This weekend is a great time to enjoy the cooler weather, take a long walk in the woods and answer the personal question, “why am i here”? Why am on this earth? Why draw breath and take up space? What is my purpose in this existence?
I ask this question of most of my patients, friends, and family at some point, “Do you have a Mission Statement?” 99.8% of the time I get a confused look, a wrinkled brow, a few words perhaps and generally a resounding “no”. Occasionally a hear a short utterance like, “To be a good Mom” or “to make a difference”. Most people spend more time planning how they will spend their vacation then how they intend to live their lives. Stop for just a few minutes right now and put on the idea of how simple and joyous my life would be if I knew at the start of each and every day who I was and what my purpose was. Knowing this makes every decision and every action you take simpler, clearer, and more joyous.
A Mission Statement is NOT simply a set of rules I live my life by. A true Mission Statement is your mental construction, a vision of your BEST life. In some ways it's the “person I desire to be” living a life of my choosing. Once written you don’t spend years trying to be the person in your mission statement, you simply slip it on like a suit of clothes right now and simply live that way.
Every company in business has a mission statement so that when opportunities or decisions come their way, they ask themselves, is this the right direction for us? Is it in line with our mission statement?
Let me offer a different perspective. If you wrote a Mission Statement that painted you as a kind and loving supporter of the arts and you replayed that idea in your head each morning don’t you think you would scout out local art events and volunteer to make them more successful? If your Mission is to create harmony in all interactions would that affect your reaction to someone cutting you off in traffic? If I called you each morning and told you that your mission was to eat 5 vegetables today and I did that EVERY stinkin’ morning do you think that maybe your vegetable intake would increase and approach 5 each day?
As humans we are exposed to an avalanche of media, ideas, suggestions, opinions, marketing, demands, influences, fake news, sales pitches and more. If we don’t have a firm, well seated idea of who we have chosen to be and what we stand for then is it reasonable to think that these outside influences could create confusion, clutter, demands and chaos? Marketers and even our own families spend huge quantities of time and money attempting to influence our actions. If you don’t have a rudder in the water keeping you on course in your life, then you a mere dingy in the ocean being blown any direction the world wants you to go. Enjoy that journey. Our drown in unrealistic expectation. The choice is ours to make.
A true Mission Statement is never “done” or completed. It is a living document and always under re-construction. This is because your life changes daily and moves in new directions and so you are always changing in your hearts desires and needs. I have been writing my Mission Statement for over 2 decades. I wish I had been taught this magic when I was 20. Goals are short term targets but they are not a mission statement. Goals are important and can help you construct your Mission Statement, but a true Mission engages more than just goals. A Mission Statement holds a lot of content about your mindset and reflects your values as it generates positive emotion within. My Mission Statement reminds me of who I am and gets me excited each and every morning. It is in my head at 2 in the afternoon when a bad phone call comes in and I have to deal with a problem. It echoes each evening as I prepare myself for bed and let go of the days challenges. It never leaves me and acts as bedrock to which I anchor my life decisions. It is my core and it is ME in a world where everyone else wants to define me.
My mission statement is more than just my brain, my body, my ego, hair color and occupation, my Mission Statement is a reflection of my “Essence”. My Essence is the central core within my heart that is tied to God, to the universal knowing. Strip everything that I am away and there would still be an energy that is me encased in a mission. That's my Mission Statement. It wasn't built overnight, it oozed out of me day by day through experience and blunders. I made mistakes, bad choices, stepped in dog poop, and from it I learned. I opened my heart to hear a voice greater than my own and subjugated myself to be more energy than ego. I desired to place more energy in the meaning and intent of daily occurrence and disregard the importance of possessions. Life simply needs to be more than scratching items off a To Do list and accumulating stuff.
The stuff, the things, the material possessions don’t mean much to an energy that is plugged into joy, happiness and love. My Mission Statement allowed me to see my Ego and the role it played in creating pain in my life. Letting go of Ego allowed me to more fully lean into my Mission, my life. That's tough. That takes a little time. But this can’t even begin to materialize until we have the first scratching’s of a Mission Statement.
If I have convinced you that this is an idea worth pursuing, then I have obviously struck a pain point. Good. In fact, excellent. Riding ourselves of pain is a great place to start. Here is one line from my Mission Statement that brings me comfort and calm every single day that I read it:
Flow & Ease – each task is one of joy and surrender into the generous present moment as I immerse myself in the experience.
Each task is its own reward, not merely a means to an end. Holding Presence in doing.
Life is simple. We complicate it. But we don't have to. It is in fact simple and pure and joyous every second of every minute of every hour if we DECIDE to see it and lean into it. It is always right there at our fingertips. If you want to engage this journey then take on my 6 hour online Mind-Body Mission Course. There is a booklet that accompanies it to help you track notes and ideas. You can engage this course by calling my office to obtain the booklet and video links. See this LINK for more info on the course.