We’re in the middle of a series about discovering your path to a life of passion, mission, purpose, and freedom. The previous posts can be found here:
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
— Howard Thurman
Your mission, should you choose to accept it …
Haha, sorry. I couldn’t help myself. All I could think of the entire time I’ve been planning this post is the Mission Impossible theme song.
Da da da Da da da Da da da Da da
Now with that main theme song firmly planted in your head, we can move on.
This week we are talking about our missions. To put it simply, our missions are the things that we do or are responsible for, informed by or created out of our passions, to fulfill our purpose.
A statement I want to introduce here that I think could be helpful when figuring out what your missions should be is this:
Passion with direction or intention toward a purpose.
Your missions are the direction. They have an intention. They are the device through which you point your passions toward your purpose.
If your passions are an arrow and your purpose the target, your mission then, is the bow through which you fire your passion at its purpose.
We need to use our passions and desires, the things that make us come alive, to help create the things that we are meant to do to fulfill our purpose.
Informed By Passions
You’ve heard the term “passion project,” right? A passion project is something you do based purely on the fact that it’s something you’re intensely interested in. You do these projects for no reason other than you want to. There is usually no compensation or accolades. These are life-giving, “from your heart” kind of projects.
This is the same kind of thinking that you want to use when you are creating your missions. If you ever want to find the abundant, energizing, fulfilling life that you were meant to have, you’ve got to start doing things that make you come alive. Your missions, therefore, should be based around the things that you are passionate about. The desires of your heart can direct you to your missions.
It’s taken me a long time, but I’ve come to realize that I am most alive when I am doing things that are birthed out of my passions. So many of us are doing things day in and day out with no passion behind them. We do them because of obligation or “ought.” But man, it would be a whole different ball game if we could put some passion behind the things we’re doing.
Your passions are the fuel for your fire. They get you up and moving. Taking that fire and directing it through a mission towards your purpose will ignite the world on fire.
Your missions should fulfill your purpose.
We’ll talk about your purpose next week, but one of the tell-tale signs of a great mission is that it is in service of your purpose. Life … real, fulfilling, “this is what I’m meant to be doing” kind of life can only be found when you have a purpose to guide you. Otherwise you’re just shooting in the dark. Maybe you’ll hit something, maybe you won’t.
Without a map or GPS to help you, how would you get from one place to another? If you wanted to go from New York City to Los Angeles and you didn’t at least take a map with you, you would be all over the place. There’s a good chance that you would never reach your destination at all.
Your purpose is your guide. Your North Star. Your compass. Point the things that make you come alive at that purpose and then get moving. You’ll find life on that journey.
Details, Details, Details
Just a couple of small tidbits of wisdom regarding missions and then we’ll be on our way.
You will have more than one mission at a time. Your marriage is a mission. Your job is a mission. Your side hustle is a mission. Your finances, your health, your parenting. These are all missions.
You don’t have to write down mission statements for everything you do. I don’t have them all written down somewhere, although I’m thinking I should. Much like goals for me, if I don’t write them down they tend to get forgotten. If I truly want my money to be used in a mission, with intention and direction, then it might do me well to write down how my money should be used, you know?
Your missions will probably change over time. Just like you might have many jobs over the course of your life, you will probably have many missions. As your passions change, so too should your missions.
Your missions don’t have to be a one-to-one correlation with your purpose. There are many people whose purpose is to be an evangelist of the Gospel of Jesus, but that doesn’t mean that they necessarily have to work in full-time ministry. They could work in hockey. They could be writers or cosplayers. They could be plumbers. The connection back to their purpose can be more indirect than having to work in full-time ministry to fulfill that calling. There are many things you’ll end up doing that can fulfill your purpose.
Some of your missions are only meant for a season. Others will last your entire life. A job might just be for a season, but your responsibility to your family or your marriage should last for a life time.
Knowing when it’s time to let a mission die is crucial. When you stick around too long doing something that you are no longer meant to do and you’re only there because it’s comfortable and familiar, then it’s time to move on. If you no longer are growing or finding life there, then you’re just taking up the space that is meant for someone else to fill. You’re hampering blessings meant for someone else in that space and for you elsewhere.
If you want a full, “suck out all the marrow” kind of life, having missions informed by your passions in service of your purpose is how you get there. Remember, to determine your missions, think:
Passion with direction or intention toward a purpose.
Next week, we’ll get into your purpose; that thing that you were put on this Earth for. I’ll see you then!