My experiences in life have lead me to a deep understanding of the need for a personal mission statement. I believe that all our actions are creating the words of our legacy. The only way to truly change someone's understanding of you is through action. When someone passes away to me their legacy and missions statement is said about them. We all know those that have been taking away from us too early by the way of tragedy. Unless they were living by their intrinsic value many of the statements made about them are aligned with "They were great individuals but," it is that but that has had me thinking about my own legacy. We have also been to celebrations of life where there is a harmonious tone in each of the individuals sharing their personal experience of the deceased. That has been eye opening to me, it is as if each individual was writing their experience of the deceased side by side.
I would like to share an experience that shaped my healing process. While in prison my father who is almost 50 years older than me had a medical emergency. My family never let me know the reality until after I got out of prison. It was during this time that I realized my legacy with my father up to that point was one of negative experiences and action. I was his only son that has been to prison, struggled with an 18 year addiction to substances, and diminished my last name. I was completely ignorant to my ancestral heritage and all the steps that were taken to give me an opportunity at life.
After reading the book by Stephen Convey 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, I was given insight on the need for a personal mission statement. In the book there is a portion that helps you prepare to create your own personal mission statement by keeping the end in mind. What words do I want others to speak about me when I make it to the end of my road. It became very clear as I stated early, that the words of each of our stories are told about us in the way we engage with the world. It is easy to fool those around you with words, do the actions of your words match the way you live. So I crafted my very own personal mission statement.
"With integrity, love, and compassion I will be an instrument of change in my life and the lives of those struggling. I will continue to be someone the world needs, by being the best version of myself daily. So I can inspire others to be the best versions of themselves." This has become my modus operandi. When I get confused on the path to take I repeat my personal mission statement to myself. If it aligns with my mission statement I am in and if it doesn't I have learned to love from afar. The self-knowledge gained by learning who I am allows me to respect and have a deep appreciation for the differences around me. I don't believe respect is something that others have to earn. This is a toxic way of thinking. Trust is something that is earned and it shouldn't be given away freely. Everyone deserves respect because we are all blessings. It is my opinion that we are all blessings just because we were born.
Some of the ways to start crafting your own personal mission statement. You can begin by answering theses questions.
What is important to you?
What/Whom do you value?
How is your life connected to the things you value?
Create a core values list and narrow that list down to three specific values you want to strive for in your life?
How do you want to contribute to life as a whole?
How do you want to make a difference in your life and the lives of others?
How do you want to be remembered? We are the sum of all our choices and decisions, so even bad decisions can be corrected with awareness and action.
After answering these questions begin to craft a statement that you can show up to in your life. Remember that as you are provided with more information through your experiences, your mission statement can adjust and change. The start to my mission statement was the first sentence and it has evolved as I have evolved in my healing journey.