July 30, 2012

What's your mission?

This is different from: "What's your dream?" Your mission is usually one of your dreams, but it' not the entirety of them. One of our dreams is to spend three months out of every year in Taiwan, and nine months in the States. During our three months in Taiwan every year, we want to work with Yen Ling's church and with the ministry I previously worked with to minister to the Taiwanese & Chinese people -- we are 2-3 years away from living that dream. Another dream is owning a home in Highlands, NC -- large enough so that family and friends can stay with us often. One more of our many dreams is to travel to every continent with our children. 

What's our mission? It's evolving. Missions (as with dreams) are alive. They grow. They require food and water, shelter and relationships, exercise and fun. But at the core of it, our mission is: "To change how the next generation thinks about food." That might not be your mission, but it's very closely related to my personal passion which can be summed up in my life verse from John 10:10 when Jesus said: "I have come that you might have life, and have it abundantly." The next generation will be the sickest generation ever. According to Jamie Oliver and Dr. David Katz (Yale University), the next generation will have a lifespan 10 years shorter than their parents. Abundant lives cannot be lived without abundant health, and we have to do something before chronic diseases like cancer completely overtake our children.

So what's your mission? What drives you every day to do what you do? In whatever you do, it is important to have embedded in it a mission that resonates with you. In order to be able to get out of bed in the morning and do what you do at a level beyond "excellent", there must be a core mission that compels you. And one key is that it also compels others. We accomplish so much more when we work together with similarly mission-minded people.

If you can't state your mission succinctly, then I encourage you to take some time to think about it. It needs to be specific enough that it guides you -- it should act as a compass or a filter that helps you evaluate how to spend your time. And when you share your mission with others, they should immediately understand how they can help you accomplish it -- maybe by introducing you to someone who has a similar passion. Without a life compass, you can't know if you are headed in the right direction. At some point in our lives, almost all of us have felt like we are just hamsters on the wheel of life. A clear mission gives us purpose, and living every day with a specific purpose makes life considerably more fulfilling.

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