Thursday, May 7, 2009

Mission Possible!

One of the best parts of my job is that every day I get to talk to people about their lives. I have the amazing privilege to climb inside the heads of the people I work with and tinker with the workings of their minds. I get to hear the joys and triumphs and I get to hear the sorrows and the tribulations. It is amazing to share experiences with my clients and appreciate how differently individual people deal with what life throws at them.

Today I met with a woman that fascinates me on many levels: Strong, capable, sincere, loyal, crazy intelligent, and yet absolutely at odds with herself as to her direction and worth in life. The first thing I do with clients is to try to help them set goals. Goal-setting is not a natural progression to a lot of people but I see it as absolutely essential. Goals allow you to have a fixed point on which to focus and an end point by which to determine when and if you are slipping off course. Without focus, there is no way to know the direction and no way to re-align yourself. The more we talked,though, the more apparent it became that this amazing woman, like many of us, couldn't even be sure what goals to set because the reality was she didn't even know who she was as an individual.

In life, it is really easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day and sort of lose sight of yourself and your self-worth. It is easy to fall into a role and commit yourself to that path (usually the easiest path) and like a chameleon, blend into the surroundings. The problem with this though is that one day, you look down and realize you don't like what you see or even know why you are headed in the direction you are going. I see this a lot with moms. They commit their very being, their every ounce to being a perfect mom and along the way they lose sight of what they like and what they stand for as a person. They lose sight of how to be a wife, a woman and how to even exist without the crutch of their kids. Men fall into their career and define their worth by a dollar sign or a certain level of importance within an establishment. I try to get my clients to, for one second, seperate themselves from those roles and determine who they are as a person. What would the "Mission Statement" of their life look like? What do they stand for and if they lost their job or (gasp!) if their kids grow up and leave home and make lives of their own (I know, I know, but it happens....), who would they be? That's a tough question! It is really hard to look into your own life and recognize your own passions and decide what you would stand for if you had to stand alone! But, it' essential.

So, I challenged my client today. I told her to write her own Mission Statement in life. For me, it's not too hard. I have a very strong passion and it has always been my passion. I like to empower people, to build the steps that take them to heights they have never imagined. I like to create change and challenge people to be better. I hold myself and my fellow world-mates to a high standard of morale and compassion, and I never aim for less than the best. I push my friends and family hard and I push myself harder because I believe in the satisfaction of hard work, but I also value failure. I try hard to recognize shortcomings in myself and accept the amazing variety in an everchanging world.

I'm lucky, though. That's easy for me because God has been gracious enough to give me the gift of a mission.

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