I just wrote a personal mission statement – the first I have written in oh, let’s say, 8 years.
Right now, my dad is giving his own manager training to all managers and team leads at each of our Utah offices. Once a month, I join his classes via FaceTime to listen in.
Regardless of the lifelong training I’ve received by simply being his daughter, I have been officially certified in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People twice. And, you guessed it! The last time was circa 2007.
To be honest, I don’t even know that I wrote a personal mission statement then. I’m sure I did. I’m never one to skip my homework, but I have no recollection of actually doing it. I can only imagine, knowing where I was at that point in my life, how my mission statement would sound. I can remember my first more distinctly. My first mission statement was written in Fall 2001, and it was certainly for a teenager, by a teenager. I think it is safe to say that now, my words hold a little more weight and a longer lasting value for who I am today and who I will still be 50 years from now.
I’m going to refrain from sharing my entire mission statement here. I think that kind of self-honesty does not always need to be shared. Instead, I’m going to talk about my obituary.
As part of the activity to create a personal mission statement, you go through some steps. These steps include, highlighting three influential people in your life and why they have influenced you, finding three quotes you find meaningful, and writing your own obituary as you want it to be.
This, may be self-centered, but the very act of creating who you are is unavoidably selfish. It should be selfish!
While some of these things seem far fetched and mockable, I can tell you that this is who I want to be to each of my friends and my immediate family. I hope you will help me in my journey to become this person.
Cassandra Marie was known to many as simply, Caz – a name that was somehow all-encompassing of her character and charisma. Caz can be remembered as a woman who loved animals like children and loved her children even when they were animals. All joking aside, she had a wild and broad understanding of humanity and although she could finish your thoughts and recite your woes for you, she listened with an open heart. As a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a daughter, a sister, and dear friend – she will be remembered most for her advocacy of choice. Choice, she taught, was the greatest human power instilled in us from the beginning. Choice, she would remind us, always comes from within. As a parent, she guided her children quietly by listening to them and encouraging their ability to make good decisions for themselves while considering others. As a spouse, she remained balanced, open-minded, and ready to learn – always seeking to improve herself and find new purpose or adventure. Together, Stark and Caz learned an unconditional, patient love that was shared with each of us here today. While Caz was never one to accept less than your best effort, she knew none of us, including herself, were perfect. As such, she has taught those she has touched through her example of patience and positive attitude, and can truly be remembered as someone that made the world a greater place for us all to live. Her power to forgive, and her ability to let us all grow in our own way and make our own decisions will be the legacy she leaves us and generations after us.
Don’t worry. I’m not dead… But, I encourage you to do something similar. Viewing your future self through the eyes of someone you want in your life is a great way to help put into perspective who you should be today and every day for the rest of your life.
Oh, and here the quotes I chose for myself:
“People where you live,” the little prince said, “grow five thousand roses in one garden… yet they don’t find what they’re looking for…
They don’t find it,” I answered.
And yet what they’re looking for could be found in a single rose, or a little water…”
Of course,” I answered.
(From my Mom) “The things that matter most should never be at the mercy of the things that matter least.” – Goethe
“Everyone needs more love than they deserve…” Mom
“One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. But to sacrifice what you are and to live without belief, that is a fate more terrible than dying.” – Joan of Arc
They danced down the streets like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I’ve been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!” – On The Road, Jack Kerouac (1957)