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Looking Back On A Life With Purpose

Let us assume that you are celebrating your 95th birthday. Your family is there, as well as your dearest friends. You have had a great and productive life. You look back and start reflecting about who you have become, what you have stood for and those you have loved and served. You also had your share of challenges, but they made you wiser and stronger.

In your mind, think of why this day is special? What are the surrounding circumstances? How is your physical appearance? What expression predominates your face and eyes? At this moment, what are your deepest feeling and thoughts? Through the years, what has been important in your life?

Now, it is time for those present to say something about you. What would you like each to say? Think of other people who might be there are perhaps an employer, neighbors, co-workers, fellow civic organization members or church members.

After you complete the above exercise, you are well on your way to formulating your mission statement that is so unique, there is none like it. As you went through the mental exercise, you realized that people were a central part of your life. People brought happiness into your life, encouragement and a sense of belonging. They helped you realize your vision and goals, and they were there when you needed support and understanding.

They taught you life lessons and held your hand from the bottom of your ?social and emotional valleys,? when you asked yourself, ?What could I have done that I didn?t do?? People were there to console and uplift you. When you asked, ?why me?? you were comforted by the knowledge that other people had undergone the same experience; therefore, you knew you could handle your situation, too. When your future was blurred with questions like, ?How can I handle the emotional pain? and ?What does the future hold for me, now that life will never be the same?? somebody provided a shoulder for you to lean on as you built hope for a new beginning.

All that matters in life is relationships. Once, I heard that, ?No one at his or her deathbed wishes he or she had spent more time in the office.? It?s not the projects we accomplish, but the people with whom we accomplish the projects that is essential in life.

People are the greatest resource God has given each one of us. My mother taught me that people will always have a way of figuring solutions for other people?s concerns or problems. How true that is! I have shared my wild dreams with some people who have different expertise only to find that they knew how I could overcome whatever obstacles I had envisioned.

In his book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill says that we should treat everybody the way we would treat an uncle who is a millionaire, and we would like him to pass a part of his will to us. Hebrews 12:14 admonishes us to ?fellow peace with all men and holiness without which no one man shall see God.?

The second thing to look back to is our contribution to the world. The starting point is looking at the future. In our minds, we create the future we want to live in. Remember, ? where there is no vision, the people perish? (Proverbs 29:18). Our vision is an expanded purpose that leads to a more focused orientation. It is the deepest expression of what we want, the preferred future. Our vision must embody the collective values and aspirations of our relationship with God, families and associates. It should be the mental image that is held by our loved ones and appeals to physical senses, emotional needs and spiritual persuasion.

It is with vision of the future that we are inspired to focus on the possibilities of going beyond what is wrong and what has hindered success in the past.

To be prosperous and reflect favorably back at our 95th birthday, one has to develop a clear, self-empowering mission, purpose or objective. Maximum utilization of our potential can only occur if we have total commitment to a mission. As such, we as families and individuals should have a deep, clearly understood sense of purpose or mission. A mission that incorporates a vision of our stand is inspiring and elevating to ourselves and those we touch with our lives.

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