Last year I attended a training during which I was supposed to get alone and figure out a mission statement for my life. I was pretty stressed out about this, thinking that if I got it wrong, I would screw up the rest of my life or something. Luckily, common sense intervened and I realized that this was just a tool, like any other tool, maybe useful and maybe not. I stopped trying to write it, and it came to me. It’s pretty personal, so I’m not going to share it verbatim, but it has to do with helping people who are marginalized by society.

This fall, I got really, really busy. This time it wasn’t my fault … honest. But one of the things I’ve been trying to do for the last 6 weeks or so is lighten my load a little. But I realized a couple weeks ago that the easiest things to lose logistically were the ones that fit best with that mission statement that I almost forgot about in my busyness. So, I switched tack and renegotiated and I think I’ve come up with a reasonable compromise that balances my resonsibilities with my mission, taking into account financial as well as family needs.

I remember hearing one time that two Chinese characters combine to form the concept of busy: heart and killing. I believe it. Busyness creates stress which is literally life threatening, but maybe even worse is the fact that busyness kills our souls, we forget who we are and what we’re here for. At least I did.

That’s why when taking the Chris Brogan challenge to choose three words for 2009, I chose blessing, which embodies my mission; perspective, reminding me not to invest emotionally in things that don’t matter; and ownership, asking myself (as reminded by @EricaRKrieger on twitter) “Is this mine to do?”, and if the answer is yes, owning the task and working wholeheartedly; and if the answer is no, figuring out how to let it go as soon as possible.

I’m thinking about reviewing these three words once a month throughout the year to prevent busyness from overpowering my mission and purpose and even the very person I’m made to be.

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Goals, Schmoals