Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A New Path

About a year ago I developed a "Mission Statement" for my life as a part of one of my law school classes. Here is what I came up with:
"My mission is to ensure that current and future generations have clean and safe natural resources by creating and upholding laws that protect against exploitation, pollution, and wasteful use of wild areas and natural resources."

Why? The concept is simple, while I don't know where my life will take me, my "mission" will be a constant reminder of what will be my legacy or lasting contribution to the world. At first, I thought that this was a bit of a "grade school" type idea. However, after giving it some thought I was over my myself and realized that this is a really good idea. Especially now with all that's changing in our world. Will my mission statement change? Probably, but the beauty of the idea is not that you adhere steadfastly to your mission. It is that you identify with yourself on a deeper level and choose your direction based on what is most important to you. Something that seems so lost in all of America right now.

As a young law student, I feel that this is one of the best things you can do for yourself, your career, and even your country. It is simple: if you love what you do that means that you are putting yourself in to your career day in day out. If you don't know what or who you are how can you put it in to what you do? You can't. That is why everyone should create their mission statement.

Today, our country is entering into a time of great uncertainty, heck we are smack in the middle of it. We have a new President Elect, who we all hope can fashion some kind of a remedy for where we have gotten ourselves as a nation. We have a changing environment that demands we change our ways or face consequences none of us enjoy thinking about. Add that to our daily squabble and its enough to drive you to the psych ward. Really, as citizens we just can't absorb all of this change and quickly integrate it into our lives. We are creatures of habit.

I suggest that a little reflection is exactly what every American needs to be doing right now. Whether you think about where we are as a country or where you are as an individual a mission statement should be on your to-do list. The reason we are where we are right now in history is because we failed to encourage every American to have a "mission statement" and decide for themselves what it is that they want to do in this life for our world.

Whether your mission is a grand complex one or a smaller simpler one, it should important to you. The more people that stop and think about their "missions" the better we can protect ourselves from later replicating the pattern of thought and action that got us where we are today. So sit and think about what is that makes you who you are and figure out how you can articulate that and produce it in the world around you.

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