This morning, a friend of mine tagged me in a Facebook post and asked me what I thought about an article that she read. After reading the article, I realized I had a lot to say about it, so I decided to create my own post about that article. Essentially, the article said that your mission is not your passion and that your passion determines what you want from your life and your mission statement is how you get it. I happen to think it’s exactly the opposite.
What’s the difference between your mission in life and your passion?
Some people think that your mission is life is singular, like this author who thinks clarity about your mission results in a manifesto for your life. As someone who is in the middle of my 6th decade on this earth, my mission in life has changed drastically over the past 40 or so years, my passions and values, not as much. In my teens and 20s, my mission was to get an education and get a good job. Although my parents did their best to push me toward engineering, math and science, I chose to follow my passion for writing, reading and communication. I didn’t make as much money as my fellow science and math focused graduates, but I was happy and that was enough for me at the time.
When the mission shifts and the passion cools
After a job switch or two and the end of an unhappy marriage, I finally relented and let my dad get me job in the engineering sector. I loved the people but not the job and only lasted a year or two before my new husband and I decided staying home and taking care of my first child, at least for a while, was the priority. Understand, my father used to refer to me as a “women’s libber”, so this was no small decision. Everyone knew my passion for equality, so staying home seemed like a departure from everything I held dear. As a new mom, I also neglected the reading and writing I loved to sleep and take care of my son. Suddenly, I had a new mission in life, to raise one, then two, then three boys to be the best men they could possibly be. That’s when values surpassed passion in my mission in life.
Adding values to the mission
Before having children, I had values. I always valued honesty and authenticity, but until I became a mom, I didn’t value kindness. I valued intelligence and wit especially if it was laced with sarcasm. Then, I realized the way I was wasn’t the way I wanted my children to be, so I changed. It took a while, but I learned how to be kind. I learned to truly care about others. If you read my writing from before and after this decision, you would hardly believe it was the same person writing it. What’s most interesting, though, is these values became part of my passion in raising children. We talked about honesty, authenticity and kindness, a lot. I hoped it would make a difference, and it did.
Learning new values
When my oldest was three, his preschool director said he was very self-confident and self-assured. I laughed and said that I knew and that I felt like occasionally I needed to take him down a peg. She assured me I didn’t. In her words, “the world will poke enough holes in his bucket”, and I needed to help him plug those holes up. That little boy is now married, a new dad and still one of the most self-assured men I know. I thank the preschool director for challenging me to be an uplifter rather than hole poker. I also see that self-confident young man becoming less sarcastic and kinder as he changes his own mission in life to parent his little one, and it makes my heart sing.
So what about those passions?
I’ve enjoyed writing since I was a child. I took a hiatus when my first child was born but realized quickly how much I missed it. That passion never figured into my parenting, other than to check over papers and to write notes and emails. It was relegated to journal writing until one of the parents of my oldest passed. The family created a blog to share their journey, and when that part of the journey ended, so did the blog entries. For me, though, it started something. I started my own site and hobby blogged until 2017. Then I learned about blogging as a career, and the rest is history.
Combining your values, your passion and your mission in life
For the past 25 years, I parented my children with passion but not using my passions. As those young men leave our care, I use my passions for writing, talking, particularly about personalities, and philosophy to create a business I love. Again, I am taking the road less traveled as I create a new mission in life, because i focus more on people than profit, but that’s where my gifts make the biggest impact. I used those skills to help one become a great husband and father, this from his mother in law. Recently, my middle son started his new life in California, 3,000 miles away. My husband and I gave them wings, never knowing how difficult it would be to let them fly. We have one left at home, and after seeing how much his brothers love their lives, we’re sure it’s only a matter of time before he flies too. Then, perhaps, I’ll have a new mission in life, to take my business on the road and visit my children as much as I can while writing, blogging, and speaking along the way.
What is your mission in life?
I know people joke about this. They laugh and say they’re trying to make it to Friday, but what if you could live your mission in life based on your passions and your values? What would your life look like? Yes, I’ve heard people say they can’t get by based on their hobby, but what if that hobby is the key to something better even if it isn’t your full time answer? Not sure which way to answer that? Maybe it’s time for you to take a DISC personality assessment and figure it out. You can order an assessment and schedule a follow up appointment by clicking here. Not sure if you’re ready to take an assessment or how it can help you? Here are twenty one different perspectives on how DISC can help you. Whether you’re naturally driven, seeking fun, wanting security or focused on detail, there’s something for everyone in the assessment and follow up. You may find out you mission, your passions and your values line up more than you know and are the key to live your best life and let the rest go. To find out more, sign up for our email community below to get all the news and offers first, including the newest Whole Home Reset Summer Edition.Click here for ways to support the Moving Toward Better mission.