise. He said it helped him focus our team’s energies toward the objectives given to him by his management.
Long ago in my youth I went through a hard time emotionally. I guess the youth in me found it hard to find a mission in life, to find direction. I found comfort in my belief that God had a plan for me, even if I didn’t know what that plan entailed.
I found myself with a simple prayer – “God, I’m not sure where you want me or what you have in store for my life, but I ask that you let me be a positive difference in people’s lives, that I make this world a little better off than it was before I came unto it.”
Since that time I have found peace with that prayer from so long ago, with my direction, with my mission, with my life. I know that no matter where I go, who I meet or what I do, I will make a positive difference.
So, I guess my mission statement has always been with me for these years – to be a positive difference in people’s lives and to make the world better off than it was before I came unto it.
What is your mission in life? To build fortune, fame, power? Or to build something else? Or to leave something when you are gone?
Each individual’s time here is fleeing… but our collective missions, they never end.