Recently, I’ve been thinking about the concept of mission. On first glance, having a mission in life looks like a worthy idea.
Definitely, we need to have goals. Otherwise, we wouldn’t get from Point A to Point B. We wouldn’t finish our education. We wouldn’t go to work. We wouldn’t fix a meal, take a shower, or clean our home.
But a mission speaks to something loftier, an idea we have about accomplishing something important, something that impacts the lives of others and perhaps the entire world. And for me, that’s where things become murky.
I’m speaking from my personal experience, but I’ve seen the same thing play out in the lives of others. When we become too single-minded about an ill-conceived mission, we become inflexible and controlling. We begin to step on others whom we perceive to be in the way of our mission. We may neglect other responsibilities, to the detriment of those who depend upon us. We push too hard, we exhaust ourselves. We compromise our values and lose our perspectives. Ultimately, our efforts crash and burn, resulting in disillusionment and destruction.
Recently, I’ve come to understand that every time I’ve tried to define a lofty purpose for my life, I’ve been misguided and full of bull. I will never come across an exact blueprint of what I’m supposed to do with my days on this earth. Because the grand plan isn’t mine. I am only a tiny player in the working of the divine intelligence. My human brain won’t ever be able to comprehend the divine plan.
It is difficult for me to be okay with that realization. But relinquishing the idea of having a grand mission allows me to relax a bit. It gives me more freedom.
Let me now admit that I have no idea what I’m supposed to do with the rest of my life. I am sitting back, waiting to see what the divine intelligence brings my way, what people, places, experiences, causes, and inspirations it places in my path. “Surprise me,” I say.