Earlier this year a great man died. His name was Richard N. Bolles. He was the author of What Color is Your Parachute, a book that the Library of Congress listed as one of the 25 most influential books in the world. I was lucky enough to have known Dick, as he preferred to be called.
He helped a lot of people and wrote many amazing books, but one of the most astounding gifts he left here on earth is something he wrote to a lady who ask him the question of all questions, “How do I find my mission in life?”
“ … as it has been impressed on me by observing many people over the years (admittedly through Christian spectacles), it appears that the three parts to your mission here on earth can be defined generally as follows:
Your first mission here on Earth is one which you share with the rest of the human race, but it is no less your individual mission for the fact that it is shared: and it is, to seek to stand hour by hour in the conscious presence of God, the one from whom your mission is derived. The Missioner before the Mission is the rule. In religious language, your mission here is: to know God, and enjoy Him forever, and to see His hand in all His works.
Secondly, once you have begun doing that in an earnest way, your second mission here on earth is also one which you share with the rest of the human race, but it is no less your individual mission for the fact that it is shared: and that is, to do what you can, moment by moment, day by day, step by step, to make this world a better place, following the leading and guidance of God’s spirit within you and around you.
Thirdly, once you have begun doing that in a serious way, your third mission here on Earth is one which is uniquely yours, and that is:
- to exercise that Talent which you particularly came to Earth to use — your greatest gift, which you most delight to use,
- in the place(s) or setting(s) which God has caused to appeal to you the most,
- and for those purposes which God most needs to have done in the world.
When fleshed out and spelled out, I think you will find that there you have the definition of your Mission in life. Or, to put it one other way, these are the three Missions which you have in life.”
(From any copy of What Color is your Parachute – look in the pink pages)
Journal Entry: It seems there is a process for finding your calling, your career or your vocation. It is God > Others > Self. Would this process be worth considering in other areas of your leadership and life?