In the last post, I mentioned what a personal mission statement is and why your quest for meaning and balance should begin with its writing as well as how unique it should be to you.
Again, according to the definition, some key words can be identified, ‘personal’, ‘mission’, ‘values’, ‘principles’, ‘character’ and ‘contribution’.
According to Viktor Frankl, “Everyone has his own specific mission or vocation in life…. therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated…” You need to give this some thought. You are to be a meaningful-specific and not some wandering-generality.
While we don’t necessarily invent our mission, we discover them. The discovery of mission begins with having the end in mind. ‘What will I be remembered for when I leave the earth?’ is a question to keep asking. I advise you to listen to your conscience, not the voice of society’s expectations and demands.
Another step is to ask yourself if your current choice of lifestyle, career or relationships align with the voice of your conscience. Are you betraying your meaning or fulfilling it?
Next, we need to consider your values and principles. Values are subjective while principles are objective, but principles should inform values. Principles are time-tested, fundamental and proven laws regardless of people or society designed to promote harmony in human existence.
To the degree to which we live by principles, that is the degree to which we experience our true meaning. Values can be products of influence, society or principles. Values can change but principles don’t. Principles are divine and originate from the almighty God.
Your values system therefore must be based on principles of honesty, love, fairness, integrity, humility, fidelity, industry, justice, self-control. Your values must align with these unchanging principles or you will be setting yourself up for serious inner conflicts. Even dictators, thieves and the mafia claim to have a value system.
Just for the records again; to the degree to which we live by principles, do we discover our true meaning and experience inner peace.
Take time to clarify your value system using timeless principles. Next, work to ensure your actions are consistent with your creeds. It’s a daily struggle but it’s the only kind of war for which I believe we ought to take up arms – conquering ourselves and subordinating our lives to principles. The tension and struggles are worthwhile.
I remember Aristotle’s conclusion on the human condition, “Only the good can be happy, and only the virtuous can be good.” The pursuit of virtue is one of life’s noblest missions.