Over the last several years, I have been investing a little time and energy in determining my life’s purpose, vision, and mission. I have also been developing a life philosophy, which is basically a collection of beliefs and thoughts that provide a framework for living. By continually improving your life philosophy, you become more and more effective in achieving your life mission, bringing about your life vision, and fulfilling your life’s purpose. Fair warning: This page will almost constantly change as my thoughts continue to evolve and as I continue to challenge and refine my beliefs.
My Life Purpose – As I have grown to understand it, my purpose in life is simply this: When our paths cross, we are both somehow better for the experience. It could be as simple as a shared smile, a laugh, or a quick conversation. It might also be as complex as a long, involved conversation. Regardless of the form or format, I realize I will always be growing at this, but that’s OK.
My Life Vision – My vision for my life is simply this: Each day I am granted in this life, I will strive to live out my faith and show people a good example of what it means to follow Jesus of Nazareth. Again, I know I’ll always be growing at this, but that’s OK. My salvation was an instantaneous event, but my sanctification (being made holy, in His likeness) is a daily process, as empowered and led by the Holy Spirit. And I am not always a good example. In fact, there are times when I can honestly say, very simply, I’m a horrible example. But I get back on track, ask God for forgiveness, and move forward with my Savior and Lord.
My Life Mission – My mission in my life mission is simply this: Each day, I will improve myself in some way. Some people teach that this somehow implies I believe myself to be defective in some way. BALONEY!! It DOES mean I believe it is my responsibility to continually expand my potential and grow fully into the man God made me to be. In other words, my life’s mission is to remove the artificial limits I have built for myself, as well as the ones I have allowed others to build for me. Through this process of continual growth and improvement, I will be better empowered to live out my life vision and fulfill my life’s purpose.
My Life Philosophy – At this point in time, my life philosophy can best be summarized as:
There is a God, and I am not Him.
Jesus was a real human being for a specific time in human history, because He came to earth, both fully human and fully divine, so that He could pay the price of mankind’s sin, and make possible a restored relationship with our Father.
I choose to focus on God’s love for me rather than any wrath I fully deserve for my nearly constant rebellion against Him. But His grace and mercy continues to amaze me almost every day.
As important as my faith is to me, I will never shove it down anyone’s throat. I believe I can invest time in building a relationship with someone I care about, then answer their questions and help them explore the faith in a gentle and loving way.
An apple a day is easy. But it’s just as easy to skip the apple. Either way, the result is contained within the choice I make. I need to learn to choose the apple a day. (Hat tip to Jim Rohn)
Teddy Roosevelt was right…the critic who has never done anything doesn’t really deserve my energy and attention. I will eventually be able to live this idea out fully. But in the mean time, I will extend some grace to myself…I will never make the right choice every single time, but I at least have enough backbone to stand up and be counted. I have, at the very least, enough courage to volunteer to be the one to make the choice. And since every single choice I make is going to anger someone, I will simply have to accept this is the cost of being a person of influence and a person whose life truly counts for something.
Nobody owes me anything. And I don’t owe anyone anything either. This means that neither a bloodline nor an emotional connection between us obligates either of us to anything. (Hat tip to Howard Roark in Ayn Rand’s classic novel The Fountainhead)
How about we both just live and let live? Wouldn’t that be a very pleasant change in the world? How about we just assume that we have good intentions and are simply doing the best we can do in any given moment? Is it possible we can just agree to get along, even if we don’t get along?
I can vehemently disagree with you on an issue, even if I love you. In fact, as surprising as it might be to some people, I believe it is possible to love and respect someone and still disagree with them on a variety of issues. And it does not diminish either of us. It simply means we are seeing an issue through our different understandings of the facts at hand.
If I offend you somehow, just talk to me about it. I’m almost certain that my offending you will not somehow kill or injure you. But it WILL give us something to talk about. I might not apologize, but you will at least understand why not. And most of the time, I care enough to apologize about it and then attempt to work it out.