The first step in the process of mining the gold from within you is to prepare a balanced Mission Statement. A mission statement is the consummate and concise expression of our fundamental choices and priorities in life. It’s our life principle, our personal philosophy of life that permeates and dominates our entire being and possesses us in the very marrow of our bones. Just as breathing exercises help integrate body and mind, writing is a kind of psycho-neural muscular activity which helps bridge and integrate the conscious and subconscious minds. Writing distils, crystallizes, and clarifies thought. Our mission statements reveal the varied priorities and primary concerns we have in life such as duty, recognition, money, fame, need, success, fun, relationships, approval of others, etc.
Your life mission is your reason for being in this world. It is your vocation, your calling in life. Mission is an energy that flows through you — a drive, a voice, or a passion that you cannot ignore or resist. It is your heart’s deepest aspirations. George Bernard Shaw has given consummate expression to this burning passion in the human soul: “This is the true joy in life, being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.
I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It is sort of a splendid torch which I have a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it over to future generations.”
Very often the dominant life principle is hidden in the dark dungeons of the subconscious. Through a mission statement we lure it out of the dark subconscious spheres and bring it to the bright regions of the conscious mind. In the zigs and zags of our daily living certain desires, goals and needs dominate all our other desires and needs and these dominating desires colour the fabric of our choices like the dominant theme in a piece of music. As long as we are alive and kicking our mission on this earth is unfinished, the symphony of our life mission is incomplete.
Your mission statement is your personal philosophy of life
In the inexorable flow of time each one of us, unconsciously, conceives, designs and fashions a personal philosophy of life, by which we are guided, inspired and motivated. This personal philosophy becomes the moral and spiritual compass for keeping the ship of our life in the right direction. Without the right philosophy we will find ourselves tossed all over the place, swept here and there, by the fast moving tides of current fashionable values and practices. It is this personal philosophy by which we assess the quality of our achievements and accomplishments.
A sound personal philosophy of life is a function of principle-centred priorities in life. Life is well ordered and meaningful when we set priorities that harmonize with each other. Priorities are those values that matter most in life. Priorities bring single-mindedness of purpose. Priorities are your most fundamental aspirations. They bring clarity about what to care most, what to do first, what to let go of and what to pay attention to.
For your personal philosophy to be effective and creative allot quality time to implementing it. Meditate on the deep values embedded in it. Pray over it. Ask the Divine to infuse it with light, grace and wisdom. Align your thoughts, words and deeds with your personal philosophy of life. A new sense of dignity and a fresh infusion of strength are added to you when you fulfil the promises you make to yourself.
Prof Dr. John Mathews is a professor of English Literature and Philosophy. A motivational speaker and columnist, he is the author of The Wisdom & Power of Positive Living and An Encyclopaedic Treasury Of Positive Thoughts For Effective And Creative Living.