M is for Mission
Have you ever thought about the word mission? What it means? If you have one? If you know someone who you would say is on a mission? Or maybe you know someone who is a missionary?
I hadn't really thought about the word until I decided to use it for this blog. I know people who are missionaries - men and women who purposely go to countries and communities where they help less fortunate people under the name of Jesus.
I've heard people say, 'So and so's mission in life was to.... maybe lessen poverty in the world, or petition governments to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions.' There are many causes people advocate for.
What do these people who are missionaries or are on a mission have in common?
What do you think? I think, it's passion.
These people have a passion. That passion drives what they do with their life. A tragedy, a life circumstance, a value or talent can be the motivator to start. This passion gives the person a purpose for living. It's like they are on a one-way train ride towards achieving or making a difference in their community, country or the world. The achievement of what they are working for, is a part or all of their life's work.
I believe a mission does not have be finite - it can change with life events or circumstances. You can see this in the many people who have tragedies in their lives and afterwards set up foundations or charities to help others in the same situation.
This little diagram says that mission is the reason to be and why we exist.
Do you have a defined mission? I set myself some goals each year and I have a general idea of why I think I've been put on this earth, so I guess I am on the way to having Jenny's mission.
I have been looking up people's personal mission statements. Here are a few:
Oprah Winfrey, founder of OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network - "To be a teacher. And to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they thought they could be."
Sir Richard Branson, founder of The Virgin Group - "To have fun in [my] journey through life and learn from [my] mistakes."
So how do you decide on your mission or write a mission statement?
Here are 5 steps.
- Think about what's important to you. Consider the following areas: relationships, career, health, religion, finances, education, family.
Think about what you value in life. For example, a world of equality, honesty, financial security, friendships.
Ask yourself questions like:
Ø When am I at my best?
Ø What am I good at? What gifts and talents do I have?
Ø What gets me up in the morning and what makes me want to stay in bed? What do I have a passion for?
Ø What does my perfect day look like?
Ø What mistakes have I made so far in life that I don't want to repeat?
4. Decide how long your mission statement will be for. A year, five years, ten years, the rest of your life?
5. Write something down. Remember you can always change it.
Your mission can be as simple as getting out of bed in the morning. This is particularly poignant if you're suffering from anxiety and depression or grief. Or it can be a philosophical statement about how you approach your life. Or it can be dreams you hope to achieve or even your bucket list. Your mission is a personal statement - it is about you and your existence on earth.
I like this acrostic poem. Each letter refers to the author's mission in life:
I thought I'd try this for myself:
M ake the world aware of facial differences
I nspire others to accept themselves for who they are
S hare my experiences to be an encouragement and support
S ee everyone as equal in race, disability, gender
I nstil in my children self-worth, kindness and respect for others
O pen my heart to doing what God wants me to do
N etwork with others to learn more
I think my poem shows what I feel my purpose is for being on earth. It is goes hand-in-hand with the goals I have in the areas of my writing, youth work, advocacy for facial differences, disabilities and mental illnesses, and my desires for my children's characters. It also shows my Christian faith.
I'd love to hear what your mission in life is. Please leave a comment!