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Question of the Month: How do you Improve New Year’s Resolutions

Many people make New Year’s resolutions at this time of the year only to end up breaking them in a few early months, so my personal practice has evolved to take a long term view of one’s life. Following Steven Covey’s guidance after reading his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People in 1991, I wrote my mission statement – which essentially is a view of how you want to live the rest of your life. As inspiration for your own mission statement, I have included mine as a template for those of you who are inspired to take the time to look ahead towards the rest of your lives.  This Mission Statement has been my “North Star” for many years since 1991 and has helped keep me on track to accomplish much of what I have shared in my Mission Statement.
I later met Steven Covey at a conference as a fellow presenter and shared my MS with him. He has since passed (may the good Lord rest his soul in eternal peace), but before he passed, he wrote me an insightful letter as feedback on my MS.  The essence of his advice was that writing the Mission Statement is the beginning, but the real growth and wisdom-learning is in the actual practice of the principles you espouse to emulate and own in your life.   So, my practice each year is to review my MS and see if within the year I have successfully practiced these principles.  If I faltered, I reflect on what wisdom could be garnished from failures and how I can use that wisdom not to falter in the same issue again.
While the MS prepared me well for the challenges I had to navigate in my life pursuant to writing it, the one thing it did not prepare me for was how to deal with the loss of my only son Tariq.  I am not sure how one would ever want to prepare oneself for losing a child – a concept that never entered my psyche.  However, it happened and 4 years after that tragedy in 1995, I reflected on the lesson and how the Universe had guided me to respond to this devastating negative tragedy in a positive way.  So, as you will see, the 1999 entry on the bottom of my MS reflects this wisdom. In other words, it is impossible to anticipate everything, so if something does occur outside of ones MS – this addition will create a positive attitude.
While I hope no one has to face such a hard hit – I believe developing a MS based on the roles you have chosen in your lives is a worthwhile effort to provide you with guidance as you grow in spiritual strength and resiliency in the journey to full enlightenment. It has helped me and my hope is it will do the same for you.
“Azim’s Mission Statement”
My mission statement is to achieve a balanced life that is in total communication and unity with the essence of nature.  In my pursuit of this mission, I am deeply and sincerely committed to achieving the following standards of effectiveness and excellence in my below mentioned self-chosen roles:
  1. Individual: As a responsible individual, I am committed to becoming a person of uncompromising integrity, a person that can be totally trusted, a strong believer in God and His universe, a sensitive person that respects others and their belief systems, one who is balanced, interesting, principle-centered, and committed to a perpetual learning philosophy.
  2. Parent: As a father and a family member I aim to be an example to my children in the dedicated effort to fulfill this mission statement, to be supportive of them in the pursuit of their worthwhile goals and aspirations and to discourage and deter them in the pursuit of non-worthwhile followings and habits, to be a participant in the development of a strongly founded love-based support system within the family that encourages independent and inter-dependent living for all the members of the family.
  3. Career: In my career to be a compassionate adviser that is knowledgeable and one that goes the extra mile.  To continue to improve my skills so as to provide the most qualitative service and products that are current and evolved.  To seek financial independence and to use this material resource to help achieve prosperity in all the people that I touch in my lifetime and to be a trusted and committed a member of my team.
  4. Health: To be cognizant of my health by regularly exercising physically to allow my body to develop the strength and energy required in the fulfillment of my mission statement, to develop good all around empowering social skills like Reading, Music, Sports, Theater, Cuisine, Travel, and Culture.  To continue diligently to master new levels of consciousness through my regular well-established routine of consistent meditation.
  5. Relationship: To be a supportive, sharing, challenging, compassionate, and loving committed partner in a meaningful relationship with my lover.  To be sensitive to the issue that she, as I, needs to grow in her own mission statement and commit to developing a joint mission statement that is synergistic and synthesizes the individual mission statements.  To be sensitive to the truth that for a  relationship to survive it has to continue to grow and evolve to ensure consistent happiness.
  6. Community Member: As a member of planet earth, to continue to share my knowledge generously, to be a true friend to my fellow men/women, a student of other cultures and values, a responsible and loyal citizen, a broad thinker, a contemplative person with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, a proactive participant in all aspects supporting a better world: one that respects nature, environment, the self-worth of human beings, peace, love and the unity of mankind.
  7. Evaluator: to continue to challenge and evaluate my progress and this mission statement.  To continually refine, fine-tune, and synthesize this mission statement so that it continues to provide the direction and inspiration it is designed to do.
Addition to Mission Statement 
4  years after Tariq’s death – 11/99


Since one does not know what lies in store for oneself – how could I ever have prepared for the loss of my child  -my mission statement does not deal with that possibility. Life is a mystery and that may be a good thing!
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Azim Khamisa

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