Since I only had one respondent to Do You Have a Mission Statement?, maybe this topic is even more important than I thought (or maybe it’s been overdone. Feel free to comment on this topic if you desire). As you may remember, I’m sharing my notes from a presentation by a physician who spoke to the PSU-Hershey Christian Medical Society. Good material! My purpose is to stimulate conversation/thought on:
“Do you have a personal mission statement? If so, how did you come about one? Was this a part of (or separate from) your undergraduate/graduate academic community, adviser’s mentoring, campus ministry, “journey,” training?
If you haven’t explored this territory in the past, I hope that this post encourages you to do such.
As I noted last week, the physician began by pointing out the incompleteness of success defined as
“‘Be smart + work hard + be nice’ plus some God.”
He focused upon how we must be open and available to God integrating into all aspects of our life, even the good ones. Imagine a Calculus integration problem. Furthermore, cultivate a vision for life: a single image which captures your imagination, as it is inspired by God, in movement toward an ultimate goal. For more visit Do You Have a Mission Statement?
- Vocation/calling is the practical/mystical intersection of need and passion.
- The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet. — Frederick Buechner. Wishful Thinking (HarperCollins. 1993. 119).
- Listening to the voice of God depends on silence. But as it is easy to deceive oneself, one must weigh what one hears against the wise counsel of others.
- Vision to Mission Statement: start at the “end” (with your vision) and move backward
- Imagine your eulogy, i.e., one that tells the story as it truly was.
- Create a mission statement through self-examination which includes all the elements of your life (Physical, Professional, Social, Spiritual)
- Memorable, recite to self.
- Build the Kingdom of God
- Know God
- Serve God
- Good Husband
- Good Father
- Good Physician
- Live Simply
- Live Healthily
- Build the Kingdom of God
- Set goals and strategy. Map to get to your goals through conscious and intentional living which stays on the narrow road in the midst of all the pressures and people who seek to shape your schedule
- Follow through by
- Living consciously/intentionally
- Setting priorities
- Saying “yes”/”no”
- Acting courageously.
- Being strong.
- Doing everything in love (I Corinthians 16:14)
- No regrets in the care for time, energy, relationships.
- Specific suggestions:
- Daily reading of the Word of God
- Praying on your knees, i.e., a physical act of humility
- Create a mission statement and a strategic plan
- Many of us “think better” when writing. [Note: Although I brainstorm best in conversation, my ideas receive valuable refinement and memories “remembered” when the time is taken to “write them down on paper”].
- First page: review of goals, mission statement
- One entry per day. May be short.
- Frequent self-reminders (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly)
- Yearly assessment. Note: speaker does his yearly assessment on his birthday in late December. Great timing for reviewing the year and preparing for the next.
- Important to be intentional and strategic
- Keep God in the formula, integrated throughout the entirety of the formula, i.e., all aspects of life.
A Few Resources to Stimulate Further Exploration of the Topic
- Speaker: Stephen J. Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (Simon and Schuster. 2004).
- For Book Discussion: The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life (Os Guinness. Thomas Nelson Inc. 2003).
- For Article Discussion
- Loving God in the Flesh in the Real World (Thomas B. Grosh IV. Emerging Scholars Network).
- Mission Statement in Higher Education: Is Sports in Your Mission Statement? (Charles T. Clotfelter. Chronicle of Higher Education. 10/24/2010).
- For families seeking discernment in parenting: Wise Stewards: Philosophical Foundations of Christian Parenting (Michael W. Austin. Kregel. 2009). More on this resource coming.