Four years ago, I happened upon a book called “The Path.” I discovered it on my book shelf, although I don’t remember ever purchasing it. I love how God works. Someone left it behind unintentionally for me to find. It was written years ago, in the late ‘90s, by Laurie Beth Jones. I read the book and completed the included journaling exercises, which focus on helping you discover and write a personal mission statement for your life.
After being asked to cull through a list of hundreds of adjectives and choose just three (a nearly impossible task), I narrowed the list down to three phrases: To connect. To create. To share. I then used those three adjectives to craft my personal mission statement: To live a life of joy and creativity, sharing my experiences to inspire women.
The purpose of this exercise was to get at the basic motives and passions that drive me. The process of discovering and identifying these adjectives was quite powerful. The author suggests that if every part of our life is not in line with these most basic building blocks of our inner being, then our life will be constantly at odds, causing frustration, anxiety and stress.
Understanding that these core ideas are what really makes me tick was a huge eye opener. They are a filter I use to make decisions about how to use my time and talents.
I have a deep desire to connect with women in my life one on one, so lots of quality time with my circle of close girlfriends is critical. I am also creative and love the process of birthing new ideas and bringing them to fruition. And sharing my experiences and what I’ve learned is life giving to me, which is why I love writing and inspiring women.
If you are a creative person, with a passion to help people, but you’re stuck in an office doing accounting work, you’ll likely feel dissatisfied. If you have an innate desire for adventure and spontaneity, but every part of your life is mundane and governed by routine, chances are, you’ll constantly feel frustrated.
Going through the exercise of discovering what your inner passions are, and then developing a mission statement for your life based on those deep dreams and desires can be a very powerful and effective process. Discovering your life’s purpose doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll quit a career you’ve spent years building to become an artist, or drop everything and move to Cambodia to run an orphanage. But, it can give you important insight that will allow you to build these core values into your life.
If you’re creative, sign up for an art class, make time and space for pursuing a hobby, or volunteer for a project at work that fulfills your creative side. If you have altruistic needs that aren’t being fulfilled, volunteer with your church or a local non-profit, or mentor a younger co-worker over coffee or lunch.
God created us all so uniquely and beautifully, with a plan and purpose for each of our lives. Psalm 139:13-14 says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
What passions, dreams and desires has God planted in your heart? I encourage you to write your own personal mission statement. Here’s a good blog on how to write a mission statement and a link to an online mission statement builder.
And when you’re done, post a comment with your new personal mission statement. I’d love to hear what inspires you!