I work a corporate job and like any good organization, they have a mission and a vision. The mission describes the current state and purpose – the WHY something exists. The vision speaks to the aspirations, or what they want to achieve one day…or as one article I found describes it, “the optimal desired future state.” Here are examples of a typical mission and vision:
Target: “Our mission is to make Target the preferred shopping destination for our guests by delivering outstanding value, continuous innovation and an exceptional guest experience by consistently fulfilling our Expect More. Pay Less.® brand promise.”
Alzheimer’s Association: “Our Vision is a world without Alzheimer’s disease.”
I was sitting in a meeting the other day where this came up, and I started thinking…what’s MY mission and vision? How would I describe my current state and purpose for being, and how would I write my vision of where I want to get to one day?
First and foremost, I want to be an awesome wife and mom. I want to be there for my family, for them to be happy and healthy. And in order to do that, I need to be happy and healthy. I’d like to think this is a “current state” more than an aspirational goal, but that kind of depends on the day. Not sure yet if it’s my mission or vision…but it feels like a good start.
But then what about “I want world peace,” “I want to cure cancer” or “I want to provide clean water to the world.” I hear stories of kids growing up knowing they want to change the world and then going out and actually doing something incredibly powerful. Goals of that scale are amazing and SO meaningful, but they seem out of reach for me at the ripe old age of 40. At first that seemed really depressing. Am I too late? Am I not driven enough? Am I not selfless enough to move my family to Africa to dig wells? Do I not have a voice big enough? Am I not smart enough?
Why can’t I do something meaningful that changes the world?
And then I realized that I CAN. When an organization creates their mission and vision they don’t try to solve ALL the world’s problems. They figure out what they are good at, what their specialty is, where THEY can make a difference. The Alzheimer’s Association doesn’t feel bad about not having a mission to end poverty, they are focused on what THEY can do.
SO…what can I do? What am I good at and what am I passionate enough about to keep pushing every day to see it come to life?
So I went back to “I want to be an awesome wife and mom.” I am definitely passionate about that. I want to be there for my little man through his challenges, to help him find his passion and to watch him grow into the amazing man I know he will be. I want to be there for my daughter as she lives through the inevitable drama of being a pre-teen and teenaged girl and see her come out of it stronger and more able to manage anything life will throw at her. I want them to know I love them more than anything else in this world and that I am here for them to support them and listen to them.
I’m not going to cure cancer. I am not going to single-handedly end poverty. I am not going to make a difference to a MILLION people. But what if I made a difference to three people – my husband and my kids? What if their lives were better because of what I gave to them? What if my kids grew up to be amazing parents and partners?
Sounds good to me. And that’s possibly enough. But it doesn’t fully capture everything I want to do. So I took it a bit further. (Look at me getting all aspirational.)
I want to help people. And because of my own weight loss and health journey, I believe I can help people that want to make a change. I’m not a doctor, I can’t diagnose or prescribe, but I can support. I can motivate. I can inspire. I can listen. I can BE THERE. And while I may not help a million people, what if I helped ONE person improve their life by making some healthier choices? What if I helped TWO? What if I helped ten…or even a hundred? One hundred people that changed their lives, got healthier and happier? That would be amazing.
What if THEY then turned around and started helping people do the same thing? And then what if the people they helped turned and did the same thing? Maybe I can actually make a difference.
I don’t have my mission fully perfected YET. I don’t have my vision crafted into the ideal seven to ten word statement.
But I’m close. And I am excited.