Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Importance of a Personal Mission Statement (What Donald Miller Didn't Say)

Ten people read my blog---I’m being too hard on myself---maybe eleven.  Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller went Platinum, selling over a million copies.  In short that’s why I find his advice valuable.  For his newest project, Author Launch, he took part in a Webinar; ‘Ask An Author Anything.”  In that interview about writing a book he said, ‘new writers should practice by writing a book’, “Practice what you want to do.”  He advised not to blog or Instagram; but write the book.  I get it.  I just find it interesting that while writing his newest book, “Scary Close” Miller was blogging for Storyline and running Storyline conferences.  The reason for this is that Donald Miller’s vision is larger than writing a best-selling novel. 

“The truth is, if what we choose to do with our lives won’t make a story meaningful, it won’t make a life meaningful either,” so begins A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.  Miller’s heartbeat is to live a great story.  His mission is to stimulate others to live a great story as well.  Whatever your vision is; whatever your art is, it needs to be defined.  Your vision must be clear; your goal clearly established. 

My neighbor works all day at the Marine base; comes home, turns on the television and sits in his favorite chair while his wife makes dinner.  The television shows change but the routine remains the same.  My neighbor is a great guy—he goes to church, cares for others, loves his kids, and loves his wife.  Is his personal goal five hours of TV a night?  That’s doubtful. His goals are not defined.  He has no mission statement.

I don’t want to die like that.  When my last breath comes; however it comes (or doesn’t come) I want to have few regrets as possible.  I need to know I rode hard---even if it was only for one good season---still I want it said that I rode hard, played hard, tried living full, stumbled certainly, but pushed harder than most.  Focus means there’s a target.  Pushing hard means there’s a goal.  Beating my best means there’s a baseline.  Let’s take some time to dream and evaluate.  What’s our vision?  What fires us up?  What’s that look like lived out?  What dies if we succumb to the comfort of our living room Barcalounger?

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