“Has your soul a special mission? Yes. Your mission is in the inmost recesses of your heart, and you have to find and fulfill it there. There can be no external way for you to fulfill your mission. The deer grows musk in his own body. He smells it and becomes enchanted, and tries to locate its source. He runs and runs, but he cannot find the source. In his endless search, he loses all his energy and finally he dies. But the source he was so desperately searching for was within himself. How could he find it elsewhere? Such is the case with you. Your special mission, which is the fulfillment of your divinity, is not outside you, but within you. Search within. Meditate within. You will discover your mission.”
-- Sri Chinmoy, Yoga and the Spiritual Life: The Journey of India's Soul
The meaning we attach to our lives is the driving force of our actions, contribution, and personal growth. It motivates us and expresses itself in our thinking and activities. Lack of meaning leads to drifting through life, blaming our ennui and misfortune on some nebulous fate, god, another person, or an ideology. Perhaps we blame ourselves.
You need a mission, something that leads you to your soul’s desire in this life. It is what gets you up in the morning with joy, purpose, eagerness, and energy. It can form the theme for your life. It has steps and processes that lead to progress along its way. However, you may never fully accomplish your mission. It is the journey in mission that counts.
I believe a mission must be grounded in unconditional love and the positive enactment of attitudes and behavior. It must be based upon values, ethics, morality, and purpose. It should reflect an expression of positive humanity and spirituality in this life.
Mission is grounded in wisdom. It edifies your life and the lives of others. Care is necessary in selecting a mission. Sometimes it is obvious: “ My mission is to nurture and raise my children to become honest and productive members of society.” However, we often need guidance to fathom the needs of our soul and psyche. My experiences in two programs (Pathways Life Management Program and The Mankind Project) helped me form a mission that challenges me to live my life fully: “I create a perfect world of peace by speaking, writing, teaching, and being peace.” That is a huge mission! However, the good news it that it forms meaning in my life daily as I write this blog, communicate with people, spread love when I can, and enjoy the gift of this life.
A mission is not unchangeable. For example, after your children grow up, you can switch to a different mission, perhaps: “My mission is to help others less fortunate than I by volunteering in my community and church.” Your mission can morph as your personal growth evolves. For example, as I age, my mission is taking on the form of a legacy to my family, friends, and others.
Every person deserves to develop an overall mission that will motivate and give meaning to his or her life and fuel his human and spiritual growth!