Several years ago I was a guest of the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City at a workshop on “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” One of the exercises was to write a personal mission statement. Intrigued with the process, I continued revising mine long after the workshop concluded.
You see, I’m one of those people who needs to know WHY. I want to understand my raison d’être—my reason for being. I’ve spent quiet moments thinking about my purpose in life, and I’ve come to realize that my personal and professional missions merge together seamlessly.
My threefold mission in life is:
- To understand the world around me.
- To create order from within the chaos.
- To share unconditionally the abundance in my life.
That’s it in three word: understand, create and share. Those words came to life after I spent considerable time exploring the colorful dimensions of each.
I am a lifelong learner, committed to exploring the world with a childlike curiosity. I never begin a journey of discovery by seeking answers. Instead, I first make sure I’m asking the right questions. The answers magically manifest themselves as I coax them out of hiding through authentic inquiry.
Although I believe everything happens for a reason, I also want to understand why. My quest for understanding compels me to find out why things happen the way they do. Therefore, I approach a job loss, a cancer diagnosis or any other teachable moment as a unique opportunity to understand God’s plan for my life. Such opportunities never make sense as they are unfolding. Only afterward am I able to look back and slowly comprehend the infinite value of the experience.
Only as I first lay a solid foundation of understanding am I able to fulfill the next two dimensions of my personal mission—to create and to share.
A favorite quote: Seek first to understand, then to be understood. (Stephen Covey)
Life often appears fragmented. It’s like I’m looking into a kaleidoscope seeing random patterns of colorful objects. My life purpose is to rearrange the elements within the chaos to create something of value.
Any life transition is a fertile time sandwiched between deconstruction and construction. It provides a special opportunity to create, to construct and to arrange the building blocks into something new. The chaos within a transition represents my opportunity to create a new juxtaposition of the existing materials.
Only after I’ve gained understanding and created something of value can I then move to the third element of my mission—sharing.
A favorite quote: Confusion is a word we have invented for an order of things not yet understood. (Henry Miller)
I try to live daily with an abundance mentality (as opposed to a scarcity mindset). The basic premise is that there will always be enough for everyone. What I give away does not subtract from what I have left. Strangely, when I give unconditionally with no expectation of any return, I receive back many times what I originally shared.
As others experience life changes and navigate their own transitions, I am willing to share with them the understanding I gained in the first phase of my mission, and I also seek to share what I’ve created in the second phase.
So the third reason God placed me here on this earth is to share with others. Generously. And unconditionally.
A favorite quote: Remember this—whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. (Jesus Christ)
Have you thought about your purpose in life? What is your personal mission? Have you discovered your unique, high calling?