A mission statement. A declaration of goals. A brief explanation of purpose, scope and responsibility. Recently I read an article with the notion of a personal mission statement and it’s sticking with me.
When I was younger and more career-driven I read a lot about setting personal goals. Defining the ‘brand of me’ and other such fluff & nonsense meant to make me a more marketable, higher-paid individual. Some of it is indeed a bit shallow but the mission statement – if it’s done well – carries real meaning. And if you’re doing it for yourself – not for a boss, future boss, potential paycheck – well then, it could just become a guiding mantra. Something to keep those priorities in order. And goodness knows, I could always use some help keeping priorities in order.
In thinking of my own personal mission statement, I first look to where I spend my time: exercising, reading to my kids, attending to various family needs (food, laundry, homework, special events), reading to myself, praying. Then I think about the words that come out of my mouth – they certainly give a hint as to what I’m trying to do in my daily life:
“Don’t complain – solve the problem.” (attempting to raise resourceful children – aka children who don’t drive their mother insane with the whining & complaining)
“Quick like a bunny!” (trying to keep things going, moving forward, doing – not loitering, stalling or being lazy)
“Sure, I’ll try it!” (an attitude I try to have when presented with something new – an attitude I’d like to pass on to my kids)
But where’s the big picture? How does all that tie together? Maybe my goals should be:
– To raise children in a compassionate, creative, questioning, solution-oriented environment so that they can someday move on to be empathetic, curious, inspired, responsible adults. To give them the gift of a secure home with loving parents and a knowledge of the God that has given us so many blessings.
– To never let a day go by without seeking new knowledge. Knowledge to share, to muse upon, to laugh about.
– To be an active participant in my life. Grabbing the world, seeking its opportunities, finding and radiating energy.
Ah… now we’re getting somewhere. I think I could sum that up in a personal mission statement:
To be an active person in whatever role I’m needed – parent, spouse, friend or individual.
That sounds about right. My new mantra: Be Active. What’s yours?