“Jesus did many other things as well,” writes John in the last paragraph of the Gospel of John. “If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.
Last year, I had to face the toughest battle of my life: I was diagnosed with cancer and completed six rounds of chemotherapy. It turned my world upside down in every way imaginable. My cancer was declared in remission in September. This year, I had to battle kidney stones, then the cancer came back and so I had to have surgery. Needless to say, I can offer you some advice on how to make it through tough times: 1. Read The Bible. This book is the spiritual road map to make it through. I can't imagine what I would have done had I not been able to read The Bible. Though I had read it for years, this book took on special significance during my trials. God will reveal to you what you need when you need it. For example this verse was literally an epiphany for me during my struggle. 2. Gather Friends and Family. You can't go through a crisis alone. Bring friends and family in to help. You also need one advocate to help you get information, ask questions and help you think because when you are in the crisis, you are dealing with emotions more than you are rational thinking. Get people to pray with you — this is a powerful weapon in your struggle. 3. Conquer Your Fears. Fear is not what God wants for you. The Bible speaks a lot about not fearing anything. Perfect love drives out fear, The Bible says in 1 John. This is hard to do and I still struggle with it but it's about giving up control. Put the situation in God's hands. If you believe in Jesus, then you have eternal life despite the challenges you face. Talk to others who can help you with your specific fears. It might take time but you can at least put fear in a corner so that it doesn't control you. 4. Information is King. With the Internet, you can find out a lot of information that can help you get through your crisis. You can find medical, legal and other information that previously wasn't available. Again, get an advocate who can help you sift through the facts. I also found great sermons and other articles that helped me.
5. Stay Positive. Everything has a beginning and an end and your trials or crisis will end. It's hard to see the end when you are in the thick of it but it's helpful to picture the end. See yourself coming out of this and envision the end. It will help you get through. My prayer is that this post finds its way to someone who needs it.
He continued by saying that some people find their identity in their job. They are managers, sales people, teachers, etc. Their job defines who they are.
Some people don’t identifies themselves with their job. Instead, they may identity themselves with a hobby or interest. Some people may identify themselves with their families or heritage or maybe how much money they have.
The more I started thinking about identity, the more I realized you have to know who you are before you are going to succeed in life.
Then a few weeks later, while reading Jim Camp’s book Start with No, an excellent book on negotiations, he writes a chapter about something similar: “Success Comes from This Foundation: Developing Your Mission and Purpose.” Here’s what Camp says:
“I teach and preach that mission and purpose is the very essence of success.”
For me, I started putting the two together like this: Who are you and what are you here for? (Very similar to Purpose Driven Life, the best-selling hardcover book of all time.)
Then I started developing mission statements related to my life as a whole and my career. My personal mission statement goes something like this:
I’m still working on it but the more the weeks pass by, I keep referring to this statement and it really helps clarify things for me. I’m still working on one for my job at work. It helps me stay on track and not get distracted.
You can always change your mission but I don’t think you’ll ever achieve success if you can’t define it for yourself.
I really like Camp’s further explanation in the chapter when he says money and power are not valid mission statements. Very insightful for a book that is about negotiations!
So do you find mission statements useful or have you developed one? What’s your mission and purpose in life? Can you write it out?
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Before I stepped into the creek, I checked my cell phone. No signal. I looked around and stepped in the water. Cows to the left. Tree cover to the right. I was alone. (Well, if you didn’t count the beaver a few feet from me, busy building and concerned not one bit about me.)