Many moons ago in 1991 after reading Steven Covey’s book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”
– I was inspired to write a mission statement. While New Year’s resolutions are popular, most fall away in a matter of days or weeks. Habits are one of the most difficult aspects in one’s life to change and merely making resolutions is an ineffective way to make a major paradigm shift.
The tendency of resolutions is to make an often-huge shift in a short time frame. Again, the success rate of this type of strategy is most likely not achievable. So, what is the solution?
After I read Covey’s masterpiece
– my inspiration was to develop a strong mission statement of my life and then each year review and reflect where I was in the overall performance of my life’s mission. Here is what I wrote in April of 1991:
4/15/91 “My 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:
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.
Parent: As a father and a family member 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 un-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.
Career: In my career to be a compassionate advisor 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 evolving. 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 member of my team.
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.
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 we must continue to grow and evolve to ensure consistent happiness.
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.
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.
New additions to the Mission Statement 4 years after Tariq’s death – November 99
LEARN TO TRUST LIFE (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!
While recently working with a good friend of mine in Kansas City – with whom I shared my mission statement in the first month of a new decade – I was inspired to share it with my friends and readership. The key is to start with the roles you CHOOSE that are important to you. While we are all individuals we live in a broader world with family, work and community. As I have developed in later life the community piece has taken more of my focus.
Indeed – while I always served on nonprofit Boards and contributed time, talent and treasure to good causes this aspect of my mission statement became more prominent in my life after I lost Tariq and founded the Tariq Khamisa Foundation
. For the last 25 years, I have volunteered in excess of 25 hours a week to the work of TKF which with the grace of the Universe continues to thrive to serve our children and youth. This has been a very fulfilling and rewarding experience now having given over 1000 presentations to students teaching nonviolence, empathy, compassion, forgiveness and most importantly peacemaking and peacebuilding. Receiving countless letters from students on the impact of my work has been one of the most satisfying blessings in my life and has provided me with true meaning and purpose.
While we cannot change the world – it is possible to change a few who in turn will change others inspired by your work. I share this personal experience with you to inspire you to look at your life’s mission and to be cognizant that true joy and happiness derives from helping others. While self-care and individual success are important, giving of your time, talent and treasure to worthwhile causes are where meaning and purpose live. One of my favorite Albert Schweitzer quotes is pictured to the right here.
There are many worthwhile causes in every community and we face several global challenges in the divided and disturbing times we live in where our most fundamental pillars of family and community life are being threatened at a level I have personally not experienced for several decades. We are in a scary downward spiral.
As you reflect on your life’s mission let us all make a serious commitment this new decade to reverse this dangerous trend and turn our communities and the world to a positive upward spiral – this I believe is possible through service of others.
Wishing all an inspiring empowering joyful and purposeful decade ahead!
Peace and many blessings.