I like making lists. Within my iphone are lists of books to read, videos to watch, and morning habits to instill if I would get up on time. As my partner would put it, one of my hobbies is planning my hobbies. I once speckled a wall with post-it notes of fun things to try. Starting a blog was one of the post-its.
Lists are good because they keep track of things we might otherwise forget, or they can be useful in listing out tasks that must be accomplished to achieve a larger goal. They can also help us find direction in life if they are centered around what we want to be or become.
In the book The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, Stephen Covey recommends that we create a mission statement of our life that is centered on character. This pertains to the second habit, beginning with the end in mind. He uses the old “what would people say about you at your funeral” bit to provide a basis for creating this statement. For example, is that promotion so important if you’re sacrificing time with your family?
I thought this sounded like a fun little activity and realized I could make a list of my mission statement.
After finishing my first draft, my partner and I had a hardy laugh reading each item out loud and envisioning how high I had set the bar. I tend to set my bar really high and then throw myself on the mat in frustration that I can’t reach it. I’ve added that to my list.
I revised it again, then again, then again to come up with below. I hope this serves as inspiration for you to make your own mission statement (if you need one in the first place).
THINGS TO ALWAYS KEEP IN MIND
- Keep perspective on what is important and help others caught in the matrix to do the same.
- Make ample time for listening to others. Get out of your own head and look around you. The world is beautiful in so many ways.
- Practice patience. Refrain from swearing loudly in front of colleagues, even if technology does make you want to hurl your laptop. That also goes for the more serious issues in the world.
- Be honest about your truest feelings and needs with those you care for, as difficult as you perceive it to be sometimes.
- Forgive yourself for taking so much time to unravel your own pain, but buck up and don’t let life rush by while you focus on your past.
- “Don’t put one foot in yesterday, one in tomorrow, and piss on today” (thanks for this gold nugget, dad).
- Welcome opportunity and change. Complacency is no better than running away.
- Don’t settle for mediocrity to make things easier.
Take joy in the process of life by planning. Take life’s tediousness by the horns.
- Follow through with created plans that continue to create enthusiasm in your heart. Discard those that don’t.
- After 1. , work the plan and break it down into a process you will ENJOY.
- Put all paperwork/mail/bills in a plastic folder and empty it every night, filing it away or doing what needs to be done and getting rid of the paper waste. Do not toss unopened mail in the “denial of responsibility” drawer.
- Wash dishes straight away, throw clothes in the hamper, put lids back on things, etc. Generally keep the house from looking like a clothing and paper bomb was detonated.
- Write friends back on time instead of waiting until you’re totally guilt-ridden. Doing it on time creates joy in the process and a miracle of love. Call mom, sister, and grandma frequently.
- Money: be not frivolous, be always generous, and put some away for when you no longer make so much.
God gave me life.
- Design life, don’t force it to design you. Don’t be a control freak though, as you know where that get’s you..
- Treat your body as a sacred vessel, not as a dumpster for Snickers and Bugles chippies.
- That being said, don’t set the bar too high. Sometimes life gives you a brownie.
I already honour many of these things above, but putting them in a blog for all to see kind of solidifies it in my mind. As cheesy as the title sounds, 7 Habits by Covey is a good reminder of how we can be better at doing the things that need to be done so we can really enjoy life. That’s the whole point anyway, I guess, to experience and create joy for yourself and those you love.