As some of you may remember, I embarked some time ago on the development of a Personal Mission Statement (http://www.joepollhein.com/2009/01/write-personal-mission-statement.html). The blog post above was written on January 13th, 2009...over a year ago.
Three days ago, I finished my Personal Mission Statement.
"What took you so long, Joe?" Well, I took the advice of Stephen Covey and took my time to discover my personal mission statement. It really was a journey of self-discovery. I tried to create something that was the essence of how I strive to live my life. My guidelines were simple: A statement of what I wanted my life to be about as I seek "to Live, to Love, to Learn, and to leave a Legacy."
True introspection, or in this case, self "inspection" can be very difficult. It is why so many of us find it so hard to tackle something like a personal mission statement. We don't always like what we see in the mirror. We alone, in our own "deep inner lives," know our deepest successes and failures. We alone know the raw truth about who we are, what we have accomlished and the important work we have left to do. We alone know how satisfied or unsatisfied we are with that reflection.
I struggled to put into words my deepest inner desires of what my life should be about...of what I want to be remembered for long after I am gone. I wanted to put into words the design of the compass that will guide me through the rest of my life.
I love the analogy of the "natural process." A ripe red tomato cannot be picked the day after we plant the seed. We must nurture that seed to become a seedling. We must then nurture that seedling to become a tomato plant. Then we must nurture that plant to bear fruit. Only after that natural process is complete can we have that wonderful ripe red tomato....the "fruit of our labor."
Too often we look for the quick-fixes in life. We are all guilty of trying to short-circuit the natural process. In reality, we must pay the price in thought, reflection, and deep inspection of ourselves to produce a mission statement that is truly meaningful and can provide direction for our lives.
Now that the mission statement is written, the really hard work begins.
Now, I must live up to it.
THAT will be the life-long process of building a life and a legacy that is all that I believe it can be.
If you would like a copy of my personal mission statement (I don't know the world-at-large well enough to put it in writing here, but will share with those of you who care enough to drop a line), please send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send it off to you. Maybe it will help you build your own. I would also be more than willing to help you in the process....just send me a note.